3rd Feature at IFB Links à la Mode: What Really Matters

I am honored to have been selected the third time by IFB for the weekly Links a la Mode section of Independent Fashion Bloggers. It’s a big deal to be selected out of so many submissions, and having over a 60,000 members i’m so humbled to be among the lucky few to have been selected.

This time, the post selected is

Bareeze Man S/S’14 – The Dapper Road Trip.

My previous posts that made it to the feature were

1. Existentialism and Fashion in Pakistan

2. 5 Innovative Collections from London Collections: Men + Trends off LCM

You can read the posts by clicking on their names.

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Here’s the link up to the feature:-

lalam0814

What Really Matters

This week has been rough for a lot of us. The news is full of terrible things. Sometimes it’s hard to focus when the world seems to be descending into chaos. But, at the end of the day, we all have to show up to our regular lives. Family, friends, work, creating the best life possible. Sometimes fashion seems, well, not the highest on the list of priorities, so sometimes you just have to return to the basics, the classics to work for you while you get your life on track. It’s not all about the clothes.

Links à la Mode: August 14

SPONSOR: East Dane Codes Mackage Bags, Deadly Ponies, Campomaggi, Karla Spetic, Veronica Beard, KG London, Nocturne, Joa, Schnayderman’s, Faithful & Demylee

Want to be featured in Links à la Mode?

1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode.
2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code.

Bareezé MAN S/S 2014 – The Dapper Road Trip

We’ve had a dearth of sartorially lovable menswear brands in Pakistan that cater to a westernized approach to clothing. But latelly things have been changing. One of the game changers to enter the really really shallow waters of Paki menswear is Bareeze MAN. They’ve been active for over two years but now they’ve gone bigger than before by actively showing their Spring/Summer 2014 collection not only at PSFW but also at the recently held Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Amsterdam.

GIF!!

The collection, obviously is themed around the modern traveler who likes to look good while going on the road trips. The earthy tones of sunset orange, brown, white and blue make it obvious that it chose to hit a spot close to nature, for a road trip through the city is never really a road trip. It stems from the glorious mountains you pass through, the cross roads that confuse you, the waters that seduce you, and the roads that lead to nowhere.

This collection is a homage to the modern man that has the ability to not succumb to the concrete. This collection is a journey of innocence, that connects man to what made him, and in return, falling in love with one’s self all over. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a very masculine collection, too. It’s a basic collection for every man to be worn every day. From work to partying, to hitting the road, it has it all.

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The one at PSFW featured menswear staples that are a must for every man to have in the wardrobe, maybe even the jumpsuit, since it’s making waves everywhere. But what differed was the details this time.

The leather, the suede, the white pants, and the shoes; everything was distinctively modern and spot on!

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The orange camo print jacket/waist coat was heartbreakingly amazing. I loved the leather accents through and through.

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The styling, I admit, looked better than at PSFW. Somehow, the collection seemed more enticing this time, thanks to the styling.

And once again, we look forward to the progress Bareeze MAN will bring to the Pakistani Menswear.

Here are some of the backstage images.

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Images Courtesy: Bareeze Man Facebook Page

On Monsoon and Reality Checks

Waking up to a bright sun is something one rarely gets to experience in monsoon. But sometimes, it need not be August to rain like it does in monsoon. I know it’s a cliched expression; but yes, for some people it’s rain 24/7 in their hearts. Their bodies wreak of stagnant tear drops, and the sun never comes out to dry them out of their gloom. It just seems nice to stay back in bed, sleep all day and do nothing. It’s the perfectly seeming way out of this world. The sun’s not out, so it’ll be muddy, it’ll not be a normal day. It’s not right. You’re just not right. Everything’s just not right.

Yes, it’s very poetic and all. But our miseries do not make us who we are. What makes us who we are is the ability to get out of the bed, jerk the tear drops away, wear the rain boots and the rain coat, and grab that umbrella and step out into the world.

