Style Stars: 6 Pakistani Fashion Icons


Hi Guys and a happy Tuesday to you! It is already my birthday according to Pakistani time (Yay!) and I would love to celebrate, but I can’t because more than half of my lovely family is traveling (bittersweet, I know). However, I love to celebrate birthdays and make a big deal out of them. So this year, even though it will be just my parents and I, my plan tomorrow is to catch a movie and have a low-key dinner somewhere local to mark the momentous occasion of my birth (mild sarcasm, but I am a middle child, and I need to play up all my accomplishments-hee hee). Anyways…. today, I thought to focus on style again.

As a lover of Pakistani fashion, I often look up to Pakistani women who demonstrate an effortless style of their own and have become style icons not only for their generation, but for future generations as well. My personal style in fashion-whether Eastern or Western includes a tasteful interplay between the two cultures I was brought up in. Whether it is mixing prints, fabrics, or different ethnic sensibilities, my interpretation of fashion and style is unique to me and my lifestyle. The women who are my style role models represent the same personal ethos; they are traditional, yet modern, strong yet, evolving. Today, I thought I highlight some of these iconic Pakistani women:

Fatima Jinnah:

I fell in love with the simplicity of Fatima Jinnah’s sense of style when I was a child. Not only am I proud of her and her supportive work in creating Pakistan, but I am proud of her because she was ahead of her time in embracing  modern fashion sensibilities. Her outfits were well-stitched, proper, and well put-together. Her color of choice was always crisp white, instead of green (which represents Islam), alluding to the white stripe that represents religious minorities and minority religions on the Pakistani flag. Whether she wore a shalwar kameez with an overcoat or a gharara, she always had a sheer dupatta covering her head. The lady had style.


Benazir Bhutto/Maryam Nawaz: 

Benazir Bhutto and Maryam Nawaz are a tie for me. Benazir Bhutto was destined to be a politician, but was propelled to the limelight not only because of her political stances, but because of her iconic sense of style. We all remember her jade green shalwar kameez dress with which she wore a white dupatta and addressed the nation and the rest of the Muslim world as a first elected Muslim female leader. She was extremely stylish not only in her fashion, but her demeanor as well. Her head was always covered with a dupatta and she wore the latest fashion trends. Given she wore Bunto Kazmi on her wedding day, it is hard to debate against her sense of style.


Maryam Nawaz is another political woman who has a great personal style. She tends to wear prints and picks the best of the best Pakistani designers to dress her. Her head is also always covered with a dupatta and her poised behavior makes her one of the graceful and poised women politician. Her signature eyeliner technique is adorable too.


Noor Jahan:

I remember watching videos of Noor Jahan songs where her iconic sense of style was extremely evident. It could have been overly done makeup, or her exquisite selection of sarees, or her well-placed hair, or even her chokers, whatever the case, it is hard not to label her as one of the most iconic Pakistani celebrities. She has inspired many outfits in costume parties and Pakistani trends for us to follow, because like other women on this list, she was way ahead of her fashion time. Simply elegant, extremely intelligent, and mega talented, she knew how to dress.


Nazia Hassan:

Whether it was her “Disco Deewane” song or her enviable sense of style, it is difficult not to call her as one of the most modern women of Pakistan. Whether it was her sleek hair, her dewy skin with black kohl eyes, or her jeans and t-shirt dressing, she was a role model for many girls and young women in the 80’s and 90’s.


Bunto Kazmi:

This one is my personal favorite because not only is Bunto Kazmi my favorite designer, but also because she epitomizes what a career-woman in Pakistan should look like in Pakistan today. Her hair is always tied in her signature chignon, and her color scheme is always muted, but she experiments with her accessorizes–be it her embroidered shawls from her own label or the latest designer handbag, her look is always on point from top to bottom.


Ayesha Omar/Mahira Khan/Saira Shahroz:

These girls are tied together because each of them bring a certain class, a certain sass, and a whole lot of glamorous pizzazz to the Pakistani fashion industry. What I love about these three beauties is their common image of a happy, well-adjusted, and healthy Pakistani woman. They work out and eat healthy, which is a great lesson for all the young girls out there. These three young women are not afraid to experiment and create fashion trends and push the boundaries of what fashion at any age looks like. Be it saree pants by Studio S. that Mahira Khan wore, or the Michael Cinco tea-length dress that Ayesha Omar donned, or the fact that Saira Shahroz single-handedly put Sania Maskatiya on the high-end designer map, all three women are greatly responsible for improving the fashion standards of the Pakistani film industry by infusing western sensibilities in ethic-wear.

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Well guys, what do you think? Give me some feedback and picks of your own. Hope these women inspire you to pick your own signature looks and outfits to buy. Happy shopping!