GT – Dec 16-31 2016


Who? Uzma Ramzan

Why? This woman in red has chosen to go with neuatral accessories. Full on red with matching handbag and shoes would surely have been an over-kill


Who? Ali

Why? It’s refreshing to see a man not wearing embroidery or a multi-hued desi outfit. The colourful peacocks should take a page out of his book

Who? Xille Huma

WHY? You can be all covered and understated but still look striking via a statement accessory

Who? Sherbano

Why? And this is how you cover up a pregnancy bump. She’s postitively glowing

Who? Mussarat Salamat

Why? You don’t have to overdress to look good. Her silk scarf lends a Parisian flair to this simple monochrome outfit

Who? Sadaf Kanwal

WhY? The buttercream coloured ruffled strapless top and flared pants are on-point

Mahlia S. Lone

As the country mourned the loss of the 47 innocent people who died in the Chitral-Islamabad crash due to engine malfunction and PIA grounded its entire ATR fleet, consisting of 10 planes, pending further investigation, it was another reminder that our lives are conducted mostly on blind faith. And only after disasters occur, do we take precautions and that too for a limited time. Fatalism is so engrained in our psyche that we avoid assigning responsibility.

And now from the tragic to the everyday mantra of “life goes on”.

Each season brings new fashion in its wake. And no season is as fashionable as the winter shaadi and party season. This issue’s Runway Report is crammed with latest looks hot off the runways of FPW, London, and BCW, Lahore. Ammara Khan, a super popular fashion designer, also reveals to GT readers her inspiration for her Il Giglio collection: Florence, the city famous for its arts and architecture and home to the powerful Medici during the Renaissance.

Farhan Tahir, the famous Pakistani-American Hollywood star who we regularly watch on many a TV show, is ready to star in a Pakistani movie. He tells us his criteria for selecting the vehicle for his Pakistani showbiz launch; he also tells us about his fast paced life in Hollywood. Another high profile Pakistani-American is Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s trusted adviser, personal assistant and confidante. Her ill-conceived marriage to the Jewish ex-Congressman and self proclaimed sex addict, Anthony Weiner, is the topic for this issue’s Memorable Romance.

Talking of the fast and furious, the most accessible Formula One race for us is the Abu Dhabi one. If you’ve always wanted to attend and get some of that adrenalin high, then actor Saim Ali gives you tips collected from his own recent trip. Enjoy!

By Mahlia Lone

Known in political circles as Hillary Clinton’s “body woman,” “shadow” and “mini me,” Huma Mahmood Abedin was born in 1976 to Indian/Pakistani parents in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her parents, both born pre-Partition in British India, highly religious, scholarly college professors, founded the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs in 1978; an Abedin family run organization devoted to the study of Muslim communities in non-Muslim societies around the world. For this, the family received regular funding from Muslims the world over, especially Saudi Arabia. In fact, her father Syed Zainul Abedin (1928-1993) relocated the family to Jeddah upon receiving a lucrative teaching post there when Huma was only two. She was enrolled at a British all girls’ school in Jeddah and learnt Arabic. Her younger siblings, sister Heba and a brother were born much after her. Their mother Saleha Mahmood Abedin is currently, an associate professor of sociology and dean at Dar Al-Hekma College, Jeddah.

Huma returned to the U.S. for her higher studies and got a BA from George Washington University in Washington D.C. with a major in journalism and a minor in political science. She wanted to be a serious political journalist like her first idol Christiane Amanpour and wanted to work in the White House press office. In 1996, while still at university, she began working in the East Wing of the White House as an intern to the First Lady Hillary Clinton. Another famous intern, Monica Lewinsky started working in the West Wing, the President’s section, at the same time. Highly intelligent and efficient, Huma got a full time job at the White House following graduation and served as the back-up to Hillary’s personal aide. When Hillary ran for the Senate in 2000, her older White House aides moved on. But Huma went with her and officially took over as Clinton’s primary aide and personal advisor during her successful 2000 U.S. Senate campaign in New York.

“Huma is a very, very religious person — she doesn’t smoke, drink or swear, always very polite,” a Clinton insider told Newsweek

In 2001, Anthony Weiner the Jewish Democrat, then in his second term as a Congressman from Queens, New York, and 12 years her senior first saw Huma. “I was like, ‘Wow, who is that?’ ” he told The New York Times Magazine’s Jonathan Van Meter. Weiner represented New York’s 9th congressional district from January 1999 until June 2011, winning seven consecutive terms and never receiving less than 59% of the vote; he was a popular politician who got the job done. On paper, it was a match made in heaven. At a Democratic Party retreat at Martha’s Vineyard in August, Weiner asked Huma out for a drink. She replied that she had to work, but Hillary promptly gave her the evening off. Huma waved her arms at her boss and shook her head no. But Hillary encouraged them, “Of course all you young people should go out.”

