All Posts By

Injila Baqir Zeeshan

Entertainment Food

Lahore Cafeteria

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Lahore is the city of die hard foodies. We love our food, we know our food, we are passionate about it and we do not compromise on its quality! In Lahore, it is difficult to break into and find footing in the restaurant business. That is the reason why Lahore Cafeteria caught our eye for doing so well in a city forever high on good food! A recent visit to the restaurant, located on Mall Road by our team brought some pleasant discoveries to light. Read on to find out what’s the reason behind the success story of Lahore Cafeteria (LC).

Entrepreneur Usman Qasim, co-owner of LC, has a degree in law from Hull University, UK. His partner and friend Rao Mazhar Ali Khan is a LUMS graduate.  They diversified into the food business after studying for completely different fields. LC is a darling place, nestled comfortably into one of the old buildings that the Mall is so famous for. Hence, upon entering the first thing you notice is the expanse of the restaurant and the old style construction with a beautiful floor. A spacious hall welcomes you and offers comfortable seating at tables which are not crowded together.

Buffet is an option which most LC regulars opt for, for a quick bite during lunch break. Aroma of fresh barbeque being prepared outside, fills up your senses as you try to decide what to eat and what to leave for next time. The buffet offers the traditional variety of salads, Pakistani cuisine items such as biryani, daal, saag, various types of Chicken, Chinese entrées and some not very fancy desserts, which are alright for those students and office going people who are short of time but still know where to find some delicious food.

The menu offers a large variety of dishes and you can find them all on the facebook page of Lahore Cafeteria, but from what we tried we highly recommend the saag and well the naans were to die for! They seemed to have been prepared with a dough kneaded in butter perhaps… we didn’t have time from munching and taking complete delight in the taste to ask what made the naans of LC so special but trust us, they were one of the best ones we have had in Lahore.

Barbeque was good and a must try. We also had a taste of their pizza, which tasted quite fresh but the Chicken with Cashew Nuts served with Egg Fried rice was something we can go back for again and again. If you are in the mood for a burger, you can try the LC Special Chicken burger and you won’t be disappointed.

The restaurant is open from 11 am to 10 pm Monday to Saturday and remains closed on Sundays which is the only sad part about LC. I mean what if we felt like nibbling on some yummy Chicken Seekh Kebabs on a Sunday night?

Now comes the most interesting part about LC: the prices will surprise you. For the kind of seating arrangement that they offer, where families with women and children feel completely comfortable and the kind of quality and variety of food that they serve, the place feels very economical and highly affordable. I think that, it is this competitive price range that has become the reason for the rapid rise in the popularity of this place and has given it its unique edge.  

They deliver all over Lahore and they are just a call away but we recommend that if you really want to taste the food it all its glory, you must at least once make the effort to get to the actual place. Here’s a link to their page where you can explore:

https://www.facebook.com/lahorecafeteriamall/

Keep eating healthy and yummy. Bon appétit!

Movies

A solo show – Élan’s carving out its own path

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Élan unveiled the brand’s latest bridal collection called ‘Champs de Patchouli’- a title thought out with a lot of warmth, reminiscent of childhood memories of the brand’s designer Khadija Shah. “Champs de Patchouli, loosely translating into Patchouli Fields, invokes in me the memories of winter in my childhood; the aristocratic smell of Patchouli between my Grandmother’s freshly unpacked Indian shawls, distinctive yet soothing,” recalls Khadijah Shah. The solo show held in Lahore, established Élan as truly the biggest player in the market, possessing the capacity to launch a collection in an independent, stand-alone presentation of an incomparable magnitude.

The inevitability of the comparison of Khadija Shah’s first attempt at a solo show last year with her second solo presentation held on October 17, in Lahore, should be a given for a label as big as Élan. There is good and bad both- the list could go on endlessly. But let’s just keep it a touch and go, so we can concentrate on the current and now! Even though, there were many hiccups in the show last year, such as the delays, the uneven walking ground, the mosquitoes, the smoke which sent many a gorgeously dressed famous socialite coughing uncomfortably, it had so many saving graces- the wonderful seating arrangement, the beautiful breathtaking collection, the amazing live music and of course the grand residence of the designer herself as the venue for the show to name just a few. Hence the first thing noticeable at this year’s show was the considerable lowering of the ‘scale’. Élan, an illustrious brand that today one easily associates with grandeur and everything larger than life, perhaps failed to impress the selected group of audience with the choice of venue and arrangement. Or perhaps that is a feeling that has emerged out of having built our expectations a little too high, with the audience expecting something bigger and better than even last year. The place seemed cramped; the show was meant to be watched as a standing audience which most of the attendees did not seem to be very comfortable with.

Champs de Patchouli included ensembles typical of the regal and extravagant bridal wear associated with Élan. Heavily embellished and intricately designed, they caught the attention of all who were present for the sheer luxurious feel which the brand has always delved in. The colours were predominantly pastels for both menswear and bridal outfits with one lehnga in maroon but again paired with a peach shirt accented with hints of black and gold. The collection will certainly provide all the brides to be, for the upcoming season some spectacular bridal designs. The menswear designs were essentially neat with cuts which looked smart and royal- just perfect for the groom!

