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7 Feb

HDIL India Couture Week 2009, in brief

A svelte Sridevi is celebrity model for jewelry designer Queenie. Exciting finale acts, it must be said, are vital for couture shows. Seen here is a completely made-over Sridevi walking for her friend and jewelry designer Queenie Singh. Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan for Manish Malhotra. I needn't say more. Celebrities are a vital part of any fashion week. I met dozens at ICW; seen ahead are Hrithik Roshan, Imran Khan, Neha Dhupia. Kareena walked the finale for Manish Malhotra though Saif and Kareena were out of bounds for conversation with anyone but Karan Johar. KJo, btw, hosts ‘Kouture with Karan’ especially for NDTV at ICW. Ranbir Kapoor, walking the ramp another day for...
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5 Feb

The Whole Six Yards

PAKISTAN: COMEBACK OF SARI The sari disappeared in Pakistan after Zia declared it un-Islamic. But it’s back, in the trousseaus of Pak girls, and as formal wear. ( Published in Outlook India, April 30, 2007) Que Sera Sari * Saris are once again enjoying a revival in Pakistan Earlier, prominent women like Fatima Jinnah, Begum Liaqat Ali, Nusrat Bhutto wore saris unapologetically. * Saris faded from view when Gen Zia officially declared that they were “un-Islamic”. * Today they are increasingly being worn by women who want to make a statement of rebellion against Islamisation. * Young women also wear it as a statement of independence and individuality Indian TV soaps have helped the revival of the sari in Pakistan So has the fashion for elaborate bridal-wear...
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5 Feb

Flaming Orange on the Border

Between love and hate, there’s fashion. Will politics learn from it? (Published in Outlook India Feb 6, 2010) Almost every Indo-Pak cultural relationship walks the thin line between love and hate. Indian films are adored, but all hell breaks loose if one takes an anti-Pakistan slant. Cricket matches between the two generate huge excitement, but a defeat leads to torn-down billboards and burnt effigies. Cricketing ties turn sour when the ipl decides to keep out Pakistani players—and love for Shahrukh Khan soars to an all-time high here when he defends Pakistani cricketers on TV. One little-noticed aspect of the relationship, however, is marked by a serene consistency—fashion ties. Pakistani brands like Sana Safinaz have, according to reports, sold out within an hour of...
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29 Jan

Another fashion council for Pakistan: PFC registered!

Setting a new record for a country with the most fashion councils is Pakistan as CEO Triple E, Mr Arshad Siddiqui, has registered a council of his own under the title 'Pakistan Fashion Council'. "This council will be for all designers of Pakistan as well as people associated with the fashion industry such as stylists, journalists, etc," Mr Siddiqui spoke to me from Islamabad where he is hosting PFW's first project, Islamabad Fashion Week. "Some people (established designers) have been treating fashion as their personal jaageer (property) and this is an attempt to make it accessible to all." He furthered that Tariq Amin had been appointed CEO of the council for three years and memberships were open for all designers, established and...
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16 Jan

Pakistan in Vogue, again!

Thanks to Jemima Khan, Pakistan gets another worthy mention in Vogue, this time in the January edition of British Vogue. Mentioned as one of the recommended shopper's stops in Islamabad, Jemima puts Maharaja Handicrafts in Super Market down as a must visit. I have to agree that Maharaja has always been an essential stop-over in Islamabad but who would have thought - in their widest dreams - that it would get an honourable space in the revered pages of Vogue. Me-thinks the fashion councils should get in touch with Jemima to help push a cause for Pakistani fashion since she used to dabble in a bit of designing when she was in Pakistan and she can liaison effectively. It could actually...
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15 Jan

Is style affordable in Pakistan?

Fabric is. Fashion isn’t (Instep Today, The News 15.1.2011) While having lunch at Aylanto last week I noticed a pair of legs walk in and they were no ordinary pair of legs. Clad in opaque black tights crowned at the bum with a tight belted mini-dress, these legs were of the fashionable variety. Needless to say the woman wore boots; high heeled, spiked patent leather boots. I spotted another similar specimen at Butler’s the other evening. A tall, rather Amazonian woman walked in wearing very well tailored, high waisted trousers, heels (despite her towering height) and she wore her long hair in a casual knot somewhere down the middle of her back. Another fashion statement. They’re all over the place. Sometime in winter – approximately...
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7 Dec

Peshawer Fashion Week: No Joke!!

A fashion show that actually took place in Peshawer not too long ago! More fodder for foreign press! Well what d’ya know! Turns out the text message doing the rounds this weekend could actually be true! Peshawer Fashion Week could actually be well on its way, hot on the heels of Fashion Pakistan Week, PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, Bridal Couture Week and the upcoming, Islamabad Fashion Week! Apparently (though nothing is for sure yet) Peshawer Fashion Week is being sponsored by Khyber TV, a television channel that obviously wants to inject some glam regional news on its headlines. And it will be held within the slightly liberal areas left in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Um, are there...
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5 Dec

The Styling of Bridal Couture Week

The best thing about BCW styling was that all three days were assigned to three different hair and makeup artists. Depilex styled day one, Khawar Riaz the next and Tony & Guy the last. But if that was the best thing then the Shahzad Raza style segment, pushed into the schedule by sponsors (of which the stylist is brand ambassador), was undoubtedly the worst. Brides of Dracula? Ather Shahzad models were designed to boast the stylist’s skills in hair flair but what they presented were different ways to wear wigs, hair extensions, add-ons etc. None of the styling was natural, which is what it should have been and the models ended up looking like brides of Dracula. The...
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5 Dec

Runway Brides

Style 360 in collaboration with J&S hosted a much-needed Bridal Couture Week in Lahore (Dawn Images Dec 5, 2010) Reema walks for HSY bridals This is not the first time a stage for bridal fashion has been put up in Pakistan. India’s Bridal Asia was imported once and Bridal Waves upheld itself for two seasons before fizzling out. Veet’s regular ‘Celebration of Beauty’ shows border on bridal clothing too however Bridal Couture Week, held last weekend in Lahore, can be appreciated as the first event aimed to provide a cohesive, sustainable platform for Pakistan’s mammoth bridal industry. The three-day ‘week’ had teething problems, expectedly, but there was nothing that can’t be fixed with a little planning. The only question...
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29 Nov

BCW: the press that had other pressing issues :)

The ludicrousness of the situation has me getting this racking laugh out of my system before I pen my review of Bridal Couture Week for Dawn. I flew out for the event because I have been going on and on about the significance of a bridal platform for Pakistan and I wanted to justify my nagging scribbles. So there I was, in the chilly city of Lahore driving out to the Royal Palm for a press con that was apparently introducing visiting designer Muzaffar Ali from India to us. Great. Time check. I was running half an hour late. Damn. Apparently not enough damn. The Summit Hall was empty half an hour into the scheduled time, with just a couple of...
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