Shopping at Liberty Market, Lahore’s Wedding Marketplace

Where to find jewelry, shoes and intricate silks in one of Pakistan’s most bustling markets.

By Sonya Rehman

Rolls of fabric in every hue, shawls and scarves sporting intricate designs, slippers, pumps and heels, chunky gold and silver jewelry, lace, buttons and borders –- Liberty Market in Lahore, Pakistan is where DIY fashion meets great bargains.

Located in Gulberg – the heart of the city’s commercial/shopping area, the market comprises of scores of boutiques, shops and tailoring outlets nestled closely together.

Chunky rings (Photo: Sonya Rehman)

And every winter, the pace of the market seems to multiply many-fold.

This is because wedding season within the city is in full swing — yards of fabric for elaborate wedding apparel are bought and cut, the buzz of countless sewing machines hard at work drowns out excited chatter, and shoes and jewelry are vociferously haggled over the hustle-bustle and racket of the busy, pulsating market.

Here is a pick of some of the stalls and shops worth visiting should you make it to the market.


Dainty ethnic footwear at Liberty Market. Prices start at PKR1,000 – or around US$12 – at Khussa Mahal, the market’s most popular shoe shop. (Photo: Sonya Rehman)
Prince Silk Center (Shop #29-G, Phone: 042-35875293) in Liberty is one of the many shops that sell a variety of plain and embroidered pure silk fabrics. Depending on the intricacy of the work on the fabric, the starting price is about PKR 2000 and above. “Silk does for the body what diamonds do for the hand,” designer extraordinaire Oscar de la Renta once stated, and at Prince Silk Center you’ll get just that –- good quality silk that can be stitched as a trendy top to be worn over a pair of slacks, or to create a long, elaborate tunic with matching trousers. (Photo: Sonya Rehman)
Specializing primarily in jamawar (a kind of ethnic fabric comprised mainly of threads of silk and polyester), Safura Fabrics (Shop #197-G, Phone: 0321-4550817) sells an assortment of the material in different colors and motifs. The starting price for a shirt piece (approximately PKR 300), again, is dependent upon the intricacy of the work on the fabric and on one’s bargaining prowess. (Photo: Sonya Rehman)
A tailor by profession, Imran manages City Gold (Shop #128-G, Phone: 042-35751158) with another one of his peers who looks after the jewelry section of the tiny shop. In Liberty Market, rather than splitting up the process of buying fabric, having embroidery/stones/beads stitched onto it, and then finally taking it to a tailor to stitch it into the final product, shops like City Gold take care of the whole process from start to finish. He’s holding up a short, vermilion top (that is worn with a flowing, ankle-length skirt) — the starting price is PKR 7000 for the top alone. Others are priced at PKR 10,000 and above. Prices of ready-made outfits all depend on the sophistication of the work and the quality of fabric used to create the finished piece. Prices of the gold-plated bangles, however, range from PKR 1500 to PKR 4000. (Photo: Sonya Rehman)


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