New Delhi: She is rich, stylish, and travels the world - so what`s the big deal about Pakistan`s youngest and first female foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar`s Birkin bag, Roberto Cavalli shades and Jimmy Choo heels that were on view during her visit here, ask Indian and Pakistani designers.
Her classic black Hermes` Birkin could cost anything above $10,000-$15,000, her Roberto Cavalli shades cost over $500 and the Jimmy Choo heels over $900.
Karachi-based designer Huma Adnan admits Khar, whose three-day trip to India concluded Thursday, is one of the most stylish politicians in her country, but finds it strange that there is so much discussion in India over her dressing.
"I know Hina for the past 15 years. She is a public figure with a very conservative and neat look. Her sense of using right accessories makes her different from other politicians. But the fact that she wears high-end brands should not be a topic of discussion. She belongs to a rich family, owns property in Punjab...so why not," Adnan asked while speaking to IANS over the phone.
When Khar landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here Tuesday for talks with her Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna, her blue ensemble, teamed with a simple string of pearls, oversized handbag and shades grabbed many eyeballs.
A post-graduate in hospitality and tourism from the University of Massachusetts, Khar has her roots in a wealthy feudal family of southern Punjab and owns Lahore`s posh Polo Lounge, a haunt of the rich and the powerful.
In past appearances across the border, she has been spotted sporting bags from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Designer Fahad Hussayn from Lahore said: "I believe a woman always picks up an accessory that is driven by her persona. And with how she carries herself, you can tell the style statement is not newly acquired."
Khar likes her subdued, yet stylish dressing - something she proved with the cream ensemble she wore during India-Pakistan talks here.
Aamna Isani, a senior fashion journalist from Karachi, feels proud that Indians are lauding Khar`s dress sense.
"It`s good to know that a Pakistani leader is emerging as a style icon. The last fashion icon we had was Benazir Bhutto, who represented a perfect mixture of style and grace," Isani told IANS.
"When it comes to designer brands, this is not the first time a Pakistani leader has come out with such an image. Pakistan leaders have always been very stylish and fashion-conscious - from Mohammad Ali Jinnah to Bhutto...so why fuss over Khar`s style," she added.
Even Indian designer Anjalee Kapoor of label Anjalee and Arjun Kapoor, supported the young minister.
"No one has the right to comment on the materialistic things Hina Rabbani carried. It`s her personal style. As far as she can afford it, everything should be fine. It hardly matters if Pakistan is a poverty-stricken state. She belongs to a well-off family...so it`s okay," Kapoor told IANS.
Pam Mehta said that Khar looked extremely graceful in her kurta and pants, "and kept in tune with the traditional look and workmanship with fine embroidery and an extremely fresh colour palette. The accessorising was subdued and controlled with subtlety of white pearls and a classic Birkin in black and and sophisticated black shoes. Her look was not overstated, and it was overall a very sophisticated"
The Twitter world reacted strongly to the 34-year-old`s upmarket dressing. Some, including actress Gul Panag, gave it a thumbs up, while others questioned the viability of flaunting expensive brands.
"I like the way Hina Rabbani looks. With her movie star sunglasses, head covered, Birkin in tow. May be she is brilliant too," Gul posted.
However, well-knonw media person Rajdeep Sardesai did not react positively to Khar`s expensive style statement.
"Rumour has it that Hina Khar came to Delhi with a $10,000 handbag. and we thought pak was in an eco crisis! (sic)," he posted on Twitter.
Sardesai`s wife Sagarika Ghose, herself a well-known journalist, said: "Hina Rabbani Khar is beautiful but obviously part of disconnected Pak elite. 10 thou $ Hermes bag when country devastated? not the right note."
Another Twitterati, Saumya Sharma, said: "Hina Rabbani Khar loves Birkins and pearls. Her country is devastated, suicide bombing is literally an industry, economy non-existent.. .and that`s what she wants to talk about on a state visit?? NICE! Khar wearing Hermes and Jimmy Choo doesn`t excite me. I`d much rather have a national leader like Indira Gandhi - always wore Indian handlooms."