Mehreen Syed walked out last of all dressed to be the highlight of the evening. The flower motifs provided delicate shimmering beauty combined with a soft colour palette that could steal all hearts but unfortunately, the dress style which was designed in layers, did not win any accolades of praise, for it gave far too much volume to the delicate figure of Mehreen, as she walk awkwardly on the ramp where other models who looked like celestial beauties dressed in Élan, stood gracefully before her. Nonetheless, the evening’s show culminated in heartfelt applause, with the audience acknowledging the brand’s potential to enthrall and appreciating Khadija Shah’s penchant for spectacular designing which is a complete visual and sensual treat!

       

It was definitely a great idea to hold the show right after the PFDC L’Oreal Bridal Fashion Week and many who were here from Karachi were saved the extra trip back to Lahore. But why can’t Khadija Shah be content to be a part of the fashion weeks that every other designer in happy to participate in? The answer to that question becomes clear after attending the starlit, glitzy night of Champs de Patchouli’s unveiling. It is not just a show that Élan means to put up for you, it is so much more. It is almost as if a family has been brought under one roof to be pampered with good music, delectable hors d’oeuvres, great food, lively conversation, cheerful mingling and when you are in high spirits, well there’s your bridal collection showcased for you. A carefully selected few get to preview the collection exclusively and they include the major players of the famous families such as the Manshas, the Kasuris, the Taseers, the Saigols and more. Famous designers including Kamiar Rokni, HSY, Faraz Mannan and Ali Xeeshan turned up to show support.

Fawad Afzal Khan with his wife Sadaf walked in to catch every eye, sending a wave of excitement through all who were present. The red carpet allowed for media personnel to grab many a picture and video of celebrities dressed to kill, for their social pages, blogs etc. Careem had collaborated with Élan for the night to provide free rides to and back from the venue for anyone who wanted to use the service. The management was by Z and S Events who did a superb job. The best part was that waiting for the show to start wasn’t a never ending task- it began timely and ended at a civilized hour for those of us who had to be at work at 9 am the next morning. The PR was carried out seamlessly by Shireen Rehman and Osman ur Rehman.

On the whole, the show turned out to be a roaring success. If Élan continues on this path, they are surely to produce better and better shows each year and we hope to see greater feats accomplished by them pretty soon.

Culture Entertainment

The Good Doctor

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It is wonderful to see so many new stage plays coming up in our country recently and theatre seems to be moving towards the path of flourishing with full bloom. A new play which is being staged in Lahore in Alhamra Arts Council is titled, ‘The Good Doctor’, being performed on 22nd, 23rd and 24th September 2017. It is a production of LATZ (Lahore Amateur Theatre Zealots). Their last production ‘Dil-e-Nadaan’ was a roaring success.

One of the cast members Rasti Farooq says,  “I’ve been doing theatre for a few years now and I find nothing more thrilling or nourishing. The most fun I’ve ever had was playing Satine in Moulin Rouge in college and good old sardonic Mehreen in my first Urdu play, Dil-e-Nadaan earlier this year.”

The Good Doctor also happens to be a comedy. It has the total duration of 2 hours. It is directed by Tughral Turaab Ali and cast members include old timers like Tughral Ali, Ian Eldred, Zainab Ahmed, Yasir Romee, Hassan Raza and Rasti Farooq.

The price of tickets is different based on seats from Rs 500, Rs 1000 to Rs 1500. You can order them online at easytickets.pk or call on numbers given on their poster (also check LATZ on Facebook) and get delivery in Gulberg and Cantt. They can be purchased from Latz office at 7B/12 Aziz Avenue, from Alhamra office or from HKB DHA. Support the arts and do take the time out to watch the play. Get your tickets because they seem to run out faster than the speed of light!

Features

Salon Stories

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A private tour of our favourite spa and some shocking facts about famous salons! A piece every salon owner needs to read.

As exhaustion kicks in…

When you are drained after a long, tiring week; when it feels like every muscle in your body aches; when you look at your hands, feet and face and they scream for some attention and care, then it is time for a visit to the salon. My go-to rescue place happens to be Hifsa Khan’s. This is a personal piece based on some very private experiences of mine with various salons which I felt inspired enough to share.

The difference between Hifsa Khan’s and others

You have arrived!

When I step into Hifsa Khan’s Spa, the atmosphere greets me with a warmth that brings a feeling of having arrived at a haven away from the cares of the world. It promptly brings an involuntary smile to my face- which anyone who knows me, would know, is not a common occurrence unfortunately!  The reason is simple- I am instantly made to feel that I am well taken care of… and what else can a girl ever want!

I would like to mention my experiences of waiting endless periods of time at other salons, before anyone at the reception can manage to find the girl who will be providing the salon services to me. At Hifsa’s someone quickly takes charge of you, guiding you through to your private little cubicle without much fuss.

The horror story!

Recently, I had the misfortune of getting stuck for services at a famous salon located in a popular local club in Lahore because of a gift voucher someone had given me. The salon has a big fancy name and lots of pomp and show which made me feel that I could perhaps give it a try. For a full 15 minutes they could not decide which girl to assign to me or what to do with me. Trust me, I am not that impossible to fix! But they seemed harassed and unwilling! A simple face polisher became the biggest challenge of their lives, while they ran around like headless chicken not knowing where to begin. Finally, the woman who was to be my messiah, materialized out of some back quarter and informed me that if I required a face and neck massage along with the polisher, I would be charged extra! Me, having been spoiled by Hifsa Khan, where my polisher comes packed with one of the best massages in the world- yes you heard me- I did say the world..so trust me… I found this salon’s request quite strange.

