If you actually manage to get your tailor to stitch your lawn, designer lawn has its perks. You get a customised fit and it’s a full 3-piece look with no mix and matching required. However, after a while all those designer lawns start to blur together and eventually there’s an overkill of print and embroidery.
Luckily the Pakistani prêt market has come along in leaps and bounds over recent years. There are loads of alternatives, ranging from the minimalist to the print-happy. You don’t have to stick to fussy designer lawns to keep your cool in the summer heat.
One of the oldest prêt brands, Generation has seen a recent revival. Their various collections this season, including the denim collection and the Moroccan Whites collection have been very successful. The denim collection in particular took an international trend and turned it into attractive Pakistani daywear.
|Three picks from Generation. — Photo courtesy: Generation's Facebook page|
A super hit from the time they opened their doors, Sapphire’s prêt has quickly become a staple. Their outfits are high quality, stylish and affordable — a combination that’s hard to beat. Khadijah Shah as creative head has hit the right balance between wearability and style. Fast fashion at its best.
|Sapphire.— Publicity photo|
Khaadi is practically a Pakistani prêt institution, with fans of all ages. With a variety of styles, great fit, a bright signature and attractive prices Khaadi is justly popular. It’s a brand that has made the transition to the international market while remaining relevant to locals.
|Outfits by Khaadi. — Photo courtesy: Khaadi's website|
With a minimalist aesthetic and interesting silhouettes, Daaman’s range is a cut above standard high street prêt. It’s a refreshing change from the prints and embroidery favoured by other brands, and the look is chic and modern.
|Outfits by Daaman. — Photo courtesy: Daaman's website|
5. Sana Safinaz:
Sana Safinaz entered the prêt market with a bang in 2013 but saw a little dip as customers tired of the print with embroidery look. Their latest collections have upped the variety factor and the brand has been boosted by the introduction of their new Basics range. With Basics kurtas retailing at between Rs2,490 to Rs2,990, the range has been a major daywear hit.
|Basics by Sana Safinaz. — Photo courtesy: Sana Safinaz's website|
6. Working Woman
The newly re-launched Working Woman brand has always been known for its classic understated look. The brand's signature look features single colour shirts with elegant detailing but Working Woman has also introduced a print range and an evening wear range. Both are typically understated – perfect for the woman who wants variety without gaudiness.
|Outfit by Working Woman.— Publicity photo|
7. Coco by Zara Shahjahan
Zara Shahjahan’s Coco brand is both reasonably priced and creative. Her quirky prints have an unmistakable charm and the outfits have a fun, boho vibe. Coco is doubly attractive because it has the Zara Shahjahan signature without the designer price tag.
|Coco. — Photo courtesy: Coco's Facebook page|
8. Sania Maskatiya
Sania Maskatiya’s lawn for Al-Karam is one of this year’s major hits but her signature cotton prêt range at her own store is also brilliant. Noticeably different to her lawn, Sania’s prêt features original prints and luxe details.
|Three looks from Sania Maskatiya.— Photo courtesy: Sania Maskatiya's website|
9. Satrangi by Bonanza
Satrangi has been making waves with one of this year’s most attractive campaigns, the Sweet Escape campaign. It’s not just the campaign though – the collection is vibrant and different. Striking and summery with folk overtones, it’s very different from designer lawn. Bonanza, like Generation and Khaadi, has the added advantage of great fitting. Definitely worth a closer look
|Sweet Escape campaign.— Publicity photo|
10. Threads and Motifs
Threads and Motifs was initially a game-changer of embroidered fabric. Although there are now many alternatives, they continue to turn out quality designs and their cotton range is worth a closer look. With intricate embroidery on pure cotton lawn or chikan fabric, Threads & Motifs is a formal, feminine alternative to print-laden designer lawn. They sell both fabric and custom-stitched shirts, which is an added advantage.
|Threads and Motifs. — Publicity photo|
Apart from these, high street giants Gul Ahmed, Al Karam and Nishat all do excellent prêt ranges. Designers like Ayesha Farook Hashwani and Nida Azwer also have interesting cotton formal-wear. There are plenty of options if you want to stand out from the lawn-wearing crowd.