On a cold February night while mindlessly scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across a lawn advertisement. The next insta post showed socialites wearing sleeveless lawn suits at a launch event. Now I see these same women smiling into the camera almost every hour featured in different elitist magazines and posts. I could have sworn they were wearing jackets and carrying designer bags just yesterday at a polo match.
For those of you not familiar with lawn it’s a fabric to be worn in summers. It’s the finest form of cotton weave which has a soft almost luxurious feel to it. Its comfortable, airy and breathable to give women (never heard of men wearing it) much needed respite from the sweltering heat.
Some of the top brands which are magically sold out at Cinderalla time on their prebooking dates are Elan, Sana Safinaz, Faraz Manan and Sobia Nazir.
“Please take care of yourselves, don’t put yourselves or others in harm’s way, be happy and stay safe.” Khadija Shah, designer of Elan addressed her customers on Instagram, preparing them for the battle ahead.
Lines are formed outside flagship stores the day of the pre-booking only to be broken as soon as doors open. Social media gets flooded with videos of violent women destroying anything and everything that comes in their way. Salesmen scarred both emotionally and physically.
“A furious customer smashed a salesman’s head,” said Tahir who works as a driver and was an eyewitness to the incident.
The disgruntled man had queued up for Elan 3A since 6am. When he finally reached the salesman, he was told they had run out of stock.
Now why do a certain class of people, mostly educated, behave like this is beyond human comprehension. Pushing and shoving are considered milder forms of aggression when it comes to buying their chosen design.
There is method to this madness. First the social media campaigns start. Then you see pictures and videos of unbelievably tall and beautiful women with fair skin and European features wearing long shirts, flared trousers and flowing silk dupattas (long scarves worn traditionally in Pakistan). Some are basking in the sun on a cruise in Italy with their fluttering dupattas following them everywhere. Others lying on a sofa in a French palace and some staring blankly while walking in a forest. The designs and campaigns of different designer brands each year have started looking eerily like each other.
Then the catalogues come out. Hype is created and countdown to online pre-booking starts. Women look through endless pictures while holding their breath and write the codes to their favorite designs for pre-booking. Its status symbol and the race to wear it first rather than the love for lawn that drives sales. There is frenzy around this time. Girls try to ask their friends which one they will buy while casually mentioning they will not buy any designer lawn this season as not to disclose the codes of the suits they are trying to get.
I vowed not to get into the designer lawn trap but unfortunately succumbed to buying just one suit. When I went to collect it, I was approached by a middle-aged woman who took me to the side and started whispering that she had the ‘out of stock’ lawn joras. She handed out her number on a piece of paper and disappeared as swiftly as she had appeared.
Out of curiosity and partly because the design my mother liked was also the first to run out, I called that number to ask about availability. To my horror, the woman quoted almost double the price for the same suit! Talk about creating a business opportunity out of women’s desperation to wear their favorite design before their friends do.
Now I know, designer lawns are nowhere in the affordable range. Most are around Rs 7,000 for a three-piece suit which include unstitched fabric for a shirt and trouser, a dupatta and some random patches (with little to no information given where each patch belongs). But paying double of that seemed unreasonable and wrong.
If you thought the ordeal ends here, wait till you take this lawn suit for stitching. The otherwise friendly tailors during winter months start showing attitude during this season. The prized packet comes with a paper indicating contents in English (I wonder why not in Urdu) and a picture of a model wearing it. When you open it, random cloth pieces much like a jigsaw puzzle keep coming out. Surprisingly this baffles the customers, but the tailors exactly know what fits where. For their services, they charge exorbitantly. Appliques, patches, hem, trimmings, home delivery, stitching early are some of the add-ons included in the final stitching bill which is not meant for the light-hearted. Stitching costs can go up to Rs 3000 or more for a suit.
The Pakistani rupee hit an all-time low of around 146 against the dollar and further devaluation is expected. People are complaining about inflation and rising food prices but there is silence on the topic of exorbitant designer lawn prices. How can so many people afford something so expensive?
