Trend setting on television…
With modern, well dressed and stylish men and women at the helm of Turkish plays as well as western programs that flood our channels, Pakistani drama serials have been challenged to up the ante in the fashion department. And there is a change, albeit a very slight and sporadic one. Bashar Momin was one such serial that boasted a lot of big names involved in defining its look: Ahmed Bham for Faysal Qureshi’s wardrobe, Cotton and Cotton for Sami Khan’s and Samia and Azmay Shahzada for footwear.
Nadia Chhotani provided the jewellery for the engagement and wedding scenes. In the style department, Nabila and her menswear division – N Gents – was roped in for hair, makeup and grooming.
It has to be said that the Bashar Momin men are sharply dressed and suave. Bham excels in giving the character of Bashar Momin a very expensive style statement replete with dapper suits, waistcoats, pocket squares and everything needed for the role. Even Buland Bukhtyar (Sami Khan) in his comparative simplicity has been appropriately styled by Cotton and Cotton.
The men look good but unfortunately, when it comes to style, the women in the play fail to make an impression. In fact they make a rather poor one.
Designed by Rani Siddiqi and the Resham Revaj label, Ushna Shah’s wardrobe is
Liberty Market at best and Ghousia Market at worst. The long and passé flowing shirts, the archaic colour combinations, the appliqué and embroideries: it is quite unsightly. Fans may argue that as a middle class, conservative girl, this is how a Rudaba would dress but I beg to differ. Mahira Khan was just as middle class and even more conservative as Humsafar’s Khirad and yet her wardrobe was simple yet smart. Designed by Feeha Jamshed, Mahira’s outfits were appropriately modest and yet belonged to this day and age and not the past.
Ushna Shah, on the other hand, is stuck with a wardrobe that does her no favours at all. Pretty as she may be, her youthfulness is lost on the very dated styles that she is given to wear. It would have been just as appropriate (if not more) to give her simple, solid kurtas, a touch of chikan kari, delicate silks and chiffons for evening wear.
In the absence of a thriving film industry, Pakistan’s dramas are as influential, if not more, in defining trends. In fact, while we constantly refer to ‘runway to retail’ styles, we often overlook the fact that the ‘reel to real’ transition is doubly influential. A play like Bashar Momin has massive fan following; fans will emulate their favourite actors and help set trends given half the opportunity. Mahirah Khan, Ayesha Omar, Sanam Saeed are just a few examples of actresses who influence the way girls dress. Ushna Shah had the potential to be one of them had her wardrobe been better. As for now, we hope Bashar Momin fans don’t end up looking like tutti fruiti ice creams.