Favourite 15 – FPW 2017

With so much exposure to every little fashion event and detail happening internationally, it’s sad to see the same old crap being thrown down the runway, by our designers season after season. I won’t say all but majority are creating pieces that hardly make any sense let alone the bad bad fittings and finishings. UGH! Before this becomes an article full of rants let’s see the pieces that were fascinating enough to be on my favourites list!

  1. First up is this innovative saree-gharara by Saira Rizwan. The monochrome colour palette make it a winner otherwise it was a very tricky silhouette.

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2. Misha Lakhani has a distinctive design aesthetic which shows through every single one of her collections. I love how she manages to diffuse her laid-back bohemian vibes into bridal wear. I have never seen a gold and cream colour pairing before and I think it looks gorgeous!

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3. Another Misha Lakhani design, she just had me on that duppata detailing. Absolutely love the origami triangles popping out one after the other.

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4. Sanam Chaudri’s collection was hip, contemporary and perhaps the only collection that didn’t steer towards bridal-ness. Thank God for that! The over-lapping pants, the loose jacket, contrast lapels and some chunky embellishment details… just perfect!

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5. Another Sanam Chaudri outfit, this one is minimalistic yet impactful and chic. That shade of blue though!

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6. Saira Shakira presented mostly bridal couture and in bridals it was perhaps one of the best showcase. The contrasting embellishment on this pale sheer kameez are beautiful!

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7. Very Elan-esque but nonetheless every inch of detail is stunning. Another Saira Shakira outfit.

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8. This was perhaps a favourite on many people’s list. A navy blue kimono kameez with floral details in golds and a few hints of colour here and there. Saira Shakira hitting the right notes once again!

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9. Looks like Saira Shakira are aiming to bring back the longer hemlines. This is another  glam, cut out shoulder kameez outfit from the duo.

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10. Here onwards you will experience the true essence of couture or maybe the first step towards couture brilliance and precison, created solely in Pakistan and by Pakistanis *proud moment* Give yourselves a pat, Sana and Safinaz! It was indeed a job well done.

Cutouts, check! contrast, check! the perfect floor length? double check! what’s not to love?

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11. I could easily mistake that one for Marchesa, honestly! Dainty florals, feather accents and such a beautiful pastel colour. Sana Safinaz mesmerization continues…

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12. Another Sana Safinaz outfit, made to perfection.

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13. Straight out of a fairy-tale by Sana Safinaz, the reigning queens of Pakistani couture.

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14. The deepest green, column gown with silver beaded detailing. Another brilliant number by Sana Safinaz.

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15. Move aside reds. ox blood will be taking over like a storm after this. Ending the list with this utterly beautiful outfit, of course by Sana Safinaz.

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Favourite 15 – PSFW 2017

Spread over a course of three days, PFDC Sunsilk fashion week has finally come to an end. Retail giants like Sapphire, Generation and Khaadi Khaas had the strongest presence and it was sad to see how little the other big designers had to offer in terms of design and innovation. Maybe they were doing it half-heartedly or maybe they’re busy with other more lucrative events? who knows!

Here’s a list of my favourite pieces:

  1. First up is a wrap jacket outfit by HSY. I love the orange pop against the monochrome and with so much geometrical print going on the whole look still manages to be cohesive and classic.

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2. This outfit by Cross stitch just had me floored because of those gorgeous oversized ruffled flared pants!

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3. Next up is this beautifully embroidered sheer crop jacket over a navy base by Saira Rizwan.

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4. Khaadi Khaas had the most ethnic collection with ever so detailing! This embellished dress was an absolute stunner!

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5. Another brilliant piece from Khaadi Khaas.

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6. Shoutout to “Ethnic by outfitters’ ! Such an apt retail collection. It was cohesive, you could see a mood and story board happening right there on the runway. A very gelled together and well-thought out showcase. *thumbs up*

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7. Another Ethnic by Outfitters piece. What a perfectly stitched culotte is that!

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8. Another EBO sheer dress. You can’t miss the details on those trainers !

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9. So yes Ethnic by Outfitters probably rules my list this time. And my absolute favourite piece was this printed pyjamas outfit which I mistook for a jumpsuit initially. Can’t wait till this hits the stores.

