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11 Nov

PFDC Fashion Week Day One: Take Off!

The take off was slower than it should have been; Nickie Nina’s collection was unimpressive. That said, there is much to be said in favour of Day One at the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week. Seher Atif of Saai has come a long way from what she showed last season. Her collection had both cohesion and construction. And now that she is confident of her product (as she spoke at the post show conference), she must see that her label is marketed and retailed more prolifically. Akif Mehmood's showstopping outfit! Akif Mehmood, emerging talent from the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design, was very promising. There was a bit too much surface decoration happening – and one wished he had toned...
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9 Nov

The day before PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in Karachi

I can say this with confidence: everything looked beautiful. A good 24 hours before fashion is to set foot on the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week runway, the arena where preps were being set up this evening was a little too good to believe. A beautiful sea breeze blowing in created a slight chill and the open ambience of the venue added to the romance of the place. That and lots of technicians and carpenters hammering the red carpet into place gave the reassurance that all things logistical would be well in place tomorrow. The Lotus, Catwalk and Unilever teams were up and about, R Team seemed confident and systematic...
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7 Nov

Saving grace and salvation

(Dawn Images, Nov 7, 2010) The ninth Lux Style Awards tone down to a black tie affair but leave an after taste of optimism for bigger shows to come! Not even the wisp of smoke that rose from Adnan Siddiqui’s cigarette (triggering off an angry sprinkler on the red carpet) could put a dampener on the evening. It was quite the highlight to see coiffed-up celebrities run for cover when the downpour began. And the makeshift red-carpet-camp-out in the green room was hardly adequate but it was taken in good stride. Winners will acclaim and losers will always complain but the beauty of the evening was that an overall aura of support and good faith was maintained. That is what was important. The...
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5 Nov

Lux Style Awards: candid moments

I wrote and packed off my review of this year’s Lux Style Awards for Dawn two days ago. Of course, you can expect it to be responsible and analytical. But boy oh boy have I been wanting to have fun with what we all experienced there that night! So everyone knows that it rained on the red carpet and yours truly was one of the few people to witness the downpour…one of the few because most people arrive fashionably late. And so it rained and the puns that followed were hilarious: The rain does not stay on the plain! ‘LSAs washed out, hosed down…’ ‘Raining men on the red carpet…’ ‘The rain in Spain is no longer restricted to the plain…’ And...
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3 Nov

When in Mumbai, do as Bollywood!

(Dawn, October 31 2010) Compact and delightfully well organized, the HDIL India Couture Week would have been the ideal model for Pakistan’s fashion weeks to begin with. The Grand Hyatt in Santacruz Mumbai, where HDIL India Couture Week is hosted every year, started coming alive a day before the shows were to commence. Lobbies were taken over by leggy models that charmed the otherwise corporate corridors while a flurry of overanxious organizers fluttered around like busy bees. Fashionistas clicked around in ridiculously high heels (and just as high skirts) and the cafes crawled with the fast and fashionable pecking at bits of lettuce and fresh fruit. From luxury cars glistening outside (meaning that a Bollywood star had arrived) to bell-boys wheeling clothes...
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24 Oct

Breakthrough, Kid

(Dawn Images on Sunday, October 24 2010) The success of Tere Bin Laden has propelled Ali Zafar’s star to immeasurable heights in India. With the right vision it can illuminate Pakistan’s dying industry too. Ali on the sets of Jhoom in Mumbai   Traveling across Mumbai to Goregaon West in Film City, where Ali Zafar is shooting a video for his new album Jhoom is like swimming through a sea of sludge. Hot, humid and crawling with traffic, it takes over an hour to get to the FM Studio where extras, dressed in saffron as saadhus (hurriedly puffing away on a smoke break), are the only giveaway that some sort of shooting is taking place inside the downtrodden shed. It’s...
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22 Oct

Fahad Hussayn sells out at Ogaan!

I always knew this boy was talented and how! Fahad Hussayn, Adnan Pardesy and Rizwan Beyg are currently in Delhi, holding a two-day exhibition at multi retail store Ogaan run by Shagun Khanna who came for the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week this February. It's interesting how these three designers - none of whom showed in Lahore - made it to India. Anyway, fashion moves in mysterious ways and one is just happy that it is moving at all. I got in touch with my journo-friend Shilpa Raina, who writes for the wire service in Delhi, and had also visited the exhibition in Delhi. She was swept off her feet by Fahad's clothes and thought Rizwan was extremely articulate and intelligent. We certainly...
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19 Oct

This brand-wagon is caught up in a traffic jam!

Gul Ahmed marketing is usually impressive. From a brand that once put up posters advertising new collections (remember how everyone wanted to buy the prints displayed in the posters?), they now have thick, professionally compiled catalogues (not to mention the uber-impressive website) and these catalogues are available in over three-dozen stand alone Ideas stores nationwide. These are big numbers we are talking. Big numbers for a very big brand. Textile Giant. The launch of the Gul Ahmed autumn/winter collection, however, did nothing to substantiate how much the brand has evolved. It was one in a haystack of ‘red carpet’ events that take place these days. An event that invited every possible person alive to come and see a collection being modeled in...
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10 Oct

Fashion weeks: Fashion’s road less travelled

(Dawn October 10) This September the frenzy of excitement amongst designers was hard to hold down. The latest issue of American Vogue had hit the stands, featuring two-pages on Fashion Pakistan Week 2, and understandably not a single copy was left unturned (read unsold). Any fashion follower would know the value of Vogue coverage; fashion fortunes have been made by a mere mention in its sacred pages. And while this coverage did not entirely look at Pakistani fashion’s most glamorous angle — inevitably bringing in the Taliban — it did suggest that Pakistan has another, more liberal angle than what the world is used to seeing. Carla Power, the writer who specialises in the study of Muslim societies, suggested as much with...
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9 Oct

HDIL India Couture Week’s FAQs, Day Two

Day Two: October 7 Show one: Couture Jewelry starring Queenie, Raj Mahtani and Maheep Kapoor Q: Did anyone understand why the runway was constructed like a piece out of a rubic A beautiful Raveena Tandon. But why? cube, with poor models consistently having to walk up and down without tripping? A: No, it was inexplicable. It was a horrible set with terrible neon lighting. Queenie  opened with impact but then the show moved into an OTT on bling (and why Raveena Tandon agreed to model is something only industry insiders would know) ending with socialites walking out for their friend Maheep Kapoor. Stars and starlets filled the runways but the likes of Chunky Pandey had a child in his lap, who...
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