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18 May

The not-so-simple symphony

(Instep Today, May 18, 2010) I multitask. And I’m pretty good at it as are the millions of women in Pakistan who are successfully juggling their roles as homemakers, professionals, mothers, wives and daughters at the same time. I multitask and have come to accept that I will be substituting for any void in my family’s life – be it driver, maid, sweeper, cook, tutor, therapist, doctor, nurse – sometimes I feel like Vinod Khanna as the one-man-band in Amer Akbar Anthony. It’s a nerve racking, to multi task, sure, but I usually manage to keep the balance. Usually. Except for when one little additional detail is thrown into this already saturated equation. My tailor is that one person who can...
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12 May

Stuff nightmares are made of

Instep, May 10, 2010 Nightmares that haunt me these days are of me, rejecting a potential daughter in law, on the basis of the style she carries. Or fails to carry. Style. It isn’t the kind of thing that makes or breaks marriages but style and the way you wear your clothes does say a lot about the kind of person you are. And as a potential mother in law, I don’t see how I’m going to breath if my boys bring home brides in atrocious joras, nine inch finger nails painted in French manicures (which I associate with gold diggers and blond porn stars) and God forbid, platform shoes. My only consolation is that the boys are young and there is...
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3 May

Whose style is it anyway?

Instep, The News May 3 2010 Pardon me, and I know it’s impolite, but I stare. Correction. I ‘observe’. There’s something in what I do for a living that compels me to observe the way people dress or carry their personal style. And over the last decade or so of consistent observation, I can’t help but slot all the women I’ve been staring at into separate little spaces and slap on labels according to their personal style. And I’m talking about women, mind you, not the anorexic variety of teenagers who hang in their t-shirts as their denims hang loose on their hipbones. Not even girls who believe they’ve hit sartorial maturity when they’re finally allowed to wear saris to their...
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26 Apr

Party poopers: dodging the bullet of personal questions!

The case in point is this. You’ve turned twenty-three and your community starts pestering your mother on why you aren’t getting married. You’re twenty-four and married and your family begins asking when you’ll have a baby. You’re twenty-five, you have a baby who happens to be a daughter and your aunts start (well) wishing you with a son. Most of the times you want to dodge those blessings as you would want to dodge bullets. Matrix style. Don’t you just cringe every time you’re attacked with any one of these questions? “Still single? Oh my god tumhari shaadi nahin huee ab tak?’ from an old classmate you’re meeting after decades. Needless to say she’s the one with the trophy husband and three...
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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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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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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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