On the date, Huma, a teetotaler, ordered tea and then retreated to the bathroom for a long time. “She ditched me,” Weiner said crestfallen.

The two kept running into each other in D.C. but Huma wasn’t interested. She thought he was “a brash, outspoken, ambitious, camera-hogging New Yorker.” Very slowly opposites began to attract. Weiner finally won Huma over in January 2007, when he sat between Hillary and her rival for the Democratic nomination, then-Senator Barack Obama, at President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address. “I appreciate you looking out for my boss,” Huma texted him. They went out for coffee and romance blossomed.

During Hillary’s unsuccessful 2007 bid for the Democratic nomination, Rebecca Johnson wrote in a Vogue article that Huma is “Hillary’s secret weapon” and that her motivation is not the details of policy or political horse-racing, but “the way that politicians are uniquely invested with the power to help individuals—as with, say, the woman whose legs were badly broken by a piece of plane fuselage on 9/11”, whom Huma visited with Hillary in the hospital. Huma said, “To me, that’s one of the blessings of this job. In some tiny, tiny way I am part of history, but I am also able to help people.”

“I’m not sure Hillary could walk out the door without Huma,” Clinton adviser Mandy Grunwald told Johnson. “She’s a little like Radar on M*A*S*H (TV show). If the air-conditioning is too cold, Huma is there with the shawl. She’s always thinking three steps ahead of Hillary.” That year Huma went with the grand doyenne of fashion and publishing, Vogue’s Anna Wintour to Paris for a $1,000-a-person fund-raiser at the home of James Cook, an American businessman. It’s pertinent to note that Huma cuts a stylish figure herself, rarely repeating an outfit and always perfectly accessorized. Her go-to red carpet look is designer wear that is polished with splashes of colour and flashes of metallics. Plus she is high powered and rubs shoulders with all the American bigwigs.

In July 2008, a New York Times article stated that Weiner is one of the most intense and demanding of bosses, often working long hours with his staff, requiring them to be in constant contact via their cell phones, frequently yelling at them, and even throwing office furniture when irate. As a result, he had one of the highest staff turnover rates of any member of Congress, including, at one point, three chiefs of staff in 18 months. He admitted to pushing his aides hard but said that this was just his style of working.  Some of his employees praised him for “his intense involvement in constituent concerns and readiness to fight for New York City.”

“The couple framed it as a sex scandal without actual sex, a narrative that made sense, stated a NY Times story”

Meanwhile, Huma started serving as the deputy chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from 2009 to 2013. In 2010, Huma made TIME magazine’s 40 under 40 list of a “new generation of civic leaders and rising stars of American politics.” Hillary sought Huma’s advice on Middle East affairs. Senator John McCain commented at this time, “She is a person of enormous intellect with in-depth knowledge on a number of issues—especially issues pertaining to the Middle East.” So Huma was a rising star in the D.C. political firmament.

In 2010, Huma and Weiner tied the knot in a ceremony officiated by Bill Clinton. She wore an embellished Indian-inspired Oscar De la Renta gown with polki jewellery that spoke of her ancestry. The designer favoured by First Ladies Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush told Vogue that designing the embroidered, cap-sleeved gown for Huma “was like dressing Scheherazade, the beautiful queen from One Thousand and One Nights.” The lavish wedding cost a cool $250,000.

In her wedding toast, Hillary said fondly of the bride: “I have one daughter. But if I had a second daughter, it would be Huma.” Saleha, Huma’s real mother said Hillary may as well be Huma’s mother as she got to see her daughter far more than she (her mother) did.

In May 2011, Abedin accompanied Hillary and Obama on an official trip to London that included a state dinner at Buckingham Palace. Huma wrote to her husband from her “spectacular” room at the palace, “I cannot believe what an amazingly blessed life that we live, these incredible experiences we’ve both had.”

Just days later the perfect life came crashing down. Weiner hastily called and left a message for his wife, who was in Washington, the ominous words, “My Twitter was hacked.” In fact, Weiner had mistakenly tweeted a photograph of his crotch meant for a 21-year-old Seattle college student to his 45,000 followers. It was a full blown sordid sex scandal. Huma who was pregnant at the time accompanied by Weiner hid from the reporters at a friend’s house in the Hamptons. Only when they were packing up the car to return to New York City, Weiner had the guts to confess, “It’s true. It’s me. The picture is me. I sent it.”

“It was every emotion that one would imagine: rage and anger and shock,” Huma recalled to the Times later. Calling a news conference, Weiner came clean. He admitted he had sent explicit messages to six women during the previous three years, but had never actually met any of them. One State Department official said that many blamed Huma for driving Weiner to sexting because she “was never around. She gave so much to Hillary Clinton, what did she have left for him? It was politically incorrect, but we did wonder.”