More and more textile mills are collaborating with designers to come up with their lawn collection each year. This year low-priced alternatives by coveted designer brands like Muzlin by Sana Safinaz and Zaha by Elan were seen in the market but not met with that much enthusiasm by the seasoned lawn buyers. The whole concept of designer lawn works on looking expensive and showing off otherwise the veterans of lawn like Al Karam, Gul Ahmed and Nishat Linen still have the softest and purest form of the fabric.
Lawn mania doesn’t end here. Now that Eid is around the corner, all the brands are coming out with their formal collection. Did I mention Volume II and III will follow?
The saga never ends… Maha Shah is a freelance writer, journalist and HR professional who has worked for Google and Bloomberg and has lived in Jordan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Qatar and now Pakistan
By Maha Shah
The Launch of Burger Lab’s latest invention – Burger Lab Innovation Kitchen
Every time we head out of the house for dinner – there is one dreaded question that we ask each other, where are we going to eat today? Well, living in Karachi, we are always overwhelmed by so many options that it is hard to choose where to dine out, so we’re here to give you some suggestions as to where your next dinner or lunch should be. It should definitely be at the new Burger Lab Innovation Kitchen!
All of us have been eating from Burger Lab’s scrumptious burgers for as long as we can remember – so what’s so different in this new innovation kitchen, you might ask? Well, as the name suggests, this new outlet by one of the most famous burger franchises in Pakistan is all about innovation! Located at Khayaban-e-Seher, with a chill, cozy, yet fancy vibe, Burger Lab has introduced an Innovative Menu, and it is oh so good. Believe us when we say, there hasn’t been any place in Pakistan that makes you want to keep going back for that Honey Glazed Burger (our favorite from the menu). The other items in the innovative menu also include Honey Glazed Chicken, The 3 Musketeers (sliders), and Bounty Shake.
As you can tell, the Burger Lab Innovation Kitchen will be our weekly meal stop for a while. The idea behind the new place by Burger Lab is so amazing, as they will only be offering the products in the innovative menu for a few weeks after which, they will introduce a new set of products – how tempting is that? And oh, don’t worry if you fall in love with an innovative menu item that might be leaving soon, they will be launching the innovative menu items that people love nationwide across 29 other outlets!
So, what are you waiting for? Head to the Burger Lab Innovation Kitchen and tell us what you think!
KASHMIR Are All Ready to Release a New Single ‘Ayi Bahaar’
One of the greatest discoveries of Pepsi Battle of the Bands has to be the 2017 Winners of the competition KASHMIR, an alternative rock band from Karachi that really came and conquered. The group which consists of 6 members has been making headlines with their music ever since. They finally satisfied their fans with their debut studio album ‘Khwaab’ last year. The album was critically acclaimed and reminded us of all of the reasons as to why we fell in love with this band in the first place.
Well, after much anticipation, it looks like KASHMIR is finally putting out new music once again and we are genuinely thrilled. The band teased the arrival of a new single ‘Ayi Bahaar’ on their Social Media, and fans have been patiently waiting for the single to drop on the first of October.
The name of the song is enough to tell us that the song might somehow be related to everyone’s favorite season (Spring aka Bahaar!) and so we have reason to believe this is going to be a fun and funky song. The cover art for the single looks amazing too and we can’t wait till we can listen to the song.
KASHMIR has managed to rise to fame in this very competitive music industry with their original sound and beautiful lyrics. Since Pakistan has started to see some growth in the music industry – it is extremely rewarding to see how this new band is taking center stage and bringing us some brilliant music while they do that!
Watch Taser here:
Kinza Razzak to Star in Sports Drama ‘22 Qadam directed by Anjum Shehzad’
The rising young actress Kinza Razzak who has made her mark on the small screen in a short period of time is coming back on our screens in an exciting sports drama ‘22 Qadam’ soon.
Kinza Razzak has proved her mettle with distinct roles in several television serials, telefilms, and advertisements. This time, the young actress will be seen in a completely different avatar in the sports drama. Details for the serial have not yet been revealed, though the drama is on the floor and is expected to release soon.
The young actress was last seen on the screens in the hit drama serial Log Kya Kahain Ge alongside Faisal Qureshi and the critically acclaimed web series Ek Jhooti Love Story with Bilal Abbas Khan. She has been gracing our screens in challenging roles since 2017 and has a knack for choosing her projects wisely. This time, the actress is once again ready to star in a project that sounds like a completely unique story.
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