Involuntary exposure!

The worst part was me dressed in a gown (a loosely used term for a flimsy cloth that has an elastic band at the top which you can fit your torso into, basically leaving your arms, shoulders and neck bare, mostly very see-through, leaving not much to imagination) walking into the room for a pedicure and coming face to face with a man! Shock! For a moment I thought I might be mistaken but he had a beard too (I know what you are thinking…and no he wasn’t a woman). I do realize there are salons which have men working for them, but these men are never allowed into the rooms where the women are sitting, skimpily dressed, semi-naked for their beauty treatments! After I created a racket, which the entire club must have heard, I was hurriedly covered with towels and positioned behind a tiny screen and informed without apology that the man will stay! Yes he was not going anywhere because he was the makeup artist.

Massage room or cafeteria?

The room where I was taken for a polisher had many massage tables and upon one of them, some of the staff was sitting having lunch. This explained the filthy, stained sheets on the tables. Throughout the polisher, which itched and burnt my skin, and my attendant was nowhere to be found, (everyone else was definitely there, having a party in the middle of which I was lying stretched out like a very uncomfortable corpse) some client on the next table, kept talking very loudly on her phone. I learnt the entire story of how her wicked mother-in-law tortured her through the week and how her spineless husband didn’t give a damn- certainly not a story for a polisher/massage session. I was so disgusted that I decided to skip the extra-costing massage. Well that is one salon I am never going back to but let’s come back to our safe haven- Hifsa Khan- a salon I intend to keep visiting for a long long time.

Hygiene at Hifsa’s

All the workers at Hifsa’s are made to wear surgical masks, so as not to transfer germs to the clients by the whiffs of their breaths which would make the client dizzy, during the face treatments (not that they have bad breaths but hygiene is the thought behind the mask). A freshly washed gown, packed in a plastic bag containing a new set of sponges, issued only for you is used to maintain the best hygiene standards. You can take your sponges home, bring back for next time or get new ones each time if you wish. They disinfect their hands before they touch your skin. 

Find your peace!

There is quiet. If the girls ever need something really urgent – they talk to each other in hushed voices very briefly, which I believe shows a lot of training on part of the salon owner. Hifsa has superb managerial skills and a client’s attendant will not leave the client’s side even after applying the polisher or face masks. The girl attending to me, repeatedly asks me if I feel any itching or discomfort.

Soothing spa music plays while you enjoy the treat and are made to look and feel prettier. The temperature is maintained keeping your comfort in mind, unlike other salons where you can freeze to death in winters. When lights are not required, they are switched off so you can relax without the glare of blinding lights in your eyes during a relaxing massage. And of course the massage is part of the package and simply divine.

The most brilliant thing is that the products they use are such that they do not hurt or damage my skin in anyway. That might have something to do with the fact that each client’s form is maintained in their database, which has all the information about your skin type and what products suit you.

Skin polisher or skin removal?

Almost all salons here like to scrub at your face as if cleaning out oily utensils with a wiry sponge with full might and force! The idea is that it makes the skin fairer (Ah the eternal quest of our female population- the holy grail, the ultimate life goal, which seems ever so elusive). At Hifsa’s I have never been tortured in this way. There is no rough scrubbing and no use of sponges in the way one might remove tar from a brick floor!  

A complete spa!

I recommend their manicure and pedicure wholeheartedly- the instruments used are sterilized; the process is smooth and expedited by two girls working simultaneously on you. The full body massage is also executed superbly, competes fully with other prominent names in the city, even those that employ Thai or Filipino masseuses, and surpasses them in price by being quite affordable.  

Toilet dramas!

For me it is very important that the toilet facility is also kept clean which I have found only at Hifsa’s to date. I have visited so many very famous salons, which have toilets, which are kept in a state that would shame even the filthiest of toilets! They are unusable. A very popular salon, one of the older names in the industry, owned by a superbly talented makeup artist, has toilets, which often have bloodstains on the seats! Firstly, one cannot comprehend why our population has no decency about how to use toilets and secondly, at how the owner can leave them in that condition. I have always made it a point to inform about this at the reception, but not everyone cares about these things.

Little things make all the difference at Hifsa Khan’s. At the end of your time at the salon, you come out with a feeling of being new, feeling happier and more relaxed, ready to take on the challenges of your daily routines! And for this feeling, Hifsa Khan is so totally worth the long journey I have to make to reach there!

