The Lux Style Awards fashion nominations highlight the industry’s strongest contenders as well as some fresh, new game changers.
(Dawn Images: 20.5.2012)
Model of the Year (Female)
Nominees: Amna Ilyas, Ayyan Ali, Cybil Chowdhry, Mehreen Syed, Rabia Butt
One of the most popular categories sees Amna Ilyas upgraded from Emerging Talent (2011) to a nominee in the race for Model of the Year (Female) this year. But the competition is tough as she’s up against Cybil and Rabia, the strongest contenders. Ayyan and Mehreen are just as popular though one feels Ayyan loses out on the runway as Mehreen does in print.
Winning streak: For striking the perfect balance between print and runway and for being uncompromisingly focused on fashion alone, Rabia Butt may walk away with her second LSA for Best Model this year.
Model of the Year (Male)
Nominees: Abbas Jafri, Iffi Zafar, Kashif Deewan, Waleed Khalid
Male models seldom get much attention but it is safe to say that Abbas Jafri made a breakthrough with his ‘Jesus’ look this year. Iffi Zafar, Waleed Khaid and Kashif Deewan (the latter of whom it was a challenge to identify) lag far behind and surprisingly, none of the Ocular models made the cut though surely Mohammad should have qualified.
Winning streak: For the standard of his body of work (pun intended) runway presence and Patrick Petitjean avatar, this award should easily go to Abbas Jafri.
Best Emerging Talent in Fashion
Nominees: Akif Mehmood (Designer), Azeem Sani (Styling & Photography), Mohsin Ali (Designer), Nadir Firoz Khan & Maha Burney @ NFK Photography (Styling & Photography), Zaheer Abbas (Designer).
It’s an exciting line-up, laced with game-changing designers and the very fresh Nadir Firoz Khan & Maha Burney and Azeem Sani. Not many people will be familiar with these stylist/photographers but the beauty of this category is that it always injects young and relatively unknown energy to the industry.
Winning streak: Despite being challenged by both Akif Mehmood and Zaheer Abbas, Mohsin Ali has a very good chance of winning this time.
Best Fashion Photographer
Nominees: Akif Ilyas, Ayaz Anis, Fayyaz Ahmed, Guddu Shani, Rizwan ul Haq
Judging by the interesting mix of the artistic (Rizwan), commercially creative (Shani), intellectual (Fayyaz) and edgy (Ayaz) it is surprising to see Akif Ilyas qualify in a field dominated by excellence. His work may be vast but it is inconsistent and he may be considered a sound technical hand but certainly not a visionary.
Winning streak: Any one of the four top nominees can emerge king of the shutterbugs and while Rizwan ul Haq does remain unparalleled in his vision, it would be encouraging if voters broadened their horizon and awarded Fayyaz Ahmed this year.
Best Hair and Make up Artist
Nominees: Akif Ilyas, Creative Team at Nabila, Maram Azmat, Raana Khan, Shammal Quraishi at Toni&Guy
Shammal Quraishi and Raana Khan have really proven their worth and are valuable additions to the industry. Maram Azmat has done some outstanding work for magazines last year and Nabila’s Creative Team took bridal styling to another level at PFDC’s first Bridal Week. Beyond all this excellence, one feels that Akif Ilyas, again, falls short on vision and it is perplexing how he could supersede someone who has a creative as well as technical handle, like Rukaiya Adamjee.
Winning streak: Always a difficult category to judge, Shammal Quraishi has a very high chance of winning this year.
Achievement in Fashion Design – Pret
Nominees: Iman Ahmed @ Body Focus, Kamiar Rokni, Khaadi Khaas, Sanam Chaudhri, Sania Maskatiya
With the exception of Iman Ahmed (who did not show last year and has been judged on her presence in print and retail), Kamiar Rokni, Khaadi Khaas and Sania Maskatiya have very strong fashion week collections to their credit whereas Sanam Chaudhri impressed critics with the prelude to her Bitten collection, showcased at the Veet Celebration of Beauty last year. All five designers retail in Lahore as well as Karachi.
Winning streak: The House of Kamiar Rokni (with Tia Noon) should win this category for having the courage to create the trend-setting, colour blocked Minimalist collection.
Achievement in Fashion Design – Luxury Pret
Nominees: Adnan Pardesy, Ali Xeeshan, Khadija Shah @ Elan, Sania Maskatiya, Shehla Chatoor
Luxury Pret is a category that defines red carpet glamour and high-end sophistication and under that umbrella Khadija Shah and Shehla Chatoor remain the strongest nominees. Adnan Pardesy showed two very strong collections and has a handle on customized, detailed garments but he lacks the influence to make them holistically effective. Sania Maskatiya made a memorable breakthrough in October last year but 2012 is definitely her stronger. One wonders how and why Ali Xeeshan – whose aesthetic inches towards theatrics and kitsch – was given preference over Shamaeel who showed two very strong collections last year and has an indisputable strong hold on luxury prêt. Sana and Safinaz are surprisingly missing too.
Winning streak: For creating traditional silhouettes just as effortlessly as western and for having an unfaltering commitment to luxury, Shehla Chatoor should win.
Achievement in Fashion Design – Lawn
Nominees: Deepak Perwani for Orient, Khaadi for Khaadi, Sana Safinaz for Sana Safinaz, Umar Sayeed for Al-Karam, Wardah Saleem for Wardah Saleem
It would be very easy to keep commercialism and sales as the deciding factor in this category but one has to remember that excellence awards should be handed to designers who push the creative envelope and in this case, designers to push fabrics towards fashion with the right campaigns, concepts and of course prints.
Winning streak: They may not have the highest numbers but they have the most loyal, devout following. For visibility and for setting trends nationwide, Sana and Safinaz are quite unrivaled.
Best High Street Brand
Nominees: Daaman, Fnk Asia, Generation, Khaadi, Sheep
Thankfully the ‘Best Retail Brand’ category has been renamed ‘Best High Street Brand’, a far more appropriate title. Sheep, one feels, has lost the plot and its designs are suffering as are Generation’s. FnkAsia is consistently inconsistent and Khaadi has become too predictable.
Winning streak: For Maleeha Chaudhry’s fashionable persona that translates so well to her collections at Daaman and for the expansion Daaman has seen recently, it should pick up an award this year.
Best Menswear Designer
Nominees: Fahad Hussayn, Hassan Sheheryar Yasin, Ismail Farid, Jazib Qamar, Omar Farooq @ Republic
Jazib Qamar is a welcome addition to Pakistan’s pool of menswear designers as is Fahad Hussayn, ever popular amongst the youth. However, previous winners HSY and Ismail Farid face very strong competition from the consistently impressive Omar Farooq of Republic.
Winning streak: It has to be Republic this year; Omar Farooq has done the shows and the shoots and he cuts the mustard very sharply.