Muhammad Asad Ullah was at hand to see the grand celebration of the Pakistani fashion industry at the Hum Style Awards 2017
An awards show is always the best place to view a wide range of entertainment, and the HUM Style Awards 2017 hosted by the trio of Saba Qamar, Farhan Saeed and Ali Kazmi in cosmopolitan Karachi was no exception.
The Awards are here to stay thanks to the dominance of the corporate giants and Pakistan entertainment industry carving a scintillating style and fashion niche. The best of Karachi and Lahore, Pakistan’s fashion power centres, were pitched at the same platform, and the atmosphere was electric.
Where the perceptive Khadija Rehman of Generation (Best Retail) takes the brand to a level of sophistication personified and top-notch quality that makes her designs worth it, it is the indomitable craftsmanship of Zaheer Abbass (Designer of the Year Demi Couture) that enables him to impose himself in the interminable list of designers existing nationwide.
Fashion trends and power packed performances swarm international award shows, including Bollywood, but the Pakistan fare now has its own signature allure. One witnessed drama, spot on choreography and sizzling performances — choreographed by Ilona Bekier.
The script did falter at times featuring tasteless jokes; but in hindsight, it was much calmer and level headed compared to the fare previously. It’s always the opening and closing acts that drive the endurance for an entire show ending post-midnight and Saba Qamar opened the night with a performance putting forward her brutally honest account of how to be a star in Pakistan. This she did by putting on different masks with a recap of the past year following an Urdu version of Nancy Sinatra’s classic Bang Bang. It’s commendable for Saba, who recently stole the show in her Bollywood debut Hindi Medium, to have such a handle on what she wants to do — she always creates a parallel world on-screen and an award show is always made brighter by it.
Syra Yusuf and Asim Azhar shaking a leg together on Punjabi beat, and then, Ahsan Khan’s conquest of the dance floor was a lot of fun; he always knows what he’s doing and does it well.
With item songs trending in the Pakistan film industry lately, Sadaf Kanwal has already made headlines with Kaif o Saroor in Na Maloom Afraad 2 and earning Most Stylish Female Model Award was a cinch. This girl can pull off anything effortlessly; she paired a plain sexy off shoulder saree with a sleek bun for the red carpet and raised the bar of red carpet looks. Where Sadaf was game for the prize, we may just have to hand the award for Most Stylish Model Male to Hasnain Lehri for all the campaigns and appearances he has been giving lately. Having said that, Salman Riaz winning the award in the male category did raise eyebrows.
Meanwhile the Pakistani lawn industry is booming more than ever and every other designer coming up with a special luxe lawn collection is evidence, but Sana Safinaz has taken the lead. No-one puts an effort like the duo does in their quality, fabrics or their campaigns. Although they gave up on lawn exhibitions a while ago after traffic jams and never before witnessed stampedes at venues around Pakistan, but still long queues at their flagship stores nationwide reveals the power of the brand.
There’s a sharp crescent of change in men’s wear with florid bursts of colour without compromising on one thing that menswear is truly about: cuts. Where Republic by Omer Farooq (last year’s winner) has established itself as the go-to designer for everyday and formal wear, it’s Ismail Farid that has quite a good hand for suits, doing tremendously well for the quirky elements and seeing him walk away with the trophy wasn’t surprising at all.
Best Emerging Talent is the most fun category, looking out for the younger crowd and encouraging them to set a milestone, spicing up the fashion industry. This was bagged by Saheefa Jabbar, breakout star of the year – the boy cut model, who, set the ramp and billboards on fire with her sexy appeal and looks. Her bridals have been weaving their usual magic spell, not because they’re sharp but her excellent fabric. Her painstakingly intricate detailing in crystals, pearls and sequins, her lehengas have been a good bet to win. And yes, Shehla Chatoor. Bagging the award for Designer of the Year – Bridal is no surprise.
The Outstanding Achievement Brand Development Award was presented to Shamoon Sultan for Khaadi. The most stylish film actor male and female awards were bagged by Osman Khalid Butt and Sanam Saeed, respectively. Ayesha Omer grabbed the statuette for the Most Stylish Actor Female – Television; Feroze Khan for the Male category; and pop star Atif Aslam the coveted Style Icon 2017.
Another episode of acknowledging the fashion and entertainment industry ended on a high note with celebrities in attendance appearing on the stage together for a performance. But Mahira Khan was much missed.
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