A New Look

  • SABIYA HAMID
  • Publish Date: Feb 19 2018 9:20PM
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  • Updated Date: Feb 19 2018 9:20PM
A New Look

The traditional pheran is getting a makeover

 

Pheran, the traditional cloak worn to keep cold at bay, is an enduring symbol of Kashmiri culture. While Kashmiris have worn it for ages, the pheran is now getting a new look from valley-based fashion designers. Many people, especially youngsters, now sport designer pherans.

"The traditional pheran is modified into a coat-cum-pheran, pockets are on the front instead of on the sides. It is getting tight-fitting as well,” the entrepreneur Farhat Qadri, who runs the La Bales boutique in Srinagar, explains the new designs.

Musheer Ahmed, who owns the handicrafts showroom Kashmir Hut, says, “My showroom gets working women looking for new designer woollen Pheran. They look for a range of colours and designs.”

In the olden days, pheran consisted of two gowns, one over the other, which extended up to the feet. The modern variation extends only up to the knees, however. Designer boutiques are making it available in different sizes, colours and fabric material.

"We make use of material like cashmelon, fleece and light wool to make this outfit convenient to wear,” says a designer, Samia.

Samia, who designs outfits for her boutique Jazzmin, adds, "We have introduced different colouring patterns for pherans. The shades used are light and tie-dye. Almost every young woman who visits my boutique makes sure to grab at least one designer pheran."

Traditionally, pherans for women are designed with colorful floral elements and they are often embroidered with thin metal threads called tilla. Men's pherans, on the other hand, come in simple designs and solid colours.

Muhammad Yusuf runs a tilla shop in downtown Srinagar. He is a master craftsman, working on bridal pherans. "The neck area of the pheran is the most elaborate one with fine zari embroidery or brocade work, which reflects the artistic needlework practised by men and women of Kashmir,” Yusuf says.

Today, patch work, lace work and ari work is also done on pherans to give them a trendy look. It also makes them more suited to wear to work. "I can’t wear the traditional tilla work pheran at my workplace, but I can sport a simple ari work woollen pheran,” says Ruknaz, a doctor.

Thanks to new designs coming to the market, pheran has became a fashionable apparel. Combined with a pair of jeans by both men and women, it has made its way into office spaces.

“People love to wear pheran modified by Kashmiri fashion designers these days. It is all the craze," says Rouf Shah, who runs a Kashmiri crafts workshop in Srinagar.