Huma sought refuge with Hillary who had herself lived through Bill’s extramarital escapades while in office that had resulted in a scandal on a much bigger scale. The next day after the press conference, Huma returned to work at the State Department. “My compass was my job. It was where I could go and life was normal,” she said.

“Huma didn’t really want me to resign, frankly. Her frame was: ‘We’ve got to get back to normal somehow,’ ” Weiner told Van Meter. But he didn’t really have a choice. He resigned his office and gave up his $174,000 salary. Huma was making $155,000 from her State Department salary. The Clintons stepped in to help Huma financially. Not only did Weiner have to sell his Forest Hills condominium for $430,000, but Huma also sold her Washington condominium, for $620,000, at a slight loss. They moved into one of longtime Clinton supporter and New York developer, Jack Rosen’s buildings at 254 Park Avenue South. They were hardly slumming it in the sunlit, 12th-floor, 2,120-square-foot, four-bedroom $3 million apartment, the monthly rent of which was at least $12,000. In Dec 2011, Huma gave birth to a baby boy, Jordan Zain Weiner. Life was better than normal.

Weiner started a consulting firm, Woolf Weiner Associates, to pay the bills. To help her favourite, Hillary signed off on Huma’s request to become a special government employee (S.G.E.) at the State Department, so she could work from her New York City home while taking care of her newborn. Huma acted as a consultant with expertise that no other person could supply on a “myriad of policy, administrative and logistical issues,” according to her application for S.G.E. status. She became an S.G.E. by mid 2012 and was paid $62.06 per hour. She was also acting as a consultant to Teneo Holdings, a global strategic-consulting and investment-banking firm co-founded by her friend and colleague Douglas Band, Bill Clinton’s right hand man. For the seven months she worked at Teneo, she was paid $105,000. Additionally, Huma was hired as a consultant to the William J. Clinton Foundation to help plan for Hillary’s “post-State philanthropic activities.” Getting four different paychecks at once, the potential for conflicts cropped up immediately, according to William D. Cohan who tallied up her salaries in a Vanity Fair article. Together the couple reported a combined income of $496,000 for 2012. Politics sure is a lucrative career!

That summer, Huma, Weiner, and six month old Jordan posed for People magazine in their gorgeous apartment. They were happy. Huma is quoted in the article, “Anthony has spent every day since (the scandal) trying to be the best dad and husband he can be. I’m proud to be married to him.”

Weiner was running for the 2013 NYC mayoral elections, but again he was caught sending graphic messages this time using the cheesy pseudonym Carlos Danger to a 22 year old woman named Sydney Leathers, an Indiana native who on social media had first expressed her disapproval of his extramarital behaviors. The story broke right after the sunny People story appeared. Weiner admitted that he had continued to send sexually explicit messages to at least three women in 2012. One recipient of his messages said that Weiner described himself to her as “an argumentative, perpetually horny middle-aged man.”

Despite demands for Weiner to drop out of the mayoral race, he doggedly and penitently held a press conference with his wife beside him in which he announced that he would continue his campaign. He apologised, “I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out and today they have…I want to again say that I am very sorry to anyone who was on the receiving end of these messages and the disruption this has caused.” Not surprisingly Weiner lost the mayoral primary, winning only 4.9% of the vote. But the repercussions went far beyond New York, dragging Hillary’s name into messy headlines about pornographic pictures and Weiner’s descriptions of his carnal appetites.

“The Clintons put him in exile,” one longtime Clinton insider said. They had no choice but to distance themselves not from Huma, but her errant husband who had become a political liability.

Weiner and Huma had allowed filmmakers full access to his “circus-like” mayoral campaign for a documentary called Weiner that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016. The film’s co-director Elyse Steinberg told The Daily Beast reporter: “Just as Anthony was reduced to a caricature and a punch line, so was Huma. Our hope is that you get to see a different side of her: as a wife, as a mother, as a person with a very important job and you also get to see the judgment that was placed against her. Huma is one of many women whose husbands did something wrong or embarrassing, and they were criticized for staying in the marriage. Our job was to question those judgments.”

“In the documentary, the filmmaker asks Weiner, ‘Did Huma want you to go back into politics?’ Without hesitation he responded. ‘She did. She was very eager to get her life back that I had taken from her,’ reported Tara McKelvey for BBC News. “The marriage survives. But Abedin’s role changes. She goes from being a devoted wife to someone who places her bets, at least politically, on Clinton – not her husband. The metamorphosis of Abedin from a committed wife to a cautious one, hedging her bets, takes place gradually during the film. It’s expressed in a subtle manner—more through gestures than words. In a political ad that’s shown early in the film, she smiles at her husband while he talks about his candidacy for mayor. Later at an event in a New York apartment, she stands up and says: “I’m usually in that room as far as possible from the microphone.’ Then she makes the case for why New Yorkers should vote for her husband.

