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22 Apr

In response to Sabs’ objections

I heard that Moiz Kazmi (you may be wondering who?) in his new venture, Fashion Bites (you may be wondering what?) put my name on the cover of his latest issue in a question Saba Ansari of Sabs had posed to me. It was something to the effect of "Why didn't Aamna Haider Isani object when Nabila was styling the Lux Style Awards year after year?" I don't subscribe to FB and have not read what it exactly said (also because it wasn’t available on my news stand) but from what my sources conveyed, it was something to the effect of Saba taking offence to something I had said. She objected to my disapproval of fashion weeks appointing no one else...
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19 Apr

Fashion in full force, Doo-buy!

Doo-buy. Or Dubai. The place reeks of retail and driving along the large pathways that line this concrete jungle, you'd think there were no inhabitants humans in this place. Only looming buildings, speeding cars and lights. It's only when you step into the malls that you see the hustle bustle of life. Aaah, the smell of retail, and it's not just therapy when you're shopping. Even when you're window shopping, it's retail aromatherapy! So obviously, Doo-buy is the best place for fashion brands to flourish. Especially Pakistani fashion brands that attract South Asian socialites like bees to honey. Indeed, that is what one witnessed when Labels opened at Studio 8 on the lush Jumeirah strip. Studio 8 that day was a...
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19 Apr

Labels does Pakistan proud!

Put a group of fashionistas on the same flight and pack them off to anywhere in the world and it will always be a fun ride. In a trip that reminded me of the Lux Style Awards in Dubai and Malaysia, we were part of an entourage that flew over to Dubai to witness multi label boutique Labels open at the Emirati owned Studio 8, which until now was known primarily to stock Indian designers. "Indian fashion maafi (not)," an ever enthusiatic Faiza Samee was seen instructing some of Studio 8's Arab clientele. Faiza, who travels with her Lipton yellow label tea bags, home baked loaves of bread and even paneer (despite staying at the five star hotel we were put...
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10 Apr

Fashion Pakistan Week 2: Conclusion

Fashion Week in Karachi is over and it has been an exhausting run of 53 shows. I have given no details because honestly, I haven't had the energy but in a very small nutshell, I would like to draw a conclusion. Repeating what I said in my article and previously on my blog, I'll reiterate that Karachi does have an understanding of design and fashion that no other city of Pakistan has. Experienced designers like Sana Safinaz, Shamaeel, Maheen Khan, Deepak Perwani, Faiza Samee out of a much more vast pool of those who couldn't show (like Sonya Battla, Rizwan Beyg, Body Focus - who showed in Lahore this time - Nomi Ansari) have given the city a concrete foundation. The...
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9 Apr

FPW2: Day 3 hops between the good, bad and downright ugly

After much contemplation I have decided that I haven’t the energy to comment on every collection in detail anymore and I will conserve my words for the story I am officially writing. However, there are random thoughts that are bubbling in my brain and I have to empty them before I go back to the arena tonight. I don’t think any editor will entertain these rants… Okay, so I have great respect for Rizwan Beyg as a designer. They don’t come more brilliant than him and the man lives style. Dinner at his house before fashion week started, which he magnificently cooked himself, was bliss. So when Riz once said he wanted his council to be the Sindh Club of...
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8 Apr

FPW2: Day 3 When it was bad it was horrid

There were OMG moments and there were WTF moments. If you thought day one was bad in terms of designer lineup then you've got another thought coming. I have never, ever seen such an excess of bad fashion crammed into one day. With the exception of Fahad Husseyn, Munib Nawaz, Maheen Khan for Nishat and the marvelous Adnan Pardesy, this day crash landed fashion and brought any buzz generated on Day 2 to a screeching halt. Whatever has happened to the fashion council's sense of design excellence and subsequent selection process? I cannot believe for a second that any of the council governors - Rizwan Beyg, Maheen Khan or Deepak Perwani - could possibly see any potential in so many...
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7 Apr

PFW2 Day 2: Getting high on hopes and hemlines

The only thing on my mind right now is that I lost my notebook last night. But thankfully I had documented the first day, remembered most of the second and the third is yet to be experienced tonight. This is me shaking the loss out of my head. #$%^&*#@ Okay…so Day 2 was infinitely better than Day 1. A bit more settled and more easily transitioning between good and bad collections. There were bad collections…oh yes, hell there were some evil clothes, but the taste we took away at the end was all good. Shehla Chatoor: Shehla has been designing for many years and has a niche clientele in Karachi. She has never shown before (and doesn’t stock anywhere either) but after...
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7 Apr

FPW2: Day 2 and the buzz is back!

It's midnight and I haven't the energy to write out details of tonight but all I'll say before signing off is that the BUZZ was BACK in fashion tonight. What a strong opening statement by Shehla Chatoor; her serpentile gold chains were pure temptation. Nida Azwer showed a collection much stronger than what she showed in Lahore two months ago; a throwback to ancient civilizations, this one had interesting motifs and imagery. Two designers who showcased very disappointing collections at FPW1 - Sanam Chaudhry and Abdul Samad - evolved much, much more stronger this time. Their enthusiasm to fight it out was appreciable. And Shamaeel's finale was magnificent. Paying homage to rich Pakistani heritage the collection, embellished with imagery from...
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6 Apr

FASHION PAKISTAN WEEK 2: Day 1

Karachi: To initiate a fashion week is one thing but to sustain it in terms of quality is completely another. Much to one’s disappointment, FPW2 started off on extremely weak footing yesterday. With very high event management standards set up by Lahore two months ago, one had hoped to see this take the game a step further but in reality it was a case of two steps forward, one step back. The core of the issue: bad or irrelevant collections that should have been edited or streamlined out of the show. As I said on the red carpet, fashion weeks should be about building quality, not quantity. Eleven collections were shown on Day 1 and out of all of them...
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5 Apr

Here today, lawn tomorrow

  Published in The Review, Dawn, April 4 2010 “Lawn is the true prêt of Pakistan,” Sana Hashwani said in her office several days before the insanely successful Sana Safinaz lawn exhibition was to open in Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad. This statement is something designers have been reflecting upon for years but not many have managed to execute the theory as neatly as SS have. The prêt or ready to wear game is in big numbers, in volume as opposed to exclusivity and high prices and in a country where women are barely getting used to the idea of ready to wear clothing, lawn is the next best bet. In this respect textile manufacturers have indeed given fashion it’s much needed piggyback....
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