Video of “Will You” from Rebirth by Asad Ahmed.

Asad Ahmed is a Pakistani guitarist. His first stint was forming with heavy metal/rock bank ‘The Barbarians’. He has been a member of the famous pop trio Awaz, and has also played with Junoon, Vital Signs and was a founding member of the rock band Karavan. After the success of his second solo music video release ‘Rebirth’, EMI Pakistan brings you Asad Ahmed’s third music video “Will You”.

EMI Pakistan released Asad Ahmed’s new music video for his song Will You,” which is said to embody the true essence of Asad Ahmed’s music and is the most power packed track of the album “Rebirth,” released last year. The track gives fans an insight into the artist’s experience of performing live in front of thousands of his cheering fans.

Video ofWill You” has been directed by Amaan Ahmed, who has a reputation of telling stories through breath-taking visuals. His video makes the viewer feel as if he is witnessing a live performance and is in the middle of all the action and energy on stage. It also captures moments of Asad’s debut sold out show in Karachi with footages of rehearsals, the live performance and backstage shots.

After a great response received on Asad’s rock instrumental album “Rebirth,” here is what he had to say about his new music video: “‘Will You’ is one of my favorite instrumentals to perform live. It was a no brainer to do a live feel music video for the track, as being high energy and possibly the heaviest track from the album, it deserves nothing less than an energetic performance video. Releasing this track further solidifies my vision for bringing instrumental rock back to mainstream music in Pakistan. Being the first person to attempt this and that too successfully, I consider myself very fortunate and am incredibly grateful to my fans for allowing me to play my music the way it should have been played all along.”

He further added, “After 30 years with EMI Pakistan, from 1988 all the way up to 2018, giving the gift of music to the people of Pakistan and the entire world still manages to put a smile on my face.”

While speaking about the release, Zeeshan Chaudhry, COO of EMI Pakistan, stated, “It gives us great pleasure to release Asad Ahmed’s new music video “Will You.” EMI Pakistan is always exploring newer genres, therefore, when Asad came to us with an instrumental album, we knew it was the perfect time to take the leap from conventional Pakistani music. It is very exciting for us to see the kind of response and support we have received over the release of Asad’s rock instrumental album “Rebirth.” Capturing the real energy of this performance track on stage is no easy job and Aman has tremendously done justice with the video. We, as a record label company, are always looking for undiscovered artists who are serious about their work, love making music and would like to contribute to the music industry.With the release of “Will You” we are calling out those artists and are committed to facilitating them and providing them with the expertise needed in getting ahead.”

Song: “Will You”

Album: Rebirth

Artist: Asad Ahmed

Label: EMI Pakistan

Production: Uncut Studio

Drums: Qaiser Zain Ul Abideen

Bass: Anas Alam Khan

Keyboard: Saad Hayat

Director: Amaan Ahmed

D.O.P: Junaid Mahmood

Assistant Cameramen: Mani & Asad

Assistant Director: Amir Mughal

Editor: Ahmed Bashir & Amber Abbas

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‘Daastan-e-Ishq’, adaptation of Heer Ranjha

The famous love story of Heer Ranjha, originally written by Waris Shah, has this time been adapted and written by Zarqa Naz, and based on the script by Kaifi Azmi, who has renamed the story for enactment as ‘Daastan-e-Ishq’. The play has been flavoured with our traditions and live music and depicts the popular folklore surrounding Heer and Ranjha who meet at a wedding and fall in love at first sight. Love blossoms, but catastrophe strikes in the shape of the evil uncle Qaido, who is determined to thwart their romance.

The play had stellar performance given by the actors, and the tight-knit plot and storyline based on the popular tragic events of Heer Ranjha. Adding to the charm of the play they felt, was its brilliant music and strong narration.

The fabulous performance by the cast Umair Rafiq as Ranjha, Sabiha Zia as Heer, and the antagonist Sameer Hussain as Qaido, narration by Akbar Ladhani as Raavi, executed in collaboration with Green Eye Production, and directed by Zarqa Naz took the audience on a historical journey to the Punjab.

