Skip to main content


Click Here for Bridal Couture Coverage (Published by Economic Affairs Islamabad - June 2013)

Click Here for Tabassum Mughal Eid Exhibition Review - A Haute Ticket Item

Thank you Mr. ZK for the Invite


There was no sign of celebrity life on the horizon. In a little under an hour, a red carpet session was expected to be underway by the cobble stone entrance. Cafe Flo was gearing up to host the exclusive showing of Nadia Khan’s signature lawn launched by Flitz.

But the debut of ‘Maza’ had to contend with mother-nature that day. Parts of Karachi had been inundated and there was a matching pool of water outside the venue. The brief spell of heavy rainfall had left behind Venetian roads and massive jams in its wake. Fortunately, Karachi is used to such sights and the show, delayed or otherwise, does go on.

Venice is Us

Nadia, the well known TV personality who went on to become part of the morning talk show phenomenon has come aboard the lawn band-wagon with the promo, 'Pehno Mazay Se' in tow. Her collection is said to reflect the vibrant tones of her personality, and has been priced from 3,990 Rs. to 4,490 Rs.

Nadia Khan & Akif Ilyas (R)

Inside, the staff proffered minty green drinks under the watchful gaze of Florence Villiers - the owner and Shamira Mahpara, the artist / Chef / hostess extraordinaire, who reportedly makes a mean cheesecake. The dining area had been cleared for the makeshift catwalk and waif thin models were being fed by the kindly café walas, indifferent to the ‘Do not feed the models’ commandment.

The lovely Shamira Mahpara of Cafe Flo

Flo is a quaint little French eatery tucked away inside a little alley. It has space for outdoor seating as well as a bright and airy dining area. Somehow it managed to fit in the fashionable flock and the equipment and the crew. By the time the designer everyone had been waiting for walked in it was nearing dusk.

Nadia Khan

The catwalk was suddenly flooded by models in Nadia Khan Couture, camera-men lugging heavy gear and a DJ with an uninspired selection of music.

The show which took forever to begin was over in no time. The models took a quick turn down the short runway; the designer took a bow and vanished to the back of the room to do more press or another round of photo-op or tea.

Among those sighted at the launch were Sabeen Rabbani, associated with the multi label prêt store Brands Just Pret, standing in for her sister Mehreen, who had styled the clothes.

Tehmina Khalid (L), Nadia Khan & Sabeen Rabbani (R)

(Plz help me tag this)

Also present were local celebrities and designers like Tabassum Mughal, whose wonderful brother Furrukh just had a photography exhibition a few days earlier in PC; Aijaz Aslam - the designer / model / actor who according to my sister, designs for real women and looks younger in person; Ahsan Khan – the actor, and Shanaz Ramzi - journalist / critic / GM Publications & PR at HUM Network Ltd. - Editor of Masala TV Food Mag and author of Food Prints.

A delectable addition has been made to the line-up of emerging designers seen beckoning from billboards or demanding to know if you wear their particular brand.

Adnan Khan (L) Nadia Khan & Akif Ilyas

Tehmina Khalid, fashion journalist and owner of a PR company - Take II Client Management/PR and Media Consultants, seen at another lawn promotional circuit was overheard saying that the Pakistani lawn industry stands apart from the rest of the world, its weaving is unique to the country and the fabric is not easy to recreate.

Instead of being cast as a trivial pursuit, it needs to be valued for its potential to boost the image of the textile industry. The tv show had also bemoaned the trend of sidelining local faces in favour of foreign names for the role of brand ambassadors. Nadia has bypassed such controversies by modeling for the billboard advertisement campaign. Though she would be the first one to admit that modeling is not her strong suit and the picture that made the cut was really an out-take.

Nadia also dwelled on the intricacies of the lawn business elsewhere; with more than a 100 people behind a single piece - the collection has been a year in the making.

Umtus Sana (Extreme R), Nadia (Centre)

The Nadia Khan lawn collection is in stores now. According to one source, it will also be available in UK, UAE, India and Bangladesh.

Disclaimer: All Images are subject to Copyright & the Blogger Emmad Butt of Emmad's Lounge does not have my permission to use them. He has been asked repeatedly to take them down to no avail.

Update: 22 Apr 2013. Google took down that post from Emmad's Lounge. Cyber-world laws work faster than those in the real world it seems. Bloggers, always cite sources when you 'borrow' someones work.


Popular posts from this blog

BOOK REVIEW: Pakistan: Beyond The ‘Crisis State’ / Author: Maleeha Lodhi

Thanks to Liberty Books for the review copy

Published in Daily Times / Saturday, June 18, 2011

Reviewed by Afrah Jamal

Published under the title: 17 Reasons to Hope

“History will be what we make it. If we go on as we are, history will have its revenge and retribution”— from the movie, ‘Good Night, & Good Luck’

A region known for most “terrorist sightings”, a place feared for harbouring medieval mindsets next to progressive thinkers and a nation shunned for having an affinity for nuclear toys. By turns a cautionary tale, an indispensable ally and an international pariah, Pakistan does not fit into any mould — for long. But its name crops up whenever things go awry.

Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State’ is a compilation of articles put together by Maleeha Lodhi that countermands the grim prognosis. When Ms Lodhi, who has served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US and UK, acknowledges that “resilience has been part of Pakistan’s story from its inception, obscured by the single issue lens…

FILM REVIEW: West Bank Story a live-action short film (2007)

Published in The POST May 17, 2007

Directed by:Ari Sandel
Written by: Kim Ray and Ari Sandel
Duration: 21 Minutes
(An official selection of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival)

The Middle East is better known for staging violent uprisings, certainly not for inspiring comedic masterpieces.

