‘a (bizarre) philosophy of dressing’
by Sabriyah Saeed
The Bazaar is characterised by eclecticism and paradox. The Bazaar gives a stage to the unpredictable. In the world of James Joyce’s Araby the Bazaar is both fantasy and disillusionment. The Bazaar is the bizarre.
For me, the act of dressing then is akin to wandering through a Bazaar. It would be predictable, however, (and a bazaar is meant to be unpredictable of course) to say that the two looks I have styled here are meant to be symbolic of the symbiosis between East and West. I don’t consciously try to mix my Eastern heritage and Western background into my outfits nor do I consciously try to make a diasporic political statement through my clothes. More simply, I buy pieces which I love and just so happen to be the products of different parts of the world, different processes, people and visuals, and informed by my own sphere of existence - often, I love a piece for the very process it has undergone, the tradition it carries, the idea that created it, the hands it has passed through. The beauty of Electric Bazaar is that each of its individual pieces are the products of Pakistani craftsmanship steeped in tradition, but are curated by and worn by women that are anything but a typical idea of traditional.
In Look 1, I paired the oxidised silver jewellery - inspired by traditional Rajasthani pieces - with a piping-textured white Massimo Dutti shirt and high-waisted Sandro lightning bolt jeans. In effect, this is Ranveer Singh in Ram Leela*/Matthew Macfayden with his open white shirt striding towards Keira Knightly in the final scene of Pride and Prejudice/ David Bowie’s iconic duo-chrome thunderbolt in an entire outfit.
*(although NB this film was based in Gujarat not Rajasthan)
Necklaces - Electric Bazaar / Earrings - Electric Bazaar / Shirt - Massimo Dutti / Jeans - Sandro
Look 2 is focused around the beautiful Afghan lavender necklace, its design heritage rooting back to nomadic Pashtun tribes. I am also wearing purple jhumka, which I bought from Colaba Causeway, Mumbai’s most famous market stall road. The delicate lavender blouse, which has a silky-sheer finish, is from & Other Stories and the pair of (also) lavender pants are Topshop. The look, aesthetically reminiscent of Provence’s tunnelling lavender fields from Jacquemus’ SS20 runway show, is also reminiscent of the spirit of the brand itself. The eponymous designer told Vogue, "With this runway, some people will only remember the lavender…” In the same way Jacquemus is not solely about the individual garments themselves, but also the greater visual image and the memory it plays upon, so is the art of dressing about choosing how you want people to remember you and, importantly, how you remember yourself.
Lavender Necklace - Electric Bazaar / Jhumka - Colaba Causeway / Blouse - & Other Stories / Trousers - Topshop
Look 3, similarly to Look 2, features two Afghan pieces of jewellery with turquoise and brown detailing - in the spirit of colour coordination, these pieces matched the colours of my retro shirt and trouser set from Zara. The first time I debuted this outfit set, which was in Cuba, a male American tourist walked past me and whispered "Nice Pyjamas". Lesson learnt: not everyone is going to be as fashion as you.
Necklace and Earrings - Electric Bazaar / Shirt - Zara / Vest Top - Zara / Trousers - Zara