A young girl, who has not yet come of age, laden with heavy bridal clothes, makeup and jewellery pulling a cart full of "goodies" down a runway is not a showstopper in the traditional sense — but it was a sight that made people pause and think at fashion week.
Designer Ali Xeeshan has partnered with UN Women Pakistan to highlight the issue of dowries and he unveiled the collaboration during the Pantene Hum Bridal Couture Week and on Instagram.
His models, an adult groom and a young bride, walked on the runway with a pull cart to convey an unresolved issue: women are weighed down by the concept of having to bring a dowry or jahez when they get married.
Ali Xeeshan Theatre Studio also posted a short video on its official Instagram page.
In the video, directed by Abdullah Haris, a young woman is placed in front of the pull cart by her parents as they pile their belongings onto it. Her groom then sits on the cart as well and she is barely able to move it.
"It's time to put a stop to this overburdening tradition!" read the caption.
Xeeshan has been teasing the collection on social media for days by posting behind the scenes pictures.
The collaboration is part of UN Women's Jahez Khori Band Karo campaign, which calls on people to stop asking for and giving dowries.
The campaign previously included Pakistani celebrities spreading awareness about the campaign by writing 'Jahezkhori Band Karo' on their hands. Jahezkhori was a word UN Women coined for the campaign, combining jahez, meaning dowry, and khori, similar to bhattakhori or someone who extorts money from people.
This fashion statement is one we can 100 per cent get behind.