A new year is almost upon us, and although we’re not quite ready let go of this one, there’s not much we can do other than reminiscing about it. 2018 has been an interesting year, full of ups and downs, groundbreaking achievements and innovation. It’s only fair that we celebrate the end of this year by scribbling down a recap in its honor.
Pakistan was included in Forbes list of 10 coolest places to go in 2019.
In 2018, Pakistan witnessed a changing of the guard. One democratically elected government transitioned into another via the general elections.
Imran Khan was elected as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan, while PTI formed a majority and took hold of the federal government. This ushered a change in the political climate of Pakistan labelled “Naya Pakistan”
What will people say, an enigmatic and groundbreaking film by Pakistani-Norwegian director Irum Haq was extremely well recieved and met with applause all around the world.
PMLN was successful in adding 12000 MW of electricity within the system, dampening the energy crisis that had been looming over our heads for quite some time.
Awareness about workplace sexual harassment was raised when Meesha Shafi contributed her story in regards to the MeToo movement. This helped shed a light on how women are treated in an allegedly safe environment.
A groundbreaking verdict was given out in the Asia Bibi blasphemy case, the previous high court verdict was overturned and she was released due to insufficient evidence.
The Government managed to secure aid from both Saudia Arabia and the UAE in order to lessen their dependance upon the IMF. Talks are underway with China for more financial support.
The Kartarpur corridor was opened for Sikh pilgrims, a mature and humanitarian step taken by Pakistan to mend bilateral ties with India.
A bill was passed in order to ensure that the rights of transgender people within Pakistan are protected, and to help save them from any form of discrimination.
A successful initiative taken by PTI was the billion tree tsunami, afforestation in many affected areas was done, lush and greenery brought back to the country.
Chief Justice Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of many afflictions that the poor people of Pakistan suffer from, in addition to that, a fund was also created to raise money for building a dam.
Important politicians such as Mian Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari were the subject of trials in regards to financial corruption and misuse of authority.
A wave of extremism overtook Pakistan as TLP protested the Asia Bibi verdict, damages worth Rs.260 million were incurred during this time period.
Pakistan was included by the FATF in its grey list due to allegations of terror financing.
The nation was shocked to its core by an atrocious act in January; the rape and murder of Zainab Ansari, and although the gaping wound left behind by her demise has not yet healed, the one who did wrong by her has been brought to justice.
Pakistan in 2018 lost many important people and leaders such as Siraj Raisani, Haroon Bilour, Ali Raza Abidi; they kept on championing for democracy, and lost their lives in the process.
Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Nobel Prize winner and activist visited Pakistan for the first time in 6 years, she called it the happiest day of her life.
After a decade of inactivity, British Airways are to resume flights in Pakistan, Qatar too opened a visa facilitation center in Islamabad for swift processing of visas, along with a promise of 100,000 jobs for Pakistani workers.
2018 proved to be a golden year for Pakistani cinema, as many of its films went to to receive critical acclaim and managed to bring in big box office numbers; Cake and 3 Bahadur were well received by Pakistani audiences and people abroad, with the former’s director winning an award at the UK Asian Film Festival.
We’ve had our fair share of U-turns, delays and mishaps this year, but we’ve also enjoyed much, this year showed us that Pakistan can persevere through anything with the grace of Allah, it is important to cling on to hope, it is integral to try and find a silver lining in every cloud. Let’s hope the forthcoming year is a prosperous and fulfilling one, bringing all of us joy and solace.
Hum Style Awards 2020 – The Good, the Bad, and the Dazzlingly Hottest
Hum Style Awards 2020
The enchantment and glitz of a perfect Saturday night, and with the true spirit of a star-studded affair, Hum Style Awards 2020 kickstarted the year with a bang. Held at Expo Center Karachi, the Hum Style Awards was indeed filled with glamour and graced by big names of the fashion and entertainment industry and turned out to be a compendious evening. The red-carpet ceremony began with a spark with megastars including Reema Khan, Tariq Amin, Zara Noor Abbas, and Mira Sethi among many, walking along and flashing their brightest smiles and deluxe attires. However, the zing started to fade after a few hours, turning into a drabber experience, and the diminutive size of the red carpet relative to previous years just added to the walk being shorter and people getting bored quickly.
The event turned out to be unusually timely, and before it was half past nine, the hall was filled and the show about to begin. The stage was remarkably gorgeous with the graphics setting a starry-night mood, mirroring the space with so many of the industry’s stars. Though the hall space was relatively cramped, making it appear congested at a few spots, especially when there was movement. And what better way to start the show, than with a splash of patriotism invigorating one’s spirits through our beautifully melodious national anthem.
