Refashioning Style from the Outside-In: A Pakistani Diasporic Response
MFA in Design
Pakistan’s traditionalists and modernists hold opposing political, religious, social and nationalist views creating a constant tension within the culture set against a broad diasporic backdrop. Within the country, this tension creates a local fashion industry with two extremes, one side reflecting traditional influences and the other reflecting globalizing modernist trends.
Informed by my own diasporic perspective, I offer a third space that is neither completely traditional nor entirely modern. Methodologically, I address this tension in several steps. First, I analyze the craft and context of traditional Pakistani men’s clothing. Next, I incorporate traditional construction techniques into the making of garments that reflect aspects of tradition and globalization, using materials sourced from across the world. Finally, in a series of five looks, blending several influences including Persian, North Indian, Afghan, Colonial, and Neo-Colonial styles, I generate hybridized garments that offer an alternative perspective, where traditional elements and the global vocabulary of fashion co-exist dynamically and harmoniously.