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19 Oct

This brand-wagon is caught up in a traffic jam!

Gul Ahmed marketing is usually impressive. From a brand that once put up posters advertising new collections (remember how everyone wanted to buy the prints displayed in the posters?), they now have thick, professionally compiled catalogues (not to mention the uber-impressive website) and these catalogues are available in over three-dozen stand alone Ideas stores nationwide. These are big numbers we are talking. Big numbers for a very big brand. Textile Giant. The launch of the Gul Ahmed autumn/winter collection, however, did nothing to substantiate how much the brand has evolved. It was one in a haystack of ‘red carpet’ events that take place these days. An event that invited every possible person alive to come and see a collection being modeled in...
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10 Oct

Fashion weeks: Fashion’s road less travelled

(Dawn October 10) This September the frenzy of excitement amongst designers was hard to hold down. The latest issue of American Vogue had hit the stands, featuring two-pages on Fashion Pakistan Week 2, and understandably not a single copy was left unturned (read unsold). Any fashion follower would know the value of Vogue coverage; fashion fortunes have been made by a mere mention in its sacred pages. And while this coverage did not entirely look at Pakistani fashion’s most glamorous angle — inevitably bringing in the Taliban — it did suggest that Pakistan has another, more liberal angle than what the world is used to seeing. Carla Power, the writer who specialises in the study of Muslim societies, suggested as much with...
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9 Oct

HDIL India Couture Week’s FAQs, Day Two

Day Two: October 7 Show one: Couture Jewelry starring Queenie, Raj Mahtani and Maheep Kapoor Q: Did anyone understand why the runway was constructed like a piece out of a rubic A beautiful Raveena Tandon. But why? cube, with poor models consistently having to walk up and down without tripping? A: No, it was inexplicable. It was a horrible set with terrible neon lighting. Queenie  opened with impact but then the show moved into an OTT on bling (and why Raveena Tandon agreed to model is something only industry insiders would know) ending with socialites walking out for their friend Maheep Kapoor. Stars and starlets filled the runways but the likes of Chunky Pandey had a child in his lap, who...
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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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30 Sep

What washed out fashion week

Instep Sept 26, 2010 The bright lights and vivid colours of fashion weeks have worn out and washed out, leaving behind a very tired, dull and lacklustre fashion industry. From April (when FPW2 concluded fashion week season) to date, there has hardly been any inspiring activity and it’s just not the socio-political dynamics of the country that has caused this dreariness. Designers, it appears, are burnt out/out of steam after participating in fashion weeks galore and the only road to recovery for them seems to be foreign trips. For shows, exhibitions or inspirations, who knows how the wheels of creative minds work? What we do know is that they’re certainly not working on new collections as the PFDC & Sunsilk Fashion Week,...
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19 Sep

Take a vow!

(Dawn Images, Sept 19, 2010) It’s time someone stepped in to revive and reinvent the multi-million rupee bridal industry in Pakistan.   The biggest market for fashion in Pakistan isn’t the show. It’s the shaadi. With Pakistan’s fashion conscious middle class falling into a slim minority, the practical window to high end fashion - for most women - is still wedding wear. They can tally off designers for dholkis, mehndis, the wedding/baraat day, valima, trousseau etc even if they still go to tailors for everyday clothing. Weddings are what uphold the sartorial snob value here even though critics resist accepting bridal clothing as fashion. To be fair, bridals cannot be slotted as ‘fashion’ in any contemporary sense of the word. They are repetitive, often...
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16 Sep

Fashion Pakistan elects a new board

With three years up for Fashion Pakistan's first elected board completing term, elections were held last month and finally a newly elected board appears to have been put in place. The transition wasn't exactly smooth, with rumours of lawsuits, disagreements and rivalries washing in every now and then, but it appears that the voting has been conducted and the new board has been sworn in. Though nothing has been made official, news doing the rounds are that Shamaeel replaces Maheen Khan as Chairperson and Amir Adnan replaces Tammy Haq as CEO. Tammy and Rizwan Beyg, who were at the helm of organizing FP's two fashion weeks, are now nowhere in the picture. Rizwan Beyg apparently did not even contest. Other than...
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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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3 Sep

Ramadan trends: the key word for Ramadan is sophistication

(Dawn, The Review) Fashion loves to weave itself around every occasion and that includes the month of Ramadan, which brings out every woman’s perpetual desire to upgrade her wardrobe. Blame it on the iftaar parties that demand a different perspective on your personal style or the run-up to Eid, which brings out one’s ceremonial side even in hard times. This is a month in which we buy clothes, we donate clothes and we try to ensure that a festive spirit, in one way or another, touches everyone around us. Fashion statements made in Ramadan also digress from the usual emphasis on flaunting labels and making OTT style statements. Clothing becomes more sublime, less risqué, more modest and certainly a tad bit...
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