Looking Back on the Trends of 2016

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One thing I noticed about fashion is that it is becoming more globalized. I see trends that break barriers and seep into ethnic and western-wear. That’s the biggest change I noticed in 2016. Another similarity I noticed was the choice of fabrics and cuts. Designers in Pakistan and abroad became more creative with their designs to suit each body time. Here are the top trends of 2016. Some I followed, some I just appreciated. Enjoy!

1. Velvet: Velvet was all the rage in Pakistan and abroad. It’s funny, last year when I opted to purchase a complete velvet outfit, everybody thought I was crazy. Maybe I had a vision that was shared by the designers of 2016 because velvet exploded in the fall and winter months. Bridal shawls, dresses, shalwars, lenghas, and even ghararas couldn’t escape velvet. It is luxurious, elegant, and if done right, a sleek and sophisticated fabric for any occasion especially weddings or holiday parties. I don’t own an embellished velvet outfit (just what I bought last year), but let me tell you, velvet is here to stay.

2. Choker: Another trend that exploded in the market were chokers. Not the simple, black ones from the 90’s era, but chokers in all sorts of designs. colors, and crystals. Chokers were seen worn on celebrities in Pakistan and elites here in USA. I bought a choker from Zara’s and grouped it together with gold chains. Mind-blowing!

3. Boot Leg Jeans: I don’t know why, but I am kind of a slow poke when it comes to jeans. It took me forever to get out of the flared jeans era and into skinny jeans, and now that the boot leg jeans are back, I can’t seem to let go of the skinny jeans. I first spotted the trend on Selena Gomez when she visited Facebook’s headquarters here in California. Again, my reaction was nooooo! I had just bought skinny jeans on sale and I wasn’t going to buy new jeans. Oh well, maybe in 2017.

4. Crop Top (Choli) and Lengha: The crop top first made an appearance in late 2015. What the Pakistani designers did was pair it with ornate lenghas. India has been doing cholis and lenghas for ages, but what was different this time was that the crop top was simple, which the lenghas were the main act. I first saw this trend on Nomi Ansari and Ali Xeeshan’s designs. Crop tops in the west were all the rage too so I thought it was really creative to have a east and west mashup.

5. Gharara: Ghararas made a great comeback this year. I don’t remember who started the trend, but in 2015, when we were planning my brother’s wedding, his mother-in-law said they never go out of style and how right was she. They made a come-back big time! During the last ten years ghararas were paired with long shirts, but this year, when the short shirts came back, ghararas were made to their authentic measurements. What I really liked were that ghararas not only made an appearance on the wedding scene, but in casual wear too. There were many cotton ghararas swinging during Eid and fashionistas opted to pair the bottoms with western tops. So cute!

6. Embellished Shalwars and Pants: Gone are the days when the embellishments were reserved for shirts and dupattas. Now, the shalwars and pants are not ignored either. It started with embroidered pants, and then the trend went bezerk. Everything from organza, lace, and buttons were sewn on what was before the most boring part of an outfit. Sania Maskatiya is particularly talented in designing pants. She has done scallops, chains, slits, which make the pants and shalwars much more fun.

7. Bomber Jackets: Bomber jackets are a cute replacement to bulky winter coats and jackets and this year bomber jackets didn’t disappoint. They came in different fabric (particularly velvet), and different embroidered motifs. In Pakistan, one of the motifs that stood out was the Urdu embroidery on the back. Very cute!

8. Khussay: Like velvet, I think I started the Khussay trend in 2016. In 2015, when I went to Pakistan, I wanted to be a very cultural and artistic girl so I bought myself a pair of comfortable black, velvet khussay. In 2016, everybody and their mother was wearing them. They look cute with shalwars and not to mention jeans.

9. Belted Lawn: I think this trend came from India and became a phenomenon in Pakistan. It first made an appearance in bridal wear and formals. But like a true genius, Tena Durrani added belts on her lawn collection as well. I don’t think belted lawn is going out of style, yet, so I still have time to make an outfit in 2017 that follows this trend iA.

10. Tulip Shalwars: This is the third trend I think I started in Pakistan. I fell in love with what was called “dhoti pants” in India. I bought one from Roshni Chopra (an Indian designer) and knew this is a special trend. I am not sure if Tena Durrani included the trend in her collection first or Zainub Chottani, but I do know every woman and girl had a tulip shalwar in her closet.

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