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17 Apr

The ‘highway’ to high street

How several well placed collaborations have the potential to diversify an elitist face of fashion. (Published in Dawn Images, April 7 2013) They say we’re a poor nation full of very rich people. You could say the same for fashion. For the longest time Pakistan’s fashion industry has been a poor and disorganised place full of very wealthy individuals. For years designers have been content with buttering their bread with bridals, which have paid for exotic vacations, luxury lifestyles and high-end personal wardrobes. Rarely have Pakistan’s ‘successful’ labels actually invested in the expansion of their own brands. Khaadi, Sania Maskatiya, Amir Adnan, Maria B and Karma are amongst the few exceptions that have managed to balance commerce with critical acclaim. Sana Safinaz and...
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26 Mar

Skip to end April and the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week

I have jump-skipped to the last event in April because PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, scheduled to take place in the last week in Lahore, promises to be the best fashion week in Pakistan. Ever. Here's why: On the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week red carpet last year: Humaima Malik, Meera and Reema. Lahore is beautiful this time of the year and being the heart and hub of culture, it's where star sightings are most frequent. The lineup (at least part of the line up that I have drawn up by speaking to designers randomly) includes Sana Safinaz, Shehla Chatoor, Sania Maskatiya, Maheen Karim (who'll be showing twice, once with Bonanza and the second time with her own western luxury...
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18 Mar

Aaney Wala April…1/4

Maheen Khan's high street label Gulabo was a treat to see in April for Spring/Summer 2012 but she didn't show in the Fall/Winter 2012 Fashion Week. A crazy busy month is coming up for fashion. April will be heavy on events if the political climate allows a clear security forecast. And I do hope the country remains stable irrespectively, for sanity’s sake more than anything else. These past two months have been an emotional roller coaster taking off from news channels and after two days of relative calm we witnessed bloodshed today in Peshawer and Karachi. But back to April, if things remain relatively sane on the security front then the calendar proposes a style-studded month featuring...
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4 Feb

Society sartorial: Sanam Chaudhri

Sanam Chaudhri-Sheikh Nicholas Kirkwood, Spring/Summer 2012 Sanam Chaudhri-Sheikh is fairly low profile, in fact she was pretty much unknown in Lahore at least until she showcased her acclaimed florescent collection (in Karachi) in which Mathira 'revealed' a bit more than Sanam had bargained for. And then came the Shibori collection this year; that edgy splash of white and blue tied up with a flash of poppy red. Two collections and a constant stock at Labels later, everyone knows (or should know) who Sanam Chaudhri is. There's another reason. This young designer carries style effortlessly. It's easy to pull on the Jimmy Choos, Manolo Blahniks or Louboutins (and we love to be branded from head to...
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5 Dec

A touch of Shibori: Sanam Chaudhri

My Winter 2012 Wardrobe Sanam Chaudhri's fashion week collection featuring the art of shibori is available at Labels now. If you follow fashion then you may have followed Sanam Chaudhri's fashion week glory where she showed and wowed her audience with a shibori inspired collection for the turning season. I haven't seen what has gone out to Labels yet (though I do know the collection was available this Monday) but this is what Sanam made for me and it's just right. I love the richness of the shibori-printed satin cowl that acts as a scarf of the pleated black linen tunic. It gives a solid block of black as well as a bright pop of blue....
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27 Oct

Fashion Week’s Strong Suit

The simplicity of Fashion Pakistan Week throws a spotlight on its main objective (Published in Dawn Images 27 October, 2012) Wardha Saleem's Folk Play The success of a fashion week doesn’t lie in the entertainment value it generates. Celebrity ‘show-stoppers’, musical performances, innovative choreography and similar attention seekers are all headline grabbing gimmicks that compliment a good collection but cannot ensure one. And the success of any fashion week in the world falls upon two elements: the level of content it showcases and the amount of business it manages to generate for designers who have the strength of good content. Amongst all the names that showed at Fashion Pakistan Week A/W 2012 this week, designers that impressed with creative ideas...
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24 Oct

FPW A/W 2012: Over to the Hair

While clothing styles trend highest on the list of fashion week priorities, the looks that are created are just as important. And with the involvement of the Toni&Guy team at FPW, the hair certainly did stand out. Leading the team, Saeeda Mandviwalla’s Hair Meets Wardrobe Philosophy was meted out for the first show every day. The idea was to work with the designers to create a look that women could easily adapt to and also, to promote the new range of hair products that will be launching at Toni&Guy in a few months. Sonya Battla's collection was complimented by the sleek and glossy hair. A very Louis Brooks hairdo was designed for Sonya Battla’s segment. The collection was...
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5 Aug

Fashion Pakistan Lounge opens in Dolmen Mall

A quick look at one of Maheen's many aisles. They're not fully stocked and they haven't opened officially yet. But Fashion Pakistan Lounge, after running successfully in Lahore for several years now, has finally opened its second branch in the Dolmen City Mall in Clifton, Karachi. It's biggest competitor, the PFDC Boulevard, which was scheduled to open early this year and we've been seeing the display sign claiming a bold 'Opening Soon' for over a year (ever since the mall opened) is still under construction. But the fashion avenue at Dolmen Mall is looking better and better. The ground floor of the mall has branches of Ego, FnkAsia and Daaman tucked away for casual shoppers. The first floor...
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31 Jul

A fresh restart, for me and fashion too!

I dream of Phuket: Sanam Chaudhri's coconut white collection is a dream of tropical textures. Summer's officially over, in Karachi at least. For me the biggest joy is packing the boys off to school so I have the best part of the day to myself. They sleep early for school, so I have the best part of the night to myself too. I love school and I love new beginnings. It's grade 9 for my elder son, grade 5 for the younger one and a whole new range of possibilities (fashionable of course) for me to explore! The choices in eid clothing are exciting me this year because there is so much ready to wear retail, and that...
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9 Apr

Fashion Pakistan Week 3 day one

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz1z51hgcy8&feature=youtu.be] - I quite felt the buzz on the first day of FPW3. Despite the heat and the long walk to the venue, there was fashion in the air and style in most of the runway shows. In brief: - It was great meeting so many bloggers and twitterers that one encounters in cyberspace but hardly gets to meet. - Depilex's terrible Hair & Makeup at the recently held Showcase made one appreciate Sab's Hair & Make up at FPW3. She really has come a long way and did a great job of creating slick, clean looks for models. - As Karma works with Asmaa Mumtaz, Sanam Chaudhri worked with Ayaz Khan, Rana and Maha Burney for the styling of her show. Ideally each...
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