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10. Coming from a strong bridal couture background, Saira Rizwan’s ready to wear collection was fairly decent, wearable and chic. I loved the hints of tie-n-dye and the whole easy-going smooth look.

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11. Another pretty dress from Saira Rizwan. Top it off with a oversized beautiful hat or fascinator and I can totally imagine some celebrity or high-profile wearing it to the ‘Royal Ascot’.

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12. A one-piece wonder from the otherwise very average collection by Faiza Saqlain. Iman looks gorgeous as ever in that lime! Loved the sleeve detail.

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13. My only favourite outfit from Sania Maskatiya was this. Maybe I expected more from this brand because ready to wear is their forte. Those paper bag pants were pretty cool and well on trend.

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14. Ali Xeeshan lives in a world of his own and Man! does he thoroughly enjoy it! He has no rules to follow and with every collection he’s becoming the master of his ‘own’ game. He’s shown us Disney Characters, monkeys, parrots and this time it was a line of trophies coming down the runway. A mix and match collection since like I said; Ali doesn’t stick to norms. My favourite was this printed flared top and flared pants.

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15. Sapphire presented a colour palette that was more bent towards fall/winter type collections. I feel it was a teeny weeny bit overly dark for summers. Nonetheless, the stitching was to perfection with not a thread out of place! 

Here’s ending my list with this chic cloak dress from Sapphire. The tiger embroidery is very reminiscent of the Gucci tiger embroideries but then tigers are tigers, they look the same all over the world … don’t they? 😉

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Fashion for thought: 

I’d put in a small request for the people responsible of holding the fashion shows…please work on those front rows because they really matter. Those uncles, aunties, and babies can very well see the view from the second row too, I am sure. Please put people who matter in front and see the difference it makes. Thank you and welcome.

Get your pantsuit on!

Gone are the days when pantsuits were strictly meant for the office. The new pantsuit is ever so versatile that you can incorporate it right into your wedding wear. There are so many trendy options available now for every size, height and frame that it’s a winner look for everyone. The pantsuit for women isn’t really just for politics anymore!

The new silhouette is relaxed yet statement setting, matching separates or solid embellished pieces: you decide!

Before we go on to inspirational looks for the shadi pantsuit, let’s get into a little history of the pantsuit:

In the 1920’s Coco Chanel was the first designer to liberate women from the restrictive feel of a corset by designing the very first ‘power suit’. This new outfit quickly became all the rage in Paris and consisted of a knitted wool cardigan paired with a matching skirt. The suit was usually accessorized with a long string of pearls, and came to be known as the “woman’s new uniform.”

In the 1930’s Despite the public’s disapproval of androgynous women, the German actress Marlene Dietrich adopted the menswear garment as one of her signature looks. Dietrich wore a tuxedo by renowned costume designer Travis Banton for her Oscar-winning role in Morocco.

In the 1940’s Katherine Hepburn became a fashion icon after donning a man’s suit in her film Women of the Year. She showed all men that women could rock a man’s suit and look classy as hell while doing so.

It’s crazy to even imagine that for centuries women in trousers were unfathomable to the common man. And all that finally changed:

In the 1960’s with the rise of feminism, designers such as Foale & Tuffin in London and Luba Marks in the US decided to call out the patriarchy on the idea that only men could wear comfortable clothing that let you move a little, and started making trousers suits for the modern woman of the 60s. Needless to say, it wasn’t long after this that YSL came along and changed the game for good, by bringing his ‘Le Smoking’ to the world which took gender bending to a whole new level, with the cut of the pantsuit mimicking a man’s tuxedo. In true Yves Saint Laurent style, Le Smoking was an incredibly gutsy fashion statement, so much so that many restaurants banned them. In fact, the American socialite Nan Kempner was turned away from Le Côte Basque in New York for wearing her YSL tuxedo on reaction to which, she famously took matters into her own hands and striped off the pants and dined in the suit jacket alone.

