How many lawn suits can one woman buy? Lawn’s not just selling well this summer, it’s getting sold out! On the first day of the Sana Safinaz exhibition in Karachi, women queued up outside the Expo center from the early hours of the morning. By night-time, the three-day long exhibition was completely sold out! And while one would expect such sales from a Sana Safinaz exhibition – they were sold out within two days last year – even designers Nomi Ansari and Deepak Perwani had to replenish stock in their exhibitions due to unexpectedly high sales.
Nomi, having sold off most of his lawns in Karachi, is now considering having shorter exhibitions in other cities. Deepak ran out of stock by 5 p.m. on the first day of his exhibition and ended up closing off his cash counters for the day. This does, of course, irritate women who brave their way through traffic jams outside exhibition venues, only to discover that the lawns are all sold out. But it also reflects the huge demand for lawns with designer names attached to them. Sana and Safinaz have their 14-years long experience in the lawn business to vouch for their popularity. On the other hand, this is only Deepak and Nomi’s first year as lawn designers. Although there are plenty of miffed shoppers complaining that the ‘sold-out’ tactic is used in order to create hype, why would designers want to lose out on more sales by closing their halls to avid lawn fans?
“I just hadn’t expected such a response or I would have made sure I had more stock,” says Deepak. “I ended up taking pre-bookings for lawn suits that would be arriving the next morning.”
There’s no doubt about it; the designer lawn craze is here to stay. Arguably, lawns without designer names to their credit may be just as pretty and easy-to-wear. But, it seems that women derive a certain satisfaction from designer lawns. This is probably why HSY, in the billboards announcing his April lawn launch, has opted to place an image of him in a suit – rather than a picture of the prints he is planning to sell. Women seem to be more entranced by the lawn’s designer association than the lawn itself!
The reason behind this is simple enough: not everybody can afford Deepak Perwani prêt-wear or a Sana Safinaz bridal, but they can all very well purchase their lawns, priced well below Rs 5000. To be fair, the lawns really are reminiscent of the designers’ aesthetic preferences. Many of the borders and embroideries in Sana Safinaz’s lawn are toned down versions of their high-end couture creations. Nomi Ansari’s vibrant color palette for lawn is similar to the color combinations he uses in his popular bridals. Designer lawn is designer wear, priced down, and the ladies love it. The catalogues and hoardings suggesting exactly how the three-piece suits can be stitched are the icing on the cake.
Still, designer or not, it’s mystifying how lawns are being purchased by the bucket loads …or maybe not. With so many brands in the market, lawns have diversified into different categories.
There are luxury lawns with such opulent embroideries and borders that if it weren’t for the fabric, they could very well be passed off as shaadi-wear. Sana Safinaz and Shamael’s lawn collections easily fall into this category. The suits may be gorgeous but most of them can’t be worn to office meetings or casual gatherings. With their heavy embellishments and flowy dupattas, they’re more suited to formal dinners and parties.
Nomi Ansari, on the other hand, has come up with a collection that’s fun, vivacious … but also, very young. A college girl may happily wear a Nomi Ansari suit to a formal dinner while a woman in her thirties may prefer something more subtle. The lawns are quintessential Nomi with their striking borders, lavish embroideries and bright colors. It’s what one would expect from Nomi Ansari but still, the flamboyant colors may not be every woman’s cup of tea.