Since 1967, the West bank has spawned a surge in Arab hostility, frequent visits to the Middle East by Condoleezza Rice and lately, a small little inspirational musical comedy about competing falafel stands, directed, co-written and produced by Ari Sandel (part Israeli, part American Californian native). Since there is no easy way to represent both sides fairly, the very notion of West Bank Story is greeted with a justifiable mix of scepticism, wariness and resentment at first. No doubt, it is a precarious balancing act that mandates such a film to be witty without being offensive, show compassion without discrimination and entertain without losing substance. So does West Bank Story deliver?

West Bank Story

BOOK REVIEW: The Last Sunset — The Rise & Fall of the Lahore Durbar Author: Amarinder Singh

Thanks to Liberty Books for the review copy

Published in Daily Times under the heading: Lahore Durbar in free fall

Reviewed by Afrah Jamal

After the Mughals exited, but before the British arrived, the Lahore Durbar was presided over by Maharaja Ranjit Singh Bahadur, affectionately known as the ‘Lion of Lahore’, who makes a brief appearance in Amarinder Singh’s narrative, but leaves a lasting impression on his history.

Ranjit Singh, who has been described in the book as a great man and an outstanding military commander, was a mass of contradictions. For instance, he was against the death penalty but not averse to robbing widows, believed treaties were meant to be broken but treated the vanquished with kindness, and thought nothing of inviting guests only to divest them of their most prized possession — like the Kohinoor diamond. He may have spent the better part of the day leading military campaigns, yet he did not always harbour territorial designs and is said to have waged a war on hi…

BOOK REVIEW: Hira Mandi / Author: Claudine Le Tourneur Dlson

Published in Daily Times Saturday, February 11, 2012

Reproduced on Claudine Le Tourneur Dlson's Website

Translated from French by Priyanka Jhijaria

Reviewed by Afrah Jamal

A programme about Hira Mandi did the internet rounds a couple of years ago. It claimed, among other things, that the sons of the ‘dancers’ reportedly end up as lawyers, doctors, artists — a few join politics and some even reach the military. These outrageous statistics may be one of the reasons the documentary was banned from the mainstream media. That and its primary premise — the plight of the fallen women — would prompt the conservatives to howl with dismay before scurrying off to bury any evidence in the backyard along with other bodies.

Claudine Le Tourneur d’Ison embeds such wrenching moments in a bold narrative where its doomed protagonist can hail the brave new world and its genteel patrons from an extraordinary vantage point. The expedition to the underworld with the unfortunate progeny and the hapless…

BOOK REVIEW: Inside the Pakistan Army: A Woman’s Experience on the Frontline of the War on Terror

Thanks to Liberty Books for the review copy

Published in Daily Times / Saturday, December 10, 2011

Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal

Author: Carey Schofield

First Abbottabad, then Admiral Mullen, and now the BBC — whispered allegations against the Pakistan Army have picked up pace. Thus far it has been unable to build an effective counter against the barrage of accusations headed its way. Thus far it has watched its credibility plummet and the problems mount. That the military’s weakened standing can be attributed to a series of unfortunate events — some of their own creation, others beyond their control, have left their image tarnished. Even the fact that a Pakistani checkpost recently came under NATO fire and suffered heavy casualties did little to alter the negative perception.

Carey Schofield, the author of Inside the Soviet Army, who admits to having spent seven years studying the Pakistan Army, is off to vindicate her hosts. Since she does not practice the military’s customary caution, her…

OP-ED: Fashion Week – More Than A Pretty Footnote

First Published in Economic Affairs June 2013 Issue

‘Artists are the gatekeeper of truth. We are civilizations radical voice’. Paul Robeson

There was a conference on counter-terrorism underway in Hyderabad as fashion week was winding down in Lahore. One of the presenters, a Dutch with a Phd and a thesis on the effects of fear on social behavior had indicated resilience as part of the counter-terrorism strategy. ‘We had a fashion show, does that count?’ I later asked Dr. Mark Dechesne who was in town recently. If he was startled, he did not show it.

Two things have been trending on twitter since April 2013. Fashion week finds itself in the same time slot as politics and as politicians perfect their strut on the political ramp, the fashionistas have taken to the red carpet and designer-wear floods the catwalk. Though fear overshadows both events, people refuse to let the claustrophobic environment dictate their social calendar.

The famed fashion week which started from Karachi and co…


First Published inDaily Times / 5 Jan 2013

Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal

Demigod fans who bade farewell to Percy – (son of Poseidon) & the Olympian franchise a few years ago must have wondered what the writer was up to as they came across a ‘final’ Prophesy conveniently left unresolved at the end of the saga.

The Last Olympian’ concluded the five part series wrapping up Percy Jackson & his merry band of demi-gods' extended arc with a high-octane finale and an emotional send-off. Though Rick Riordan had moved on to explore Egypt in ‘The Kane Chronicles’, he wasn’t done with Olympus, its ever shifting centre of power or its hoity-toity god population for that matter.

The cryptic warning heard in the final pages is used to establish the credentials of this spin-off. The gods return in the ‘Heroes of Olympus’ series - distant as ever and in Roman form heralding a brand new dawn with the promise of new crusades, a shiny new quest, fresh faces and an ancient threat. And Percy is b…