Editor s Pick Trending

Giveaways and how we feel about them

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If you are an editor, journalist or blogger you will be well aware of the trend of giveaways and promotional products. Although not new, the idea seems to be catching on, spreading like wild fire these days. The purpose is to make sure that the sender is noticed and remembered as they post you an invitation to their new collection’s launch or invite a media person to try the new item on the menu of their restaurant perhaps. Designers do it all the time to let the press/media know of which fashion show they are participating in. Whether it influences the writer’s review of their product or not is a subject for another piece. For now, I wish to say that I am always humbled by the thoughtful gestures of those who remember us including designers, PR companies and other agencies working in this field. We at Brides & You feel that not enough acknowledgement is given to the tremendous time and effort put into these giveaway items. We all see the picture uploaded on social media sites and then soon it is forgotten. We would like to analyze these items more in detail, not just to acknowledge the efforts of those involved but also to refresh people’s memories about them. So here’s a review of some of the more recent giveaways- we wish we could put in all of them but that would become extremely lengthy:

Olive leather case by Take II – Most carefully prepared!

Tehmina Khaled is the sweetest for managing to get the correct spellings inscribed, of my unconventional name which people often manage to misspell. We were impressed. It is a beautiful leather passport case made by Jafferjee’s.

Pouch by Farah & Fatima – The cutest little thing!

Farah & Fatima crafted this pretty pouch and sent it our way. It is indeed a sweet little thing.

The Sketch by Saira & Shakira: Ingenuity at its best!

It was quite unbelievable to receive this sketch framed in the size of 15 x 19 inches. I was very touched for the effort that went into this.

Scarf & Powder Mirror by Shahla Chatoor – Prettiest giveaway!

The scarf was stylish and the powder mirror with a Chinese painting of colourful little butterflies makes a stylish companion for my bag.

FPW Winter Fest Giveaway Goodies: Elaborate and exciting!

The invitations came over with a notebook that said ‘Slay All Day’, and more exciting little things such a Bluetooth device and battery pack. Lots of thought put into it- colour coordinated and all as you can see in the picture!

Mithai & more by MNR – The sweetest treat!

To kick off the Bridal Couture Week Mohsin Naveed Ranjha sent out mithai and a pretty pouch for us.

Cupcakes by Triumph Pk – Naughty and yummy!

Triumph Pk sent these cupcakes and a stylish notepad our way. You cannot clearly see it here but the cupcakes had lingerie designs on top, which stirred quite an excitement. Who will eat the bra and who gets to munch on the panties!

Soap & pouch by Triumph Pk – A useful giveaway!

The oatmeal-filled soap is too good for skin care and the pouch extremely useful to carry my makeup in my bag!

Scented candle & chocolates by Farah Talib Aziz: A thoughtful giveaway!

To wish us a happy new year, Farah Taliz Aziz was kind enough to send us some yummy treats as well as a scented candle.

Notepads by Samreen Vance – Artistic items!

Samreen Vance sent these notepads which had covers from her photo shoots artistically designed and great for any office table.

Box of Chocolates by Marina Homes – The fool proof giveaway!

Chocolates can never fail to win any heart! We are always happy for such kind gestures as we share them across the board at our office.

Contact lenses & more by Fresh Kon – A generous giveaway!

Check out this gift package- the packing had our latest magazine cover printed and placed on it. Contact lenses, the cutest keychain with a pom-pom and yes we still remember the taste of the chocolates which was simply divine.

The flower bouquet by Shiza Hassan – A wonderful gesture!

What more can you truly want while you walk into your office or any room for that matter. Well other than a steaming hot cup of coffee, what really lightens up your spirit is a beautiful bouquet of some gorgeous flowers. Very kind of Shiza Hassan.

The new flavours by Lays – A delectable treat!

When you think of chips, you think of Lays and when Lays sends you the new flavours to try out, it is a happy day indeed!

Valentine’s Day package by Big Bash – The perfect combo of treats!

Some interesting goodies stacked together to cater to all different kinds of tastes!

Valentine’s Day box by Diet by Design – Beautifully packaged!

Sadia Salman, the CEO of Diet by Design keeps on overwhelming us with yummy cakes and other giveaways all the time, but the packaging of the Valentine’s Day Giveaway took our breath away. A heart shaped container (which we will save for keeping our little knick knacks), a mug, chocolate mousse, a piece of cake and pastry all simply made our day very special!

Kurtee by Charizma – The perfect summer colours!

This stylish kurtee was sent our way by Charizma. We love the colours and design!

Postcards by Sadya’s Salon – A unique item!

Sadya’s Salon was kind enough to send these chocolates and some beautifully designed postcards which are perfect for not just their own marketing but also look pretty on our tables.

Honey jars by La Bonita – Not just tasty but also useful!

Who can say no to the sweetest nectar prepared with all the love and care- an item we use regularly at home. Three jars in different types of honey came our way to overwhelm us.

Hair pins by Shafaq Habib – Uniquely designed and stunning!

These hairpins delicately crafted with a turquoise stone, look so pretty and stylish in the hair. Very beautifully designed indeed, by the talented jewellery designer Shafaq Habib.

Lawn suit by Khaas – A must-have summer print!

The print in a soft pale yellow with a beautiful intricate patti design in shades of olive green and brown, which makes this suit a welcome addition to my summer wardrobe. Thank you to Khaas as well as AamerMazher from Savvy PR.

Coconut oil and chocs by Gulberg Galleria – An interesting idea!

The tiniest bottle of coconut oil and a generous box full of chocolates came our way to wish us the spring season’s greetings. The oil smells heavenly and we keep it around for just a dab whenever needed for dry lips or skin.

Sapphire’s summer giveaway Package – Quality, style and class- all in one!