In the 1980’s despite the critics, women continued to embrace the pantsuit. From 1980 to 1987, annual sales of women’s suits rose by almost 6 million units, a $600 million gain for that sector of the fashion industry. A great contributor to this growth was the power suit trend. Pushed by fashion houses like Giorgio Armani, power suits updated pantsuits with broad shoulder pads, bigger lapels, and sharper cuts that emulated a man’s silhouette. These big shouldered jackets and pants disguised a woman’s figure and took the focus off her gender, thus creating a feeling of authority.

In the 1990s the pantsuit was in dire need of a makeover and then came Helmut Lang and Jil Sander (and later Hedi Slimane), who stripped the wardrobe staple down to its barest architecture for a lean and mean modern look that was the very essence of cool. And for the next 10 years, the only way to look fashionable was to wear a suit. Then, poof! Pantsuits suffered the fashion equivalent of a military coup, toppled in one season by the dress.

But, inevitably, fashion’s pendulum always swings back. Fall 2010, and the designers pushed tailoring out front and center. Leading the charge were Bottega Veneta, Givenchy, and Akris. Even some of the young guns, like Joseph Altuzarra and Alexander Wang, made a convincing case for its revival.

And then happened the Grammy’s 2015, and Rihanna was seen making waves in her Maison Margiela oversized and slouchy pantsuit. Her gender-bender look was the talk of the town and one message was clear: the powersuit was back and here to stay.

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Since then, over and again European designers have sent scores of pantsuits down the runway and the trend has now even transcended into eastern wear especially wedding couture. With the abundance in variety, the key is to find the perfect flattering cut for your own body type. Like if you’re short and petite then steer away from oversized versions or if you’re a bit on the bulky side then go for solid-colored matching separates in dark tones.

 

Still not convinced? Let’s show you some real inspiration straight from the runway!

The cropped jacket pantsuit:

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Brocade pants and an embellished cropped blazer jacket, what’s not to love about it? Designed by Kamiar Rokni, this is love at first sight.

The matching blazer and pants in brocade:

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Another very popular wedding wear pantsuit was this one by Maheen Ghani Taseer. With cut-work embellished boot pants and a matching brocade blazer, this was one super stylish suit!

The cape jacket pantsuit:

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Not the bling bling and over the top wedding wear sort? Maybe you can check out the cape jacket suit by Ayesha Somaya. It’s minimalistic and statement setting and that beautiful emerald color is divine.

The heavily embellished pantsuit:

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One of my absolute favorites was this full-embellished pantsuit from Karma’s collection shown at PSFW. It’s so chic and oh so beautiful!

The velvet belted-wrap jacket pantsuit:

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The most recent version of the pantsuit on the eastern wear front is the one by Elan. Classic and oozing elegance, Elan’s pantsuit is a relaxed wrap jacket paired with trousers both made in plush velvet. The colour variations are so stunning, that it’s hard to pick just one.

So what’s the wait for? Go ahead and give pantsuits a chance this Shadi season and you won’t regret! I Promise.

Fashion Edit: Q-Hum style awards 2016

The umpteenth style awards happened last weekend and all of Pakistan’s fashion, film and television frat gathered to embrace the ceremony. Talking about the red carpet, it is really sad to see that yes although all the celebrities show to have a good exposure to modernism and hollywood star style, none really cut the look. Gowns and gowns flooded in all over the place, some garish, some okay-ish and some really puke-ish.

Don’t believe me? just read till the end of this post and you will be convinced. Promise.

Like always, lets start with the good news:

(This list is in random order)

THE BEST DRESSED CELEBRITES:

1. Huma Khan

Huma wore a Maheen Karim shimmering jumpsuit with minimal jewels and a black Bottega Veneta knot clutch. Poker straight hair, pulled back in a ponytail with subtle make-up and there you go! She was right on *point* (whatever that means but yeah she totally nailed it).

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2. Fauzia Aman

A few ladies dared to try the thigh-high slit trend too , of which only Fauzia was able to carry it with grace. Crystal embellished black heels, a gold watch and a black Bottega Veneta completed her look. Made in velvet, this floor length gown was by Nomi Ansari.

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3. Syeda Sarwat Gillani

Sarwat opted really cleverly, she took the complete opposite turn and went for a beautiful (Rohit Bal style) anarkali with gorgeous peacock detailing on the borders. Looking at her was such a treat from all the eye-sore hollywood ball gown knock-offs. Totally pristine and gorgeous, Sarwat did really stand out.

