Designer, Karma, Pakistan, Shopping


Ok! So continuing from last night…my appointment with Karma (fashion label well-known Pakistani designer Maheen Kardar). Karma was located in Defense, a world apart from the bazaars of Anarkali.

We went up the stairs into their lounge to find plush rich coloured furniture, beautiful decor and a lovely sales associate by the name of Huma. Huma was awesome. She sat my mom, sister and my cousin’s wife down in the lounge, and asked me if I was looking for an outfit for the “first day” or the “second day”. I told her the first (the main wedding day) which is typically when you wear red. She then proceeded to show me her 2013 bridal collection. All the research that I had been doing beforehand instantly came to life. The beautiful colours, fabrics, kaam (design work)… The entire experience was so exciting… (note that I’ve never experienced Pakistan in this way before. My family doesn’t have their own driver, so before, every time I’d visit, I’d either get around the city on the back of my cousins motor bike (side straddle styles), a rickshaw, or occasionally in a relative’s car. So this whole commissioning a driver for the month and going to designer appointments is all so fancy to me ๐Ÿ™‚

So yes, after Huma lay out the collection, I tried on a few outfits, and she was super helpful, told me what would suit my body and what wouldn’t (apparently I’m “too busty” for an empire waist) and helped me realize what I liked and didn’t. I really appreciated her honesty, and despite the fact that we were in a beautiful designers studio, she kept it really real and was down to earth. Oh and then she brought out four coffees made from scratch which were absolutely divine.

The entire experience was my first bridal appointment and experience in Pakistan, and it felt pretty perfect! The only thing I guess I had anticipated was that their would me more pieces in the collection, but I realized they make a basic 6-8 bridal outfits each season, and then brides customize their cuts and colours.

And the prices? 85000 RPS for a beautiful outfit (non-bridal), which is about $850, and 3.5 lakh for the bridal dress that I tried on about $3500. That’s one thing that I learned, by the way, before I came – I had thought Pakistani prices would be much lower for bridal wear, but no, prices have gone crazy here, especially when you get into very high end designers (they can go up to 12lakh – $12000!)

So that was Karma! Yesterday we did more areas of Lahore – the well known MM Alam Road (lots of designer shops) and the shopping bazaar Liberty (which is massive) and I had an appointment with the designer Kamiar Rokni for my 2nd day bridal outfit….all 3 of which deserve their own write up and I will try to find time to do soon. But for now, more shopping awaits!


Below is an old pic of their studio that I got from their FB page…that white couch has now been upholstered to a rich plum…as seen in the photo with my mom laying on it!

5 thoughts on “Karma”

  1. First of all, I love your blog!
    Hopefully I can relate to your posts, because I’m going to Lahore in a week to do some wedding shopping, but I’ll only be there for 2 weeks, because of school. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I looked up so many bridal dresses but it’s just so overwhelming! I’m not sure what I want. All I know is that it has to be red! lol! Any tips or suggestions? Did you know exactly what you wanted before you went?

    1. Hi Shaheera! Thank you!! And congrats! ๐Ÿ™‚ I can definitely relate to how overwhelming it can feel! Before I went I did as much research as I could in terms of looking at different collections and pinterest etc. But I didnt have anything specific in mind in terms of what I wanted for the mehndi and shaadi, I knew basic colours, but had no particular designs in mind, I just wanted to see something and feel like it was the one…which is exactly what ended up happening with the first dress that I tried on at Karma, but I still went around Liberty for a week just to compare and came back exactly one week later to order mine! So id say if youre short on time and see something you love just get it. Other advice for shopping depends on budget too….if you can go the designer route you call and set up appointments in advance, go look at their collections, and place your order, and theyll ship it to you once its made a few months later (if youre lucky theyll make it when you’re there but thats very rare). Otherwise you go to liberty, and visit the shops like saleem fabrics and you can see all of their designs and you like something and you can place your order and change around colours, kaam, etc. That’s exactly what I did with my mehndi jora, I saw it at Lal Chunariya in Liberty on the manequin, instantly fell in love with it, changed around the colours and they made it within two weeks (and it was only 27000 rupees -$270!) I personally think thats the ideal route if I could have found something I liked like that for my shaadi jora in Liberty too I would have done that, it just didn’t happen for me for the shaadi! So basically just figure out what designers you want to see the collections of and make appointments in advance, and try to go to Liberty in the first day to get an idea of everything. Good luck and dont worry it will work out iA!!!

  2. Thanks so much! I finally bought my shaadi outfit. I found it in Gujranwala. i thought I would find it in Lahore, but I found an amazing one here. Eek! Can’t wait! Thanks so much for the reply! Now I gotta go to Lahore and buy some fancy dawat outfits! Hehe!

  3. Hi Shaheera- congrats!! would you be able to provide some insight as to where one should shop for a bridal from gujranwala please? Thanks!

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