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25 Apr

Getting Haute with the Hijab!

The Dawn Review, April 25, 2010 We live in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and despite the fact that modern society is readily adapting ways of the West, many (in fact a majority of women in the country’s huge population) prefer to observe the hijab or cover their heads. It is therefore a natural part of Pakistan’s style evolution that fashion also address that huge majority. And that is exactly what is happening. We are seeing more and more women adapting options of how to cover the hair or simply cover up without compromising on their style quotient. The variations are very exciting and one feels proud to see many women sprucing up their hijabs just as eagerly as one would...
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24 Apr

These windows speak to me 2

The pull of fashion is such that I went back to Ensemble today, just to check out the freshly stocked racks of clothing and seeing how fabulous the fashion really was. It was, it was! Sabyasachi Mukherjee was there in full glory though I have to say the collection was a little geared to winter and it was way too steep! Beautiful but steep. The PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week collection was in from Kamiar Rokni and it was thrilling to see some diluted and less pricey versions from the same. Loved the range of crumpled khaki kurtas by HSY. Slate by Faiza Samee (designed by Faiza's daughter Rabia Ghaznavi) was a complete sell out; with those bright summer prints how could...
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24 Apr

These windows speak to me!

If memory serves me right then it was Zeba Husain, in recent years, who upped the ante for fashion in Pakistan. We had fashion shows before, of course, but she initiated the 'mother of all shows' the Carnival de Couture several years ago. It changed the entire dynamics of how fashion was put up and things were never to be the same again. The Carnival led to the opening of Ensemble in Karachi and Lahore, the Ensemble fashion shows and now, fashion installations at the store. Brilliant conceptualization by Wow Factor, support from L'Oreal and with Zeba running the show, you had another great event to talk about. Aesthetically it was superb, from the tasteful red carpet to the gourmet...
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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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