Weiner is skinny and wiry–a coiled fury. He also has Faustian appetites. He’s slouched on a couch. She’s standing on the side of the room, with her arms crossed. ‘The level of guilt,’ he says and puts his hand on his heart. She practically rolls her eyes – and leaves the room. She loves him, but the scandal has pushed her almost to a breaking point. Later he says he wants her to go with him to the polls on Election Day to show her support for his candidacy. While he talks, she’s standing in a dark hallway with her arms crossed. One of Clinton’s advisors, Philippe Reines, who served as a spokesman when Clinton was Secretary of State, appears as a dark force in the film—unseen but powerful. Reines wants Abedin to stay away from her husband during a key moment in his mayoral campaign. Apparently, he thinks it could damage her reputation. She listens to Reines—not her husband. Weiner was committed to politics. But he became a punch line. In the end, his wife distanced herself from his campaign. She didn’t go with him to the polls on Election Day. The film shows that in political theatre, sometimes it’s smart to stay off stage.”

Neither of the couple watched the documentary.

In 2013, a stage production The Weiner Monologues premiered at the Access Theater. Directed by Jonathan Harper Schliemann, the play was based on media coverage of Weiner’s sexting scandal.

Meanwhile, Hillary had started her bid for the 2016 Presidential Election with Huma as the vice chairwoman of her campaign and considered by many as the most powerful person in the campaign organization. This was not surprising as Huma had remained  Hillary’s closest confidante. Annie Karni wrote on the Politico.com site that Abedin was “the only official channel to Clinton” and was hence “elevated to the most senior member of Clinton’s old guard. Huma is occupying a perch overseeing the campaign operation.”

“Just knock on the door to the bedroom if it’s closed,” Hillary would tell Huma.

“A lot of times, Hillary would snap her fingers and go, ‘Gum.’ And Huma would fetch it,” a Clinton insider told Newsweek. Huma was so dedicated that when she heard Hillary had been forced to carry her own bag up a staircase, she almost cried.

“Whatever the title, the job she performs for Hillary has always been essentially the same: confessor, confidante, and constant companion. It’s safe to say that over the years Abedin and Hillary have spent more time together than either has with her husband. A former adviser to Bill Clinton describes her as ‘a mini Hillary.’ Wherever Hillary goes, Abedin goes,” Cohan wrote.

“Abedin’s near constant presence by Clinton’s side for decades has made her a source of fascination and, in recent years, a paparazzi-stalked celebrity in her own right. Fans at rallies stop her for selfies; she has been photographed multiple times for Vogue, even by Annie Leibovitz; she hobnobs with movie stars at Paris Fashion Week; and she has the distinction of being the only Clinton campaign staffer who has been singled out by Donald Trump for attack (he used her marriage and recent separation from former Rep. Anthony Weiner to question Clinton’s judgment),” he added.

In her turn, after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States, Huma wrote an open letter to Clinton supporters calling her “a proud Muslim” and criticized Trump’s plan as “literally writing racism into our law books.”

Further public humiliation was in store for Huma when in August 2016 the New York Post printed excerpts from a Twitter conversation between Weiner and an unnamed woman. Weiner had again sent a picture of his crotch, this time with his four year old son sleeping on the bed beside him. He also told the woman he’d dreamed about her, and invited her to meet him in New York.

Before the story broke in the press, Hillary was asked by reporters what she thought about the latest whiff of scandal but she dismissed it as “rumours.” Several of Mrs. Clinton’s friends and allies suggested she distance herself from Huma. Hillary is very loyal, but she’s also pragmatic.

The two women’s closeness had caused envy in those who sought to curry favour because Huma speaks for Hillary, and people adept at getting access to Hillary knew it. “Everybody fights to be at the center and Huma controls a lot of that dynamic,” a former advisor to Hillary said. Mrs. Clinton steadfastly refused to give up Huma.

The New York Times reported the next day that Huma had finally separated from her womanizing husband. She announced, “After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband. Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy.”


EXCLUSIVE: Huma Abedin and her Husband Anthony Weiner go for brunch on Father’s Day and take their son to a park for some family fun in New York. Abedin was dressed down in jeans and flat shoes with a floral print shirt and was enjoying her day off whilst Hillary Clinton was in Hospital celebrating the birth of her grandson. Weiner was having fun with his son in the park going on a slide and swings. Weiner went for some trendy green shades in the blistering New York sunshine.