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4. Vaneeza Ahmed

This stunning former top-model, chose an Iman Ahmed (body focus) ensemble, adding just a pop of colour with her green Bvlgari handbag. She oozed every bit of grace and elegance.

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5. Natasha Saleem

Natasha Saleem from team ‘Sapphire’, wore an Elan satin silk evening gown. She was amongst the very few who were actually able to look sleek and carry a gown with finesse.

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ON THE EDGE:

Singing sensation Sara Haider wore a saree by Tena Durrani. The reason why she’s on the edge is that; I so love the way she’s draped the palu of her saree. It gives such a twist to the classic silhouette. However, I only wish she had added some bling through jewels or accessories. That makes her border-line on the list!

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THE WORST DRESSED CELEBRITIES:

The most happening list of all time, here goes:

1. Amna Babar

I really like Sana Safinaz as a brand and what they churn out collection after collection, but I don’t understand why most of their red carpet creations are so mediocre and ugly frankly speaking. Dramatic is good, especially for the awards ceremony but it’s got to have class too. That huge bow on petite little Amna is just too overwhelming, and like a lot of people have said this before; she does look like a wrapped up present. The striking colour combo doesn’t help much either.

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2. Aminah Sheikh

Aminah has such a beautiful face, it’s such a bummer that her fashion choices always fail her. Aminah opted for a humongous fishtail gown in an army green sort of a colour by the fashion legend of Pakistan – Nilofer Shahid. I have much respect for Ms.Nilofer, but this is just awful. I can still do with the lower but the waist up…terrifying!

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3. Amna Ilyas

Okay for a moment if I was okay with that Cinderella ball gown, but that blue headband???? What is that?? Although it’s a well well tailored gown by Nomi Ansari but that styling is too childish and too blue maybe?  UGH!

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4. Sara Hijri

Whats with everyone wearing that horrid green??? I’d accept flip-flops with jeans and a tee on the red carpet but I’d never accept a slinky nightwear gown. Inner wear was the new outer wear about two years ago but never did anyone turn up in a ‘haute couture’ nighty, man!!! like seriously! #wasted

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5. Zara Abid

There has to be a Morticia Addams on every Pakistani red carpet, this time it was her. Nuf said. #booo

p.s: what is with the two-toned torso??? Iam cringing!!

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Photo credits: Movie shoovy

Fashion for thought: 

When bloggers or journalists analyse or critic on red carpet appearances, it does not in any way mean that we hate the particular celebrity or that we are taking out personal grudges on them. To be honest, I don’t even recognise half of them. Nor are we the fashion police, trying to bully out on everyone we see. There’s just a simple thing called ‘Aesthetic’ some people have it inborn, others need help with it.

These shows, events and ceremonies represent us internationally; because they’re broadcasted all over the globe and we as responsible fashion enthusiasts really don’t want our celebrities (the few that we have) to be mocked or made fun off. If you aren’t sure about a look don’t hesitate to CONSULT, it takes extra effort but trust me it’s always worth it. I am looking forward to the time when we too shall have a strong RED CARPET presence amongst others! #babysteps #littleatatime

 

 

 

 

Favourite 15: PLBW 2016

Bridal week this time round had some really interesting contemporary fusion pieces. I’d like to give a little credit to all the designers for churning up some really skilled couture and not just trashy liberty market embellishments or Indian knock-offs.

Mahgul and The House of Kamiar definitely had the strongest showcase, while others did have their moments here and there. Muse really had some beautiful work done but I feel the brand is getting tad monotonous and needs to break-free to a world beyond those French beadings.

Here are the ones that made it to my favourite 15: (random order)

1.I absolutely love how ‘The House of Kamiar’ has paired sorbet pink and yellow with that blue-grey shade for the shirt. Can’t miss the intricate work details and that perfect tailoring!
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2. Nomi Ansari took forward the digitals that Ali Zeeshan had already done in the previous years. Nevertheless, his too was a collection full of some gorgeous bridal couture. This candy pink particularly was my favourite.