Our umbrella’s will be our shelter from the downpour; the things that hurt us. Our boots will give us the grip to hold on to the ground, and walk through the mud, walk on the ground. And as we wait for the rain to stop it just keeps on getting stronger and stronger. It makes things hard for us; it makes life hard for us. But that’s how it is. This is your reality. The rain is your reality. the mud covered, broken side walks are your only option. But hey, you just can’t make it.

You think you can’t. But you can.

You can walk through the storms, even if it’s not monsoon. That’s just how life is for you. You will get out of this bed, this cocoon of misery, and you will get out and show the rain you can conquer it. You can get through the day. And when you reach the place you wanted to go to, the struggle will have been worth it.

Or would it?

The time lost, the energy spent, the days spent worrying, the stress endured, the emptiness felt, the vacuum flushed into the life, the wrinkles ironed, the hair that fell; is it worth it?

And you call this being in touch with reality?

Maybe losing one’s self is the reality. Maybe the rain might not wash us down, but it washes us inside out, and leaves us hollow and empty.

It’s scary. Reality.

But we love the rain. It’s so romantic. The  idea of it. Don’t we?

We love our lives, no?

Also, sunshine is overrated.

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Dhoti Suit: Yay or Nay? Anju Modi @ India Couture Week

So the menswear in India is picking things up quick. The recently held India Couture Week featured some spicy menswear, and when i say spicy, i mean something mouth wateringly delicious. We are, sub continental, after all (thus the analogy). It’s the first time I am stepping across the border and noticing stuff. And this is an idea I just had to talk about.

Anju Modi Dhoti Suit India Couture week

While the sherwani has been aptly been used with the dhoti, it came off as a bit of a pleasant surprise when i saw the dhoti paired up with the tux jacket; thus term Dhoti Suit. Now this is something to look at. Wear a dhoti with your suit jacket, and ditch the trousers. This is so unbelievably desi! Anju Modi being the designer to bring it to my attention.

Over the years, menswear from the sub continent has adopted so many “western” trends into the eastern wardrobe, but this just stumps them all. It’s desi innovation at its best, no?

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anju modhi mens
Well, this is actually the bandh gala jackets, and not exactly a suit jacket, but you get the point!

tell me what you guys think of it? yay or nay?

REPUBLIC by Omar Farooq at the Woolmark

As one sits and ponders over the state of menswear, one can’t help but sigh. It’s not hopeless, it’s just that there’s so much cacophony, everything gets confused and in this confusion it all gets lost. As I said earlier, it’s very important to know where one stands and what he wants for himself, even in fashion. Brands and labels, when start off, get lost along the journey. A very important part of it is staying true to their roots and ideals. One of such labels in Pakistan who stuck to it’s signature and ideas from the start has been REPUBLIC by Omar Farooq. Omar’s attention to the details of his pieces, and the thought he puts into them sets him apart. When one is in need of a true Italian suit, REPUBLIC is there at the front, and you cannot ask for much more precision and perfection, considering this is Pakistan. It was because of these (and obviously other great) reasons that REPUBLIC was nominated for the Woolmark Prize. Now this is a big deal, for a Pakistani designer to be nominated for one of the most prestigious fashion awards in the world. YSL and Karl Lagerfeld were of the first few winners when this award was launched. You see, this award recognizes only the best in the game, those working with wool hands on, and being innovative with whatever work they produce. Fullscreen capture 7262014 60838 PM.bmp It was a pleasure to see Republic’s name on the same page as Public School NY, and Agi and Sam. This nomination is a testament to the fact that REPUBLIC has earned a name for itself not only nationally and internationally as well! His label is the “it” label for high quality menswear, and if you are in the mood to splurge on good clothing, REPUBLIC is the option.   Fullscreen capture 7262014 60914 PM.bmpWhen I reached out to Omar to tell me about his experience with Woolmark, he said it was one of those experiences where one can only learn more and more and grow. He said that being in Pakistan, one doesn’t get to know how to reach out to the clientele besides the one in Pakistan, and having experienced the Woolmark nomination, he saw that we need to expand our horizons and delve into the deep waters of fashion. A person needs top be challenged, and Woolmark was just the experience to teach one that, says Omar. Fullscreen capture 7262014 60845 PM.bmp Apart from that, Omar had to say that get your paperwork done in time. It will make things hectic once it comes a time to show at the regionals. It won’t even leave you time to go out sightseeing comfortably. While REPUBLIC unfortunately didn’t get to go on to compete at the world wide stage of the Woolmark, being a part of the Woolmark experience, and getting to be nominated among so many high profile international labels, is just an amazing thing for Pakistani fashion. Fullscreen capture 7262014 60956 PM.bmp We should be proud that Pakistan creates such amazing designers who have the potential to go to the international level and make a name for us. It is up to us to provide our designers the ability to expand and evolve in their creative pursuits so that we keep getting innovative collections over the years. What I have learned and observed from this experience is that Playing safe just won’t cut it anymore if Pakistani fashion wants to expand globally, or even nationally. We can’t stay at a static point in our fashion approaches and diss every other person who tries to break the norm. We need to encourage differential approaches and methods to fashion in Pakistan, and let the boundaries grow. Step out of our comfort zones. Here’s hoping REPUBLIC goes places around the globe and makes a name for not only itself, but also the Pakistani fashion industry. Wishing Omar all the best, with lots of love! Fullscreen capture 7262014 60855 PM.bmpImages Courtesy: Republic’s Instagram here