Sapphire overwhelmed us yet again by the lawn suit they sent us. But what really caught our attention was the beautifully designed notebook and of course we all love the scented candles. Thank you team Lotus for always remembering us!

Bags of chips carton by OyeHoye – Most generously prepared!

So many flavours, so many yummy packets of chips to choose from – what a genuinely generous giveaway from OyeHoye! It is difficult to have a favourite as every flavor tastes so good.

Flowers by Saira Rizwan and Jehanzeb Fabrics – A stunning bouquet!

SairaRizwan’s collaboration with Jehanzeb Fabrics for her 2017 lawn was kick started by inviting us with this beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Glowy box beauty items by Starlinks PR – the most sought after giveaway!

Starlinks PR sent us this Glowybox package full of exciting beauty and grooming products. We couldn’t decide which one was our favourite item- the toner, the masks, nail colour or the mascara. Truly exciting!

Kurtees by Beech Tree – Thrilling summer giveaway!

Not just one but our team was sent these two beautiful kurtees by Beech Tree. The fabric is soft, the design is stunning and the colours are a perfect combo for the summer of 2017!

Monaco goodies by Farah Talib Aziz – Unique and chic!

Look at the lavender theme working so well for these beautifully designed goodies. The cards come complete with little envelopes, the potpourri pouch, the sugary little marzipan treats all packed in a lavender box printed to perfection to set the stage for FTA for LSM!

Gift Pack by Hum TV – Excellent choice of items!

This Bin Roye gift pack came our way from HUM TV sent by Take II PR. It has postcards, mints and other little knick knacks which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Kurtee by Raj – Prettiest summer colour!

This lemon-colouredkurtee with white embroidery done to perfection, came our way to surprise us with its fine quality. We are grateful to Raj and Winnit PR.

Crimson’s dress by Saira Shakira – Most beautiful and trendy item!

Check out the embroidery on this shirt, the colour combinations took our breath away. Saira& Shakira have always managed to impress us with unique and classy items they send us. Our team also thanks Aden Rehan.

Loreal’s Clay Mask – For a picture-perfect you!

We thank Loreal Skin for this wonderful detoxifying item sent our way. It can help you bring out the best of your skin to the forefront- fresh and rejuvenated. Thanking Lotus again.

Photo Frame by Heritage Home – The artsy giveaway!

An invitation to an exhibition by Heritage Home comes complete with this beautifully crafted wooden photo frame! Loving it on our table!

The 7Up Chill-Out Box – Perfect to beat the heat!

Mintcommpk sent us this box with 7UP cans, a cute little mason jar and T shirt. The design is by Paper cut Pk. A truly welcome package for the warm summer days.

Gifts by Dolce Vita Home – A wonderful selection!

Dolce Vita Home recently held a summer expo and guess what the invitation came packed with? A beautiful cushion, complete with the stuffing. There were discount coupons by Narcissus Weddings and beautiful ear pieces designed by Esfir Jewels.

The bed set by Al Barka – Classy and useful!

Scarf by Zellbury – A gorgeous design!

This scarf sent to us by Troika Events from Zellbury for the launch of their lawn, is made of soft fabric, with a very trendy design in hues of beige.

We loved the pretty pink of this bedset sent our way by Al Barka through Winnit PR.

Lawn suit by Saira Rizwan – Woman’s best friend in summer!

To kick off the showcasing of her new collection at PSFW2017, Saira Rizwan was kind enough to send us this lawn three-piece suit, designed in collaboration with Jehanzeb Fabrics. We all suffer from lawn fever- so always a happy day to receive a pretty suit.

Body massage and chocolates by Hifsa Khan – The perfect aphrodisiacs!

Hifsa Khan’s salon is the one place we inevitably end up in, whenever we are stressed or want to look and feel good. Now she sends us more love with these chocolates and a complimentary body massage which happens to be one of my favourite in Lahore as the salon offers amazing services.

There are so many other amazing and exciting little things which people have ever so lovingly sent our way, but unfortunately, could not be mentioned in this piece. But we do know and remember, always! So thank you all!

Cover Shoots

Stunning Jewellery Pieces

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Jewellery has been associated with wealth, fashion and power since the beginning of mankind’s history. Today we love to own and flaunt immaculately crafted jewellery pieces made by some very talented people in the business. Here we bring a treat for our readers in our 15th Anniversary Issue: in the pages that follow you will find photos of stunning jewellery pieces hand picked by team Brides & You from the top jewellers of town. Here are some designs which are not to be missed if you truly want to own a beautiful piece that will last you a lifetime and you can pass it on proudly to your future generations.
Concept & Coordination: Mehreen Khan
Photography: facebook.com/studiolifephotography
Model: Saira
Makeup: Vicky

Videos

Diet By Design – Light At The End Of The Tunnel

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 CEO, Diet by Design, Sadia Salman not only provides health and nutrition services but offers life altering diet meals which have helped her clients to lose weight and become healthy. Certified from Tufts University, Boston, USA, she has applied her knowledge and passion to build healthy communities in Pakistan. Featured in over 25 TV shows and numerous publications to her credit, she gives advice on all areas of health and fitness. For queries: 0347-411-5551, 111-348-111. 105 Y, DHA, Lahore.