It may be noted that ‘Daastan-e-Ishq’ had been previously performed for the British High Commission in a private show and had received much appreciation and applause, owing to which the organisers decided to offer it commercially for larger audiences and perform the play for public for ten consecutive nights.

The play will be running for public at Arts Council Auditorium, Karachi from 29th July 2018 till 08th July 2018 and tickets are available at Atrium Mall, Arts Council Auditorium and also online.

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Umair Rafiq as Ranjha and Sabiha Zia as Heer performing in a theatrical, Daastan-e-Ishq, happening from 28th June till 8th July at Arts Council,An act packed with emotions by Heer and Ranjha taking the audience back in time

Fahad Mustafa shines in JPNA2 trailer.

The Blockbuster Pakistan movie ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani’ one of the highest grossing film of Pakistan, how has its most awaited sequel on its way ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’, whose trailer was released at an exclusive event held on 25th June 2018 at Nueplex Cinema, Rashid Minhas Road, Karachi.

Produced under the banner of Salman Iqbal Films and ARY Films in association with Six Sigma Plus, written by the ace writer Vasay Chaudary and directed by the talented Nadeem Baig, the man behind the JPNA’s first instalment and Punjab Nahi Jaun Gi which was unparalleled blockbuster of Pakistan by ARY Films.

The sequel also boasts of a grand star cast which has the addition of some popular names including the renowned host and actor Fahad Mustafa and as well as the beautiful actresses Mawra Hocane and Kubra Khan in the lead roles. Continuing from first edition are Humayoon Saeed, Vasay Chaudary, Ahmed Ali Butt, Sarwat Gillani, Uzma Khan in lead roles as well as Safina Behroz, Kunika Lall, Shehzad Khan, Kanwaljit Singh, Sohail Ahmed, and Omer Shahzad in supporting roles.

The story of ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’ revolves around the lives of four men and their lives are full of drama and comedy. The audience can expect a fun-filled roller coaster ride and full-fledged entertainment for the whole family. The film is shot in the most beautiful and exotic international locations of Turkey and Dubai.

On the music we have some very exiting names like Shiraz Uppal, Sahir Ali Baggia, Ahmed Ali Butt, Shuja Haider, Momina Mustehsin, Naeem Abbas, Arif Lohar and sons of Abida Parveen who are performing a film for very time.

Trailer launch event was hosted by Vasay Chaudary who invited Salman Iqbal, Nadeem Baig, Humayoon Saeed, Mawra Hocane, Kubra Khan on stage to share their views on ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’. Notable absentees at the trailer launch were Fahad Mustafa and Ahmed Ali Butt, Sarwat Gillani and Uzma Khan.  During the first instalment of this movie, one of the main lead Hamza Ali Abbasi opted to stay out of promotions.

Salman Iqbal, the founder and President of ARY Digital Networks and producer of the film sated; “we have high expectations from ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’ and have full faith that it will add to the legacy of its first instalment and will prove to be a stellar success.”

Jerjees Seja, CEO of ARY Digital Networks and producer of this film said; “I believe that the brilliant trailer speaks for itself, ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’ is the most sought after franchise and its marketing will be supported by sponsoring partners who will be going all out to promote the movie at the time of its release”.

Sunsilk, Knockout and Fair & Lovely are the main sponsoring partners of the movie while Next Cola, Turkish Airlines and McDonalds are supporting sponsoring partners of ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’.

Humayoon Saeed, the producer and actor of the film said; “we have left no stone unturned to make this movie bigger and better in terms of production and also the whole cast has put in their best efforts and the audience will be able to see that in the trailer”.

Replying to a question, Humayoon Saeed said; “this is the most expensive film that he has worked / produced”, and further said that; “ARY Films promotes films like no other channels, but even then other channel should promote films that are not theirs”. On the international front B4U will be promoting ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’.

Seasoned actor Humayoon Saeed further said; “right now ARY Films is making / producing only one movie a year and later on we will go on to make / produce for 3 to 4 movies a year and then we will certainly give chance to new comers new comers will be given a chance too”.

On Fahad Mustafa, Humayoon Saeed said: “Fahad has infused new life and energy in movie and that is exactly what we needed for ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’”.