 

Daraz.pk is Your Gateway to Online Fashion in Pakistan*

Daraz.pk-Now-Shipping-Internationally

Stumbling across daraz.pk wasn’t accidental, I had heard of this growing online venture since the past year but had always been hesitant to peruse through the site, mainly due to my own misguided notions of e-commerce ventures in Pakistan. I was convinced that they were all scams and the products that they sell would be different than those advertised on the site.

My prejudice against online shopping only initially started to break when my wife ordered an EGO kurta for herself on daraz.pk and it came a couple of days later; beautifully packed, sealed, and with a 10% complimentary discount for being a first-time customer. However, I remained skeptical for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it has always been my preference to use a credit card for all fashion and apparel shopping, as it racks up points which I can redeem, gives me surprise discounts, and I have the freedom of converting the payment into easy installments. E-commerce websites in Pakistan usually offer cash-on-delivery, and I wasn’t sure whether I could trust those who offered an online payment option. Furthermore, I require my clothes to be a certain fit and I reject those that do not meet my very stringent requirements. I was uncertain whether a purchase online would satisfy these conditions. However, the clinching factor behind my decision to try daraz.pk was that they offered a 7-day, unconditional return policy. If for whatever reason I was unsatisfied with my purchase, they would give me a full refund, no questions asked.

The most striking and impressive part of the Daraz website is its incredible attention to detail, vast product and brand suite, as well as other convenient features like currency converter (for international customers), size charts, as well as SSL encryption for secure credit card purchases. I was simply blown away by the vast range of products available on the website (over 400 clothing brands alone), the easy to navigate menu, as well as the guarantee to ship to even the remotest areas of the country. All my fears about shopping online in Pakistan were quickly laid to rest, as this website was comparable to most international fashion websites that I had seen. I ended up purchasing a pair of Stoneage jeans, which arrived in pristine condition and fitted perfectly. Never again would I have to invest time, effort and resources to find my way to a mall. Daraz.pk gave me everything I needed.

I am also convinced that as delivery and payment methods become more sophisticated and ubiquitous, the largest players in the industry will develop scalable models to replicate the successes of online retailers like Amazon. Eventually, there will be no divide between rural and urban centers, in terms of consumer products, offerings, as well as reach and accessibility

*This experience has been shared with us by a first time shopper on daraz.pk

Evolution as a Person and Its Projection Through Fashion

When we’re growing up, we rarely see the things that we experience as changing us to our cores. But at the same time, our cores remain the same. I think it is very essential to evolve as a human being. You cannot just stay at one point in your life and not see the ability to grow into something better, or sometimes worse, over time. Time passes, so should we. With the passage of time, so should our skins, and we should allow ourselves to evolve.

