Ajrak Chic: Couture with a Conscience

Abiya Manzoor

Abiya Manzoor

Fashion and Features Editor

Ajrak- a handcrafted textile that holds deep cultural significance specifically to the Sindhi culture has made a triumphant return to the forefront of the fashion scene.

Known for its puzzle like geometric patterns, striking colors, and intricate block printing, Ajrak has been a symbol of tradition and craftsmanship for generations. The fabric’s history dates back centuries with many locals adorning the fabric in their day to day activities even today.

Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt recently adorned an Ajrak saree and complimenting drape to a recent award ceremony and has the internet going gaga over her attire. It’s profoundly interesting and encouraging  to witness influential celebrities choose to support and uplift local brands and crafts, thereby fostering the flourishing of local craftsmanship.

Designers of the talked about ensemble Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla describe their collection featuring Ajrak on their Instagram page as follows:

“The Ajrak collection by Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla features intricate ensembles crafted with complex hand-block prints that are embroidered with Resham, Tikki and Gota work.”

As global fashion tends to gravitate towards whatever a few high fashion brands dictate, the choice to create a collection around  Ajrak stands as an effort calling for the preservation of cultural heritage. It highlights that traditions are not only relevant but can also be reinterpreted in ways that resonate with a modern audience (read GEN Z).

Being culturally conscience about what your wear is an unapologetic way to connect to one’s roots and expressing it through fashion: the medium of personal expression for anyone and everyone.

In a world where fast fashion tends to homogenize styles, in a world where brides wear identical designer pieces on their big day, the decision to wear Ajrak stands out as an act of rebellion. A rebellion against the erasure of cultural identities in the pursuit of trends. It also stands as an act of love – love for cultural representation and the idea of celebrating the craftsmanship of local artisans.

This event serves as a call for fashion enthusiasts everywhere to dig deeper into their own roots and explore their own stories, after all, the coolest fashion statement is one that tells a story, a story about you!