Maheen Khan

Fashion Pakistan Week 2016 – Picks

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I know I know I am late on this one, but better late than never right!! LIFE ¬†does get in the way and did I mention, I graduated and officially a Masters (you probably know that if you follow me on instagram ūüėõ )

While not averse to the idea of two fashion weeks, a full fledged and succinct fashion week with 5 days for all designers over the country would make much more sense, but I will not get into the politics of fashion, all I’ll say is that it is the case over all the world so Pakistan fashion industry going through it is no anomaly. The Fashion Pakistan Week that took place in Karachi showcased a multitude of designers showcasing their collections. From them, here are my picks:


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Fashion Pakistan Week – Winter Festive 2015 Day 1

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Kicking things off on Day 1, Fashion Pakistan Week begun with the usual fervor with designers, Shehla Chatoor, Sania Maskatiya, Gulabo, Ayesha Hashwani, Tena Durrani, Hisham Malik and Sana Safinaz  showcasing their luxury and high end collections.


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My guest blogpost on Maheen Khan

Les Assorties


Sydney-based fashion blogger and designer Owais Haji is the proud owner of Musings of a Fashion Designer, where he reports the latest fashion news and catwalk trends, and shares his daily outfits with his readers. Originally from Pakistan, he talks to us about Maheen Khan, a veteran fashion designer who has long followed in the Pakistani tradition expanding it worldwide:

“When one thinks of sub-continental fashion, especially one from Pakistan, they tend to think an overdone, overworked embroidered ensemble. However, Pakistani fashion is more than that, with many designers producing collections which are as contemporary as anyone in the world; Pakistan might be fashion world’s best kept secret. When one talks about Pakistani fashion, a name that possibly laid the foundation of it, moving it beyond the obvious, is the one of veteran designer Maheen Khan.

Maheen Khan photographed by Tapu Javeri

Where does one start with Maheen Khan? The legendary designer has had…

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Swan Song

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Maheen Khan’s swan song show warranted atleast a post of its own. The doyenne of pakistani fashion, while will remain head of Gulabo, presented the last collection from her eponymous label (all the more sad moment for me coz I wasn’t present there). To Karachi with love was her inspiration and ode to the women of Karachi from the sixties and seventies and how the city was back then. The finale collection was an ode to Karachi with hopes of it reverting back as glorious as its past.

The collection started off with a cloaked model who revealed a hand woven liquid matte gold sari worn over shalwars to Hira Tareen’s mix starting off with Baby shot me down. The contemporary take of the weavers from banarasi colony is an initiative taken up by Maheen and to no surprise she included the luxurious hand woven silks within her collection. The silhouettes were simple, sleek and chic with understated glamour and form quintessentially¬†Maheen that is sans any crutches of unnecessary dramatic surface treatment. It was about form, refinement and the simple and clean faultless details that are usually overlooked within the drama. Maheen however thrives on perfecting those and bringing them forth establishing ground rules need to be stronger to build up anything. Her silhouettes were fluid but not drowning the female form of the models. She showcased saris worn over shalwars, kurtas, capes, layered ensembles and some fun shalwars. Maheen has always been an advocate of the shalwar kameez and how it can be altered within changing times with contemporary versions and twists. She certainly showcased that in her collection that was contemporary and fresh with her draped and structured forms, so chic that I would not be surprised if she would present¬†this anywhere in the world and it would not strike a chord, that is how barrier breaking her approach is. With sheer and silk fabrics, her seams were faultless and the ensembles luxe without being overbearing under embellishments. There were woven organzas, golds and rich tones of silks that she worked with in a collection that was classic in taste, contemporary in approach¬†and nothing but Pakistani in its vibe. The veteran showed off why she is with some brilliant finishes (one very few people can boast of) with no threads and her control over fabrics. They moved as if every move was choreographed and Maheen knew exactly how it would react when walked in. I for one loved the striped gold fabric which was draped in a sari.

The models sashayed down with a simple styling, red lips and chiffon masks over their eyes. Powerful and evocative, laced with subtle¬†yet strong¬†symbolism.The Maheen Khan woman is a self assured understated glam chick. Iraj, Frieha Altaf and Attiya Khan were showstoppers for the last outing of one of the most senior designer of the country. Do yourselves a favor just play the music above and go through the collection…


*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team


Sneak Peek: Fashion Pakistan Week A/W14 Part 2

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Deepak Perwani (3) Deepak Perwani (2)
Deepak Perwani
For a designer who is known for his womenswear, going all out menswear for a fashion week, takes courage. The designer is going all out menswear though I still have my concerns.. exploring the dandy current man of the region, Deepak is on an exploration trip, though he is using embroidery, too much of it ¬†is an easy trap to fall in, but its Deepak, one who surprised us with Frieda goes to Kharadar and with a tres chic next year so it’s difficult to say what to expect.