 

When I first started doing Diet by Design a few years ago, I was a non believer. Having tried many fad diets and being in the vicious cycle of losing and gaining numerous times throughout my life, I had little hope about this newly introduced programme. Sadia Salman and I had a chance meeting at a dear friend’s salon. Something about her personality invited trust and made her appear sincere to her goal of helping overweight people and those suffering from various illnesses through the way of what food they were consuming. But my main concern at that time was how pricey her package was, which is why I was hesitant to try her out. But she was offering a full fledged consultation which would help devise a meal plan according to each individual client’s bodily needs and health condition. Moreover, Sadia offered fully prepared meals delivered right to your doorstep. This had to be the deciding factor for me as it meant extreme convenience.

So I found myself in her office one fine day, getting myself analyzed for what my plan for the next week would be. And yes grudgingly I paid up a chunk of my hard earned money and waited for my meals to arrive starting from the next morning. I was fully prepared to dive head-on into the torture of bland low-fat low-carb low-everything yucky meals, and going half hungry constantly throughout the next week. But this is what actually happened:

I was promised that I would shed off anything between 2-3 kgs if I stuck to eating only what was sent my way by Diet by Design (DBD). I laughed in disbelief. 7 days and a loss of 3 kgs… that’s almost a pound a day and almost impossible! When the meals started arriving, I laughed harder because they were nothing like I had expected. They did not just taste good, but they also made me feel full each time and I felt no need to cheat, as I had always done before in my life. So the idea of losing weight became even more incredulous. It was going to be impossible to shed weight when I was eating so much delicious food. The only reason I felt the need to spend time writing this testimonial is that it was almost magical, how quickly and how much weight I lost. By the end of the 7th Day, I had lost 4 kgs. I did not even feel like I was on a weight loss diet.

At the time, due to a few reasons I was forced to discontinue the meal plans. A couple of years ago, Sadia was kind enough to reconnect with me and she started sending the meals once again. This time over, her business had expanded, she had a lot of loyal clientele and her label had become well known. She had started making her own low cal desserts, which tasted divine. I mean seriously, you cannot tell that it is a ‘skinny dessert’ as they call it, because it is almost as satisfying as anything you consume which is loaded with sugars and grease. I realized that I was not losing as much weight as I used to. I will be very honest, perhaps my body was three years older and needed more of a push or perhaps the desserts were the culprit, I could not lose a lot of weight.

Now whether I lose or only maintain a steady weight, I always know that the quality has been monitored to the strictest level. Even if I have to add a few spices or sauces on my own sometimes to the food, I know that this is one organisation I can trust and it will help with my cholesterol issues if nothing else. In the heart of my hearts I also know that if I stick to it religiously, I will end up losing weight. I hope that this piece of writing finds its way to help someone who is unhappy and unhealthy and suffers from depression, not knowing what to do. I am a firm believer now that if you sincerely follow the plan in the way that it has been designed to be followed, you will really come out triumphant by the end of the day.

Videos

Tena Durrani: Bespoke Bridals to last a Lifetime

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Tena Durrani has to be one of the very few people belonging to the local fashion industry, who speaks openly and candidly about herself and her work. This was one of the things that I found quite refreshing about her. Having no formal training for the field of fashion, this talented entrepreneur began with a small at-home business 10 years ago. She was expecting a baby at that time and hence she was limited to working from home. But six years ago, the story took a turn for better and bigger. The label Tena Durrani became a full scale operational organisation. In partnership with Taimoor Shah who is a banker by profession and the CEO of Tena’s design house, she became the creative force that has taken the label to the furthest corners of the globe in a very short period of time.

After Taimoor and Tena joined forces they opened up factories and a proper studio offering remarkably beautiful bridals and luxury prêt for their vast clientele. Following are brief excerpts from our conversation with Tena Durrani.

Q: In how many places over the globe are your designs available?

A: Apart from Pakistan, we are getting orders from all over the world. Our clients are spread out in USA, UK, Australia, India, Norway and Middle East. We talk to brides to be and other clients over Skype and create for them pieces which they can cherish for a lifetime.

Q: Which types of designing do you do and which do you enjoy the most and why?

A: I have designed a lawn collection for this year and there will be another one coming out in February 2017. I do bridals and heavy formals on a regular basis. I must say that all types of designing have different flavours. Bridal outfits have no limits. There is no holding back during this design journey. It is truly exciting. They are glamorous and ornate. There is a lot of room for creativity. Lawn designing has a different type of fulfillment. The process is now digitized. You see art come to life in front of your eyes. The time required is less compared to bridals and I enjoy lawn thoroughly as well.

Q: Tell us about the creative process- Where does the inspiration come from

A: Inspiration can come from anywhere. What I mostly find exciting is the colour palette. The blend of which colours I want to use often happens to be my starting point. Patterns can be inspiring- whether you want to go for the ornate detail of Baroque or the spirit of French Renaissance, it is all truly exciting. Sometimes I get ideas from the design essentials which I want to use, such as crystals which can be incorporated into a dress.

Q: For the current and coming bridal season, what are you offering your clients? What will be the trend as far as shirt lengths, lehnga styles and colours are concerned.

