Delhi: Delhi is hosting a first-ever exhibit of Pakistani fashion, furnishings and other design items. The Lifestyle Pakistan show is intended to connect Pakistani exporters with Indian importers – part of an effort to boost the paltry levels of trade between the two countries and further normalize relations. The commerce ministers of both nations kicked off the event, organized by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and its Indian counterpart, and a huge delegation of Pakistani businesspeople made the trip.
“We’re just crazy about Pakistani suits: the cut, the design, the fabric,” said Sarita Khera, catching her breath with a bulging bag of shalwar kameez (also know as kurta pyjamas, Punjabi suits or just “suits” – the tunic-over-trousers outfits favoured by women across South Asia) at her feet. Ms. Khera runs a watch manufacturing company; she likes colourful clothes for the office. “The Pakistani ones are just much better than anything you can get in India.”
“I don’t wear ‘Indian clothes,’” said Natasha Arora, who designs children’s rooms. Clad in skinny jeans and a knit top, she was holding up an ankle-length, pale yellow, fine cotton kameez, slit to the knees and decorated with blue hand-embroidery. “But this I’ll wear. Over baggy pants, like those Pakistani girls do – they’re really stylish.” She was pleasantly surprised that the kameez was just $40.