When asked whether Ms. Abedin would step down from the campaign, Hillary’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta answered, “Huma is a terrific leader. She’s multifaceted, has a great strategic sense, and she’s a wonderful colleague. She’s an integral part of the team, and her competence is only exceeded by her humility. We of course stand by her.”

“There is a long list of usually chatty Clinton surrogates and supporters who went gone mute on the subject of Huma Abedin,” wrote Cohen. “The ones who didn’t get the memo, or chose to ignore it, stuck close to the prescribed script. Michael Feldman, the managing director of the Glover Park Group, a communications consulting firm, said that after 20 years Abedin has become part of the ‘institutional memory’ and now occupies ‘a really important and unique place in the organization.’

Bob Barnett, the lawyer who brokered the Clintons’ multi-million-dollar book deals, says Huma is ‘now one of the key glues that holds Clinton world together…. She knows everyone and everyone knows her. She knows their strengths. She knows their weaknesses. She knows the roles they’ve played, and that history is priceless to a person in public life.’”

Then horror of horrors, in September the Daily Mail published an article claiming that Weiner had engaged in a months long sexting relationship with a 15-year-old girl. The troubled teenager claimed he asked her to dress up in “school-girl” outfits for him on video messaging app Skype and persuaded her to engage in “rape fantasies.” They also sexted through the app Confide specifically designed for confidentiality, automatically deleting messages and images after the first time they have been read or viewed. However, the girl took screenshots of a few of the lurid messages and images, including him bare-chested in the bathroom, which he had sent her that she shared with the Dailymail.com.

Devices owned by Weiner were seized as part of the investigation into this incident. He gave a statement to DailyMail.com in which he said: “I have repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgement about the people I have communicated with online and the things I have sent. I am filled with regret and heartbroken for those I have hurt.”

The father of the teenager called him “a monster.” He told the Daily Mail that Weiner’s conduct was “absolutely criminal,” and that it has been “gut-wrenching” to watch the impact it has had on his daughter. “I hope I never come in contact with him, I’ll be in jail if I do.”

Still the Clintons never publicly criticized Mr. Weiner.


FBI director James Comey went public with the latest investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, after he announced that the FBI was investigating emails found on a laptop seized during the investigation into Weiner. Freedom of Information Act requests from a conservative organization have made many of Clinton’s staff’s emails sent during her State Department tenure public. Huma was involved in many of the sensitive emails that were scrutinised. In one email dating back to the time when Clinton was Secretary of State, then-Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band asked Huma to facilitate a meeting between Hillary and the Crown Prince of Bahrain.

Hillary to her credit did not fire Huma regardless of what her husband’s indiscretions had cost her.

But what is wrong with Weiner? And why has he ruined his life? Jaffe, a UCLA-trained addiction expert said, “If someone’s life is repeatedly negatively affected by this behavior and they are unable to stop it, they need help.”

A NY Times story on Weiner stated that the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health estimates that 6 to 8 percent of Americans are sex addicts. Awareness of sex addiction, an intimacy disorder, has gone mainstream thanks to celebrities like Tiger Woods, David Duchovny, Russell Brand, etc. “Those commonly afflicted are 30- to 50-year-old men, upwardly mobile, successful men, type-A, pillar-of-the-community, CEO-type personalities who usually have a problem connecting to other people and generally have some sort of trauma in their past.”

The Post recently photographed Weiner horseback-riding through the woods at a $25,000, 35-day, all-male sex rehabilitation program at the Recovery Ranch in Nunnelly, Tenn. In-patient rehab is considered a last resort for sex addicts. The patients greatly benefit from having the seclusion the all-male treatment center provides without all the triggers that women can create. Upon entering the facility, electronic devices are immediately confiscated and for the first two weeks patients can’t even receive phone calls.

As we all know, Hillary Clinton lost the general election. Her email server scandal may have been a contributing reason. Huma was seen in tears after her boss’ loss. She now works as Hillary’s personal assistant.

“I’d call Huma one-in-a-million,” Clinton staffer Philippe Reines told a NY Times reporter. “She is truly one of a kind, one in a billion. We are all in awe of her poise, grace, judgment, intellect and her seemingly endless energy.”

Movies: La La Land  

La La Land, a 2016 American romantic comedy-drama musical, is written and directed by Damien Chazelle and stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. The plot follows a musician and an aspiring actress who meet and fall in love in Los Angeles, but as success elevates them in their careers, the dreams they worked so hard to maintain threaten to tear the duo apart.

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The film’s title not only references the city that is home to Hollywood, Los Angeles, but also allegorically references the difference between real life and reel life. The musical genre, which is resurrected by this film, might go some way to filling the void left by Bollywood films here in Pakistan. This is just the movie for dating couples who are tired of sneaking about and secretly meeting at the movies only to find an annoying litany of superhero action movies. We recommend you share a bucket of popcorn for this one. The movie releases on December 9 in the US, with a world-wide release soon after.