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3. Muse re-invented the classic red gharara and it was exceptional! It looks so time-less yet so modern. Loved it, not sure about those ‘gajray’ as headbands though.

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4. Next outfit is by Mahgul. The fusion of those puffed sleeves into eastern wear bridals, for me was very very modish! And those pants are just to die-for or maybe worth selling-a-kidney for! ha!

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5. Another colour-block creation by ‘The house of Kamiar’, so beautifully executed! That chaddar is a stunning piece!

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6. The colour of this bridal is so striking and what amazing work is that on the shirt, another piece from ‘The house of Kamiar’.

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7. Mahgul creation again with an  intricately embellished peplum top and their ever popular velvet cutwork pants.

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8. Zara Shajahan just had me completely on this one, that kiran trim on the duppata, the classic styling and shimmering gold; being an 80’s kid I can relate with this old-charm on so many levels.

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9. Muse again, exceptional tailoring and exquisite craftmanship!

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10. Ali Zeeshan has upgraded a whole lot since his last bridal showcase. It was more practical, the clothes made sense and what he presented stood out from all the other designer showcases. These heavily embellished lehngas with the sheer appliquéd duppatas totally made the cut.

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11. That cape though! Beautiful beyond words.

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12. The double-shirt trend slowly diffusing into bridal wear, was a treat to see, especially when done so subtle and beautifully. Another piece by Mahgul.

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13.  Nomi really knows his way about colours,that many colours in a single outfit can really be claustrophobic but he somehow makes it work and it looks wow!

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14. Sania Maskatiya; sticking to her commercial and sell-able aesthetic had little experimentation in her silhouettes. This fluid gold gharara though looked breath-taking on the ramp!
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15. Farah and Fatima gave a fairly adequate debut. Since I am a sucker for classics, be it in cut, colour combo or styling, this certainly had to make my list. The red and mustard palette is such classic of our Eastern bridals which took a high ride especially back in the 90s. Very beautifully done, I just wish there was a duppata to go with it.

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Bridal diaries: Anush Ammar

Anush Ammar, CEO of the online store ‘Fabbit’,  got married recently and her wedding was perhaps the longest reigning event ever. Well on the social media at least. With over 15 official functions and a part-destination wedding at Turkey too, it was a huge affair. We witnessed everything; from designer minaudieres, dresses, menus, event decor, cakes and what not!

From all the precise information I’ve tried to gather (beg,borrow and stealing included) here’s what she wore:

ENGAGEMENT: It all began here! On her engagement last year, Anush wore a subtle toned, heavily embellished kameez with pants designed by Faraz Manan. She looked really pretty especially with all those beautiful accent jewels.

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NIKKAH: For the Nikkah, Anush went with classic Maharani styling wearing a gold anarkali designed exclusively by Bunto Kazmi. Absolutely stunning and regal!

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POST-NIKKAH LUNCH: Okay so you will read a lot of “pre’s and post’s” here. For her Nikkah lunch Anush chose a peachy Faraz Manan outfit, dazzling with diamond jewels.

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DHOLAK: A gold and mint green lehnga with a chunri red and green duppata adorned the bride on her first wedding kick-off dholak .

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NEON DHOLAK: On her neon themed dholak, Anush chose a gota embellished yellow ochre sharara dress.

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DHOLAK: Another favourite look, Anush in a lilac embellished outfit. 

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GRAND DHOLKI: My favourite look from the wedding. A stunning Bunto creation and some heavenly jewels!

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WESTERN THEMED DHOLKI: Anush channelling cinderella for her ‘Disney gone tipsy’ themed party.

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BRIDAL SHOWER: On the bridal shower she wore a hot pink floor-length gown.

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TURKEY WEDDING BOAT TOUR: The destination part of the wedding began with a boat tour in Istanbul with the bride wearing a Roberto Cavalli pre-fall 2016 yellow ruffled dress.

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DINNER NIGHT: Another embellished hot pink evening gown for a dinner night in Turkey.

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PRE-SANGEET LUNCH: Anush in a non-fuss elegant royal blue Elan lehnga choli for her pre-sangeet lunch.