Evolution is inevitable if one needs to progress in life. That phase of monotony, where everything is just how it is, and a person is doing the same thing over and over, it’s just so…stagnant. To be able to absorb the world, as it keeps on shifting, and the incorporating the desired and needed changes in one’s self is what keeps us afloat as humans. To evolve is human. And evolution is necessary to survive.

In fashion, this very well may be called adapting to the trends. But who makes these trends? Who calls the shots? If we look at the various designers and labels, we see how it happens. Inspiration, Creativity, Work, and Individuality account for all the things that make one person’s work stand apart from another’s and evolve on it’s own.

We saw YSL do it in his time. If you’ve seen the new biopic based on his life, we see how over time, YSL evolved as a human being and it translated into his work. Similarly, this is what Karl Lagerfeld is doing to Chanel. He’s making an age old label relevant in today’s time. Thanks to the human ability to evolve, fashion is evolving. If it weren’t for the ability of these people to grow as humans, we would never see fashion grow. And we’d never have the Moschino that Jeremy Scott is giving us. This is what Christopher Bailey is doing to Burberry, and Hedi Slimane is doing with YSL. They’re letting the labels they work for, evolve. Evolve to be relevant, evolve to be human.

Hedi Slimane did to YSL what can clearly be aimed at the label’s inclination to appeal to the instagram addicted youth of today.

Sure, anyone can make the staples, or the little black dress, but to turn a piece of clothing into a work of art; that is what these people have been doing. And along with the evolution that they’ve been going through, they’ve held on to the things that make them stand out, thus creating their signatures.

In Pakistan, we have seen the new age designers such as Akif Mehmood, Fahad Hussayn and Ali Xeshan evolve into something that speaks volumes of their artistic growth. The veterans, Mahin Khan, Rizwan Beyg, Sana Safinaz, etc have all proved how their labels have evolved into something that’s their signature.

Ali Xeeshan
Ali Xeeshan

Similiary, we have our style icons. Surely they didn’t get to their lime-lightened spots because they were able to be great and awesome from the start. They evolved! Alexa Chung, The Blonde Salad, Adam Gallagher, Rihanna, Blake Lively etc are living examples of how fashion evolves as the human beings evolve. It just shows.

Growth is regardless of age. It happens even when the bones stop growing, but the mind absorbs. The mind’s ability to let the human being create something out of it is amazing. In fashion, this is how we get great collections every year.

Even if we look at ourselves, as fashion bloggers or fashionistas, we see that with the passage of time, our wardrobes evolve into this huge projection of how we feel and what we have become. As we grow and change, so do our wardrobes.

If it weren’t for the human ability to evolve, we’d be stuck at a point where everyone would look the same, feel the same because they’d be donning the same. And a true fashionista would never let that happen, right? So one just HAS to evolve. Fashion, and life, call for it.

This Eid, Do Simple, Go plain – MY PICKS

I have always felt more inclined towards more simple eastern wear. Sure, sherwani’s look great with bling and what not, but when it comes to everyday attire, or even special occasions like weddings or Eid, I have opted for subtle show, or maybe even a plain and simple kurta/qameez.

Lucky for me that this year, a lot of the mainstream brands have opted for simpler eastern wear for their Eid collections. With various colors, ranging from orange to sea green, there’s a lot to going on that can perk up your wardrobe!

Bonanza: PC Aamna Isani
Bonanza: PC Aamna Isani

Here’s a list of my picks for where to shop at for Eid this year.

  • Gul Ahmed
  • Bonanza
  • KHAADI

Designers

  • REPUBLIC (made to order)
  • Sania Maskatiya
  • Amir Adnan
  • HSY
  • Emran Rajput

Have a fashionable Eid guys!

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