Books: The Undoing Project —Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis describes the relationship between Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, two psychologists whose groundbreaking studies on how our minds trick us into making bad judgments earned them a Nobel Prize in Economics (of all fields). Their theory has become the foundational framework of Behavioral Economics. Their peculiar area of research—human decision making—has had implications for a wide variety of academic and professional fields from professional sports to military thinking and strategy.

Lewis’ books have a knack for being picked up by Hollywood executives. He first started working on this book as a sequel to Moneyball, the book that was adapted into a screenplay and later enacted on screen by none other than the studly Brad Pitt. When he began doing research, Lewis found an even more compelling story. That of an intellectual partnership with a falling out, a story of betrayal and intrigue all to do with the realm of ideas. Be sure to get your hands on The Undoing Project, for who knows you might want to beat the lines at the cinema when it is adapted into a movie one day.

Music: Disclosure Top 5 Songs

Disclosure is an English electronic music duo consisting of brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence. Their music marks the end of many an evening, as the guests are ushered out and the hosts prepare the mood for the select few invited to the after-party. Here are 5 songs from the duo that you want on your post-party playlist:


Television Shows: Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders is Britain’s answer to the much loved Gangs of Wasseypur, which enjoys more than just a cult following in Pakistan and India. The television drama is based upon the exploits of the Peaky Blinders gang that operates out of Birmingham, England in the aftermath of the First World War. The gang comes to the attention of Chief Inspector Chester Campbell (Sam Neill), a detective sent over by Winston Churchill to clean the streets of Birmingham from the dual threat of the Irish Republican Army and the rising tide of Communist agitators in the wake of the Ocotober Revolution of 1917 that elevated the Bolsheviks into power in Russia. The show does well to marry intrigue and violence, all the while representing the various threats to the crown in the inter-war period. With three seasons available on Netflix, Peaky Blinders is a good show to have on your radar.

Sapphire silk

Following the launch of Sapphire Winter Volume 2, Sapphire’s Silk Anniversary collection Route de la Soie has launched nationwide on the 6th of December.The collection comprises of silk dupatta and shirts featuring fashion forward prints with a modern flair. This two-piece silk collection celebrates the label’s second year in fashion with an exclusive range of luxurious silk fabrics and striking hues with a mix of contemporary silhouettes. We cant wait to get our hands on this collection!


Sana Ahmed’s luxury pret

Dazzling and trendy,  Sana Ahmed’s luxury pret ensembles have already proved popular, though she is a relatively new designer. You will stand out in a show-stopping outfit by this fabulous designer.

Cafe Latch

Cafe Latch is a welcome addition  to the Lahore restaurant scene. Located on Fashion Avenue at Mall 94, the hip cafe boasts Mediterranean fare with a bit of classic British cuisine. We especially loved the Cream of Broccoli Soup, tender Calamari and flavoursome Prawns. The light and fruity Eton Mess hit us with a dessert high. Check it out; you will be pleased.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

One of the most luscious debuts in recent times, Stephanie Danler’s Sweetbitter is astonishingly good! Grab your copy from the Last Word book store today.

Firdous ready to wear 

Of all the brands I visited and learned about when I visited Firdous, this one excited me the most. It’s currently being touted as a “rising star”. The brand presents innovative and striking prints. Some Firdous ready to wear articles are too cute for me to take seriously. You can get what all the ladies in town are buying in drove.


during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on November 4, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Saim Ali, fashion designer and television personality, recounts the story of his exciting trip to Abu Dhabi for the Formula One race to Fatima Sheikh

Why Abu Dhabi?

The main purpose of my trip was Formula One, which I’ve always wanted to see live. The thrill in the air, the Ferraris and the energy there are absolutely amazing! Being there was definitely the best experience of my life. This trip was also a birthday gift to me from my brother who is as crazy about Ferraris as I am.


What is the best time to visit?

I would say winter because summer there can get pretty hot. Winter is perfect in Abu Dhabi with so much happening, such as shopping festivals and of course Formula One. This is one time one can actually go around exploring the place without being irritated by the heat and dust.

Where did you stay?

I stayed at the St. Regis Hotel, one of the many five star hotels in Abu Dhabi. It’s located on the beach and is next to the absolutely amazing Emirates Palace Hotel. I woke up to a breathtaking view of the beach every day.


Favourite restaurant?

My favourites are Nobu, P.F. Chang and Al-Nakhal for mouthwatering Lebanese food at the Emirates Palace Hotel.

How to get around?

I used to get a private taxi from the hotel most of the time. Abu Dhabi isn’t as busy as Dubai; it’s pretty laid back, a lot like Islamabad I would say.  You’ll find taxis and buses at every corner and they’re excellent to commute around.

