Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Mostly brides are treated like monkeys in Pakistan: Ali Xeeshan

LAHORE: Pakistani designer Ali Xeeshan has always made the biggest splash on runways in Pakistan and abroad. His fashion house has become one of the most sought-after Pakistani brands in a short span of time due to Ali Xeeshan’s bold, artistic and creative design philosophy.

Known for his theatrical genius, his label encompasses the tradition, heritage and culture of Pakistan with a modern, avante-garde design aesthetic that has quickly become a favourite among high profile clientele both internationally and in Pakistan.

In an interview with BBC Asian Network, Ali Xeeshan spoke with Haroon Shahid about his recent fashion show where models carried monkey dolls with them as a part of their ramp walk.

“Most of the time in Pakistan, brides are treated like monkeys. They don’t have any say. They would be told to smile less or smile more, or to wear this or wear that, as if they were a product. That’s how I came up with the monkey doll. It’s a symbol for Pakistani brides,” Ali said.

When asked why he chose to once bring Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse to the ramp, Ali replied, “I think weddings have become like a tamasha – a circus. You have to look a certain way and you have to become someone else. Most of the time, you lose your own personality in becoming someone else which becomes very ‘cartoonish for me’. Using Mickey and Minnie Mouse was my take on that.”

“There are many girls who can go on to become doctors, engineers or any thing in life but they are forced to get married at an early age. By the time they are 17 or 18, the girls have grown up and have a lot of pressure on them, which is not fair,” he explained.

Speaking about his latest collection ‘Ijazat’ which depicted about the global village that we reside in today that has blurred the lines between culture and people.

Ali Xeeshan said, “When girls or boys come up to and tell me that they want me to make their wedding outfit, I ask them what they are looking for. But they’re never concerned about what they want. In fact, they are more worried about what would look nicer and what would get them the most likes on social media.”

He concluded the interview saying, “Social media should not carve your life and it should not decide one’s future.”

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