Shahzad Naseeb who is also the producer of the film said; “’Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’ is a big effort from our side, and I am confident that the film will make its mark on the cinema circuit when it is released.”

Nadeem Baig, the Director of this movie, stated; “this movie is made on a much larger canvas then its first instalment and each and every actor has put their heart and soul in the making of this movie shine. We are hoping for best!”

A very senior member of press questioned director Nadeem Baig; “Why you do you select only 40+ lead actors (male) for your films?”, his answer was simple that’ “we select them because they deliver”,

Another question from press to director Nadeem Baig; “shouldn’t you be working with others too”, why do you work with same cast and producers?, to which he replied that; we have been together for some time now and while together we have built a solid team and teamwork and chemistry between us is exemplary. All of use gel well and understand each other so its makes our life much easier on sets”.

He further said that’ “our next project will be relased apart from Eid holidays, which is aimed at giving chance to others and new comers”.

Vasay Chaudary informed that; “Omer Shahzad was chosen only because of his six packs as previously some Indian choreographers had pointed-out about missing of six packs on Pakistani heroes”.

After sharing their views on ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’ a question and answer session was arranged with the members of press present at this trailer launch event and some of the questions and their answers are;

‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’ is slated to release this Eid-ul-Azha.

Gujjars are back.

Punjab is the biggest province of Pakistan and that also makes Punjab as the largest market for many sectors (including movies, films etc.). More than 45% Pakistani’s call Punjabi as their native language/mother tongue and if we also include local dialects like Saraiki, Hindko, Pahari, Gojri and Kashmiri then it’s almost 65% of Pakistani’s.

With the recent success of ‘Punjab Nahi Jaon Gi’, focus of filmmakers and producers seems to shifting back to the mentality of rural Punjab. With ‘Maan Jao Naa’, Lollywood (Pakistani film industry) seems to be welcoming the Gujjars back to its main stream.

Gujjars who once ruled Lollywood’s Punjabi movies with absolute power had faded out but not completely. From early 80’s onwards almost every other Punjabi movie either had a Gujjar title or at-least one of the male lead used to have a Gujjar name. This trend soon shifted towards urdu movies too resulting in a disaster for majority of cine goers.

Gujjars were so good at making movies that they kept on making movies until Lollywood was admitted in an intensive care unit (ICU) and then they left abruptly. Then some well reputed doctors like Shoaib Mansoor etc came to rescue the ailing industry and did well for revival of Lollywood (Pakistani film industry) to some extent, but now it seems as Lollywood is going back to the state of 80’s and 90’s.

Keeping the Gujjar perspective in mind, watching ‘Maan Jao Naa’ was fun, female lead and debutant Elnaaz Norouzi seemed like a younger and skinnier version of Saima with just few difference like acting and dancing at which Saima was really good at, whereas Elnaaz Norouzi had an expressionless face all throughout the movie and didn’t know how to dance.

Watching Adeel Chaudary act was pure mental torture and some who had planned to cast him opposite Elnaaz Norouzi must be punished for casting him opposite Elnaaz Norouzi who at times seemed a foot taller than Adeel Chaudary. Director Aabis Raza must be feeling really proud for casting both leads with no acting skills.

After watching ‘maan jao naa’, I must say we urgently need another revival for Lollywood (Pakistani film industry) as soon as possible or else we will end up watching similar type of movies like the ones produced during 80’s and 90’s.

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“Parchi” fails to live-up to its expectations.

For Pakistani movies year 2017 had only one movie to boast about and that was ‘Punjab Nahi Jau Gi’ and year 2018 started as badly as year 2017 stated off. First movie of year 2018 ‘Parchi’ wasn’t much different from the movies of 2017 as it has almost nothing to boast about. Due to immense hype created, expectation were high, but ‘Parchi’ failed to live-up to its expectations.

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Certain scenes from ‘Parchi’ resembled ‘Fukrey Returns’ and most prominently roles of ‘Choocha’ and ‘Bholi Punjabaan’ were evident all through the ‘Parchi’. Shafqat Khan tried his best to copy ‘Choocha’ as much as he could but he failed miserably, Story written by Shafqat Khan felt headless and this coupled worst possible execution / direction reminded me of ‘Thora Jee Le’.

