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1 Aug

I like it dark and twisted

The most creative of geniuses will have a tendency to self-destruct. The catwalk would be saccharine sweet if there weren’t always a twist in the tale. “Don’t you get sick of fashion?” I very frequently get asked and the answer is no. How could I tire of an industry that specks my life with adventure? I could never imagine working at a bank with three-piece suits marching past me day and night. Nor a school where conformation would be the basic dress code. I could never imagine working at an office or any similar place where I’d actually have to weigh the appropriation of my outfit, indirectly my personality every single day. I enjoy fashion for its lack...
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25 Jul

Khawar Riaz’s little letter of disapproval

Just so that you all don't get confused, my LSA nomination article was published in Dawn on July 17. I was in Dubai at the time so could not receive any calls or feedback. However, some friends were kind enough to alert me of this email/text message that was apparently doing the rounds of all editors/journalists/designers etc. I got the following text (reproduced sic to be fair to Khawar) from some Oz Khan, whom I don't know from Adam. Being the fair and unbiased journalist that I am, I am putting Khawar's letter up on my blog as constructive feedback of my article which is also up on the blog. Though the heart comes up with numerous responses to every single...
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25 Jul

Ten years and counting!

The Lux Style Awards fashion nominations 2010 prove how far the industry has come in ten years. Tenth anniversaries are milestones and if traditions are to be respected then this year’s Lux Style Awards, marking ten years of the country’s premium awards show, are destined to make a celebratory big bang. One remembers how they began in Karachi in 2001, representing a fashion industry that was barely standing on its own feet. That industry is soaring today – numerous fashion weeks, foreign exposure as well as buzzing retail presence being the wind beneath its wings. That said, Unilever, the chief sponsor has not done justice to the show christened to honour excellence in fields of fashion, film, television and music. One has...
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12 Jul

Dial C for Creative or Confused?

Are fashion graduates equipped with tools necessary for them to survive in a competitive environment? Generation Next at PIFD: fashion students with a penchant for style make fashion ever more interesting. Students walked in, skirting their way past the front row of the classroom, finding a comfortable and well-shielded spot at the very back of the class. Shy. Under-confident. Wary. Eager. These few words best described the students at various premium fashion schools in Karachi and Lahore where I have been in close contact with students whether conducting seminars of my Fashion Media workshop or serving as judge or juror. Those of us who have been in the fashion business long enough know that these descriptions don’t last long....
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25 Jun

What language does BOL speak?

Atif Aslam and Mahira Khan serve as eye-candy/visual and mental relief in the film. Shoaib Mansoor’s second film Bol is as much a slap of reality as Khuda Kay Liye was. It’s perhaps even more hammering as he tackles many more issues and rolls them into a disturbing two and a half hour feature: infanticide, displaced morals, regressive behaviour, intolerance for those who are different, insensitivity, pedophilia, corruption and general degeneration of society at large. To expect the film to be lightweight is as ridiculous as expecting the President of Pakistan to wake up and reverse a death sentence for some random girl, as shown aptly in the film. Did I find it entertaining? No Did I want to get...
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7 Jun

Who’s going to PRET A PORTER PARIS this year?

PFDC fairy godmother Alexandra Senes, with Ali Xeeshan, and Isabelle Ballu in the background. Xeeshan may not be going to Paris this year but his is clearly a brand Senes believes in. It was announced at the end of the previous PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week that several (seven) designers would be selected from the industry to exhibit/show within the Atmosphere's arena at Pret a Porter Paris in Septmeber 2011. Pret a Porter Paris, for the unaware is a regular fashion fair that hosts "special trade shows for different markets, with ATMOSPHERE’S for creators and designers, THE BOX for high-fantasy accessories, THE TRAIN in New York and LIVING ROOM in Tokyo. With its brand spreading out internationally, its attraction grows...
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15 May

Oracle and the Wicked Queen’s Curse

From The Chronicles of La La Land Once upon a time in a magical land far, far away there existed a kingdom of bright, gay and happy fairies. These fairies were talented and had magical fingers; they could weave gold out of straw and carve ivory out of cold slabs of marble. Stories of these fairies spread around the world and many travelers, in search of exotic and precious wares to sell, eagerly stepped into La La Land for a first hand experience of what made these fairies so special. La La Land was powered by an evil Queen who had been ruling over it for years. Not a blade of grass could grow without her permission and not a Phoenix could...
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14 May

Banking on Ethnic Charm

Pakistan's cultural heritage may have successfully revived cultural heritage but the larger task of economic viability remains a challenge. Pakistan’s newest superstar – fashion – stands at the interface of modern pop culture and age-old heritage. To move forward, it needs to look into its past and excavate leitmotifs of that heritage that are fast fading away like the peeling paint on historical buildings. It’s interesting that as ancient monuments and sites crumble away as a result of government neglect, fashion designers – lowest on the power and political food chain – are reviving bits and pieces for the world to enjoy as contemporary and indigenous Pakistani fashion. Urban Pakistan may be a jeans and t-shirt generation but ironically it needs...
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14 May

“Pakistan definitely has a USP” – Hilary Alexander

Hilary Alexander speaks to fashion model Mehreen Syed Telegraph’s Fashion Director Hilary Alexander validates that Pakistani fashion’s Unique Selling Point to the world will be its hand craftsmanship. What motivated you to come for a fashion week in Pakistan? “Well I was supposed to come a couple of years ago for Pakistan Fashion Week but that never fell through. I think I was waiting for this to happen and I came because I was intrigued. It’s a new region and I was curious as to what it would present in terms of fashion.” Now that you’ve seen several shows, do you think Pakistani fashion has a chance to compete in the global market? “Pakistan definitely has a USP. Its ability with...
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