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30 Nov

Ringleader, Frieha Altaf

(Published with the LSA story in Herald, October 2011) Ali Zafar with Frieha Altaf at the 2007 Lux Style Awards held in Malaysia. “I’m a man in a woman’s body,” is what Frieha Altaf has often said about herself. And while she doesn’t look the gender she professes to possess, she does have the testosterones to work like a man and drive her cast and crew crazy in the process. Slave-driving is bad enough coming from a man, but when it comes from a sexy woman in a short dress and dangerously high heels it can get a bit too intimidating. “What happened to your hair?” a Banana News Republic host asks his companion, who is sporting a giant...
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30 Nov

Why the show must go on!

(Published in the October 2011 issue of Herald) 2007: Aaminah Haq and Atif Aslam performed to a frantic audience in Malaysia. The Lux Style Awards celebrate their tenth anniversary amidst national crises and raised eyebrows. Can the annual event survive this inhospitable climate? Here’s why it’s so important that it does… Take a minute to imagine how it was back in 2007. A special plane to Kuala Lumpur was chartered by Unilever to fly over 200 people who couldn’t be accommodated in regular flights. These 200 people were a heady mix of celebrities, musicians, fashion designers, models and the regular swarm of journalists whipping up every possible story. Pop band Raeth serenaded ‘pilgrims’ through the flight all night while...
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25 Nov

A case for couture

John Galliano designed some of the most magnificent couture for Dior. Some Like it Haute (Published Nov 24, 2011) It’s time to set the record straight for a term very loosely used in fashion: haute couture. Literally, the word haute in French means “high class” and couture means “sewing” or “dressmaking” and the two words combine to form haute couture, a term that refers to the highest order of dress-making. Haute couture clothes are custom-made for exclusive clients and display all measures of excellent tailoring, expensive fabric, innovative design and attention to detail including high quality intrinsic beading or embellishment. Sounds simple? Well, there’s a catch. The catch is that several years ago France, where haute couture originated (a tradition...
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22 Nov

My thoughts on IFAP

IFAP CEO Mehreen Syed with most of the visiting faculty I wasn't in Lahore for the launch of IFAP but that doesn't mean I don't have an opinion about Pakistan's first Fashion Academy. Of course I do. I've visited the website and do feel that the CEO Mehreen Syed and Head of Faculty Shahzad Raza have made a fair attempt at professionalism, though starting their launch two hours late (according to my journo-colleagues) does not go down well with the required discipline of an academic institution. However, I do think that portraitures made on the website are a bit exaggerated. Mehreen Syed is a good model but calling herself Pakistan's "undisputed supermodel" is pushing it a bit too...
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19 Nov

Fashion’s new king of couture

Creating one dynamic collection after the other, Adnan Pardesy proves that he has what it takes to own the title. Four well-appraised collections are what a fashion designer needs to ‘arrive’ in the industry. With Chthonic, Opine and Coquetry (showcased at the recently held PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2012), Adnan Pardesy is just one collection short of making that mark of success. But Pakistan’s industry is generous and Pardesy’s acclaim is abundant. This young designer has already arrived with maturity that one associates with his mentors Maheen Khan and Rizwan Beyg when it comes to precision and perfection of garment wizadry. His is the vision of a couturier married to the commercial steadiness of a successful brand. It’s a...
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18 Nov

Toni&Guy gets behind the bridal

Ayyan all dressed up in a Tazeen Hasan bridal. Fashion has come full circle with bridals, but now they come with a twist and truck loads of professionalism. Instead of operating from studios, bridal designers are now prepping up for showing bridal collections at the PFDC and L'Oreal Couture Week next month. Moreover, they are collaborating with corporations and salons to establish a sync that can only take bridal fashion further. And so, stepping onto the bridal bandwagon designers Tazeen Hasan and Ahmed Bham collaborated with Toni&Guy to launch the Bride & Groom Services Lounge at the salon better known for cutting edge hair treatments. Ahmed Bahm steps out of reclusion to claim his credit It...
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12 Nov

Mahira sparks up Labels

Multi-label boutique Labels collaborated with five of its high value designers to execute this shoot for the paramount 500th issue of Sunday magazine. Quite an achievement that Sunday - which under the shadow of STS had placed a ban on Labels - should award this anniversary issue to Zahir. But then Sheherbano Taseer is a breed apart and a gene pool above. She makes Pakistan proud, unlike her step sister. Anyway, back to fashion and this fabulous shoot. Planned at the picturesque Port Grande, the savvy new waterside food street in Karachi that would remind one of Singapore's Clark Quay if it could whip up a club scene, the shoot was coordinated and styled by Maha Burney and her artistic husband...
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9 Nov

Game.On for Ra.One

With Ra.One, Shah Rukh Khan creates a fabulous new fusion of high-tech cinema for Bollywood. “When did kings ever have to redeem themselves? It’s the upstarts who will always have to fight for the crown.” That’s just one of the many opinions that floated around on Twitter while Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One was releasing in India and simultaneously in Pakistan. Social networks were buzzing with opinions, some good and mostly bad. Even though people (fans and critics alike) were clamoring for tickets in Karachi, they were unsure of what to expect. Honestly speaking, most of them had prepared themselves to hate whatever Ra.One had to offer. But there was an incredible amount of curiosity as to what the film was all about. Would...
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3 Nov

Khadijah Shah does bridals with elan

          Khadijah Shah is one of the most popular bridal designers in Lahore, for good reason. Her office has stopped taking orders for bridals that require delivery before March. That means the next five months are locked, blocked and booked for Khadijah Shah who has her hands full and therefore no time to think of fashion shows. She says it's unlikely she'll be showing at PFDC's inaugural bridal week (being organized in collaboration with beauty giants L'Oreal) this December. But that won't cause a dent in her business, that is obviously flourishing with or without extra publicity. Shah's work speaks for itself, her forte being the classic and traditional line she sketches. This recent image from her bridal atelier...
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2 Nov

Less flash for fashion

The PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week collaborated with TDAP to execute an event better geared for business From the Khaadi Khaas look book: the newspaper print trussed up as a full skirt Last week the Pakistan Fashion and Design Council hosted their spring/summer edition of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week (PSFW) in Karachi as has now become tradition. The council hosts autumn/winter collections in March (Lahore) and spring/summer in Karachi (October). Two years and four fashion weeks old, aging with confidence, this fashion week exhibited maturity that comes only with consistency, commitment and strong leadership. The fact that much of the week’s oomph was sacrificed to accommodate stability was merely part of the growing up process. The developments at hand were...
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