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SANGEET NIGHT: On the mega happening sangeet event; which had Kanika Kapoor entertaining the crowd with her hit songs, the bride wore a gorgeous Faraz Manan lehnga choli from his ‘Desert Royale formal collection’. It was the same outfit worn by Kareena Kapoor in her photo shoot for Faraz Manan.

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THE WHITE WEDDING RECEPTION: For her white wedding; Anush wore a Zuhair Murad wedding gown, topped with sparkling diamond jewels and a Judieth Lieber parachute minaudière.

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WALIMA: For the last event of her big fat desi wedding, Anush wore a lavender Faraz Manan heavily embellished floor-length dress.

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So yes, that was all the looks from the great big wedding, which happened to break the internet (in our part of the world at least). Amongst all the good, bad and the ugly comments targeted towards the Gulzar family, here’s just wishing the newly-weds a wonderful beginning and may this eventually be your “Happliy ever-after”. Amen to that!

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Afterall, ALL YOU DO NEED IS A LITTLE LOVE !

Photo credits: To all the magazines and photographers that made their content available online…THANK YOU!

 

 

 

Fashion controversy: The Crimson luxe campaign

What’s a fashion industry without some controversy now and then. The latest one doing rounds is the ‘Crimson Luxe campaign’ in collaboration with the super designer-duo ‘Saira Shakira’. So it all began when these particular images from their catalogue surfaced on the social media:

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Gunfires opened and the poor Crimson team was backlashed with accusations of glamourising ‘street harassment’ and ‘rape culture’. Sanam Saeed amidst a few male (models) staring at her and there…you’ve got yourself a controversy!

Steering myself clear of controversies almost always, this time I thought I’d take a dip in ‘responsible journalism’ (if thats what you call it) as well. So here’s my little part:

I’d say ‘yes’ although these pictures are a very true depiction of our society but ‘no’ it’s just a little bad in taste and not necessarily required for this campaign. I mean in all honestly why would you want to ‘turn heads’ while posing in front of a ‘fruit cart’. Sanam clearly looks out of place, in all ways (face expressions included).

We all get stared at, regardless of what gender. Ladies will oogle at handsome men and men..well it kinda comes natural to them to gawk at dolled up women. Now be those men..drivers, waiters, spot boys, sweepers, shopkeepers or whatsoever, yes they will stare. And honestly you don’t have to be wearing “Saira Shakira’ for that.

Point is, this is the reality of every society. Western or eastern, it’s a naturally occurring phenomena. In fact the hardest truth is if a ‘gora’ guy flirts or stares we think it’s ‘cute’ and if God forbid it’s a desi boy then oh no! here comes street ‘harassment’. But yes, hypocrisy aside, you don’t need to be liberal minded or conservative to understand this image. It’s simply done in bad taste and thats about it. And by bad taste I mean; if only the guys were more properly dressed up and with lesser sleazy expressions or maybe they could have had cameras and acted as paparazzi etc etc million ways of correction obviously. But just because of this particular image you cant ignore how beautiful the rest of the shoot is.

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The next up allegation was it’s similarity with the Dolce and Gabbana Fall 2012 (menswear collection) campaign and how we are tolerant if they do it and not when we do it. I’d need to write a whole new blog post on how ridiculous that very acquisition is.We aren’t even an inch up their ladder, let alone comparing our campaigns with them.

Dolce and Gabbana are the Gods of theatrical campaigns. Their campaigns envision a whole mood, a story or some happening event. The image in question is the following:

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Even a layman can tell that this image is in a complete different context. It’s a menswear ad and it’s bound to have more focal on men. And clearly, you can tell that they’re all genuinely having fun and MUTUAL enjoyment. The men aren’t gaping or ‘checking her out’. In fact if you have a look at the rest of the campaign you will see how it’s all set-up against the backdrop of an Italian wedding. Friends and family all celebrating some hardcore Italian traditions. So this image won’t be conceived obscene any way since it shows friends and family and not some random passer-bys.. street chasing a dressed up doll.

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Coming back to Crimson, I wish Saira and Shakira all the best for their debut textiles collection. They are a bunch of hard-working females and baseless allegations like these shouldn’t set them back. Although Saira has publicly apologized  on the behalf of her team, we should accept it and move.on.please.