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13 Apr

The Shah Rukh Khan experience – Part 2

  In conversation with SRK…the father, the friend.       Three hours and thirty minutes after Shah Rukh Khan had entered the premises, apologizing for being late, did I manage to finally sit down with him for an exclusive. To his credit, he had cancelled his 9 o’ clock flight and so had more time on his hands. Our conversation, slotted for a quick ten-minutes, continued beyond the allotted time despite his publicist constantly gesturing him to cut it short. Here’s an extract of the tête-à-tête, which became deliciously informal as we moved away from harsh lights of TV cameras, and found a quiet space to speak about things closest to his heart…   Aamna Haider Isani: The way you manage to take out time for...
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4 Apr

An open letter to fashion designers

By Aamna Haider Isani   The fashion industry has come a long, long way but there are miles to go before you can rest.   It’s April 3.   Today is a couple of weeks after the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week (PSFW) concluded in Lahore and about four days before Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW) is scheduled to kick off in Karachi. Together, both these fashion weeks stand for the two credible, fashion forward platforms in the country. Other fashion weeks have emerged all over but they – and I don’t say this enough – do not serve fashion.   Deepak Perwani made a much needed comment on the recent streak of social activism in Karachi, where the words FIX IT were stenciled across town,...
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30 Mar

Travelling with Tapu

By Aamna Haider Isani   Fashion photographer, RJ in the Dark Room, academic and overall persona grata, Tapu Javeri also turned out to be quite an ‘attractive’ travel companion on our recent trip to Dubai. Here’s what he attracted…   “Oh my God, are you Brandon?” a young girl with an American accent gushed, as we waited for our boarding passes at the Emirates counter at the Karachi Airport. Tapu, Fareshteh (my friend and much-needed Encyclopedia on all things SRK) and I were travelling to Dubai as I had to interview Shah Rukh Khan, on a promotional trip for Fan, and Tapu was to do the needful visual coverage. We were going to meet the world’s biggest megastar but Tapu, it turned out (with...
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9 Mar

PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, coming up!

  The PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2016 line-up promises some sharp and cutting edge style.   By Aamna Haider Isani     The PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week kicks off very soon and it reveals a line-up that promises some sharp and cutting edge style for women always on the lookout for trends.   The PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2016 lineup   Now in its eighth year, #PSFW (the fourteenth fashion week organised by the PFDC) has been monumental in starting and consistently maintaining the need for seasonal collections to streamline trends and establish market leaders in the country. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that almost every major designer has shown on this platform. This year’s event will feature 16 of Pakistan’s biggest fashion brands and 11 textile brands that will...
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7 Mar

A new bridge over the border

Shaan-e-Pakistan is emerging as a regular event that aims to bring the very best of music, food and fashion from Pakistan and India on one platform. There is, however, a small spanner in the works…   By Aamna Haider Isani   The strongest bridge connecting Pakistan and India has been culture, which takes fashion, music, television, theatre, food and film under its wrap with the aim to promote a common point of interest. For years efforts have been made on both sides of the border, with India welcoming Pakistani actors and musicians in various realms of entertainment and Pakistan initiating collaborative events, especially those using fashion as the hook.   The Carnival de Couture, organized more than a decade ago in Karachi, comes to mind as...
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26 Feb

Sania Maskatiya’s 5-year journey to the top!

Sania Maskatiya talks about digital prints, plagiarism and rumours surrounding her brand!   by Manal Faheem Khan   Sania Maskatiya immediately dismisses my claim when I ask her what it's like being at the top of the Pakistani fashion industry. "I wouldn't say we're on top, there are so many other established brands out there," she modestly brushes off the suggestion. Her impact on the industry, in five short years, is nevertheless undeniable. Sania opened a flagship store in Karachi when high street retail was limited to a handful of brands; her success motivated so many to follow in her footsteps. But it's refreshing to talk to a designer, who despite so many achievements - multiple stores, Lux Style Awards, Woolmark Prize nominations, local and...
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11 Feb

The world for women (according to Pakistani Morning Shows)

  Morning show hosts have now acquired a status beyond normal humans. They are now motivational speakers, cooks, singers, wedding planners, therapists, social workers- they are one of the most revered personalities on television. Therefore, what they say matters to a lot of people. And usually, they will say things that they think matter to others.   Naturally, a person of such power and influence will use his or her time to spread important messages to women (this is an understood stereotype that morning shows are usually watched by women because only men work and have jobs.) Therefore, I narrowed down some things that seem to be on the top of everyone’s minds on these shows.   Raitas. You know, that tasty yoghurt dip that...
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28 Jan

Red Alert: there’s a new bus in town!

Have you hopped on the Lahore Sightseeing Bus yet?   The shiny, red bus brightens up Lahore’s landscape like a beacon screaming for attention. It’s a double-decker, much like any double-decker tourist bus in the world, and promises the same kind of experience. Lahore does have a wealth of landmarks, like centuries’ old Mughal architecture (obviously the focal point of the tours) and catching the grandeur from the bus top actually helps you time travel back to an era when emperors and warriors rode on elephants. The aerial view does allow you a fresh perspective.   The logistics: the tours embark from Gaddafi Stadium (a name that makes us wonder why we still call it that) and for PKR 200 you can book an...
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27 Jan

Destination: Namak Mandi

  A trip to Peshawer revolves around the infamous and somewhat legendary food that has survived years of devastation in the city   Almost sixteen years after we had last visited the historic city of Peshawer, my family and I decided to take a detour (on our way back from Murree) and check out how much the city had changed over the years; it would be an education for the children, if nothing more. It turned out to be an eye opener for all of us. Peshawer was a city ravaged by the impact of war as well as the tumultuous Torkham border. We expected desolation, depression and starkness that usually is the byproduct of the kind of experiences the city had undergone....
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