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20 Apr

One step forward, two steps back

  Fashion Pakistan Week SS 2016 was a messy cross between a government funded trade show and high-end fashion event. Fashion Pakistan Week Spring/Summer 2016, held in Karachi last weekend, was an extremely mixed bag.   The three-day showcase proved that FPW16, a platform now in its eighth year, still hasn’t been able to find the structure, stability and standard for it to qualify as an established event. Blame that impression on the daily delays, ugly spaces, designers pulling out at the last minute, others managing only 4-outfit capsule collections, pools of mediocre models and a general lack of oomph. Each day was a confusing mix of high fashion, high street, accessory, textile and students all under one umbrella. This would not work anywhere...
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19 Apr

FPW and the TDAP Connection

    “Pakistan needs to be part of the global fashion chain and this was a great way to put all that on one platform.” – Rabiya Javeri outlines the higher purpose that FPW served.   “We’re not generating millions of dollars at fashion weeks in Pakistan,” Rabiya Javeri, Secretary General TDAP, told me once fashion week concluded. “That formula does not apply here. Pakistan’s huge and dynamic creative industry has to be supported at fashion weeks. We must become part of the global chain. Couture is the highest value item on that global value chain for garments and Pakistan has design identity. Pakistan can easily be part of this chain providing we show the world our handicraft and design and potential. Fashion Week...
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18 Apr

Daraz: Does Pakistan need another fashion week?

  Apparently it does, especially if it’s online, as Daraz Fashion Week 2016 is all set to change the way Pakistan shops for fashion!   “You know what we’re trying to do here?” Mubeen Maayr, CEO Daraz in Pakistan said at the little pre-event press meet held at Café Koel this Thursday. “We’re trying to change the perception of fashion and show how it’s not always elitist and unaffordable.”   Daraz is going to try and take fashion to the masses through Daraz FW 2016 that they have planned for April 20. The ‘first shoppable fashion show in Pakistan’ will be held at the Commune Artist Colony in Karachi and broadcast online, immediately making the collections available to buyers. Fashion Week sales will continue online...
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13 Apr

The Shah Rukh Khan experience – Part 2

  In conversation with SRK…the father, the friend.       Three hours and thirty minutes after Shah Rukh Khan had entered the premises, apologizing for being late, did I manage to finally sit down with him for an exclusive. To his credit, he had cancelled his 9 o’ clock flight and so had more time on his hands. Our conversation, slotted for a quick ten-minutes, continued beyond the allotted time despite his publicist constantly gesturing him to cut it short. Here’s an extract of the tête-à-tête, which became deliciously informal as we moved away from harsh lights of TV cameras, and found a quiet space to speak about things closest to his heart…   Aamna Haider Isani: The way you manage to take out time for...
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8 Apr

The Shah Rukh Khan experience – prelude

  Kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho toh puri kainaat use tum se milane ki koshish mein lag jati hai – Om Prakash Makhija (Shah Rukh Khan, in Om Shanti Om)   I first met Shah Rukh Khan in 2010, at a fashion week in Mumbai, where I was seated several rows away from him. As big a fan then as I am now, it took me ten minutes of contemplation and courage-mustering to get up and approach him. This was the same year and day that Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Amitabh Bachchan did their little jig at the Karan Johar/Varun Bahl’s show and fashion week’s front row was sparkling with stardom. He was speaking to Saif when...
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24 Mar

Kapoor & Sons: The Haute Review

  The simpletons amidst us don’t ask for much beyond an entertaining movie, whether it is the visually engrossing Bajirao Mastani, the technically superior (Star Wars) or a simple animation like Kung Fu Panda. So when something as pleasant as Kapoor & Sons comes along, it’s a no brainer that the film will guarantee entertainment, if nothing else.   Luckily, like more Karan Johar productions, K&S provides a little more than a good looking cast working its way through a foreign location and fantastic soundtrack. This one gives us characters to relate to, enjoy and endear.   There’s really nothing original about the plot; we have seen the inside out of dysfunctional families from Kal Ho Naa Ho, Kabhi Alvidaa Naa Kehna and more recently,...
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14 Mar

Fawad Khan, live in India

Catching up with the man of the moment, who’s on a whirlwind tour promoting the upcoming Kapoor & Sons in India.   It’s almost impossible to remember Asher Hussain, Zaroon Junaid and Bond G Kaboom, if you can recall that completely clumsy clunk of a comedian who danced around trees and wooed Jutti behind bougainvillea hedges in the backyard. It is almost impossible but also important to recollect characters of Fawad Khan’s past because they have all defined the man, the actor and the huge star that he’s evolved as today. Between them and Yuvraj Vikram Singh Rathore, his aristocratic film debut in Khoobsurat or the self-deprecating Oochi, in hilarious anecdotal commercials popular on television these days, everything rolls up to make way...
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28 Feb

Bachaana: the ‘haute’ review

There are several reasons why Bachaana works. First of all, the lead characters are delightful. Vicky, played by Mohib Mirza, is the obvious star. Tall, dark and handsome, he’s easy on the eyes, confident in front of the camera and he effortlessly carries the film from the beginning to the end. He has a fun script to work with and it all adds up. Sanam Saeed, despite not being at her very best, has a strong character to play with. Contrary to our first impressions of the film and its tagline (Read: Aalia, an Indian girl, is not a damsel in distress and does not need a man to save her. She’s quite the trouper and actually saves him...
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31 Jan

Mann Mayal, a simple love story

Hamza Ali Abbasi and Maya Ali bring old school romance back to life in this new serial but will it stay this way?   Episode One   The general pace of life these days is so fast and turbulent that one has to make a conscious effort to pull the reigns and slow down…enough to park in front of the television and watch a one hour drama serial at the same time every week. Mann Mayal, promoted heavily as the next big thing on television (since Humsafar?) begged for a chance. And so ten minutes into inaugural commercials, when MM actually began, I was very interested.   I also have to admit that Hamza Ali Abbasi was the biggest attraction, to begin with. I haven’t seen...
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