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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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1 Apr

Colour coding summer

(Published in The Review in Images, Dawn)   A glorious summer sun has already started washing the harshness of winter away from many parts of the country and while winter is experimentally exciting for fashion in the western world, here in Pakistan we look forward to summer with the same enthusiasm. Not only is it the longest season of the year, it is just as versatile. Summer hikes through the blazing heat and swims through monsoon downpours. In most parts of the country the atmosphere gets humid enough to pass for a sauna while on coastal shores, it blows in a gentle summer breeze. Cottons, lawn, voiles, muslin and even chiffons and lightweight silks work well with all these variations. This versatile weather...
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31 Mar

Sara Shahid relocates Sublime in Karachi

Summer blues: Me, Sara Shahid, Fareshteh Aslam and Fathma Amir at the launch. Sara Shahid of the Lahore based label Sublime flew down to Karachi to launch her brand of clothing at Labels.  She has been stocking at another multi brand fashion boutique – The Designers – for several years but I think Labels will be a much more lucrative and appropriate option for the minimalist label. While The Designers has been great for formal, wedding wear, Labels has been synonymous with the working woman’s wardrobe, whether it is designed for ‘on the job’ or formal evening clothing. Sublime fits the bill perfectly. Also, the higher footfall at Labels will ensure better success for the brand. [caption id=""...
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30 Mar

PS: Sana Safinaz lawn

1. Many women have written in to comment on how disorganized the exhibition was. 2. Many others have written to point out that the 'women in burqa with a wad of fifty thousand rupees' was back the next day, selling the joras in black. Even they were sold out within an hour. 3. Many, many women have been asking whether there are any, absolutely any, prints left over. If SS decide to go in reprint, you will find out here!...
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30 Mar

Lawn with the wind!

Claimer: None of these events are fictitious and a resemblance to any person – dead or alive – is absolutely intentional. However, let children be warned that lawn exhibitions are attended by professional fashion followers and in no way should minors be brought into the style arena. This is not entertainment; this is serious business! I drove past The Imperial at precisely eight thirty on Saturday morning, March 20, the day Sana and Safinaz’s lawn exhibition was to begin. There was another hour or so for the gates to open but women and wallets (meaning men) had started assembling outside, facing the big wooden gates like a crop of sunflowers leaning towards the sun. Talking about the sun, it was...
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24 Mar

Babe Watch

March 24, 2010 As promised last week, here’s a round up of models – old and new – that I’ve been observing on fashion week catwalks of recent. Some of these girls redefine the very term ‘fashionably feline’ whereas others belong to the variety that I wish was now extinct! Rabia Butt wears Kamiar Rokni at the TRC/Ensemble show Who are Pakistan’s best models these days, you must be wondering, and after seeing so many of them up close, walking by on fashion week catwalks, I have a concrete answer! Rabia Butt, Fayeza Ansari and Neha Ahmad have what it takes and here’s why...
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16 Mar

On the prowl!

How many fashion models are catwalking into television, consequently stripping fashion of its glamorous mystique! When I sit at a fashion show I do not see ‘models strutting their stuff down the ramp’ as so many people like to call it. I see rows of disgruntled daughters-in-law, rebellious siblings, abused wives, estranged lovers and in some unfortunate instances even housemaids, helpers and domestic staff. Such is the line up of Pakistani fashion models. Most of them are all these characters because thanks to their greater involvement in television serials, they are acknowledged by their acting profile rather than their modeling. Almost every fashion model, with the exception of a handful, has stuck her finger in too many pies. The result is...
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4 Mar

Why do women move in herds when it comes to style?

Published in Instep, The News on March 2, 2010 Let’s face it: as women in Pakistan, most of us are not really encouraged to take individual decisions in our lives. We live in the protective shadow of either our parents or our husbands and those of us who manage to break away (by means of a foreign education perhaps) are eventually considered social outcasts or worse, rebels. There’s hope for us if we’re effectively lured back into the roost (the most desirable lasso being a suitable boy) but if we blow the candles on our twenty fifth birthday cake in a bachelorette pad in London, as our global salt and pepper of friends pop a cork with us, we’re mentally crossed...
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4 Mar

Forget your raashee, what’s your pedigree?

Published in Instep, The News on Feb 15 2010 An old friend of mine once hilariously remarked about the pedigree of a certain blond fashion designer, the kind you usually see in red nails and cheetah prints or those who freakishly resemble birds of prey. She took offense, let there be no doubt about that, but it did invoke this question over and over again: do human beings, women especially, have pedigree or is it a word used exclusively for canines? I think they do, especially the blond types that think their status is gauged by the size of diamonds they wear. They may have pedigree, just very little class. You may have the money to plaster foreign labels on every item...
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