They’re armed, dangerous and crazy about lawn!

Published: February 15, 2011

Will women flock to yet another lawn exhibition because of sexy ads?

Winter is nearly over in Karachi and I can already see billboards of Iman Ali modeling for lawn.

This is just the beginning of the lawn madness in Karachi.

Every year, designers hold exhibitions selling overpriced lawn where mobs of women claw and push each other to get the best pieces.

Even if the prints are a big disappointment, women will still wait in long lines at exhibition venues.

Aunties gone wild

I made the mistake of attending one Gul Ahmed lawn exhibition. While I was standing at the counter, a middle-aged aunty came and pushed me from behind because I had asked the salesman to take out a piece that she liked. I yelped in pain as the counter’s edge jabbed into my stomach, and the piece dropped from my clutches. The aunty proceeded to snatch it saying it was hers.

At the Sana Safinaz exhibition last year, women started gathering outside the venue before the gates opened so they could be the first in line. My colleagues had actually taken the day off so they could be among the first few to buy the prints.

Shop till you drop – literally

I have heard stories about women who make their maids stand in line at payment counters while they select prints; there was even an incident where the organisers had to arrange for first aid due to claustrophobia and lack of oxygen.

At the Sana Safinaz exhibition, prints were sold out by 5pm on the first day; some women had bought three pieces of the same design and even asked salesmen for their cell phone numbers to check if new stock might arrive the next day.

Eye witnesses have told me that when the gates at the exhibition venue eventually closed, women banged their fists and tried to break down the gate. Eventually, a police mobile had to be called in to control the mob.

Such behaviour is shocking, especially when it comes from educated women who are probably in their late 40’s. Women who come back disappointed and agitated vouch never to go to an exhibition again. But one such lady confessed that when she learnt that fresh stock had arrived, she sheepishly went back and returned victorious, with a new purchase.

What are we paying for?

To me, some brands look like they are promoting the model and makeup artist rather than the fabric (Iman Ali’s provocative poses, anyone?)

This year, high end brands like HSY, Nomi Ansari and Nadya Hussain will be holding exhibitions. If poor quality fabric can cause a riot at the Marriot just because of a sexy billboard, I wonder how many women will flock to these exhibitions that promise the best quality.

When I look at women at these exhibitions, I wonder how people can say that Pakistan is a poor country. Let’s see how many ambulances, cat fight and first aid kits this year’s lawn exhibitions bring to us.


Nojeba Haider

A corporate banker based in Karachi. Nojeba tweets @nojeba.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Madiha

    Nice piece..and well saidRecommend

  • Noreen Shams

    exactly what a nice piece came to read… same I thought about these lawns .. so called branded but low quality and women literally gone crazy to such can say new type of class conscious habit and nothing else…. apart this the marketing uff Iman billboards seem to me just a seducing way honestly … Recommend

  • yaarku

    once you go there how do u feel…its fun rite so no complains…Recommend

  • Asma

    Second name of summer season is “Lawn Season”…Recommend

  • parvez

    Nice write up on a subject that should be called unexplained behaviour.
    I think the answer lies in the fact that there is something therapeutic in the act of spending money (of course you first have to have it). It gives one the feeling of self satisfaction which lasts a short time and then the cycle has to be repeated. Utterly amazing behaviour.Recommend

  • quttubuddin

    In my opinion its absolutely fine what women are doing.Whats wrong with it.? If they like something and can afford it they go buy it . And please for once stop being emotional and dramatic. What does women buying clothes have to do with Pakistan being a poor country? Absolutely ridiculous.I agree that you may have your opinion and youre writing an article about this, cause its your job.
    iman ali is a model, she has to sell a brand so shes doing her job where as sana safinaz are doing theirs, just like youre doing yours!
    I suggest the author should promote pakistani fashion as im sure it contributes to the texttile industry of pakistan some what, instead of criticizing it.Recommend

  • N

    Fun article………..enjoyed reading it
    @quttubuddin……….take a wild guess how much a gul ahmed lawn suit costs!Recommend

  • Abdul basit

    nice article.
    I think its only attracted by 4 or 5% of our rich woman, not whole society representation. Who just want to spend their excess money which they have a lot. As we have lot of corruption in our society so most of woman from Politian family or bureaucrat, they don’t know how to spent their money so they found it attractive to buy famous brands.
    And our so called open minded people of society always support this show money coz they are the part of this corrupt system.
    Textile industry can’t be promoted for such cheap contributes where quality is low and prices are high. There are many things we could promote our textile industry. Why we think by vulgarity and nudity, we could support our fashion industry. our eastern values are our essence and we should provide on it and mind it western world like this but we are running out from there. So ridiculous….Recommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    Have a question….all comments above except one (at the time of writing) call this a nice piece, then why is it rated so low?

