Saturday, November 7, 2009
Pakistani Fashionistas Thumb Their Noses at Taliban
Article from Associated Press (AP): Pakistan's fashionistas defy Taliban By CHRIS BRUMMITT, Associated Press Writer Chris Brummitt, Associated Press Writer – Sat Nov 7, 7:36 am ET KARACHI, Pakistan – Some women strode the catwalk in vicious spiked bracelets and body armor. Others had their heads covered, burqa-style, but with shoulders — and tattoos — exposed. Male models wore long, Islamic robes as well as shorts and sequined T-shirts. As surging militant violence grabs headlines around the world, Pakistan's top designers and models are taking part in the country's first-ever fashion week. While the mix of couture and high-street fashions would not have been out of place in Milan or New York, many designers reflected the turmoil, contradictions and tensions coursing through the society. The four-day event, which was postponed twice due to security fears and amid unease at hosting such a gathering amid an army offensive in the northwest, is aimed at showing the world there is more to Pakistan than violence and helping boost an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people, organizers said. Many of the models, designers and well-heeled fashionistas packing out each night said the gathering was a symbolic blow to the Taliban and their vision of society, where women are largely confined to the house and must wear a sack-like covering known as a burqa. "This is our gesture of defiance to the Taliban," said Ayesha Tammy Haq, the CEO of Fashion Pakistan Week. "There is a terrible problem of militancy and political upheaval ... but that doesn't mean that the country shuts down. That doesn't mean that business comes to a halt." Rest of article.