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30 Jun

The power of fashion

Leaders: do we care what they wear? Fashion has been a medium through which a person expresses his personality by the outfit he/she opts to wear. And perhaps, it’s this idea of putting yourself out there and making a statement through sartorial choices that appeal the most to politicians worldwide. Since politicians have constantly endeavored to put their best foot forward, their aim to gather support of the masses now surpasses the speeches made and political agendas set. The following are just a handful of politicians who have made fashionable-headlines:   Hina Rabbani Khar Pakistan’s youngest (and prettiest) female Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar came under fire by fashion critiques at home and abroad for her choice of Birkin bag.  At her...
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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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3 May

The ethics of blogging in Pakistan

I’ve been offered money to write an article exactly 3 times in my 15 years as a fashion journalist. Let me rephrase that. In my years as a journalist, a total of 3 designers/brands have offered to pay me hefty money for writing and publishing an article about them. The compensation has varied from 60K to 1.2 million. As difficult as it was to say no (since I was making peanuts as a freelance journalist) I refused all three times. The ethics of journalism were very clear; accepting money and writing ‘paid content’ was equivalent to taking a bribe; it was professional suicide.   Unfortunately blogging trends in Pakistan have blurred the lines very effectively. It’s become acceptable to get paid for...
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27 Oct

The Pakistan of Homeland

Counting the cultural gaffes in Season 4 of Homeland which portrays Pakistan in a very unfamiliar light…   SPOILER ALERT! The CIA has just discovered, to its utter shock and disbelief, that the ISI faked the death of Taliban terrorist Haissam Haqqani in a drone attack in Waziristan and then killed Sandy Bachman, CIA agent stationed in Islamabad, to throw them off track. The big question is WHY? Our question, however, is HOW a series, with a mammoth budget and intensive research, could get the details of Pakistan’s landscape so wrong? We’re not talking politics, conspiracies or intrigue; we’re talking cultural guffaws that are very hard to ignore if you want to take the story seriously. How easy it is to access the US Embassy! The...
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18 Aug

Fall/Winter 2013 fashion activation ON

Once Ramzan and Eid come and go, there begin two types of hysterias in Pakistani fashion: the wedding season and fashion week season. Wedding season is when wedding-goers start hopping from one event to another and fashionistas start hop-scotching and navigating through wedding ceremonies and fashion events. It is so important to be at the right place, in the social pages! Sometimes it feels like Page 3 drives social activity and not the other way around! But after a long summer lull, end August and September is when fashionable things start 'heating up'. Summer in Pakistan does not contribute to style and sadly, neither did the Lux Style Awards (July 2013), which looked more like a style crime scene on the...
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7 Jun

The way we are.

How many flags of the world can you spot on this Adidas shirt? Pakistan features more than once. One week in China has made me sad. It is upsetting me boundlessly that a country so big and so populated and that acquired freedom a year after we did should have progressed so rapidly and so independently. And so much. Compared to us. As a people I feel we are the same: there are so many similarities, good and bad. But the two glaring differences are that a) the governance here is admirable whereas we are a  gravity defying state of free fall and b) there is an eagerness to work hard and progress here in China. Back home...
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14 Aug

Ride the truck with Gulabo

Gulabo by Maheen Khan and her team of young and energetic fashion students is a brand that celebrates every leitmotif of being Pakistani and it was all too expected to launch a special Independence Day collection. While kurtas and tops at Gulabo have been going green for a while now - my personal favourite being the kurta featuring a print of the Urdu alphabet haroof-e-tahajji - this collection of tees has been devised with Independence Day in mind, especially....
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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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