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19 Jul

A Man for All Reasons

  Humayun Saeed talks about work, women, the scandals that follow him and his upcoming films that will jolt him out of the comfort zone of romantic hero, as seen in Bin Roye.   Humayun Saeed’s house shares an insight to the star he is; at least his den – in the basement of his home in a posh Karachi locale – does just that. You walk down to be welcomed by a wall decorated with awards; that’s a mantle that exhibits his successes as an actor. One room boasts a massive billiards table; it’s a room lined with articles, shoots and features that have celebrated his existence over the years. His lounge, another palatial space decorated in shades of wood with the...
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27 Jun

Another Quirky Collection from Mahin Hussain

  Mahin Hussain speaks her mind on the brand-obsession amongst Pakistani women and how her collections are usually too edgy for everyone.   Mahin Hussain’s aesthetic is faultless, especially if you’re looking for unique, stand out pieces. It’s no wonder that her clutches have been seen in the hands of celebrities, fashionistas and stateswomen alike. One of her most popular designs, the Sequinned Flag clutch, was spotted in the hands of Dr Maleeha Lodhi on her visit to meet UN Secretary General Ban-Ki moon; Pakistan’s Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has also proudly carried it. The clutch is quite a star but not bigger than it’s creator. Anyone who has seen her Hundred and Thousand Rupee Note clutches will know that she’s...
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2 Jun

Talking to Khadija Shah

Khadija Shah (Designer, Élan and Creative Director at Sapphire)   1. You’ve come a long way from being an exclusive, limited couturier to one of the most celebrated bridal wear and lawn designers in Pakistan as well as the Creative Director of Sapphire, handling their ready to wear and fabric divisions. How important has this transition been for the growth of your brand?   Khadija Shah: It has been instrumental in the growth of the brand. As a design house Élan has never been static; we've been constantly growing since I started off from my parent’s backyard. When growth is organic it happens over time, with brands evolving as opposed to exploding on to the scene. With lawn, Élan crossed the threshold from being niche...
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1 Jun

Syed Noor ‘movies’ in a new direction

The veteran director talks about Bhai Wanted, the new age of cinema and why Shaan is still the country’s biggest star.    Syed Noor's vital statistics are interesting. He’s been in the movie business for 44 years. Since 1998 he has directed and released around 30 films, half with Shaan as the main lead and only three without Saima. He is back in the director’s seat this year, recently signing up Shaan Shahid for Bhai Wanted, their first notable film together since the Punjabi film Sharika was released in 2012. Sharika didn’t make much of an impact on Pakistan’s evolving cinema dynamic but with Bhai Wanted, Syed Noor looks forward to bringing almost four decades of experience in filmmaking to directing a...
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30 Jan

Grease Lightening…don’t miss it!

Watching Grease Lightening at the Arts Council in Karachi delighted me and simultaneously troubled me. While it was magnificent to see the depth of talent - from Sanam Saeed, Ayesha Omar, Ahmad Ali and the very young Parishae Adnan (Amir and Huma Adnan's talented daughter) - it was, in equal parts, frustrating to witness the state of the auditorium, the condition of the stage and the overall lack of facilities. The stage does absolutely no justice to the months of hard work and commitment that Nida Butt and her team put into each of their productions. Having seen Singing in the Rain in London (where it actually rained on stage) amongst other stage productions abroad and then seeing all the glamorous...
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15 Sep

Seriously, how biased am I?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a bias has two meanings" 1. An inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair: the bias towards younger people in recruitment 2. A concentration on or interest in one particular area or subject: his work showed a discernible bias towards philosophy When people say I, as a journalist, am biased, I think they refer to point 1 not 2. I do think that in the years I've spent as a fashion journalist in Pakistan I am biased, but more 2 than 1. I am biased towards talented designers, towards quality and most of all professionalism. How am I a judge of all these characteristics? Twelve years on the job do tell you a...
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29 Aug

My last cine-weekend: Josh & Aashiqui 2

 I can’t say I was terribly convinced that I would like Josh. Barring the patriotic stirrings that we’re always ready to succumb to, I presumed that it would be, well…boring. But it was pleasantly and refreshingly engaging. Despite being shot (a problem that new Pakistani film makers will overcome with time) more like a tele-film than a feature film, Josh does was no big budget Hollywood or Bollywood production can do. It brings an authentic bit of Pakistan to the cinema. And eager to give in to patriotic stirrings, one is only too proud to relate to the language, the landscape, the characters and the nuances that are all purely ours. Unfortunately, many of them like the feudalism, crime and corruption,...
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10 Jul

Kami, the Parson connection and Pakistan’s very own Alexa Chung!

Kamiar Rokni is back in the game! Pakistan’s most creative and talented design whiz has been on a very long sabbatical – blame it on his flailing heath, he says – and he’s been sorely missed from red carpet and runway action. There were fears that he was retiring from the fashion action altogether. Thankfully, that’s far from the truth. Tia Noon and Kamiar Rokni are back at the drawing board, working on their first collection for the upcoming PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week. "For the couture Tia came up with a concept a while ago and that slowly developed into something interesting for the current collection...
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9 Jun

YJHD: Call of the Wild

Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani takes an age-old formula and packages it in bright and vibrant colours. (Published in Dawn Images, June 9 2013) There is no grey in this blend of merry colour. It’s the kind of kaleidoscope that bedazzles you with eye-candy, uncontrollable dance music and tongue-in-cheek, tickling humour. There really is no grey in this merry berry smoothie of sorts, no grey matter either. But while there’s no need for intellect in this genre of feel good cinema, one does walk away wishing for a little originality. One irresistible wild child for a hero, a bookish and bespectacled (yet perfectly proportionate) nerd for a heroine, a journey that binds four friends together and then life that pulls them apart. From fashionable...
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