Srinagar: For a change, famed Kashmiri pheran has got a summer makeover.
Thanks to new designers, a special cotton pheran line has set a new fashion agenda in the valley.
“A pheran gives us an incredible scope for personal expression and comfort. It allows the person to move freely and comfortably. Therefore, we thought of creating a collection of cotton pherans this summer,” 30-year-old fashion entrepreneur Sadia Mufti said.
Mufti has created the floral cotton pherans with a tilla patch under the theme – Gulbahaar. Her pherans are distinct as she eschews bold colors preferring softer colors to counter the summer heat. She prefers pure crepe and satin as they impart both style and longevity to the creations.
Pherans designed by Sadia Mufti
Longevity is an important criterion, as the pandemic has made looking for sustainability a way of life. “Many of us got the time to introspect and move to sensible consumerism. Kashmiris are now drawn towards sustainability. So, they are reviving traditions by opting for pherans. They are cherishing Tilla work that will be evergreen,” Mufti said.
Mufti, started her clothing venture, Hangers The Closet by Sadia in 2014. A self – taught, designer, she operates from the Lal Chowk and Hazratbal areas of Srinagar. She has a team of eight people working under her.
“I have received an overwhelming response from the people. This can be gauged by the fact that I sold the pherans to customers from other districts like Anantnag and Baramulla as well,” she said.
She said the pherans are priced at Rs 3500 onwards which includes tilla patch, stitching, and fabric.
“There is no compromise from the quality side. We are very careful about the choice of fabric and the color scheme. I have taken care of the highlighting of the tilla patch in a way it looks soothing to the eyes,” Mufti said.
Another 26-year-old entrepreneur, Mehaq Fayaz Khan, who runs her designer couture “Qurab” at Baghat said pheran still stands as an inspiration and testimony to the elegance of this fabric preferred by the people decades over.
“People are loving traditional wear nowadays since it has never gone out of fashion. It also comes in their budget,” she said.
The fashion scene of Kashmir has lately seen a sort of renaissance, she claims. The young designers are moving away from traditional themes and motifs to champion the art of mix-matching and seeking to diversify the pheran more.
“Earlier velvet Qurab pherans were only worn by brides on weddings, but now qurabs are also dominating the scene in cotton pherans with Tilla work. Even kurtis with qurab are in demand at our shop,” she said.
Mehaq uses fabric like Georgette, pure crape, silk, chikankari, mirror work for cotton pherans. The pherans are priced from 7000 onwards.
“We use tilla on patches and get many orders for georgette pherans in particular,” she said.
Mehaq started the couture in November 2020 and specializes in Bridal gowns, pheran, unstitched suits, jhootis. She cut her teeth working with Osman and Sajida- a prominent boutique that is the toast of fashionistas in the valley, and got a firsthand taste of the aspirations and demands of the clients.
“I first worked for boutique in Mumbai and then had a stint at Osman Sajida in Kashmir as well. I picked my designing and client dealing skills on the job,” she said.