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Apart from excellent cinematography, only other positive point of ‘Parchi’ acting by some of its actors. Best among them was by seasoned actor Shafqat Cheema as he literally dominated screen with his lively acting and excellent dialogues delivery. Faizan Shaikh also acted flawlessly throughout and surprisingly debutant Faiza Saleem also did justice to her role, her screen presence was better than her female colleagues. All main leads like Hareem Farooq, Ali Rehman Khan, Ahmed Ali Akbar, Usman Mukhtar and Shafqat Khan failed miserably with their forgettable performances. Mah-e-nur Haider had a forgettable debut.

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There are certain type of roles meant for certain type of actors and the role played by Hareem Farooq “madam saab” was definitely not meant for someone like Hareem Farooq. She didn’t fit into “madam saab” role at all, as she is simply too beautiful, bubbly and cute to be a gangster. Although it seemed as she had tried hard to act well and there were positive glimpses some were but background didn’t work for her, she is just another pretty face without much acting skills. I was expect a lot more from Hareem Farooq as she hails from theatrical background, but she simply failed to deliver.  At most she looked like a shadow of “bholi punjaaban” from Fukrey Returns. Production might be one reason why she couldn’t do justice to her role. Still wondering if she lost weight just to produce this rubbish.

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Ali Rehman Khan didn’t act well but he seems like a terrific dancer, rest should take dancing lessons. Ali Rehman Khan seems like a decent addition to our very small list of male actors who have hero material within them and I am pretty hopeful that with better selection and slight improvement he can be the next big thing in Pakistani movie scene.

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As for music, I have seen very few Pakistani movies which lack good music and ‘Parchi’ is definitely on the list with its pathetic music. Highly anticipated songs Billo Hai and Imagine have Bollywood feel to them. Should have done better.

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Rangreza – will be remembered for its music.

After huge success of Punjab Nahi Jaon Gi and Na Maloom Afraad 2, I was expecting some quality stuff from the makers of Rangreza, but was hugely disappointed  and to be honest I was expecting a lot more then what I had just seen. During the promotional period I remember someone from the production team said it to one of the most expensive Pakistani films of the year. Still wondering where all that money had been dumped to. My prediction for Rangreza is that this will be last miss of 2017 as last two movies of 2017, Arth-2 and Chuppan Chupai will be hit it for sure.

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Rangreza is just another addition to the long list of Pakistani movies that flopped and almost all the flops of 2017 had at-least one point to share with each other that was ‘weak story line / weak content’, but in-case of Rangreza there were some other issues too.

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Weak story coupled with even weaker direction was even harder to digest even though ‘rangreza had some brilliant actors but even they couldn’t steer the ship ashore. Editing was also sub-standard and I am still wondering how suddenly the song ‘Kallu’ jumped in from. This song ‘Kallu’ had no relevance to post or pre scenes.

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Some of the brilliant acting displays were by Saleem Mairaj and Akbar Subhani, both these seniors were flawless with their acting skills and they didn’t miss a single mark. Normally it’s very pretty clear that Saleem Mairaj will be spot-on and flawless with his acting. Akbar Subhani’s acting and his face expressions were awesome and will be remembered for long. Malkani also acted superbly.

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Main leads Bilal Ashraf and Urwa Hocaine were just pretty faces and weren’t that impressive, Gohar Rasheed showed glimpses of his skills but at times over-acted. Goher Rasheed is a very skilled and talented actor who wasn’t used well by the director. Ghana Ali turned out to be a surprise as she was not just a pretty face, but she also acted better then main lead Urwa Hocaine.

Music was the best part of Rangreza, to start off with best song of the movie and probably the best part of Rangreza was its song ‘Bagiya’ by Jonita Gandhi, title track which was ‘Hey Rangreza’ title track was a power packed performance by J. Ali and this title track reminded me of Aashiqui 2 but even then this song had feel-good factor it, Phool Khil Jayien by Abida Parveen & Asrar Shah and Bulleya by Asrar Shah and lastly Balamwa sung by Ustaad Fareed Ayaz, Ustaad Abu Mohammad & Hamza Akram Qawal. Only one song ‘Kallu’ could have been avoided.

