Stories about designers

Does it matter why they asked her to walk the catwalk?

The decision of our fashion icons Frieha Altaf and Rozina Munib to have Mukhtaran Mai walk the catwalk for Fashion Pakistan Week must definitely have caused numerous conflicting questions. To many it seems like the designers have done it for publicity and to further an image of their own benevolence. But then it is the end that has to be considered, rather than the means to the end. Although the rape victim taking to the catwalk has created a lot of ripples in the fashion scene both domestically and internationally, at the end of the day, Mukhtaran’s debut as ...

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An open letter to bakra mandi owners

Dear bakra mandi owners,  This letter is to express my absolute stupefaction over your outrageous, albeit devious, marketing tactics, yet again, at Eidul Azha this year. The prices of goats and cows have escalated to a level that is beyond the financial capacity of the middle class group to afford. Even the lower upper class is having second thoughts about fulfilling this necessary religious obligation. More and more people are forced to take shares in cows. For me, as well as for millions of other like me, I’m sure, taking shares in cows is extremely embarrassing because it openly screams of the fact that I ...

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23 reasons why I love Pakistan and you should too!

In a country with a population of over 188.2 million people, a lot can go wrong, but a lot can go right too! Here is a list of 23 things that make Pakistan home. 1. The men Photo: AFP We may belong to a patriarchal society, but not all men are alike. They don’t all suffer from the disease of misogyny. True gems like Abdul Sattar Eidhi, Ansar Burney and Imran Khan also exist in our society, individuals who play a pivotal role in the betterment of society. 2. The women  Photo: AFP Contrary to the patriarchal outlook of ...

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When copying designs becomes a norm in the fashion world

Committing plagiarism under the guise of inspiration seems to be the new norm for fashion designers these days. And Pakistani designer Nida Khurram is no different.  Keeping in mind the latest trend of digital print clothing, Khurram utilised modern-day patterns and illustrations in her Pret Summer Collection 2015 that was showcased at Fashion Pakistan Lounge in Karachi on May 30, 2015 and it will run till the stock lasts. Khurram, who was previously associated with the Asian Institute of Fashion Design (AIFD) and famous for her western collections and motifs, revealed while talking to The Express Tribune, “I’ve been really inspired by fashion illustrations ...

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Day 1 of Fashion Pakistan Week from the backrow

When you sit all the way in the fashion “dungeon” or what is affectionately called “the back row”, you notice and hear a lot of things you would not normally know or hear about while sitting all the way in the front. None of it has anything to do with the actual show. That is because your view of the runway is usually obstructed by a lady who decides to Empire State out her hair that day. The front rowers smoothly click, swipe, post on 10 different social platforms in a matter of seconds. You get up excitedly to shoot from your Chinese ...

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Everything I hate about the Pakistani fashion industry

If you are a young struggling female journalist in Pakistan with big dreams of reporting stories that matter, you will probably spend a few years reporting all the stories that don’t matter! Among all those literary masterpieces you pen will be an array of pieces on: Designers who have made it big Designers who have not made it big but have a great PR agency The 4363778 lawn launches Fashion “weeks” that are three-days long You will get to meet loads of glazed out designers and hear them talk about a lawn jora like it’s the cure for cancer. You’ll learn to thoosofy the words “sartorial”, “quirky”, “edgy” and “aesthetic” in every headline. For instance: “Designer (insert Bawani, Hashwani, ...

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Is morality determined by the length of a woman’s blouse?

Over time I have noticed a common trend on Pakistani Facebook pages, especially those of designers and celebrities: crude, caustic and downright hateful slandering of celebrities. I recently stumbled upon a picture of Humaima Malick looking gorgeous in an elegant Élan ensemble and all I could think of was the talent and beauty that exists in our country. But then I read the bitterest of verbal abuses on the picture, which included: “She is lookin’ dumb and her makeup is damn worst” “Kitni ugly hai pata nai kyun uthaya hua hai isko” “This is behayaee and immoral behaviour” Photo: Élan Facebook Page Apparently, showing inches ...

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10 ‘argh’ moments with a Pakistani tailor

You’re a Pakistani and you’ve never made a trip to the tailor? I find that hard to believe. Whether it’s a job interview or a high school farewell party, tailors are the ones who can make every little occasion of a typical Pakistani woman’s life either completely miserable or an absolute fairytale. You stand in front of a full-length mirror and study your newly stitched dress like a hawk. You look at the loose side fittings and feel aghast. The long, loosely dangling sleeves feel out of place. You swear to yourself that the deep neck you see in your reflection ...

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Eid shopping is not therapeutic

Is it just me or does local off-the-rack fashion appear to be more cookie-cutter than ever? On the lookout for an Eid-appropriate outfit recently, I expected to enjoy browsing through the racks featuring the usual array of namesake labels, from trained professional designers  to bored housewives. Instead, the general search was nothing short of a frustrating nightmare; hideously large crystals on chikan, animal prints with fussy aunty-style details, and radiant colours made mundane with maternity cuts. Now, people pay tens (or hundreds) of thousands to look like sparkly gift-boxes on certain occasions, (and I’ve voluntarily done it, too) but I honestly couldn’t stomach it ...

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Jaipur Literature Festival: Prisoner of a palace

An outsider who has never been part of the Jaipur Literature Festival wonders what goes on for four days in the Diggi Palace, a 16th century palace owned by one of the descendants of some nondescript feudal lords. The day starts with four different sessions on varied issues running parallel in four different venues, aptly named Mughal Durbar, Mughal Tent and so on. Before lunch, three such sessions are held and writers interact with moderator and audience. The same continues after the elaborate rich Rajasthani lunch and it ends at 6.30 pm. Then, the music session starts and soon after, the bar and ...

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