The hair market in Pakistan just got more diverse and exciting as the new range of Toni & Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe was launched to a select group of bloggers, fashionistas and journalists in Karachi today.
The Toni & Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe philosophy believes in the total finished look and dressing from head and toe. A key range of hair styling products, neatly divided into looks as varied as Casual, Classic and Glamour, were introduced by Global Hair Ambassador Mark Hampton and the fabulous designer Feeha Jamshed in a fun presentation that saw eight models dressed and prepped in Casual, Classic and Glamorous looks.
The highlight of the evening was when a long table (where we were all seated) was converted into a catwalk and we saw the different looks on the models close up. The models had plenty of attitude as they walked the ramp to some seriously cool beats. As usual Frieha Altaf pulled off superb organization and choreography. Mark Hampton and Feeha J were all smiles, throughout the event and were busy giving interviews. It was great to catch up with the enterprising Fareshteh Aslam. The venue was done up by Anisa and Amina Rashid Khan in a super slick and stylish black and white theme. We enjoyed Zoe Viccaji and her band sing live (lots of Adele, Lana Del Ray and Florence and the Machine) while feasting on Salmon canapés. We left the event with products from each line and can’t wait to try them, especially the sea salt spray!
We recently flew to Karachi to attend an intimate media preview brunch at Café Flo to unveil Garnier’s BB Cream. At the brunch, the super cute Zainab Pasha shared a presentation on the beauty balm, discussed the beauty business and Garnier’s future plans and commitment to beauty in Pakistan. It was all rather well researched and quite impressive.
BB creams (short for beauty or blemish creams) are like tinted moisturizers that heal the skin. In addition to hydrating and evening out skin tones, BB creams also treat the skin with antioxidants or other anti-aging ingredients and offer broad-spectrum SPF. Garnier is the first brand to launch the BB cream in Pakistan for Rs 399!
After the presentation Aamna Haider Isani asked if the BB cream was available in more than one colour, as the one we tried out was for fair skin ( desi fair not gora fair). Unfortunately for now only fair to medium-fair girls can use the cream. The rest of us will have to wait for a darker shade to be introduced in the market.
The Garnier BB cream comes in two different variants, one moisturising and the other oil free. Both smell amazing and will launch nationwide next month. We personally prefer the texture and glowy effect of the moisturising cream.
At the brunch we met the very very cool Musharraf Hai, Managing Director L’Oréal Pakistan. Humble and friendly, she insisted that she always wants the brand to be bigger that her own larger than life personality. We also had a nice chat with Juggun Kazim, Garnier’s Local Spokesperson. It was good to see top editors, bloggers and journalists. As always Lotus did a superb job making sure the event was planned to perfection.
The influence of fashion bloggers has been increasing for the past few years. More and more bloggers in Pakistan and abroad are offered front row seats at fashion weeks and their opinions are taken seriously by the once exclusive fashion industry. Suzy Menkes was amongst the first of the mainstream fashion editors to reach out to bloggers and engage them as professionals. She says, “The world changed when fashion instead of being a monologue, became a conversation. And that’s never going to stop.” Before blogging, fashion editors of mainstream newspaper supplements and fashion magazines were the last word on designer collections, but now bloggers and tweeters comment of fashion shows as they happen often posting photos of collections right from the runway, making them accessible to a much wider audience and that too much much faster than before. We bring you a list of the best bloggers in Pakistan who tell us why they started blogging and what sets them apart from the others.
THE PIONEER- AMNA SALMAN, STYLE STRIPPED
THE OPINION MAKER- AAMNA HAIDER ISANI, SOMETHING HAUTE
Whether you belong to the Pakistani fashion industry or you merely follow it, you would know that Amna Haider Isani has some serious influence. She is very articulate, her analysis is almost always spot on and her opinion matters. She was the first fashion journalist who embraced blogging and in that way she stood out from the traditional print media journalists who used to be more influential before the advent of fashion blogging in Pakistan which brought with it speed and sassiness. She says, ”I came into fashion journalism twelve years ago and have been writing/working for all major English publications since then. I started blogging a year ago because I’m an obsessive writer and not everything I want to write is publish-worthy. Blogs are the next best thing and I enjoy the speed between writing, publication and readers response. It’s also more gratifying because my readers already know and respect me because of my contributions to Dawn, The News, Herald and Hello!Pakistan. They take me seriously. Plus, although I write on fashion and lifestyle, I do take my beat very seriously and hate when it’s trivialized and made to look frothy and frivolous. Fashion is a multi-billion dollar industry world wide and we need to realize it’s potential in Pakistan too. It’s not just about ten seconds of fame on the runway or a photo op on the red carpet. Or a tweet or blog post,actually. These are just cherries on the very rich pie.”
THE TRENDIEST- ANBER JAVED, A WARDROBE AFFAIR
Anber Javed may be very new at this, but the blogger from Islamabad has the coolest layouts and an eye for the trendiest things. In such a short span of time she has been noticed by the usually unwelcoming fashion industry. She says, ”A Wardrobe Affair existed in my head for quite some time before it actually manifested itself around March this year. It happened when I came across a picture of Meesha Shafi looking stunning in an outfit by Muse ; the thought of having a place to discuss and dissect fashion and the fashionable immediately clicked. Once it took off, I realized that I was in a niche that was relatively unexplored and had a lot of room for improvement with regards to the online fashion scene in our country. The concept of introducing a fun, inspiring and spontaneous Pakistani Fashion Blog where people can throw opinions, views and verdicts was just fabulous – especially when it stemmed from my passion for it. So I picked a corner and decided to call it Home :) ”.