Sanam Chaudhri sanamm
Sanam Chaudhri
Going the vintage route this season, Sanam’s collection is based around the bygone era yet seemingly relevant today. In an attempt to accentuate rather than display, Sanam’s vintage outing is anticipated in more ways than one since the designer skipped showcasing last season. Titled after her own grandmother, Sanam’s collection BANO attempts to explore the vintage eastern modesty in wearable silhouettes and luxe fabrics and vintage tones. The collection aims to explore the subtlety and glamorous nuances in discretion. Subcontinental vintage is one that is fun to explore and is one of my favorites. It has fun forms, brave enigma and mystery all rolled into one, and the reason I am excited what Sanam has to offer. With heritage techniques (am a fan of those) and embellishments it is to be seen how inventive can Sanam be. While we have seen her deliver, she needs to be careful that her vintage inspired outing seems current rather than looking outdated and bordering costume.

Shehla Chatoor
The luxury designer with her MISAKI collection is all set to explore the intricacies of Japanese weaving. What I am excited about to see is how the designer fuses something so organic and earthy with luxe to present a collection for her latest outing. Bringing forth her usual uber glam, sensual, sophisticated aesthetic onto the ramp, her inspiration comes from the art of Japanese painted paper folding screens. With their pictorial accents and landscapes providing her inspiration, her techniques also use Japanese basket weaving and rope and leather interlacing (gonna see lots of leather from her). It would be fun to see her take on the Japanese paintings and screens. Fingers and Fringes crossed

Adnan Pardesy - Inspiration board for FPW
Adnan Pardesy
Adnan’s ability to always present technically fun collections keeps, atleast me, hooked onto the thought what would he present next. He tends to push his technical boundaries which sort of has become his signature style as he has come onto his own as a designer over the years. His Labyrinth collection is no different. Deconstructing Japanese weaving this time around along with, Chinese floral patterns, forest abstracts, Kalamkaari, Japanese Geisha, Greek temple¬†landscape imagery, African tribal motifs, stencil technique¬†tattoos, contemporary art with abstract imagery and Islamic pattern compositions… phew!! that is a lot to combine together within one collection.. but its Adnan Pardesy.. we have seen him deliver so am not worried… am rather excited by what he terms as his ‘most exhausting collection’ with¬†signature fabric manipulation, off loom hand woven fabric weaves combining them with extremely intricate hand embroidery which has inspiration from a lot of different sources, it is¬†be one heck of a ride Mr. Pardesy has set for us.

Ather Ali Sketch Mohsin Sketch
Sana Safinaz
Woaahh!! Showing two lines within one fashion week one by Athar Hafeez and other by Mohsin Ali, giants Sana Safinaz never fail to surprise. The design house with its turn of employing established designers has garnered quite the attention in recent times, esp. with bringing Mohsin Ali on board. While Athar will open the fashion week with his, Mohsin’s line will be showcased on the finale day. Whats more is the match made in fashion heaven occurring that OUTHOUSE jewellery from India is making its debut in Pakistan and that too with Mohsin’s line for Sana Safinaz. I have been a fan of OUTHOUSE pieces and it just is the perfect quirky compliment to Mohsin’s brave sensibilities…This is one presentation I am waiting for

Zaheer Abbas
The last distinct collection that I remembered Zaheer’s was his white collection and some spurts of incorporating ajrak in his collections. Zaheer with his latest outing of NEO NUDE explores the skin and clothing relationships, something my colleague did and now he has gotten me intrigued what is he going to present. Working with nude colored fabrics of different weights and textures, it would be interesting to observe how he explores the relationships of bareness and clothing and skin with his minimal aesthetic. Expectations: Immaculate tailoring

Maheen Khan
What do I say that has not been said. The veteran designer needs no introduction and will be closing the fashion week with her presentation. Maheen with her ability to keep up and setting trends while remaining true to her design philosophy is a lesson in herself to learn from. Hers are the presentations that I am always excited about because you know all you are going to expect is nothing short of excellence that does not fear to break the rules rather set new ones out.