Dances need to be choreographed in a better way and fight scenes were as badly choreographed as they have always been done in the past. DOP and Cinematography was better as compared some recent movies.

Overall there aren’t any crowd pullers in Rangreza and also the movie has no repeat value, I don’t see this movie doing much.

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“Bagiya” from ‘Rangreza’.

 

“Bagiya” is probably the best song from Pakistani movie ‘Rangreza’ and here we have the video of this song which is nicely executed and shot with excellent colors + camera work is also of good quality and all this coupled with the cuteness and beauty of Urwa Hocane makes this video a must watch. Composed by Pakistani-Canadian musician, music producer and composer Qurram Hussain and sung by Indian-Canadian Jonita Ghandi, “Bagiay” is a nice romantic song which is a treat for ears too.

Dances and lyrics need improvement.

 

‘STRINGS’ mesmerized once again with an excellent performance.

Salts Arts has succeeded in reviving the concert culture here in Karachi by collaborating with legendary pop-rock band “Strings”. Although Salt Arts had previously collaborated with lesser known acts and had successfully pulled-off concerts of much smaller scale, but arranging something as big as this one, deserves to be praised, as almost everything was spot-on starting from venue itself ‘lawns of Beach Luxury Hotel’ which was a brilliant choice with its sea-front coupled with light December breeze created a very romantic ambiance, followed by ample parking with proper guidance, excellent security arrangements (no mishaps were seen or reported), food court with delicious and fresh cooked food, sound arrangements, time management (as we were home by mid-night), crowd handling, crowd itself was very well behaved and all that topped-up with excellent and flawless performance by legendary pop-rock band of Pakistan “Strings”.

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Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia.

Due to some reasons mentioned above, this concert will be remembered for a long long time and more reasons would be that Strings is performing after quite some time as they were extremely busy with their Coke Studio project, second reason was 30th anniversary of Strings itself, which elevates their status to legendary level and they are the only band to have survived that long.

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Crowd thoroughly enjoying live performance by ‘Strings’.  

Two hours of live music by Strings reminded of the time when Junoon use to rule the roost with their two hours and at times three hours of live music. But for someone like me even a two hour’s performance by Strings wasn’t enough and I felt like carving for more. Current line-up of Strings which features Adeel Ali on lead guitarist (who also happens to be the oldest member after Bilal & Faisal), Bradley D’Souza on Bass Guitars, Haider Ali on keyboards and Ahad Nayani on drums gelled well and gave a notion that they had rehearsed well.

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Seems like a full house.  

Faisal Kapadia as usual was very energetic, enthusiastic with his solid vocal tone all through the concert was a treat for ears, mind and soul.  Faisal Kapadia and profusely thanked the crowd that had come to see Strings performing. Bilal Maqsood with his soothing and soft vocals was on the mellow side and he looked a lot more matured as compared to Faisal Kapadia or other members but his melodious side of too much to handle with light December breeze and Sea on your left side.

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First song of the night was ‘koi aanay wala hay’, which was a decent start and felt more a like a warm-up session, followed by ‘na janay kyun’ which had a Spider-Man effect to it, ‘kahani mohabbat ki’ was next, then ‘chaiay chaiay’ and ‘jab sae tum ko mai nay dekha’, is one of their oldest song which I use to hate but now due to its nostalgic I started liking it.

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Without any doubt best song of the night was ‘sar kiay ye pahar’ and this song is only reason why I love Strings so much, it has a nostalgic feel to it and bring back memories of my school time. Strings sang ‘sar kiay ye pahar’ to perfection, not a single error, its seems as they have been rehearsing this song a lot. Next song by Bilal Maqsood was ‘mera bichar yaar’, mellowed things down and then ‘durr’ energized the once again and Faisal Kapadia showed the awesome power of his vocals.

