Home > Karachi, Personal Choices > On why I’ve decided to write about fashion

On why I’ve decided to write about fashion


A couple of days ago, I randomly pitched an idea to our magazines editor. Surprisingly, he jumped at it. Result: Beginning January 2 (2011), I will have a regular column in our weekly magazine, Lounge, printed every Sunday. I sent the first edition off to the editor today (I was supposed to send it day before yesterday; but I’m lazy, so :-P ).

Now, the first reaction of anyone who hears about this is absolute surprise. I’ve had friends say things ranging from “YOU? What? Why?” to “Good god, this isn’t the UZi I know!” Well, for starters, it IS the same UZi. I’ve always enjoyed reading about trends and all, albeit more interesting write-ups. I generally don’t bother when it comes to dressing up, because 1) I usually don’t have time; 2) I don’t really earn too much (two words: print journalist); 3) I’m lazy; and 4) I live in Mamlikat Allahbakhsh Pakwatan and travel alone at all sorts of hours on cabs and rickshaws.

I used to think that the conservatism around me discouraged ‘trendiness’. But I now believe I was wrong. Societal conservatism shouldn’t discourage fashion — it should actually encourage creativity. How do I wear my adorable little skirts without being killed on the streets in Karachi? Why should I dump all the sexy vintage dresses that I bought in Kathmandu? And that got me thinking: how do I design my wardrobe to include all of these awesome things that I love (and boy oh boy do I love skirts!), while minimising harassment on the streets? I hate shalwar-qameez — I own only one set, which I bought last year to annoy my boss on Sindhi topi-ajrak day. Dupattas are against my principles. Given all this, why should I confine myself to jeans and tshirts or kurtis — especially when I’m not really too fond of them either?

And I came up with ideas — awesome ones. For me, every day is now an experiment, wardrobe-wise; and I’m having a ball. Eventually, I decided to share these experiments with other middleclass women who probably have the same issues as me. Hence the column.

Also, during interview-meetings with the bosses at my current workplace, I was told that I should ‘write about culture’ (in Pakistani journalism, this means fashion, art, theatre, etc) because it would be ‘more suitable for [me] as a woman’. I threw a fit — on principle. One, no one tells me what I should or should not be doing on the basis of sex or gender. Secondly, I’ve never used the I’m-a-woman card at work, and don’t expect my employers to use it either. They got my point, and I was given the beats I wanted: nationalist parties and groups, CDGK and towns, and Karachi-based NGOs.

Having made my point, I wondered about their idea. Stripped of the obvious misogynist undertones, it wasn’t half-bad. While I’m not qualified to write about art or theatre, I like clothes, bags and shoes, and know a fair bit about designs and designers past and present (and those to watch out for in the future) — writing about this would be fun. The personal is the political; and fashion journalism in Pakistan needs to be intellectualised — desperately — and I believe can do it. So debuting January 2, Girl in the red coat! Yay! :-)

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  1. Zag
    January 21, 2011 at 13:55

    Jan 2 came and went….. is the debut fashionably late, like everything else in our country ;)

    • UZi
      January 21, 2011 at 21:24

      Yaar I had to send sketches with the piece, and I’ve been lazy. Finally the ed had had enough — debuting this Sunday (Jan 23), without my sketches. :-P Heh.

  2. December 26, 2010 at 23:33

    i am so excited! cannot wait to read it :D

    • December 26, 2010 at 23:37

      Hahahah me three! Will know what the editor thinks tomorrow morning. *fingers crossed* :-D

  1. December 26, 2010 at 23:56

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