Tuesday, 27 December 2011

"Is that lipstick on your teeth?" the Chairman asks...

Hi Followers and readers,

I know the absence of a post for the last week is a mega "blog-faux-pas" on my part, but I'm sure y'all are sweet, kind and most considerate to forgive me :)

But during the last week I saw something which left my eyes popping out like that of the Mask! A newly married chic in full bridal make-up and a bright pink jora with silver kamdani was to be spotted around. Where, did you ask? At WORK! C'mon man, while most will be happy you tied the not, and the rest will be indifferent, why make everyone squirm because of a ridiculous post-wedding choice of clothes and bizarrely bold make-up!

We'll keep work clothes aside for a moment (but yes, will cover them too, because work clothes in Pakistan's culture can be a tad tricky), and talk a bit about make-up :)

Honestly, the Pakistani concept of make-up has never been quite convincing to me, and many women and men will acquiesce with my claim. What's with the pastry looks, extremely bold eyes, lips and every single feature on the face? Whatever happened to subtlety? I do not approve of such a scarily heavy look on weddings either, but for work! How can women forget it's work and not an evening dinner!

Check these out:

No prizes for guessing which look is more appropriate when you're heading to the office.

Here are some pointers for the desi girls to note down when dressing up for work:

1. DONT overdo the lipstick. The age of the dark brown, mocha and red is quite out-dated, even if you have angelina-jolie lips. Leave that for supermodels and TV anchors who deem it their right to dress like a 'dulhan' every morning. Go for nude shades or just stick with a nearly transparent gloss.

2. Avoid using a thick foundation or base. A better idea and one that I use on a daily basis is to use a moisturizer on your face with at least an SPF-15 UV protection. Also, please try to grow up and get over your complexities and STOP USING FAIR & LOVELY! Gone are the days when a fair complexion was everything, a healthy complexion (regardless of whether it's pink, brown, white, yellow or GREEN) is what's more important.

3. Trim your nails. We're also over the age when long nails could woo men over. Preppy fashion screams for well-trimmed, well-filed, decently sized nails. No, I didn't say bitten nails were an alternate.

4. Leave shimmery eye shades and a sparkly, glittery eye liner for your teenage cousins. Let alone wear to work, coloured eye liners look good up til a certain age only. And, sadly for many, that age hovers near the late 20s. Please dont try too hard.

5. The blush is quite critical, with many women around us often overdoing it in quest of looking doll-like. Hey, did anyone tell them there's just a fine line between a blushed-up doll and a clown? The blush is just make you appear healthier. A litmus test for applying it? Just pinch your cheek slightly, the colour you get is how your blush should be, not darker.

6. Finally, no make-up at all is not a good idea either. A moisturizer and slightly-lined eyes go a long way in helping you clean well. Sadly, yours truly is often guilty of forgetting to line her eyes :(

Remember, you're going to work and getting late for that is nothing new for anyone. Make up for work, if kept to good quality basics, should not need more than 10 minutes. If you're spending more time than that, you seriously need to evaluate your make-up techniques!


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Who said men cant be fashionable??

...Yes, even men can be fashionable, without being criticised for being too 'fashion-conscious' to be a man...

I wonder why have we attached a stereotype to men and fashion: to most people I know, men are either 'not-fashionable' or gay.. What's wrong in just looking out for your appearance dudes! It's about looking good rather than looking sloppy.

Just as it is for women, a good fit is as extremely important for a man. If you wanna become a lady magnet, ;), remember FIT IS IT!!

So, looking at the number of our brethren belonging to the corporate fraternity, let's talk about the fit of dress shirts. Though it's become much less, men have a persistent disease of wearing their shirts too loose, especially near the waist. Gentlemen, wake up to SLIM-FIT shirts pleaseeee! There is an abundance of them in various outlets now, including Amir Adnan (who has very sleek designs, btw) and Cambridge.

Check out these pictures of models wearing slim-fits:

Next are any guy's trousers. Remember to not go for very baggy ones as they only look nice on conventional teen hunks! Yes, I'm talking about the low-waisted jeans that boys had taken a fancy to a few months back (some still stick to the fashion faux pas), with utter disregard for decency and neat looks. But while the young lot could carry it off, late-20s and early-30s sporting it only looked like they're trying tooooooo hard!

For both jeans and formal trousers, make sure that the jeans fits your crotch and behind comfortably. NEVER go too tight with it either, or you'll be at the risk of not being invited to most parties because of the sheer embarrassment the "TIGHT-anic" will likely bring to your hosts.

Here, let me mention the flat front trousers that have saved many men from being a fashion disgrace. I've found really sleek ones at Dockers. Though a little pricey (ranging around PKR 7000-8000), they are totally an investment because of how good they'll make you look and also since they're good quality and last longer.