What did you get up to during the day?

My days were quite eventful. I had something to do every day and of course there was the Formula One race going on, which was a major part of my trip.

My typical day consisted of waking up to an amazing view from the 41st floor of St. Regis Hotel and hitting the pool. Then I’d go to the beach for breakfast, so relaxing.  The view and the ambience were really soothing. I would then visit Ferrari World. The rest of my day I’d spend exploring different malls and feasting at some fantastic restaurants in other hotels.

Where to stay?

There are so many beautiful hotels in Abu Dhabi that it’s really hard to pick one. You’ll find seven star as well as five star international hotels. But, I definitely recommend the St. Regis Hotel to everyone. My stay there was perfect.

What to eat?

Abu Dhabi has a variety of different cuisine from all over the world. I had the best of Thai and Lebanese. My absolute favourite is Hummus. I also like Dynamite Prawns and Wasabi Salt Beef Wholegrain sandwich.

What to see?

Oh, Abu Dhabi has so much! I’d say everyone should definitely visit Marina Mall, the Cornish and Yass Island. If you love cars and racing then Ferrari World should be on the top of your list like mine. Also, if you love roller coasters, the world’s fastest and biggest rollercoaster is found in the Ferrari World theme park.

In life you aspire to be the best version of yourself, a version that is unique and distinctive. You want to stand out, be noticed, and be admired. But the question is how far should we go to get what we want?

There is a fierce debate surrounding the need to upgrade one’s appearance by permitting the use of methods that can adjust the way you look. Some people frown upon the idea of exercising aesthetic medicine or dermatology and label it as a superfluous alteration. However, there are those who have a better understanding of the procedures and have also embraced the groundbreaking practices.

One of the biggest advocates of Aesthetic Medicine, Dr Muhammad Tauqeer Ahmed  said, “Aesthetic Medicine is one of the most rapid growing specialties and to this effect a new postgraduate college for its specialization has been established in the UK. In this modern era a niche, which could not be filled by other aspects of medicine, has been addressed. The regulation of practitioners is key to ensure that quality treatment is delivered. Exciting times are ahead with stem cell therapy and DNA based research to reverse the aging process.”

A UK graduate with a special interest in dermatology, he is a member of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine and launched Vaser Liposuction, Carboxytherapy, PRP and PDT therapy in Scotland and the UK.

But how do we know what we want? Which processes work better and which techniques suit us?

The consultant can either do what the patient wants and leave the decision entirely up to him/her or recognize their need and guide him/her accordingly. Dr. Ahmed’s methodology is unique; he not only discusses the changes his patients want but also inquires why? He believes in understanding the desire to change, and feels the more he knows about the person, the more accurate his assessment will be. Maybe what is required is a simple procedure like Botox or other non-surgical face lifting treatments that not only give an instant lift but also keep the look enhanced for long periods. Known as the go to doctor for many in the fashion and beauty industry including Miss Scotland and Miss Earth, Dr Ahmed’s clientele is as diverse as the methods he’s mastered.

Client testimonials:

Natasha said, “I love Dr Ahmed’s medical facials, especially DMK that tightens and evens out skin and PRP, which not only activates but gives the skin an amazing glow as well.”

Amira said, “I have had melasma on my cheeks and forehead for many years for which I have gone through many treatments in vain. Dr. Ahmed used a combination of treatments and procedures accompanied by a dedicated follow-up assessment. After three treatments, many people have complimented me. His service spells out the highest level of professionalism with commitment”.

Young, beautiful and healthy girl with the arrows on her face (spa, surgery, face lifting and make-up concept collage)

Dr Ahmed is well known for his comprehensive protocol, his use of multi-disciplinary approach and combination therapies are a success; he has a great track record for treatment of dark circles, stretch marks, cellulite, acne, pigmentation and other common skin problems, and he is one of the few doctors who specializes in dark Asian skin and has customized procedures for his patients. Dr Ahmed is now offering his services in Pakistan and has established a Cosmetic Mega clinic located in Lahore where he is also currently working on DNA based aesthetic, weight management, sports performance, and non-surgical hair loss treatments.

For Appointments:
042 37182090
0301 4811107
12-CCA Phase-5, DHA, Lahore behind Jalalsons



A trip to Florence earlier this summer inspired me tremendously. It reminded me again of how unbelievably gorgeous and rich in culture the city is.


I would say the long jacket with high slits is a personal favourite. It can be worn with a lehnga or elongated pants and looks beautiful.


The colours are drawn from Renaissance master Botticelli’s paintings and the Florentine sunset when viewed from the historic Ponte Vecchio. (Old Bridge in Italian—It’s the most famous bridge and landmark in Florence.)


