By Fareeha Qayoom
have seen ‘Rang Ja’ store a few times from outside (Xinhua Mall and DHA) but I never explored it from inside before this weekend. I was browsing the malls (DHA Y sector) with friends and one of my friends dragged me into the store. She wanted to buy one of their shalwars, but ended up buying their palazzo pants…
Obviously, the first thing you notice is the color – their clothes are full of strong, prime/vibrant color combinations. The second thing you notice is the very Pakistani regional ‘village’ or ‘a la country’ vibe…
All the flavors of the four provinces are present, insists the sales guy at the shop – I did see traditional Kurta’s from the Punjab, the Pashto tunic frock Kurtas from KP, however, I failed to see any Balochi influence (you know the typical kangaroo pocket embroidered frock Kurtas) or Sindhi Thar desert tie and dye skirts and tops for that matter, also seemed to be missing were the Kashmiri embroidered tops and head scarves – there were also western cuts with very Pakistani vibe – for example, I saw a very intricate embroidered tuxedo collar Jacket – the lapel was trimmed with purple velvet – very nice, except we thought the lapel should have been made from dyed to match main body fabric. It jarred. Also, they could have used light weight (export) quality embroidery threads to reduce the fabric weight. The Jacket was heavy. (There are some – Madeira and JP coats. We use them for our export quality merchandise).
I also would like to see some traditional “sheesha” (mirror embedded) embroidered waistcoats – you know, what we call coati’s in local parlance…those seemed to be missing as well. Hopefully, they have made an effort to ensure their products are color fast and do not bleed onto other clothes or upholstery (wet and dry crocking). There is high risk of that when you use such strong saturated colors in combination within the same garment or part of coordinate sets.
I loved their embroidered shalwar separates, I also loved their palazzo pants…I even loved the African art influence (embroidery) on some of our typical Pakistani Kurta cuts…I might go back and buy a couple of their separates if the fit/size is not a problem…
I especially loved their ‘classic’ Khusa collection. They were selling it for 2k and above…the sales guy wanted me to buy it there and then, apparently, it was the last piece in their collection….hmmm. However, my friend told me I should visit ‘Khusa Mahal’ in Liberty; I would get the same stuff for half the price. Apparently they still do such ‘classic” khusa shapes each season over there.
Overall I love the store and I think this particular ‘Bareeze’ brand is promising addition to our local repertoire – in fact, it’s the first local ready to wear brand that I really think is interesting, slightly edgy and wearable, not to mention, “Made in Pakistan” for Pakistan by Pakistan and of Pakistan. (No, I have not been paid to write this review).
I really think its reprises the typical, traditional ‘rural’ costumes of Pakistan very well. If the designer can keep up the same vibe every season, introducing all the typical Pakistani regional rural ‘village’ touches – this might be one brand we can be proud of exporting to other countries as well as becoming a typical Pakistani vintage/heritage apparel brand.