Have a look at some flat fronts:

Similarly for dinner suits and jackets. Go and get a tailored one rather than buy off a shelf. It will be completely worth the wait and the bill wont be much different than an off-the-shelf suit, unless of course, you choose a very dear material. Moosajee's and Ambassador are tried and tested options in my case, with a man looking very wonderfully neat in suits tailored by them. You might even have your personal tailor to stitch the suits for you, and if that works for you, nothing like it!

See for yourself how much of a difference a well-fitted suit can make:

Moving on to tee-shirts, the guy's age and built is very important. If you're not a very muscular, toned type, PLEASE avoid skinny tee-shirts. You just look like a stick-figured Salaman Khan afficianado stuffed inside a sausage case! Even if you are that much of a body-builder, leave the extreme tightness at home only and go for something that skims rather than clings to your body.

For older men, it's safer to hang on to a looser, more comfy piece than flaunt yourself the Johnny Bravo way! And again, anything too loose will only make you look very sloppy!

That for the moment folks! see ya'll soon with some more fashion tips for both men and women :)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Al-Karam Winter Collection 2011

So the winters are here, not that chilly in Karachi, but I'm sure my friends more up north will be swearing by the extreme chill.

Winter attire has always been a very tricky matter to me. Come to think of it, ours is not a country where you can comfortably sport a cool long coat with boots and get away without becoming the apple of every, I repeat EVERY, eye anywhere.

So the girls have to do with working around shalwar kameez. I personally hate the waist-length sweaters on a kurta. I hate them with a capital H. I'd rather be carrying around a hoarse throat than wear one sometimes. Of course, when 'mummy-dom' or 'husband-dom' jolts up on particular days, I dont have much choice.

Then, us Pakistani chicks and ladies are left with the option of shawls (which I shall be covering soon) and winter cloth material.

Here I am gonna start with sharing with you the photos of Al-Karam's winter collection. You can get them from the Al-Karam studio near 2-swords in Karachi and Gulberg in Lahore.

Al-Karam's winter collection is launched in 5 categories:
1) Resham Lenin embroidery
2) Jamavar collection
3) Khaddar print
4) Resham Lenin print
5) Khaddar embroidery

Have a look at the Resham Linen embroidery collection:

While I like the 3rd dress a lot (the light blue one on the right of the 2nd picture), I dont like the black one right next to it. It's got too many prints and it scores a perfect 10/10 on my clutter scale!

I also like the pistachio coloured one in the last picture, especially the way it's stitched! Check out how the front 'daman' curves out into a slightly longer back daman.

Next, let's see the Resham Linen Print:

I kinda like the print more than the embroidered ones. Check out the lovely colour combinations on most of the outfits here. However, the last one of this lot - the dark blue one - doesn't make me drool as much, most likely because it's not stitched very well. On a closer look, the cloth of that looks very bright and lovely too.

Ok so we've got the Khaddar embroidery next:

None of these meet my fancy, honestly. Only the light beige one with the dark green embroidery (the last one)...

Following this is the printed Khaddar:

I think the Al-Karams have done better with their prints than with their embroideries. Here, the dark brown and grey one really strike out, though the others are good too. I guess the printed versions have better colour combinations which make them look nicer. What say?

Finally, we move on to their Jamavar collection:

Now these are some fine clothes. Check out how delicate and beautiful the work on the dresses are. The white one on the cover looks particularly graceful. I only wish the colour palette on this range would have included some brighter shades as well..

Ok ladies, I'll be signing off for now, until I come up with more stuff for you to read. I have been requested to write about men's fashion too so that will be following soon too :)

until then, CIAO!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Aisha and Fatima's - Part 2

So I've finally downloaded the remaining photos I took at the exhibition. More mouth-watering clothes for y'all to ogle at :)

My favourite are the red and purple ones, here they go:

Check out the details at the front and back. I especially love the beautiful checkered type print on the purple one. And how warm and bright the colours are!

Ok, so this one with the bird motif at the back, i totally fell in love with:

But I always feel white is not my colour and makes me look fattish sometimes, so didn't end up getting it. But Fatima was willing to do it in black for me, all fitted to my size! That is, until my eyes fell on this one and I was suggested by auntie to try on a brighter shade for myself... Here, take a look at my own find :D

It's the one on the right, with a close up of the embroidered strip near the neck. A boat-cut neckline and a very very lovely colour which actually looked good on me. Otherwise, I usually invest in blacks, browns, greys, blues and bieges, colours that I feel most comfortable in. But for a change, this outfit looked rather neat on me ;)

Here are a few more of the dresses:

And a picture of two of the kurtis, as I promised :)

Here's a snapshot of Fatima's cute contact card for interested people to call and place their orders!

