Pakistani designers are using fashion shows to raise voice against the critical social issues. Recently, fashion designer, Ali Xeeshan has made a child bride to walk the ramp, in a school uniform for Hum Bridal Couture Week, in collaboration with UN Women Pakistan.
Here is what the campaign is all about.
Child Bride in Fashion Show
Making a Child Bride walk the ramp in a school uniform, was part of the UN Women Pakistan’s campaign, Bridal Uniform. The child who wore a bridal school uniform along with accessories and motifs dished out a strong message to society. She just exhibited how young girls are denied the right to education for early marriages.
The fashion industry can go beyond fashion alone and Ali Xeeshan proved just that with his show stopper that stopped us in our tracks: a child in school uniform. Pointing a finger at the grave reality of child marriage in Pakistan. Join his cause in collaboration with @unwomenpakistan and sign the petition on this website www.thebridaluniform.com/sign-petition/ #BridalUniform Special thanks to @samreenvance for stunning jewelry collection! #photomagic @the_videographers ✨
Apart from the designer Ali Xeeshan, notable celebrities of Pakistani showbiz also joined hands with the UN Women Pakistan. Celebs like Mahira Khan, Adnan Siddiqui and Momina Mustehsan also signed a petition for the cause and prompted their followers to do so through social media.
@mahirahkhan signed a Petition against Child Marriages. You should too. I’m so proud of her ❤️ “Stand for education and stop child marriages. Join UN Women Pakistan so girls can just be girls, not brides. I signed the petition, you should too.” – #MahiraKhan Go to www.thebridaluniform.com/sign-petition/ #BridalUniform #UNWomen
Expression of Social Issues through Fashion
Seeing a child bride in a fashion show to represent a social issue is not a rare event. Pakistani fashion has already started leveraging cultural events to talk about the social problems. Last year, Mukhtaran Mai, a rape victim from Southern Punjab, walked the ramp in Fashion Pakistan Week. In the same year, Kami Sid became the first ever Pakistani transgender model to make a runway debut.
Recent Pakistani dramas are also coming up with bold subjects by becoming more vocal on social taboos. The massive success of the drama serial Udaari that talked about the issue of Child abuse is proof. Ahsan Khan, who portrayed a villain in the drama, spoke about the issue, after winning the award of best actor, on a star-studded night during of 16th Lux Style Awards.
Has Fashion Power to Voice against Social Issues
Stats relating to child marriage in Pakistan are alarmingly dangerous. According to rough estimates, 21% of Pakistani girls get married before reaching the age of 18. But can a child bride walking the ramp during a bridal couture week, is enough to make the difference. Can celebrities, signing petitions on social media cause the people to consider the seriousness of the matter?
Well, the answer might not be positive. Fashion shows usually have a particular kind of audience, which very often represents the urban class in Pakistan. Issues like child marriages or gang rapes on the order of Jirgas and Panchayats (local courts) are most common in the rural areas.
If we are genuinely concerned about eradicating the menace of child marriage, then we should talk in the language of locals who need to be educated. Raising the issue amidst the glitter of the ramp may get attention, but it may not contribute towards reaching a solution.