The recently held Lux Style Awards 2016 in Karachi, Pakistan could not live up to its puffery. But it still marked an occasion where Pakistan is heading to grasp the importance of stardust all too well and is happy to put out there, spending millions and planting itself on the cultural map of the world quite successfully.
It won’t be erroneous to profess the awards as a source of recognition to all those who push themselves all year round, even as ascetics will say they do not mean much. Perhaps, this is why the awards are never considered a paradigm to success.
Meanwhile where the jury was out, the judges were in and politics was indeed a surging sea undergoing stormy weather. The Lux Style Awards (LSA) collaborated with Frieha Altaf’s Catwalk for production, Nabila for Makeup and Farishteh Aslam of Talking Point for PR; Wall’s ice-cream brand Magnum was also involve, since you cannot put up grand shows without a sponsor.
Things are happening in the Pakistan Entertainment and Fashion industry — but when you look at the rest of the world, it’s moving at a snail space. Still, to aptly employ a cliché, we’ve seen LSA grow from a hatchling to a swan. Let’s face it — LSA was a tiny show when it started more than a decade back where there were no films to celebrate at all. Entertainment needs hoopla and LSA pulled that off successfully, although LSA has sustained unfathomable setbacks such as half the audience walking out midway through the show and gates remaining closed till 10:45pm (when the time on the invitation card was 6pm!).
The Lux Style Awards 2016 was a finale of not so rehearsed performances. The LSA you see on television is not the LSA on ground. From Fawad Khan’s flawless act to Ali Zafar’s not-so-perfect hosting stint with constantly announcing wrong categories and presenters with several re-takes, and Yasir Hussain’s witty sense of humour along with power packed performances — it was nice to see all coming together though. Those catchy double meaning of some of the verses had the audience in splits!
The major issue of Lux Style Awards was the inept PR, drooling passes to the crowds and crowds — not entertainment and fashion people but crowds — who pushed and misbehaved. Then there was the strenuous delay in the shows and above all Farishteh Aslam herself, who unnerves you by not responding to your calls or queries.
Lux Style Awards has been a platform of acknowledging those who have been putting themselves out there throughout the year with a focus on fashion, style and television. There was a time when there were no Pakistani films at all — but the ecstasy of chimera film production these days is a matter of eminent celebration at the award shows. With film categories it was predictable enough for Moor and Bin Roye to dominate the night.
The Best Singer Male and Female was presented to Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Abida Parveen, respectively for Bin Roye. The Best Film Director and Film of the Year award was taken away by Moor though.
The Life Time Achievement Award was presented to the Late Amjad Sabri. Ali Zafar and Ali Sethi took the stage to deliver a powerful tribute to the Qawwali maestro, as Sabri’s son joined them on stage. Amjad Sabri left a mark on thousands of hearts, carrying a legacy of his late father Ghulam Farid Sabri and Uncle Maqbool Ahmed Sabri.
Glitz and glamour is one of the centrepieces of LSA, but the Best Dressed Male Award went to one of the most dressed out star of the evening, Hamza Ali Abbasi, while the Best Emerging Talent award going to Alee Hassan Photographer was like a cherry on top. As far as I can remember, he’s the same photographer who did a shoot for L’Oreal makeup, reinventing the Disney princesses terribly. (Can you please reconsider this category?)
And then for a mixed bag of entertainment — how dramatically Fawad Khan dropped Fauzia Aman’s award for the Best Model (Female) as a pun, and then how terrible it was to see a dwarf couple on stage as the butt of some ill-conceived joke. During a segment, Ayesha Khan was brought on stage with the announcement that her famously orphaned Mann Mayal character’s parents have been found. And in walked a little couple, as the punch line of that joke. Where the joke in that?
Nabila bagged her 10th LUX Style Award — a tribute to the consistency and excellence with which she has developed the hair and makeup industry in Pakistan. It was a double triumph for Faraz Mannan who bagged Best Bridal and Best Lawn (After all Bebo — Kareena Kapoor Khan — is her brand ambassador!) while Abdullah Harris was the Best Photographer, who deserved much for putting out a dramatic and a boho feel to whatever he captures.
The dwindling retail women’s wear brand Generation — started over three decades again by husband-wife duo Saad and Nosheen Rahman and recently taken over by their daughter Khadija Rehman — secured a win for itself for Achievement in Fashion Design (Pret). The new breeds of designers are far better at it than the old guard and these are new times for a new kind of designer.
It was a fantastic night of racy performers, some of them a lot of fun — Sohai Ali Abro’s performance was by far the most rousing stage performance witnessed that evening. However, the most “dhuaandaar” (steamy) performance belonged to Mahira Khan who set the stage on fire as she arrived to move on her song from Bin Roye. The crowd went “woah!”
The nominations may feel a bit dated with Sadqay Tumharay still doing the rounds and taking away three awards in the Television Category, but the night belonged to the Raees actress Mahira Khan winning Best Actor (Female) Award for Television and Film along with Best Dressed Female at the night of glamour shebang. Where it was a long wait to Mahira’s performance, it was a joy to watch her perform effortlessly, with minor pre-rehearsals. She whirled and twirled — those jhatkas and thumkas! Kudus to Farieha Altaf and Team.
GRAND ENTRANCE: Ali Zafar enters the stage of LSA to host the night.