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9 Oct

Couture week is a Bollywood playground

Here's a very small peek into Couture Week in India. I know there's much more to report but it'll take time! The buzz here at the Grand Hyatt has been incredible for the past two days. Hundreds of ushers, helpers and organizers scurry here and there all day, just to ensure that the two daily shows breeze through without a hitch. They have to, because the runway as well as front rows play host to Bollywood royalty. So far I have seen Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Jaya Bachchan, Sonam and Anil Kapoor (who btw is an absolute hunk and much much more dignified and desirable than Big B), Amitabh, the Khans including Shah Rukh, Saif as well as Kareena, Karisma (looking...
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17 Sep


Nabila’s first coffee table book for L’Oreal is in the making and its bone structure looks visually stunning. Documenting Nabila’s journey through hair design over 25 years,  – from the absolutely subliminal to the extraordinarily whacko – and with Zain Mustafa involved in the conceptualization, Saima Zaidi the graphic designing and myself handling the text and editing there isn’t really much that can go wrong. Let’s just hope the print quality does it justice. The narrative is minimal and yet it’s so riveting in the way it connects the ebb and flow of her personal to her professional life. Nabila’s personal upheavals and their influence on her personal style reflect in everything little stroke of work she has done within that time frame....
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3 Sep

Does it pay to be a fashion journalist?

(Instep, The News) Does it pay to be a fashion journalist? Well, depends on what you want to be paid in! Are you looking for a fat paycheck every month? You’re likelier to get rich digging graves! Are you looking for career growth? Given that there are only a handful of dailies and (credible) glossies catering exclusively to fashion in Pakistan - most of their editors being the owners which kind of kills any credibility you’d want associated with your name - the odds of your being promoted in any are low. Better not to hold your breath! Are you looking for respect? Uh…let me phrase this kindly: the intellectual snobs will make you feel two inches tall and the people you work with...
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29 Aug

Putting your right foot out

(Dawn Images, August 29 2010)   Any excuse to put Imran Khan's picture on my blog! “A nation dies when it gives up,” says Imran Khan and no matter what, we must not give up on this nation. These past two weeks have been devastating for Pakistan. But amidst tales of woe, misery and the break down of law, order and civil society, what we must grasp on to and move forward with are the unprecedented man-to-man efforts that are being made. There is so much to complain about but there is also a lot to be appreciative of. As always, the glass is half full as well as half empty, depending on how you chose to see it. Foreign...
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25 Aug

We want justice!

To be part of a protest today was humbling.         We gathered outside the Press Club in Karachi to protest the brutal killing of Mughees and Muneeb, two young boys who very well could have been my own. I have been unable to watch TV for the past few days and I certainly haven’t been able to look at that beautiful picture of theirs, smiling so innocently and unaware that life could so brutally be snatched away from them. I can’t even begin to imagine what their mother must be going through. I keep thinking how simple it would have been to stop those monsters from beating these kids to death. One voice from the crowd of 1200 zombies could have prevented this...
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24 Aug

Tere Bin Laden rocks!

What a refreshing shift from all the ribald slapstick comedy that Bollywood is churning out these days. I totally loved the indie take on this film and the fact that it was pertinent without being preachy. Comedy is always preferable over serious cinema (at least to me) and even without the usual song and dance and superstar presence, TBL managed to hold its own. That it has created a star in Ali Zafar is perhaps one of its biggest accomplishments. Too bad the censors flunked it for Pakistan but after seeing the film one can understand why. A troupe of mullahs shaking their booty while ‘Ullu Da Pathha’ plays in the background. Not a chance in hell! ...
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22 Aug

Let it roll

Tapu Javeri’s third book, Tapulicious, lifts Pakistan’s celebrity spirit from the past two decades and lands it in the present.     Tapulicious is delicious. It’s a book that allows you to get a taste of celebrity as you browse through its pages. A pack of visual eye candy that bursts at the seams with a flavour of colour and its one basic flaw – the lack of any explanatory text - leaves you urging for more. Put in very clichéd culinary terms, Tapulicious teases the taste buds without really whetting the appetite. And that’s exactly what Tapu Javeri was aiming at. “I’m a photographer, not a writer,” he spoke to Dawn Images after the launch of the book. “I believe that an image...
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22 Aug

Bollywood gets ‘Austentatious’ with Aisha

(Dawn Images, Aug 22, 2010) You walk into the cinema expecting an Indian version of Emma, treated with Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Clueless and even Friends rolled into one. At least that’s what the trailers promised. What you walk out with is a sequel to Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice. Only worse. You walk out feeling sorry for Jane Austen. Aisha is Jane Austen’s Emma, only set in twenty first century India. She is characterized as a high society ‘smart’ dumb blond (whatever that is) whose one aim in life is matchmaking. Her life revolves around parties, camping, fashion and the whole glamorama that Hollywood perfected fifty years ago. But Aisha doesn’t cut the mustard because...
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17 Aug

Copycat, copycat where have you been?

(Instep Today, August 17, 2010) The copycat conundrum has always grabbed headlines; people love reading about who’s copying who and magazines in Pakistan have lately begun splashing pictures of designs that look like déjà vus, whether it’s a Maheen Karim dress imitating Etro (pointed out on the Style Stripped website), a Nomi Ansari collection doing a double take on Manish Arora or a Body Focus tunic looking a bit too much like a Dolce Gabbana gown (both noted by Expoze). The visuals are all there and yes, there’s no denying the fact that at times things do look a bit too similar to be passed off as an inspiration. Mughal miniatures have been an inspiration for designers through...
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14 Jul

Tere Bin Laden BANNED in Pakistan!

What a pity that while the government is doing absolutely zilch to promote cinema in Pakistan, it also puts up high hurdles preventing artistes from finding fame and fortune elsewhere. Tere Bin Laden, starring Ali Zafar and directed by Abhishek Sharma in Bollywood, has been banned from screening in Pakistan. It was expected, given the nature of the film. The Mullah Brigade, after all, is infamous for not having a sense of humour and a satire on Osama Bin Laden would've been enough for fundo-reps on the censor board to stomach. Official reasons, of course, are much more civilized. According to sources, the film has been banned to protect the people of Pakistan from any unexpected, unpleasant consequences carried out by...
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