“States of Undress: Pakistan” – Caitlin Conte

While watching “States of Undress: Pakistan”, I noticed a lot of connection to our current course material. For example, Niessen came to mind at first because of the view of the anti Western World fashion. Niessen criticized the Western World of fashion, because in our world, everything that isn’t that type of fashion is considered weird or odd. This documentary was all about Pakistan fashion, and how they base their fashion shows (or at least on part of it) on fashion taken from religious dress, and making the pattern their own. I also noticed a connection to Simmel, and how he explained fashion as a “class distinction”. I think this documentary can relate to this by the runway “battleground” that they mentioned. The fashion that you see is either very conservative, or the fashion trend takes a stand against that. For example, the bondage fashion line that showed during fashion week. Also, this documentary is a topic about “The World of Fashion” that we have been studying all semester; it relates around the religious world of fashion.

I learned so many new things from watching this film. For example, I never even knew that Pakistan had its own fashion week, especially in such a volatile area. It was really interesting to see all of the security measures that they had to take for it to go on. I also learned about the law about alcohol in Pakistan, and how the fashion show bars don’t have any alcoholic drinks, which was interesting and odd. I also was interested to learn about the “runway battleground”, and how they can express themselves in that way.

I was also shocked to learn about the harsh punishments that women go through in that country, just for disobeying their husbands. The acid burning of women shocked me. I didn’t know that just by wearing something that show too much skin, that would probably be considered conservative in Western dress, would result in burning of the face. The women in Pakistan get know choice or expression in the way of dress, and it is really sad.

This documentary opened my eyes up to the hard times that are going on in Pakistan in relation to women and their choice of fashion. The harsh punishment that they receive, still to this day, is crazy. I feel like I learned a lot more about Pakistan fashion, and the fight for women’s rights of dress in that country that is going on today.

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One thought on ““States of Undress: Pakistan” – Caitlin Conte

  1. I found the bondage part in the movie to be very interesting. The designers who made the bondage line didn’t see the items as being used for sex symbols as our culture would. I found it really interesting to see how different cultures view certain things different, what they accept and what they don’t. I also was very shocked how Pakistan woman get no choice when coming to dressing themselves and if they decide to dress however they please there are consequences. This is so sad and everyone should be able to wear whatever they want under freedom of expression.

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