A: There are no trends in bridals. If a client spends anything between five to 25 lakhs on a couture bespoke piece and it becomes irrelevant in six months, that would be a disaster! As for colours, 50 years ago brides wanted to wear red on their wedding day and that holds true for even now. Shirt lengths depend on the individual client. We like to experiment with many types of silhouettes. It is a piece that must be treasured for a lifetime. The lehnga motifs can be inspired by flowers- I may use different techniques for handwork. I can often combine traditional elements such as dabka with modern such as Swarovski crystals. The contemporary is infused with the traditional to create a one of its kind memorable design. And it definitely must not go out of fashion in two years.

Q: How long does it take for the completion of an order of a bridal dress?

A: Depending on how extensive the bridal dress is and what the season is, it could take anywhere between three to eight months.

Q: What are some of the crucial factors a bride should keep in mind when selecting a designer for her bridal dress.

A: A bride should be careful that the aesthetic of the designer which she opts to go for matches her own taste. If she likes a modern dress in a pastel shade and the designer she chooses is famous for his or her ethnic, classic and traditional workmanship, there will be a clash. She will not get what she hopes for.

Q: Whose work do you admire locally and which are your favourite international designers?

A: Locally Bunto Kazmi’s work is amazing. I have always idolized Rizwan Beyg. I love Valentino.

Q: How has your experience of fashion shows been locally? Any suggestions to help improve them?

A: Fashion shows get you the visibility in the media. You cannot expect to be able to put a tangible trail to what kind of results you will get out of it. The advantage of these shows is that you work within the given timeline. The styling of my shows was one area in which I have been dissatisfied. It has not been given proper time often. The recent experience was not bad so I believe everyone tries their best.

Q: What advice would you give to new entrants in the field?

A: I think the best piece of advice I can give the new people entering this field is that they must have a sound business plan before they jump in.

Q: How do you relax and what do you do for fun and entertainment?

A: I do not relax! Yes sometimes I like watching movies but mostly it is my work that relaxes me.

Q: Name some of your favourite people to work with?

A: There are so many and I am afraid I will forget names. I love Zara Tareen’s photography. Some other names of the industry are Ayaz Anis, Rana Khan, Wajid Khan and Umair Waqas. Amna Babar is a good model. So are Sadaf, Cybil, Zara and Fauzia. And there are so many more names.

Q: Tell us something that not many people know about you.

A: I appear to be a bubbly person but in reality I am short tempered. Of course this does not apply to my public dealing and very few close friends know this about me.

Q: What are your future plans?

A: I plan on launching our annual Bridal Collection soon. Lawn is in the pipeline. There are no extensive plans as yet and basically staying afloat for the moment with the already accumulated goodwill of our clients and popularity is my main goal.

We at Brides & You wish Tena Durrani all the best!

Celebrities

Q Mobile Hum Style Awards 2016

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The First Hum Style Awards were held on Friday, sponsored by Q Mobile, Nishat Linen and Nestle Fruita Vitals. The show was hosted by Ahmed Ali, Adnan Malik, Aamina Sheikh and Ayesha Omar. It was a truly star studded event with celebrities a plenty gracing the red carpet and front row. Nida Butt directed the show, which the audience mostly found to be truly a first ever of its kind awards event- with Shahid Afridi mentioning that he did not feel like he was in Pakistan. Some of the more memorable performances included those of Umair Jaswal, Saba Qamar and Zahid Khan. Zaid Ali T was there as well, having a very large appeal with the spectators but not being terribly funny as he usually happens to be otherwise. Rahat Fateh Ali managed the performance without any Bollywood numbers. Sultana Siddiqi along with Duraid made an exciting announcement that Hum TV’s upcoming venture will be launching a Film Festival. The awards were criticized by a some as not being truly justified for a few catagories- something that is to be expected for all award events I suppose.  It would be pertinent to mention here that accolades of praise goes to HUM TV and Sultana Siddiqi for managing to pull off big endeavours like this one which help bring the showbiz and fashion fraternity all under one roof. Press flown in from Lahore was made to feel welcome by Tehmina Khalid who was managing the PR through her company Take II. Below, is the list of winners

Best Male Model: Shahzad Noor

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Best Female Model: Amna Baber

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Hair & Make-up Artist of the Year: Hannan Siddique

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Fashion Photographer of the Year: Shahbaz Shazi

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Fashion Publication of the Year: Diva

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QMobile Rising Star: Ashna Khan

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Most Stylish Performer Male: Ali Zafar

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Most Stylish Performer Female: Meesha Shafi

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Most Stylish Sports Personality: Shahid Afridi

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Designer of the Year Lawn: Elan

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Designer of the Year Demi Couture: Shehla Chatoor

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Retail Brand of the Year: Apparel Sapphire

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Designer of the Year Fashion Jewelry: Amber Sami

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Designer of the Year Menswear: Republic by Omar Farooq

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Designer of the Year Bridal: Faraz Manan

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Style Icon of 2016: Wasim Akram

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Most Stylish Actor Television: Hamza Ali Abbasi

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Most Stylish Actress Television: Syra Shehroz

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Most Stylish Actor Films: Humayun Saeed

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Most Stylish Actress Films: Mahira Khan

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Excellence in the field of Designing :Bunto Kazmi

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Excellence in the field of Styling :Nabila

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Recognition Award :Naz Mansha

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Interviews

From our Archives -Sana Safinaz: Never a dull moment

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Sana Safinaz started out some 22 years ago, without any formal training for the field of fashion design. And have been, since then treading the uphill road only, standing tall as one of the very best designers of the country.

