Fresh from their debuts at Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks, the Giorgio Armani and Lanvin S/S 2012 collections featured a few designs with which most South Asian-Americans would be familiar.
Armaniâ€™s collection presented shiny silk blouses and skirts in cool blue-grey tones with demure floral patterns and nautical stripes. But among the flowy, feminine pieces paired with boxy, structured jackets, we also saw the familiar South Asian silhouette of a long, sparkly tunic paired with slim pants â€“ otherwise known to most South Asians as shalwar kamiz. A week later, Lanvin showcased the same silhouette in its diverse collection â€“ a loose charcoal number with short, boxy sleeves among its quintessential French-form dresses and surprise sheer fringe gowns.
Imagine my pleasant surprise when I came across these plunging, sparkly tunic-dresses paired with slit cobalt stovepipe pants from Armani. A modern reference to a South Asian clothing staple, it brought to mind the cultural uniform of my childhood (minus the plunging necklines of course) in what my mother would dress my sister and me for Eid and South Asian weddings. I donâ€™t wear shalwar kamiz too often these days â€“ I prefer wearing something that mixes both South Asian and Western style traditions – so any modern take I can find on this classic cultural ensemble is more than welcome.
â€”Â SANAA ANSARI KHAN
Sanaa Ansari Khan is an attorney in the District of Columbia whose first love is style. You can follow her blog , where she documents South Asian and Middle Eastern style influences.