*Images belong to their respective owners

Desi Love

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Possibly the last event I attended before leaving…and one am glad I did. Gulabo is a brand associated with all things desi kitsch, especially truck art. With a brand with such strong identity, it is easy to get stagnant with a similar vibe. However Gulabo by Maheen Khan has steadily foraying into desi kitsch done really well (evident from the collections they have presented on runways) inspired by the love of all things Pakistan. The brand recently launched two lines namely Rangeela and Shaam foraying into further expansion of the brand

Gulabo by Rizwan ul haq

For someone who is a fan of print and that too in menswear, the novelty fun prints, esp the road map ones that I always wanted for men (talk about wish coming true) and the chainak (desi kettles) came as a fun respite from the usual solids or the usual safe prints we are served for menswear. For someone who has to get novelty fun prints customized, this came as such a fun addition to the retail market. The RANGEELA line was fun with its prints but sadly I couldn’t get my hands on one before leaving.

Rangeela by Rizwan ul haq

The SHAAM line as the name signifies is a much more simpler elegant line for evening wear that could be dressed up or down as pleased. The basic tunics in silks could be paired with skinnys, add in a smoky eyes and some chunky jewellery and you are good to go without much fuss. Others included white and golds as well as prints combined with signature Maheen Khan embroideries. As quoted.. “SHAAM, the evening wear collection for women, has been designed for the on trend woman who loves both traditional and contemporary styles and is looking for something classy…” Furthermore from the signature printed accessories, it was the canvas monotone truck art printed cross body bags that stood out for me.

Go all out this EID!! Pricing for clothes range from PKR.4,000 and above and PKR.1,000 and above for accessories and bags.

PR and marketing was done by Samra Muslim  of Walnut Communications


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With just 8 films this year, I personally felt it was too soon for any awards ceremonies regarding movies to take place. The film industry needs to regain its foothold firmly before any such award ceremonies regarding movies could take place . The awards, while ran for¬†painstakingly long hours in this hot and humid weather (yes it was outside). While it is open for debate whether ARY film Awards should have taken place…or not, it gave our local celebrities to strut their stuff on red carpet. While many did come as if it was their phuppi ka walima, quite a few did made their mark on the red carpet.

mahira khan
Actress Model VJ Mahira Khan stunned in black and white Mango separates at the awards. While many may disagree but she pretty much hits the ball outta park with the ying yang ensemble. The crop top and tailored pants stood out for all the right reasons in a sea of OTT gowns. Minimally chic, she paired it up with white heels and a studded clutch and a watch to go. Leaving her signature mane like she does, the only pop of color came through the customary red lip color in just the right amount accenting the whole look.

maheen khan with zeba bukhtiar in maheen khan
Veteran designer Maheen Khan showed everyone how its done in playing it cool in the hot weather. With the midnite purple and gunmetal seperates, her look was understated chic with a relaxed vibe to it. I am in Love with her hair color and to say it went brilliantly with the whole look would not be a mistake. She styled the look with  a single pendant, a metal cuff and a gun metal clutch.

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Shehla Chatoor’s Samsara collection was bound to make an appearance on the red carpet. And as I said earlier in my review, it would definitely be snagged up, and it did. With a host of celebs opting for it, this particular piece was one of my picks from her collection and Sabeena Pasha shines, literally rocking the hell outta that dress. The gold chain details on the back were fun, and side swept hair and gold heels, and you don’t need anythin else gurl to steal that spotlight.

aminah illyas in HSY
Winner of the best actress Jury award, Aamna Ilyas was in HSY from his venom collection. The red, another one of my favs, the model just makes it work going all out in the strapless ensemble. Playing up on the sheer trend, the layered part of the gown provided ample amount of that and and the pop of color via her ring was just the right hint needed. with her hair up in a chignon, this one was definitely in no doubt for the night.

noor in faiza saqlain
Off all the people, I never expected Noor to make an appearance on the list, but she managed to do so. In a faiza saqlain, she was one of the few of the night to opt for a sari. What worked in her favour was the color, the flawless makeup job and an understated look that stood out for its simplicity in the of OTT bling ness of the night. The Manish Malhotra-esque Sari was an easy breezy pick for the weather and one that looked good.