THE AWARD WINNER- AMARA JAVED, PINK 2.55
Winner of the Best Fashion Blog at the Pakistan Blog Awards, Amara Javed covers both eastern and western fashion with equal passion. She says, “I started Pink 2.55 in 2010 after a few years of freelancing for various publications, I wanted to start a blog to get away from editorial restrictions and basically just write what I felt, when I felt like it. Blogging is like my soul-food, it has an almost cathartic effect on me. I love that I am able to basically speak my mind, albeit about fashion, in my own way. My blog is a mix of everything. I cover Eastern and Western fashion, if I like something from Korea or Russia – I’ll feature it. I do celeb style, style tips, products, launches – everything and anything. Recently I have started doing intimate interviews with some of the countries biggest designers and featuring some very fashionable, non-celeb Pakistani ladies. I also think people really like the way I write – concise, casual, witty.”
THE MOST INFORMATIVE- FAIZA LAKHANI AND MEHVISH KARIM, THE SECRET CLOSET
Faiza and Mehvish may be the newest, but their website and accompanying style blog is the most informative. Although the design of the website and amount of information on the homepage can sometimes be a little overwhelming, the duo from Karachi are doing a fantastic job at developing an emerging fashion portal that is definitely a welcome addition. They say, “Fashion is an art form, and like all art forms, it deserves to be portrayed aesthetically and tastefully. Further while public sharing of opinions is one aspect of social media, simply creating an awareness of all available avenues is another equally important one. It is this careful balance that Secret Closet strives to achieve.”
Secret Closet has never just been about its Style Blog. We are proud to consider ourselves as an emerging Fashion Portal. While our blog is at the heart of our website, we invest a lot of effort in managing an extensive directory that profiles over 140+ designers with their latest collections, events and news updates. As we move along, we plan on adding many more from the different cities of Pakistan. Nothing excites us more than discovering a new talent and we are always eager to bring them forward to our audience.
So Secret Closet was launched in June 2012 keeping in mind (i) great emphasis on ‘Curated Information’, (ii) introduction of fresh and emerging talent, (iii) showcasing of the prestigious names in our industry, (iv) production of interesting original content almost daily; all of these are mandates by which we want to run our portal. We consider our portal’s content to be written by consumers for the consumers and would love it if our audience would think of Secret Closet as their ‘happy online getaway’ for a little while each day.
The key going forward will be in all bloggers respecting each other’s efforts, sharing acknowledgements and discovering their own niche, coming up with unique content and evolving their own style of writing.
THE ONE WITH THE MOST POTENTIAL, BEAUTY FRUITY BLURBS
Alyzeh Rahim is young, beautiful and brimming with energy and great ideas (the Labels blogfest was her idea) Although her blog is less structured than the others mentioned above and more of a personal diary/fashion through her eyes, it has the potential to become just as big. She says, “My love affair with fashion dates back to my childhood days, I certainly did not feel like the most fashionable kid back then with my oversized glasses but I always incorporated my own style into my outfits. I’d knit bags and revamp clothes. I had an eye and appreciation for beauty and fashion. Since then, fashion has become a part of my DNA.
I have been observing fashion blogs for a while now, and always had this thought in mind that when I would come to Pakistan, one of the things I would do here would be to start blogging actively. I bought my domain in my last year of university with this intent. I started blogging early 2012. My blog has a personalised touch to it, and that’s what differentiates it from other blogs locally. I post outfit pictures on a regular basis to share my personal style. I also observe trends and fashion campaigns that stand out. My blog is young, fresh, fun yet glam – and that is what I hope to communicate through my posts. I do think it is amazing that the blogging scene is growing so rapidly here, and that the people are recognising the importance of bloggers. Fashion is fast, and so is social media, to report things one needs to be quick and print publications take slightly longer, so bloggers are the gray area I feel. It is good fun to observe all the local bloggers different styles and everyone is doing so brilliantly and covering such interesting aspects of fashion with their respective blogs.”
Zahir Rahimtoola brought the best designers in Karachi- Sanam Chaudhri, Sania Maskatiya, Nida Azwer, Feeha Jamshed, Maheen Karim, Ayesha F Hashwani and Wardah Saleem to style the best bloggers in Karachi- Amara Javed (Pink 2.55), Alyzeh Rahim (Beauty Fruity Blurbs) and Faiza Lakhani and Mehvish Karim of Secret Closet.The first of its kind, the dress up blogfest was extremely fun with live tweeting. A superb idea executed to perfection.We present the exclusive photographs.
Photo credits:Shazre Shahid of 18% Grey
Only Zahir Rahimtoola could have thought of this super cool idea- He brought the best designers in Karachi- Sanam Chaudhri, Sania Maskatiya, Nida Azwer, Feeha Jamshed, Maheen Karim, Ayesha F Hashwani and Wardah Saleem to style the best bloggers in Karachi- Amara Javed (Pink 2.55), Alyzeh Rahim (Beauty Fruity Blurbs) and Faiza Lakhani and Mehvish Karim of Secret Closet to tweet about the event live : )
Here is a sneak peek
Sana Khalifzai, representing/filling in for the shy Secret Closet girls
Sanam Chaudhri with the bloggers
Maheen Karim with the bloggers
Alyzeh Rahim and Nida Azwer
The gorgeous Ayesha F Hashwani
Partners, Haider Ali Baig (who btw is a real cutie) and Feeha Jamshed