Next in-line was guest singer Momina Mustehsan who came in to present ‘muntazir’ from Coke Studio. Momina Mustehsan failed to impress with her live performance and proved to just another pretty face with not much singing talent, whereas Faisal Kapadia was best among the three vocalist and Bilal Maqsood’s vocals was soothing enough but didn’t fit well with sound of this song.

After a fiery performance by Strings and Momina Mustehsan, ‘mai to dekhoon ga’ soften the mood once again only to be boosted once again by excellent and thrilling drum performance by each and every member of Strings. This drum was very unique had many different instruments.

As far as I remember ‘so ja’ from their first album was first ever song by Strings that I heard or had seen on Music Channel Charts and ‘so ja’ kept the crowd going, ‘soniay’ which had female back-up vocals and to fill this gap Faisal Kapadia requested female members in the crowd who would be willing share the stage with Strings and four young and energetic ladies showed up and sang ‘soniay’ with Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood. ‘Dhaani’ went in with the flow of the concert and last song of the night was the world cup song of 2003 ‘hay koi ham jaisa’. Pakistan was one of the hot favourite to lift the cricket world cup of 2003, but what happened there shouldn’t be remembered. Last was as an energetic and the performances was as power-packed as first one.

Overall it was an excellent effort by Salt Arts and Strings for putting up such an excellent show for very entertainment starved population of Karachi.

 

Made in Pakistan. Fashion showcase – Day 01

Pakistan’s leading Fashion Council “Fashion Pakistan” (FP) has collaborated with Pakistan’s leading trade authority “Trade Development Authority of Pakistan” (TDAP) to bring another fashion week to our fashion industry with the title “Made in Pakistan – Fashion Showcase”.

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TDAP was at the forefront and FP was at backfoot, and TDAP did succeed in bringing in the so called vip culture also known as ‘sarkaari culture’ to a fashion week for which they must be applauded. Apart from foreign delegates most of the crowd present seemed irrelevant for fashion shows. Once the show started all the deficiencies of TDAP officials became visible to naked eye as half of seats were vacant throughout show and many foreign delegates were seen leaving during the show. TDAP officials were seen facilitating only selected few of their own and many foreign delegates were left to be facilitated by untrained and unexperienced ushers.

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First day of “Made in Pakistan – Fashion Showcase” started with a welcome speech by Chairman of Fashion Pakistan Mr. Deepak Perwani and during this welcome speech, Chairman Fashion Pakistan welcomed the delegates and guests and thanked them for gracing this event

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He further informed that; “this show is divided into three parts,  during day one and day two Pakistan’s leading and established fashion designers will be show-casing their products, whereas on the third day “Millennial Fashion” is dedicated to young and emerging designers, which goes in-line with Fashion Pakistan’s policy of promoting young talent”.

On this concluding note Mr. Deepak Perwani said; “all the designs that will be showcased during the fashions week are based on export oriented and with a vision to contribute more to Pakistan’s economy for value added sector/market and in the end its it’s all about Pakistan, so bring to you Made In Pakistan”.

First designer to showcase was the chairman of Fashion Pakistan, Mr. Deepak Perwani and his designs seemed very cool, trendy and fit for evening wear. His designs seemed very export oriented keeping in mind both westerners and desi’s.

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Next was Amir Adnan who showcased some of the finest jackets on day one, with FNK Asia from the House of Amir Adnan had few good pieces while rest of it was pretty normal.

Nova Leather showcased some of the best collection of day one with their excellent leather jackets, hand bags, purses, trousers and skirts and with any doubt Pakistan leather goods are one of the finest in the world and designs have improved lot too. Model Abeera Habib displayed the best looking dress produced by Nova Leather.

The Pink Tree Company showcased some very cool, trendy and elegant looking evening wear followed by Gogi by Hassan Riaz with pretty ordinary looking designs which didn’t feel like to be destined for export.

Last of the day one was Tena Durrani who wasn’t that impressive as was expected from her, some of her designs felt incomplete and didn’t seem fit to be for exports.

Overall first day of Made in Pakistan. Fashion showcase wasn’t that impressive and with a very dull red carpet with sarkaari culture, choreography by someone who is not familiar with choreography, not many top male/female models and so on.