Campus corner

Would you like a side of fashion design with that?

By Zehra dada


Remember the saying, “When all else fails in life, open up a roti stand”? Well the ladies of Pakistani society have come up with their own version of that which goes something like, “No matter what you may have achieved in life, let’s design clothes!” Warning! This is not an exaggeration. The elite strata of all the major urban cities of Pakistan has been flooded by wave after wave of self proclaimed and homemade fashion designers.

Whether its middle aged women who are suddenly  free because their offspring have gone to college abroad, or youthful beauties fresh after graduation and searching for self actualization, they all end up in the same place. Granted, there is a severe shortage of jobs in the corporate world, but there are so many other fields that can be explored for employment. Honestly if your father willingly paid for your bachelors and MBA at a top notch college in the United Kingdom just so you could come back and get a few kurtas stitched, I would be happy to take any other cash he is throwing, off his hands!

This article does not in any way aim to appear condescending towards the fashion designing industry, indeed it is a very respectable profession and being a creatively challenged individual, I could only hope to have the artistic skills to be able to design clothes. However, when there is a fashion designer crawling out from underneath every stone in the nation, people will question the spectacle. Again, I am all for women empowerment by working and becoming financially independent but give it a rest people! Self actualization does not occur by following a mob and doing exactly what every other person around you is doing. And no, you aren’t a creative genius as compared to your cousin just because you decided to block print a rickshaw on your kurta while she went with a mere peacock. Snap out of it! And do something that effectively puts to use all those years of education and all the money your parents spent to put you through the best schools.

Another unspeakable component regarding the daily plethora of fashion designers coming up is the exhibitions. It seems like having an exhibition is the new thing to do this summer. Usually spending more money than they earn, the ladies reserve a large and fancy venue, order a range of difficult to pronounce eatables, display anything and everything they can get their hands on and lo and behold, you have an exhibition. The event becomes a site for socializing, gossip, talk of how this exhibition is completely different from all the others and some people actually even buy things. In the end, the ladies go home, proud of the day’s work and their husbands indulge them by fondly listening to stories of their success. Ladies, while there is no doubt about the fact that your families must be very proud of your work and appreciative of your efforts, why not try something slightly different or be a bit more original. Do you have to do what every other female in your family is doing? Explore new ideas, create your own niche, maybe you could use that expensive degree for something else apart from decorating the mantelpiece?

In conclusion, ladies your economics, humanities or accounting degree is not just something that will get you better marriage proposals; they are a representation of all that you are capable off. While designing clothes certainly requires a lot of talent, leave it up to the professionals in the field? Meanwhile, stop depriving your country’s corporate sector of the professionals you are capable of becoming.

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