Keep it rolling buddies, catch ya'll later!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Aisha and Fatima's - a creative display (Part 1)

Last week, I visited an exhibition of very chic off-the-rack clothes, designed for the contemporary woman. There were a few points I appreciated about the display, including:

1. The dresses weren't too cluttered (and my regular readers would know clutter is not my thing at all)

2. They were left open at the sides so that the buyer could get the kurta stitched as per their fit

3. The designs weren't run-of-the-mill attire, but quite creative, for e.g. my fondness for a particular bird motif embroidered on one and printed on one

4. You could place orders for anything that had already been sold, so not like you missed out on a lot

5. The girls are getting most of the art work and embroidery by the women working for the Behbud Association. The receipt I got says, "We support the Behbud Association Karachi. Many of our products have been printed and embroidered by women at Behbud's Industrial Home in Shireen Jinnah Colony."

So you'll not just be buying an outfit, but also playing a role, even if teensy weensy, in doing some good.

I'm attaching a few photos of the clothes for you all to check out. Will upload more soon and will put them up in subsequent parts.

The girls' facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/events/206461052766078/
You can get further details too if you feel like ordering anything.

Check out the whites and blacks. I particularly liked the whites for the detail in the embroidery...

And can you make out the motif of the bird that I totally loved? It's an embroidered one near the neckline. The dark brown one had lovely matte sequins done around the collar.

The prices hovered around Rs3,000 for a kurta on average.

There was a small collection of kurtis as well (very difficult to find good ones these days!), which I will be sharing soon.

For further details, do contact the girls on their facebook page, or email me at fashionbashing@gmail.com and I'll help you get through to them.

Take care and have a great day!

Friday, 9 December 2011

"Iss mai kya burai hai??"

Have you checked out the photo below?

Though this is not the full image (you can easily find it anywhere on the web!), do you find anything wrong with the photo? Veena certainly doesn't. "Iss mai kya burai hai," (what's wrong with this?)she said to a local media channel a few days back regarding the new image in which she's wearing her bottoms.

The girl has stricken again, claiming to file a lawsuit against FHM for "tampering" her photo. And voila voila! Malik actually made it to the top news on CNN's homepage on Thursday, and was actually interviewed by the American broadcaster. Did I mention, her story turned up on BBC again...Turns out, no publicity is bad publicity, after all.

Check out her interview with CNN (and the story) at the link below:

And with BBC here:

"Topless is not nude!" she boldly declares to CNN, defending herself.

What's interesting is that FHM has filed a counter suit at the model, claiming that she knew the terms of the shoot all along. Hmmmm...

Methinks the actress is partly correct in that she may have not posed totally nude and just bottomless in the first photo that was revealed (a part of it shown below), but the photo may have been, as she says, "morphed" to make her appear nude. But the conservative country that Pakistan is, even topless is huge, and that too, with ISI initials!

But then, I'm sure the girl expected some kind of controversy too, and she's got every bit of publicity that comes as a cherry on top.

But hey, let's spare her some flak too. She says the nature of the industry is not a very demure and conservative type. True. And she says admits to not being a very good Muslim. Very true. So I do think it's about time we accept Veena as one of our racy models. And frankly, I'm sure many local models may have posed topless too, perhaps not as indiscreetly as Veena.

I'd give it to the girl for her guts and ability to put up with the sometimes very brutal society that we can be. Though, she gotta be more sensible about how she executes her 'bold' projects, not with ISI tatoos on a rival country's magazine perhaps!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Blogarama - The Blog Directory

Lessons from royalty

Did I tell you I'm an avid follower of the fashion styles of the Middleton sisters? For those of you who dont recall, Prince William married Kate Middleton earlier this year, and her sister, bridesmaid Pippa Middleton also got more than her due share of publicity.

While I started off admiring Kate's (fondly referred to as Diana's bahu by me :p) way of dressing, it gradually moved towards matronly and very non-creative, especially the hair! So while I still think the princess sister is definitely prettier, I find Pippa's style much more catchy and fun!

So today, we're gonna take a look at both the girls for a few lessons.

Let's begin with Pippa:

In the pictures, though Pippa's coats and dresses are worth drooling over, what my friend made me notice was how she carried her bag. Check out ho she either clutches the handle and lets the bag swing, or she slides it over the arm, which is folded in an L-shape. She does not sling it on her shoulder like many (not all) of us do. And honestly, it does add an air of style to even an otherwise simple outfit, no matter the size of the bag. So how many of us are gonna be carrying our bags the Pippa style tomorrow? ;)

Now lets take a peep at Britain's future princess. There are oodles of gorgeous photographs of her to check out, but lets look into the latest one.

Kate (extreme left in the first photo) wore this Zara's outfit at a fundraiser concert recently. The first look at this picture made me think something is amiss. Check that Kate's dress is kinda short and flares below the waist, which makes her upper half look kinda out of proportion relative to her thin legs.

We dont wanna sound too critical princess, but with a dress this short, a form-fitting dress would have been more appropriate, especially with as petite frame as yours!

But let's spare Kate some flak for her colour choices and combinations, plus really elegant accessories, especially the black clutch.

With that little lesson from royalty, we'll be off!
 Take care, and happy princess ogling :)

Credits: www.whatkatewore.com, www.pippa-middleton.co.uk