Mission 9: Pakistan
Pakistan – Southern Asia
An Italian Pakistan bridge
For the first time in history the Kalash women, an endangered community, have embroidered their traditional motifs for an international audience. These embroideries have left the Kalash valleys this very first time, to enable the world to portake in this women empowering path.
These embroideries have left the Rumbur Kalash Valley for the very first time, to enable the world to partake this Women Empowering path.
All Photos by Elisabetta Illy.
For the SS20 collection, Stella on her ninth mission, has worked with the reality of an Emerging Pakistan. She collaborated on the ground with some exceptional communities, some of which are at risk of extinction. This includes the Kalash people, located in one of the most remote areas of the world--an isolated valley at an altitude of 2000 meters in the Chitral region, on the northeast of Pakistan, on the border with Afghanistan. The Kalash are an ancient population who hold a unique heritageWe are talking about a geographical situation that is currently home to only about three thousand people; it is literally near extinction. They speak their own native language and have unique traditions, which so far have not been completely lost. For the first time in history the Kalash women have embroidered their traditional motifs for an international audience through the project: ‘Laboratorio delle Nazioni ‘. These embroideries have left the Kalash valleys this very first time, to enable the world to partake in this women empowering path. Many thanks to Karishma Ali, a 22 year old woman who started from her very own vilage: Karimabad. And despite the thousands of difficulties she encountered, she persisted, and this warrior became a national women’s football champion.
Now, here at more than three thousand feet, She coaches girls and trains mothers, in the Chitral Women’s Handicraft Center which she founded. This Center has produced part of the collection’s embroideries. A multicultural collaboration with the local artisans of Chitral, Gilgit and Hunza has taken place. These artists made the decision to share and combine Italian design with their century old traditions, and have hand-emboidered over 400 meters of typical floral motifs in chain stitch for the Stella Jean collection. The embroidered garments have been subsequently assembled by Italian artisan seamstresses. This is an extraordinary example of human cooperation, which was made possible by the creation of a virtual ‘Laboratory of Nations’, in which the traditional artisan skills of Pakistan, have joined and combined forces with those of Italy, to reflect the excellence of the Made in Italy and despite thousands of miles of distance, dozens of women have worked together, with the common goal of caring and preserving an endangered global cultural heritage. This is an acknowledgment of fashion’s potential, as a cultural activity, to provide significant opportunities for decent work for men and women around the world.