The boost of patriotic sentiment was followed by a performance by a rap dup, Young Stunners, which turned out to be moderately successful in energizing people. It even managed to make the audience laugh at some spots, especially with the comical references to videos of celebrities that went viral on social media – the actor Ali Rehman Khan’s video leak where he is repeatedly seen saying to a restaurant’s staff, “Aap ko pata hai main kaun hun?” (“Do you know who I am?”)
Adnan Siddiqui, the host for the night, gave the show’s opening note, which was perhaps the only part of the hosting that can be termed enjoyable. The other hosts that followed, namely Aamina Sheikh and Usman Mukhtar, steered the event in a way which could have been made more entertaining if it were Adnan Siddiqui paired with Aamina for the show, as Mukhtar’s part sounded rather clumsy, with forced jokes in between. His Hum Smile Awards segment left a lot of the peers watching the show super perplexed, as his supposed impression of PTV’s host Tariq Aziz, was downright vague. The only thing that seemed spontaneously amusing about the hosting, was the use of political jokes here and there, which is rarely observed in Award ceremonies. From the comment on how Imran Khan is the only Prime Minister without his own business and hence, is bent on erasing all business from Pakistan, to the “boot polish” statement, the spritz of comedy was like a breath of fresh air in the otherwise mundane script.
The performances were energetic, and made the audience recall all the classic, vintage Pakistani music, while appreciating the present-day music that is part of our television and film industry. The second performance by Ahsan Khan and Sara Loren was riveting, though if the music is to be viewed separately than the dances, both the performers lacked the energy and the vibe of the tunes, despite being great at dancing usually.
The highlight of the event was the performance by Zara Noor Abbas, who appeared to be an embodiment of grace and art, rhythm and style, as she moved to the beat of the classical songs. Her performance was thoroughly refreshing and delightful, one which reminds you of not only the beauty of the art itself, but also the ability of a great artist keeping the viewers fascinated, throughout.
Dancing to the superhit tunes of the blockbuster film of last year, Superstar, the power-couple Farhan Saeed and Urwa Hocane brought life to the show, as they shook the stage with their dynamic moves. The flow of the choreography and the beat of the dance numbers kept the fun alive till the next performance, which was undoubtedly another key feature of Hum Style Awards. The said performance was a splendid concert by Abrar ul Haq, instantly making the audience fall in love and sway with the hit Punjabi beats. However, had the concert been live, it would have added more of a buzz in the environment.
The Award Categories included the Rising Star 2018-2019 won by two of the Nominees including Mush Kaleem, the Hair and Make-up Artist of the Year 2018-2019 secured by Qasim Liaqat, Fashion Photographer of the Year 2018-2019 bagged by Alee Hasan, Best Model Female 2018-2019 won by Zara Abid, Best Model Male 2018-2019 won by Aimal Khan, Designer of the Year Lawn 2018-2019 received by Zara Shahjahan, Most Stylish Performer 2018-2019 won by Asim Azhar, Timeless Beauty won by Reema Khan, Most Stylish Actor Television 2018-2019 won by Sonya Hussyn in the Female Category and Mikaal Zulfiqar in the Male Category, and Most Stylish Actor Film 2018-2019 won by Mahira Khan (Popular) and Kiran Malik (Jury) and Ahad Raza Mir in the Female and Male Category, respectively.
Surprisingly, despite Superstar being one of the highest grossing film of the previous year, Bilal Ashraf was not nominated for the Most Stylish Actor Film category. If there were two awards given in the Female category in the name of Jury and Popular Choice, there surely could have been made room for two awards being awarded in the Male category as well, deservingly giving one of the awards to Bilal Ashraf.
Other Categories included Most Stylish Sports Personality 2018-2019, won by Hajra Khan, Captain of Pakistan Women’s National Football team. This was a novel deviation from the usual practice of recognition being granted to cricketers alone, as well as the fact that a woman bagged the award.
Style Icon given to Aisha Omer, and other prestigious awards that were part of the ceremony were Best Model Male and Female, Designer of the Year Pret Wear, Bridal, Menswear, Demi-Couture, and Lawn, as well as Retail Label of the Year and Excellence in Interior Designing and Furniture Manufacturing.
Bridal Couture Week Day 2 brings more stars on the ramp
After the glamorous showcase on Day One, Day Two of the bridal extravaganza was a continuation of the glitz and bridal statements with the country’s acclaimed couturiers, bridal wear designers and retail brands. As always BCW left its audience stunned with its majestic stage, uniquely set for a one of kind fashion show.
