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26 Nov

You just don’t get it, do you?

I don’t like giving explanations over what I write and this is not a justification merely an elaboration on why I think Saba Ansari of Sab’s Salon (or anyone for that matter, including Khawar Riaz) should not be assigned every fashion week or show that happens in the country. And I am posting this because contrary to popular belief in the fashion industry, I have absolutely nothing personal against Saba. On the contrary I have immense respect for her for having the ambition and courage to break out of a commercial whirlpool into fashion. As far as I know it, her salon in Karachi does incredibly well and she did not need to step into fashion; she merely did it to acquire respect in another genre, a task she believed would be accomplished by styling fashion week. Good for her. Fashion got another stylist and I applaud her initiative.

Saba’s styling however, did not get rave reviews (ref: Alexandra Senes’ interview in the Libas International edition after PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in Feb 2010). Fashion weeks are organized to establish trends in clothes as well as styling. Is the look for the next season nude and natural, Goth, florescent, rich and luxurious…what is the latest in hair trends? Fashion weeks all over the world look into this. Due to the nascence of Pakistani fashion weeks we cannot ensure this level of trendsetting, perhaps, but we can at least set off on the yellow brick road as opposed to taking the highway to hell. Add-ons – like wigs, fake fringes, plumes, etc – are used to a minimum internationally and styling of fashion week collections is kept closest to what can be established as a trend as naturally and widely as possible. The high definition dramatics are usually restricted to couture shows which require elaboration. If Saba did have a vision for style trends, then she should have spoken to the media about it, released a PR perhaps and brought attention to it.

As she did none of the above, Saba was commissioned show after show because she had a hard working team and was easy to work with. Fair enough. Two topmost stylists – Tariq Amin and Nabila – natural choices for fashion week shows (no one is as tuned to trends than them) were never asked. From what I understand, Tariq was never asked as it was assumed he would charge too much and Nabila wasn’t asked although she would have done it gratis had she been given authority to style all shows. This is what I have gathered after numerous discussions on the issue. Saba was given complete autonomy so I really don’t understand where the problem lied.

My problem, however, does not lie with Saba Ansari styling one show after another but it lies with the fact that no one else is being given the chance. Why is Depilex not involved? It has the team, the infrastructure and the technical skills. If two stylists – Saba and Khawar – could be delegated women and men respectively then why couldn’t different stylists be delegated different days. Surely all the styling teams at Depilex, Rizwana Khan (who won the LSA for Best Hair & Makeup this year), Ather Shahzad Salon, Maraam Abroo, Guddu Shani, Rukaiya’s and countless others are equally sound (if not more) when it comes to following briefs? Have they all suddenly become impossible or inaccessible?

As an industry we need to stop taking things so personally and start thinking a little more professionally. I would also have to ask Saba’s loyal fans to stop sending me extremely personal abusive, very insulting and furthermore almost threatening letters! A platform like fashion week is an opportunity for everyone to grow on. It has to be equal opportunity and not singular monopoly. And if Saba has anything to do with the hate mail I am receiving (I guess I’ll never know) then it is fashion’s biggest loss to have given a platform so grand to someone who thinks so small.

The Haute Team

This article is written by one of our competent team members, who probably didn't have enough to say to own up to it.