Colour, fabrics, freedom, everything about this city fascinated Pakistani fashion editor Aamna Isani who was here on her maiden India trip to cover HDIL India Couture Week. Her country, in contrast, "has talented designers but the bad political scenario doesn't allow them to flourish", she said.
"This city has so much life. There is so much for the common man -- you have coffee shops, malls, multiplexes - something we miss back home. Here you don't have to think twice before coming out. You can roam around at any time of the day. It is a mass-friendly place," Isani, who works as fashion editor with The News, told IANS.
"Unlike Pakistan where one has to think twice before going out for a walk because life is so unpredictable there. We have so much of talent there, but unfortunately bad political scenario has taken us nowhere," added the Karachi-based editor.
Talking about the fashion scene in Pakistan, Isani said the market was very limited.
"There is no middle class in Pakistan which means that most of the designer clothes are purchased by extremely rich people. Usually working women can afford designer clothes. These women are educated and travel a lot and understand fashion.
"There is another rich class that we have in Pakistan -- begums who have money as well as time. But they prefer local darzis (tailors). They go to a darzi with a piece of cloth and get their dresses stitched. The darzis who design for these begums are known as 'Darzigners'," quipped Isani.
"Interestingly, we have a huge pret wear market for men. Men are more fashion conscious -- they go out and shop for readymade garments, far more than the women in Pakistan," she added.
Isani felt that when it came to experimenting with colours, Pakistani designers had a long way to go.
"Indian designers have found their comfort zone with colours whereas in Pakistan designers stick to more subdued colours like creams and whites. So, for me to witness such a range of colours is a very fascinating experience in itself," she said.
Isani termed HDIL India Couture Week high on Bollywood. "Fashion in India is very Bollywood-driven. People love to ape their favourite stars and they also love to see their favourite stars on the ramp. But I can't blame them because we are also crazy about Bollywood."
So when will there be a fashion week in Pakistan?
"Pakistan needs stability and security. Let there be no bomb attack for a year and Insha Allah we will have fashion week then," Isani said.
(Shilpa Raina can be contacted at email@example.com)