On Day Two of the bridal extravaganza kicked off with Emraan Rajput’s earthy hued fusion collection Shalima.
It was followed by Aisha Farid’s Nur un Nissa a collection fit for the Mughal empress.
The next show was by Kausar Sajid with her Parivarsh collection which has revived ancient embroidery techniques over luxe and delicate fabrics for the modern-day bride.
Shakeel’s by Zeeshan Danish’s hand embroidered bridal collection Kimkhwab and Sheeba Kapadia’s Claire De Lune for the new age bride.
Chinyere’s Ishq Nachaye Gali Gali for the woman who presents femininity through unique and beautiful patterns of embroidery, embellishments and motifs.
Humayun Alamgir’s Nawabzada a collection inspired by the fashion choices of the royals, elite and the influential.
Next in line was Embellished by Sadaf Amir’s Bagh e Baharan which featured colours of flowers from all seasons and transformed the ramp into a garden.
Rici Melion’s timeless couture pieces in their latest collection Zyanya, encompassing artisanal craft forms showcasing renditions of Turkish floral, textures and seaming.
Day 2 comes to an end with the return of Lahore’s favourite Maria B. with her collection The Lady of Amritsar.
The audience also witnessed the launch of Tasmina and Zulfiqar Sheikh’s Sacch movie’s latest song. The cast members who braced the runway included debutant Elysée Sheikh paired with Asad Zaman Khan, along with veterans including Ayesha Sana and Uzma Gillani.
Day 2 of the three-day bridal extravaganza had an amazing line-up of celebrities walking for the designers – internationally acclaimed singer and actor Ali Zafar walked for Emraan Rajput, and the stunning queen of television Ayeza Khan walked for Aisha Farid. Nimra Khan graced the ramp for Kausar Sajid, while Urwa Hocane walked for Shakeel’s by Zeeshan Danish while Sanam Jung walked for Sheeba Kapadia’s showcase. The very lively Juggan Kazim walked for Chinyere while singer Falak Shabbir, vlogger Shahveer Jafry and cricketer Hasan Ali walked for Humayun Alamgir. Mawra Hocane walked for Sadaf Amir and Junaid Khan with Zubab Rana strutted down the ramp for Rici Melon. The veteran classical performer Nighat Chaudary added allure to the show during Maria B.’s segment.
Bridal Couture Week Day 1
The 17th edition of the biggest bridal show extravaganza, Bridal Couture Week (BCW).
Show one of the bridal extravaganza kicked off with Fahad Hussayn’s collection Labyagawachi trousseau bridal collection.
It was followed by Aisha Imran’s Shadi Mubarik in romantic hues for the charismatic classic bride.
The next was Almirah with its collection Ethnic Seams which drew its inspiration from the splendour and intimacy of Eastern art.
It was followed by Samsara Couture House’s Hayal, inspired from the tulip era in the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
Zonia Anwaar came next with her collection Zoella which was modern yet infused traditional techniques with her signature cuts for the young millennial brides.
Ziggi Menswear’s monochromatic collection Fana – ‘Annihilation of the Self’ which was constructed using luxe fabrics, rich embroideries and motifs inspired from Sufism.
Nitasha Bilal Haute Couture showcased Abooro with her vision of beautiful Mughal legacy, blending them with her revivalist techniques of kora dabka and was awarded the Pantene Rising Star for her beautiful debut collection.
Haris Shakeel who amalgamated embroideries with block and screen printing in his collection Ishq.
Next was Royal Tag’s very aristocratic menswear collection The Royal Ceremony, inspired by the majestic Syon House and Garden in London.
Day one came to an end with globally acclaimed master couturier Nilofer Shahid’s collection Dastaan e Firdaus.
Day one of the three-day bridal extravaganza had an amazing line-up of celebrities walking for the designers – the bhangra king Abrar Ul Haq walked for Fahad Hussayn and Minal Khan showcased for for Aisha Imran. The veteran actor Aijaz Aslam was show stopper for Almirah, while the undisputed queen of our entertainment industry, Saba Qamar graced the ramp for Samsara Couture House whereas Nausheen Shah walked for Zonia Anwaar. Noor Khan walked and ‘Soch The Band’ performed for Nitasha Bilal Haute Couture while Kinza Hashmi closed the show for Haris Shakeel.
The eternal Adnan Siddiqui walked the ramp for Royal Tag and Sarah Khan added allure to Nilofer Shahid’s timeless pieces.