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After fashion, music binds India, Pak

india Updated: Jul 22, 2006 21:29 IST
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After film stars and musicians of India and Pakistan, it was the turn of fashion connoisseurs from the two nations to get together at a unique three-day exhibition that opened here Saturday - the recent setback to their peace talks notwithstanding.

Over 100 fashion and jewellery designers from the two countries are showing their repertoire at the show organised by the International Trade and Exhibition (ITE) group - seemingly unmindful of the tensions between India and Pakistan after the last week's Mumbai bombings.

The exhibition draws more than 100 exhibitors every year and is eagerly awaited by thousands of visitors and buyers from Delhi and adjoining states, say the organisers.

Leading Indian designers, including Shaina N.C., Umesh Vashisht, Bhairvi Jaikishan, Renu Dadlani and Neeta Bhargava, and renowned Pakistani designers like Usman Dittu, Nadya Mistry, Monia Faruqui and Faryal have participated in the exhibition.

A fashion show was also organised as a precursor to the exhibition by the ITE group to showcase the creations of the leading designers, which was attended by many famous socialites of the capital, including the ambassador from Ghana and Pakistan high commissioner.

"I find people here are crazy about our dresses, our kind of fabric," said Monia Faruqi, a Karachi-based designer.

"In fact, they are willing to pay any price for a pathani suit or a lehenga. They are specifically looking for the Pakistani feel on them," Faruqi told IANS.

Nadya Mistry, another designer from Karachi, says: "The Indian fashion market is booming. Youngsters are buying our outfits like crazy." She says she has already sold dresses worth millions of rupees on the first day of the exhibition.

Both Faruqi and Mistry plan to open exclusive boutiques in New Delhi.

Indian fashion designer Bhargava thinks Pakistanis prefer to buy clothes from Indian designers, as India's rich cultural heritage is reflected through their designs.

Bhargava has never visited Pakistan but she plans to visit the country soon for a profitable venture.

"The demand for Indian colours and cuts are rising in Pakistan. I am planning to visit Lahore next month," echoed Saurabh Mehta - a New Delhi-based designer. "I am sure my designs will be a huge hit there."

"I really don't understand why there is so much hype about the differences between our designers and the Pakistani designers," said Shweta Khanna, a visitor who came to shop her wedding trousseau.

"The designs are the same, the cuts are the same - Indian or Pakistani," she said adding, "The only thing is one has to have a lot of money in the pocket to buy these."

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