Let us see what they share with Brides & You:

B&Y: Do you have any formal training for this profession? Do you think it helps to have a degree in the field? If not what is the most essential ingredient that makes a designer label as successful as Sana Safinaz?

SS: Neither of us have been formally trained and have been self-taught for the most part. It has always been something that both of us have been naturally inclined towards.

ONE OF THE MOST ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL BRAND IS TO KEEP GROWING AND EVOLVING. WE TRY TO KEEP OUR FINGER ON THE PULSE OF THE EMERGING INTERNATIONAL FASHION -TRENDS AND FORECASTS in terms of cuts, colours, fabrics etc and we set our own standards accordingly.

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B&Y: How long has the journey been to date? What obstacles did you face when you began and entered into this field?

SS: Sana Safinaz was established in 1989. Over two decades ago, when we first emerged there was a gaping void in our local market for well-priced, innovative luxury designs. Our pret line was established primarily as result of this. We faced all obstacles courageously and came out in brilliant colours.

B&Y: What factors made your work stand out among your contemporaries? What is your niche as designers?

SS: Our work has always stood out primarily due to our design philosophy and focus on a fusion of Eastern and Western sensibilities. Alongside our unique colour schemes we have also maintained an innovative approach to our cuts.

B&Y: What materials do you love working with?

SS: We don’t limit ourselves with regard to the kind of material we would work with but we particularly enjoy working with chiffon, satin and crepe.

B&Y: Do you believe in simple or extravagant cuts and embellishments?

SS: We currently have five very different lines and collections. As a result

YOU WILL FIND SIMPLE, UNDERSTATED DESIGNS IN OUR RANGE AS WELL AS THE EXTRAVAGANT AND BOLD WITH MORE DETAILED EMBELLISHMENTS. WHAT REMAINS CONSTANT IS THE FASHION FORWARD NATURE AND UNDISPUTED ELEGANCE OF EACH DESIGN.

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B&Y: What part do each of you play in the team? Do both of you design or have you divided responsibilities?

SS: Both of us design exclusively for our brand. Over the years of working together we have differentiated different work areas between ourselves. Overall the pressures and responsibilities are shared by both of us.

B&Y: What made you decide to branch out into lawn designing and what kind of response did you get for the lawn?

SS: We have been doing lawn for approximately fourteen years with different companies over the years.  It was the natural progression that was required in order to reach out to the masses and make our brand name available to them. The response has been overwhelming and very happily and humbly received!

B&Y: How do you feel about Prêt?

SS: Prêt is a wonderful line as it allows us to give the clients our overall look and style for an affordable price.

B&Y: Who are your favourite photographers? Which shoots have been your favourite to date?

SS: We typically work with Guddu Shani for all our shoots. It’s difficult to pick a favorite shoot as Shani always delivers 100% each time!

B&Y: What problems do designers face in our country related to the work force and how do you feel when you see your work being copied and mass produced?

SS: Having our work copied and counterfeited is one of the major problems we face on a daily basis.  It is upsetting to say the least and it is about time that stronger laws were put in place to stop this kind of copyright infringement and hijacking of intellectual property.  We are not tolerant about this issue and we try to counter it as best as we can. We appeal to the consumers to also assist all designers in this endeavour by refusing to settle for anything but the original product as nothing can compare to that.  THERE SIMPLY IS NO SUCH THING AS A “GOOD” COPY OF OUR PRODUCT; IT ALWAYS LOOKS LIKE A CHEAP KNOCK-OFF.

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B&Y: How many international forums have you showcased for? How was the experience?

SS: We feel our main market is in Pakistan and we have made that our primary focus, as a result we have not partaken in many international forums.

B&Y: Your comment on the Fashion Weeks?

SS: Fashion Weeks are fashion industry events that occur worldwide and allow designers to showcase their collections and their talents.  They draw the focus of buyers and consumers and as a result are a vital proponent to the emergence of new trends and the general evolution and growth of fashion.

B&Y: What are your future plans?

SS: Sana Safinaz as a lifestyle brand is always growing and evolving, we strive to continually keep the creative juices flowing and never become complacent.  We have just wrapped up our Autumn/Winter Export launches and will be working on the Spring/Summer Export line. Alongside this we are planning on launching our lawn collection in March. All the while our pret, diffusion, bridal/couture collection and furniture/interior design operations are ongoing simultaneously. There is never a dull moment!

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B&Y: Any message for the upcoming designers who are your great fans?

SS: Be true to your vision and your design philosophy and be creative. Do not replicate what has already been coined by other designers; carve out your own niche.

B&Y: Advice for the brides for the coming season? What colours, cuts and styles will be in?

SS: We are still focusing on the long kameez style. We will be going for a more streamlined overall cut. We also plan on using a softer colour palette as well as brighter colour combinations. A delightful interview of two spirited and wonderful women, Brides & You hopes to see greater feats from this duo in the future and wishes them tons of success.