KARACHI: Leading Pakistani fashionistas have come together to launch Pakistan’s first fashion museum in Winter/Spring 2023-2024, they said on Monday, aiming to preserve the country’s rich creative heritage as well as project it globally.
The Pakistan Fashion Museum will house the South Asian country’s rich treasure trove of archival fashion photography, videos and editorial magazines, with an advisory board of fashion experts bringing their expertise to the process, according to Frieha Altaf, a fashion icon and the brains behind the initiative.
The museum will be the first of its kind that will be launched at a UNESCO World heritage site in Pakistan in Winter/Spring 2023-2024, along with a fashion gala and exhibition, called the Muse Gala. The double-venture has been conceptualized by Frieha Altaf, who has been associated with Pakistan’s fashion industry for over three decades.
“Pakistan, until a few years ago, was reaching the ranks of very fashionable nations. I have seen immense growth in the 37 years I have been working in fashion. The initiative to create a museum aims to preserve our heritage,” Altaf told Arab News.
“The Pakistan Fashion Museum is purely a fashion history and the structure for the museum is already in place. It will be designed by leading architects and in consultation with experts in museum design.”
For the initiative, Altaf, who also introduced the country’s biggest Lux Style Awards, has joined hands with two pioneering fashion icons, Nabila, an image consultant and stylist, and Fifi Haroon, a fashion editor and broadcast journalist. All three of them are recipients of the Lux Style Lifetime Achievement Award in fashion.
Haroon, who brings in an experience of over three decades, shared they believed in the talent of Pakistani designers and that the museum would be an “ode” to them and showcase their finest work. But there had been a certain stagnation lately owing to creativity in fashion, she added.
“There is a lot of original, exciting work that has been done by Pakistani designers over several decades. The industry is now focusing more on retail and bridal [collection],” Haroon said.
“Brands tend to be focused on the business of fashion and sales. That is great for the growth of the industry but sometimes it means that fashion is dictated by what is selling rather than that is innovative, exciting and new.”
The Muse Gala that will launch alongside the museum will be aimed at encouraging creativity, not constrained by the pressure of sales.
“The fashion at the Muse Gala is about how the celebrity muse inspires the designer and how she or he is inspired to collaborate with them,” Haroon said.
“This is about as pure as fashion gets, this is about style as a philosophy, this is about the fashion stage and how celebrities and designers can jointly own it and create memorable, impactful fashion moments.”
Speaking of the gala’s format, Altaf, a former model and now a PR mogul, said they would hold a separate exhibit annually just like the Met Gala. with a separate theme every year.
“We will add more fashion icons to the museum every year. It’s going to be great for Pakistan’s image. It’s going to be a tourist destination,” Altaf said.
Altaf hopes to take the Pakistani creative heritage to fashion capitals of the world such as London, Milan, Paris and New York.
“The aim is, it should be so inspiring and so aspirational that it travels to the likes of the Victoria and Albert Museum,” she added.