    @ author…interesting piece…liked it!Recommend

  • Faria Syed

    The star rating on a piece reflects the results of however many people have rated it. Often readers who leave comments do not rate or rate but do not comment.
    Hope that answers your question.
    Faria S
    (Web desk)


  • Ghausia

    I’ve heard much worse than what you’ve written, a relative told me that when she went to an exhibition women just snatched up whatever was in reach and made a pile and sat on it waiting for a relative to come so they could guard their hoard while the lady went hunting again. Yeeesh. Its a waste of money lawn hardly lasts that long, why not just buy the cheap ones from Aashiyana? I’ve never understood the point of designer lawn.Recommend

  • Humanity

    Wow .. age discrimination abound!

    Pretty soon you too will be a middle aged auntie , it a matter of a decade or so :)Recommend

  • Abdul basit

    i rated itRecommend

  • AHR

    Nice to read!Recommend

  • Bilal

    Nice Blog.

    What sexy billboards have to do with women? Yes but they have a lot to do with MEN!!! Iman Ali’s billboards will cause road accidents some day………….

    At least our day goes pleasant, after looking at pleasant faces on bill boards, before looking at Unpleasant face of Boss! :pRecommend

  • RaG

    @qutubuddin- whats wrong with wild women is that they’re behaving wild. They’re supposed to be the high-end, sophisticated, cultured and educated market judging by the prices of this designer lawn and yet they act like crazed animals. It’s not just anybody who can walk into these exhibitions and buy in such bulk as they do so why not behave decently?!
    Last year was my first ever visit to a mausummery exhibition. While I stood back in shock, my friend jumped into the foray and triumphantly brought out quite a few prints. All i got were a few photographs of lawn-crazed women for my facebook profile!

    @author- well done! Two thumbs up!Recommend

  • Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi

    Lol, I highly agree with the last line :DRecommend

  • Noor-ul-ain Hanif

    Agree with you I am also a victim of such wild aunties. It seems like its a sale where everything is free free and free that’s why ladies gone mad for them. Moreover, Junaid Jamshed’s lawn exibition, Mausummery lawn exibition ohh ladies gone mad there! and the bill pay line God!Recommend

  • Noor-ul-ain Hanif

    @ Bilal: Lol!Recommend

  • Bilal

    Whatever I commented, Sab ko dil pe lagi hai .. lol ..:pRecommend

  • anonymous

    you have to go these exhibitions to experience this wild behavior first hand! I haven’t been to a lawn exhibition this year or the last and I can safely say I wont need any first aid treatment because I couldn’t get my hands on a lawn print I saw on some random billboard! Recommend

  • Saba

    Good article & must say the quality of most of these brands is Pathetic, absouletly bad & the prices r sky high. This Iman ali thing, u r right, the first thing i noticed was her pose & scanty clothes, it was embarrising & thought whether its lawn ad or provocativeness ad !!! Recommend

  • http://- maimoona

    true women spend there large sum of money in the name of branded lawn and wat is the actual purpose to wear it totally vanished Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Mengal

    Whatever the concern is…..but writer shouldn’t use Iman Ali’s picture as a Title image..!
    Shes not alone doing these stuff….in fact shes following and fulfilling the needs and demands of our (hypocrite) society in terms of her profession..!Recommend

  • Nojeba

    @Mohammad Ali Mengal: I didnt decide the picture to be put up for this article. and if Iman Ali is doing what all models do, then she shouldnt go on Tv and say ” the fashion industry is too modern for me, im too innocent for it” All models do it yes, but then you shouldnt deny what you do. If she believes what she is doing is right, then she should stand up for it and not act like a damsel in distress. Its funny how men do not let women of their own house wear such clothes but when Iman Ali does it they protect her just because she uses her sickness or profession to justify it.

    May i remind you, prositution is also justified by prostitutes by saying that they do it as a profession and they need money. As you said then: a prostitute is also fulfilling the needs and demands of our society.Recommend

  • Aamir

    Iman Ali’s billboard on Two talwar, clifton, karachi was banned and removed. other billboards in karachi with models werent banned. That shows that her modelling was so obscene and provocative that she had to be removed. Im a man and I have to admit the way she was lying on the floor was provoking men on purpose.

    @ Mohammad Ali Mengal: To say its her profession is stupidity. If that justified it, then a stripper also has a profession, a dancer also has a profession, they all meet demands of society too.I God forbid would never let women from my home lie in an indecent position in public like Iman Ali did. Most of her modelling positions are indecent, lying on the floor, lying in male models laps, she purposely provokes men. Im sure you wouldnt like women in your house to lie in such positions in public, then how can you justify Iman ali doing it. Like i said if its about profession, then even dancers, strippers have a profession.

    overall thank God the lawn craze season is finally overRecommend