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22 Jun

A Coke Studio for Fashion

Fashion may be music to a woman’s soul while diamonds would be her best friend but many people would argue that fashion is superficially skin deep while it is in fact music that permeates the skin and seeps into the soul. Music fans would put up a convincing argument that fashion is elitist while music is populist; that most people can afford to buy a cassette, CD or tune into a radio station for what music offers while not so many can actually afford to buy or own any part of fashion. The last leg of this argument would be that musicians are better people than most fashion designers. Now on an average day I would be able to put...
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8 Jun

Fashion’s ‘bipolar’ express!

(Instep, June 8, 2010) We’re a queer lot of people. Confused. In fact we’re almost messed up as a nation. And that’s reflected most ostensibly in the way we dress. Ronak Lakhani and Faiza Samee enjoy their shirts free and flowing while Frieha Altaf, in a shape-up mission decides to embrace glamour with this Shehla Chatoor black satin number, not for the faint hearted. Consider this: one little step outside the house will determine that it’s hot; summers are weighing heavily upon us. The mercury is rising to unbearable levels (despite the rain) and at least in Karachi, the humidity is bad enough to send the asthmatic into intensive care. Take a couple more steps out onto the streets...
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6 Jun

Unweaving the rainbow

Thank you Kiran for sharing this spectacular view of Karachi's magical skyline. Never do I remember seeing a sky so full of beauty. Nature was at its very best artistic self in Karachi as it smudged clouds in the dusky sky and then streaked it with wisps of delicate violet, orange, blue, green and the rain saturated moments of an ominous grey. I caught the very best of it at sunset, as the full arch of a promising rainbow disappeared into the clouds. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet; the arch held all seven colours within its bow. Truly a magical moment. Rains are never kind to the people of Karachi, they come with power breakdowns,...
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6 Jun

Travel tips: better ‘right’ than light

(Dawn, The Review) The month of June is upon us, schools have shut down for the long, hot summer and women all over Pakistan are packing or planning to pack for an upcoming holiday. That holiday could be driving up north to one of the country’s picturesque hill stations or flying abroad to a distant, exotic location. While most of us think practical and travel light, for the style conscious nothing can be worse than compromise on personal appearances. Dressing up is such an important ingredient to happiness and the wrong clothes on the right vacation can be a dreadful buzz-kill. Here are travel tips on this year’s trends and advice from the experts on how to travel with oomph… [caption id="attachment_235"...
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6 Jun

The 101 of cutting it, fashionably!

ali xeeshan
“Oh, but so and so sells so much. How can you say she’s not a good designer?” I have repetitively been asked year after year, review after review. It is followed by the inevitable, “Oh you’re so biased!” conclusion. News flash: there are certain qualities that define a good designer and ‘sale reports’ are never on the list! So what exactly does constitute a good designer? Which are the collections that deserve critical acclaim while others, perhaps better selling ones, are in fact those that just merit an audit by an Income Tax Officer? As critics, what we look for is something different. That doesn’t necessary mean something ludicrously abstract (re: Ali Xeeshan) but simply something that looks unique while being strong...
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18 May

The not-so-simple symphony

(Instep Today, May 18, 2010) I multitask. And I’m pretty good at it as are the millions of women in Pakistan who are successfully juggling their roles as homemakers, professionals, mothers, wives and daughters at the same time. I multitask and have come to accept that I will be substituting for any void in my family’s life – be it driver, maid, sweeper, cook, tutor, therapist, doctor, nurse – sometimes I feel like Vinod Khanna as the one-man-band in Amer Akbar Anthony. It’s a nerve racking, to multi task, sure, but I usually manage to keep the balance. Usually. Except for when one little additional detail is thrown into this already saturated equation. My tailor is that one person who can...
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13 May

Kiran Fine Jewellery: a gilded script

Kiran Aman with her graceful brand ambassador, Sonya Battla I try not to presume, not to make assumptions and though I have known Kiran for years, I had never assumed that the jewelry she designs could be so impeccable, so perfect. I had seen some of her designs at the Lux Style Awards but they were more props for fashion presentations than anything else. When Kiran launched Revived, though featuring many of her pieces, the book was more about the women than the jewelry. Like most humble people, and I see Kiran as one of them, she never pushed herself; she was never 'in your face' as we love to put it. And so I, overwhelmed by...
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12 May

Stuff nightmares are made of

Instep, May 10, 2010 Nightmares that haunt me these days are of me, rejecting a potential daughter in law, on the basis of the style she carries. Or fails to carry. Style. It isn’t the kind of thing that makes or breaks marriages but style and the way you wear your clothes does say a lot about the kind of person you are. And as a potential mother in law, I don’t see how I’m going to breath if my boys bring home brides in atrocious joras, nine inch finger nails painted in French manicures (which I associate with gold diggers and blond porn stars) and God forbid, platform shoes. My only consolation is that the boys are young and there is...
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