The Rebirth of PIA?

By Sonya Rehman

Last night’s fashion show in Karachi – where top local designers showcased their take on the new and improved Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) uniform – had to be the most INTERESTING fashion show to be churned out by the Pakistani fashion industry. Well done you guys!

Given that PIA’s reputation has been none too spotless, the fashion show seems to be just one step in the right direction for the airline’s makeover. Having enjoyed immense respect and popularity in the past, is the re-birth of PIA in the pipeline? One wonders. The winners of the show, whose designs will be used for the cabin crew, are: Nomi Ansari (women’s wear/air hostesses), Omer Farooq of Republic (stewards/men’s wear), Sania Maskatiya (head wear: caps) and Yasmeen Sheikh’s jackets. Yum.

PIA - Where does it go from here on?
PIA – Where does it go from here on?

Below are some incredible images from the fashion show itself, in addition to a few dated pictures from PIA’s golden years:

Nomi Ansari's designs - gorgeous, sleek, sexy. Photo: Catalyst PR
Nomi Ansari’s designs – gorgeous, sleek, sexy. Photo: Catalyst PR
Misha Lakhani's take (my favourite!) - Photo: Catalyst PR
Misha Lakhani’s take (my favourite!) – Photo: Catalyst PR
Sania Maskatiya's caps made the cut. Photo: Catalyst PR
Sania Maskatiya’s caps made the cut. Photo: Catalyst PR
HOT: Omer Farooq of Republic. Photo: Catalyst PR
HOT: Omer Farooq of Republic. Photo: Catalyst PR
Yasmeen Sheikh's coats are approved by PIA! Photo: Catalyst PR
Yasmeen Sheikh’s coats are approved by PIA! Photo: Catalyst PR
Love Khaadi's designs. Photo: Catalyst PR
Love Khaadi’s designs. Photo: Catalyst PR
Ali Xeeshan's were pretty cute. Photo: Catalyst PR
Ali Xeeshan’s were pretty cute. Photo: Catalyst PR
Show-stopper, Nomi Ansari - Photo: Catalyst PR
Show-stopper, Nomi Ansari – Photo: Catalyst PR
PIA Air Hostesses wearing uniform designed by French fashion designer Pierre Cardin -  1966-1975  Photo: Tahira Mali's Collection
PIA air hostesses wearing uniforms designed by French fashion designer, Pierre Cardin – 1966-1975 Photo: Tahira Mali’s collection.
 A PIA Air Hostess wearing uniform designed by Pierre Cardin. In 1966, Pierre Cardin, the renowned French fashion designer, came up with the legendary fawn colour uniform for summer and moss green uniform for winter. The uniform consisted of a short, easy fitting "A" line tunic, slim-line trousers and imaginatively moulded dupatta that not only covered heads but also turned heads. The uniform became an instant hit, the slim-line trousers immediately were dubbed as 'PIA Pajamas'. Fashion-conscious young ladies, all across Pakistan, copied Cardin's design eagerly. This popular uniform design was used by the airline from 1966 to 1975

A PIA air hostess wearing a uniform designed by Pierre Cardin. In 1966, Pierre Cardin, the renowned French fashion designer, came up with the legendary fawn colour uniform for summer and moss green uniform for winter. The uniform consisted of a short, easy fitting “A” line tunic, slim-line trousers and imaginatively moulded dupatta that not only covered heads but also turned heads. The uniform became an instant hit, the slim-line trousers immediately were dubbed as ‘PIA Pajamas’. Fashion-conscious young ladies, all across Pakistan, copied Cardin’s design eagerly. This popular uniform design was used by the airline from 1966 to 1975. Source: History of PIA.
PIA: 1956-1960  Photo: Abbas Ali's collection.
PIA: 1956-1960 Photo: Abbas Ali’s collection.
1960-1966  (Capt. Khusro Nawaz Khan Family Collection)
PIA: 1960-1966 – Photo: Capt. Khusro Nawaz Khan’s family collection.
PIA Air Hostess uniform created by well-known Pakistani dress designer Mrs. Nahid Azfar in 1986 - Source: PIA
PIA: 1986 – uniform created by Mrs. Nahid Azfar – Source: PIA
PIA: 1960-1966 - Photo: Abbas Ali's collection.
PIA: 1960-1966 – Photo: Abbas Ali’s collection.
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2 Comments Add yours

  1. evilspellz says:

    Well you have a point, but changing wardrobes doesn’t change attitudes! The Uniforms may change but the people are the same… 😦

  2. wordsverses says:

    Nice article. The article’s title, however, is hyperbolic. Uniform change alone doesn’t change institutions.

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