From the male lot, Ali Xeeshan stood out with the three piece Ahmed Bham suit with an unbuttoned (would have died otherwise) white cotton shirt. The power blue suit has made a comeback and Xeeshan definitely seems to be having fun in his. Its cool, suave and not so serious at the same time.

humza abbasi
Best Supporting Actor Winner and one of the hosts of the night, Humza Abbasi, cut a¬†clean picture in a black ensemble (possibly by Omer farooq though i still have to get confirmations on that). Fuss free the simple black sherwani scored more points that any of the other OTT satin patches and attempts to twist classics. Don’t do it if you can’t do it right. He looked downright dapper and without needing to try too hard…are others taking notes!!


The Roads Often Travelled

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Gulabo by Maheen Khan has been a pioneer in deriving inspiration from the vibrant city of Karachi in many ways. With the collections, she and her team seem to be at play everytime they have a presentation to make. Primarily because of the fact that they enjoy what they do in having fun with fashion and it shows without being uninhibited by anyone in the vicinity.

The high street brand’s design philosophy has always centered around being young, youthful and yet deliver the love for the city of Karachi and more particularly Pakistan. Gulabo’s colorful ode to Karachi moved on from the truck art prints down to the Karachi road maps, drawings of monuments and vehicles juxtaposed with paint splashes bringing out the undying vibrant spirit of the city onto the ramp. The black sketches contrasted against paint splashes were a brilliant uninhibited highlighted ode to the city. There were a couple of camouflage prints done in grey, a sort of comment on the unrest situation of the city at occasions but continues on with the resilience against giving in to the situations.

The silhouettes were relaxed tunics letting the prints take the center stage in every piece. They were chic and laid back without trying too hard. The pants ranged from shalwars, wide legged ones and slouched trousers to fitted tights and cropped pants all finished off with khussas. While I was a bit over the fence with the styling, like it’s tagline they were having a bit of fun on the ramp, and why not!! it did remind me of a stage production of Shakespeare’s fairies from A Mid Summer Night’s dream. Many of the pieces were accessorized by signature Gulabo bags.

My favorites has to be this tunic of with the sketch of Merewether tower juxtaposed with vibrant splashes of color made into this colorful print of sorts. Also I loved the road map print and how the whole ensemble was put together. Though easily could be worked as separates, I loved the colorful road map printed pants with just a hint of print on the shirt (I so wish that shirt would have been in menswear, would have loved to wear it). Also I absolutely adored the cross body bags, Maheen Khan was carrying one too, with the ajrakh prints. Now who ever has been through my instagram has seen me in an array of ajrakh kurtas. I just love the print and this time, in a bag, …I soo want one.

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*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team

Maheen Khan’s Flight

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When you get to know that Maheen Khan is showing, you are bound to expect a brilliant fashion presentation. And that is exactly what she delivered. Inspired by the birds, Maheen Khan’s collection was effortlessly chic, contemporary and wearable. Maheen’s immaculate execution of the ensembles was divine to say the least. With the years of experience behind her one can expect her to deliver every time bringing forth a collection that is better than the last. Minimal, the collection taking its inspiration from exotic and rare birds had seperates that were easy on the eye. Maheen’s clothes were the stars as soon as they stepped out on the ramp and set out a brilliant start to the Fashion Pakistan Week

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Embodying everything that is Maheen, the collection boasted of a variety of materials from jersey, chiffons, and silks. Flawless and I mean FLAWLESS in construction, there was not a pucker in sight ¬†As usual the color palette was mature and sensitive with pops of colors accented at occassions throughout the presentation. Maheen understands the need to evolve with time yet keeping the classic elegance intact and thats exactly what you get from her collection. The silhouettes ranged from tunics, shift tops, palazzos, caged top, churidaars, printed tops to a draped gown and sari. Trending on sheer, layering and print on print, Maheen’s collection was as elegant as it gets.

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The scallops prints (loved ’em) in colors as well as white, the drapes and well as the birds prints translated the inspiration of birds seamlessly and one could easily see it without it being in your face.¬†Accessorized perfectly with headdresses, she added just the right amount of needed quirk through the styling. I also love the fact that everytime she gets her team to walk with her and this time it was no different. Sarah Anees (the head designer and my mentor while my stint at Amir Adnan ūüôā .. was so happy to see her out there) and Arij Hashmi walked the walk ūüėČ along with Maheen.

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From this subtle and minimal collection my picks were: this simply done chic beige draped knee length tunic that echoed Maheen, the navy blue pants with yellow print paired with yellow printed top was absolute fun, the black Sari, loved the knot blouse that fit the model to a T, the caged top and the white birds printed straight top with assymetrical hemline which had these huge birds upfront in flight with printed back.




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*Images courtesy Kashif Rashid