From the initial point of inspiration everything flowed magically. I drew out the technical drawings and the motif development took the longest. It was fun to work on the embroideries with my team of skilled artisans. They havebeen with me for years and know my mind really well. It’s always fantastic to see the final garment come together.


From the warm colours to the ornate drawings and the finest gold embroidery Il Giglio is inspired by the grandeur and beauty of Renaissance art, architecture and jewels. It is unique in its richness and exudes an aura of antiquity and regalia.


I don’t follow a set mood board. Usually things accumulate in a compartment of my mind for days and days and then I get things on paper in the form of technical drawings for silhouette and notes. It’s a bit crazy but that’s how it is.


I was nominated for a LUX style award this year and I had a chance to see Maya Ali at the show. I just found her to be so beautiful and charming. I immediately knew she had the depth to translate emotions to a still shot and I was thrilled with the resulting campaign.



Luxurious, timeless, elegant.


Someone who is sophisticated,
poised and also elegant with just the
right amount of self confidence.


Valentino Garavani, Giambattista
Valli and I am madly in love with
Gucci’s Alessandro Michele’s
aesthetic. Ralph and Russo are
amazing for occasion wear.



Olivia Palermo, Amal Clooney.
Kate Middleton, Charlotte
Casiraghi, Queen Rania


Olivia Palermo and Kate Middleton


Style to me is something that comes
from within. It is a reflection of
what one has grasped from one’s
environment and made his own with
the passage of time. It is not
something that can be borrowed,
bought or replicated

Fatima Sheikh shares her favourite types of trendy chokers

Fashion comes in all shapes, forms and sizes and this time it came in the shape of a choker. These neck pieces have been trending like wildfire. Initially worn by American supermodels like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid etc., the trend soon spread its wings around Asia. Now everyone and their aunt seem to be rocking a choker.

I remember I wore one last year on my birthday in March because my dress had a deep neckline and statement necklaces were hitting the shopping bags at that point. I was never a fan of chunky necklaces so I took a ribbon, cut it and tied it around my neck. As I stepped in the car my mother gave me a daunting look telling me that the strap around my neck looked hideous and out of place. I rolled my eyes and took it off. Last week not to my surprise she bought me two chokers.

This trend is even catching up with the not so fashion forward older set. The silver lining is that it is not too expensive nor pure cut throat fashion, (no pun intended).


The classic

This one is my favourite. An off-shoulder top with a wide preferably black velvet choker. This is as classy as it can get.

Multiple chokers

To add a little funk you can mix and match your chokers and make it look as trendy as you please.

Matching separates

This look defines elegance in one colour. Wear the same colour of choker as your dress. The result will speak for itself.

Love for lace

Don’t forget the elegant lace chokers bringing back the Victorian touch to our outfits.

The tinier the better

Just a string can do the trick, It’s less, but more in the language of fashion. This look is effortlessly eye-catching.You can even add a little charm in the middle to give a cute effect.

Beauty lies at the collar

Beautiful jewels tightly around your neck instead of hanging. These are hard to find in stores, but you can get creative. Take your favourite necklace and adjust it tightly around your neck in the place of a choker and you can find yourself as the trendiest person at the party.

The leather goods

This is an edgier, more funky look – a leather choker with studs. A leather jacket or fur would go perfect with this one. It’s a good winter look.

Shoelace out of place

This look is casual yet adds definition. If I weren’t in love with the trend I would say it is a shoelace tied around the neck, but it is more than that. It is a statement widely recognized around the world that looks cool.

90s is the new 2000

This choker is an actual replica of the 90s look. I remember clearly finding these in my aunt’s dressing room from time to time because I was a fashion obsessed baby. I have stumbled upon some old family pictures too where my khalas are posing and flaunting these chokers. Generations change but fashion stills remains.

With roles ranging from Shakespeare’s Othello, to a concerned father trying to escape Syria with his family, to a playboy arms dealer, to the legendary Captain Nemo, Faran Tahir’s career seems to be bursting at the seams. One of the only Pakistani-actors in the world’s top film industry, Faran comes across as humble, caring and motivated. A trained and seasoned actor who moved from the theater stage to the silver screen, Faran talked to Kamil Chima about life in Hollywood, his journey starting out and his aspirations for the future

How were you introduced to the world of acting? Did you have any mentorship in your early days?

My family in Pakistan has been involved with the performing arts for three generations so my introduction was a natural one. I guess the mentorship also came from there by default as I grew up being part of a family of very talented people.

Over a long career you have now worked with so many of the top actors in the world. But everyone has to start somewhere. What was a fan moment for you starting off?

I started off in theatre and then moved on to film and television therefore I would not call one specific moment as the turning point. It has been a gradual expansion into different mediums and I have appreciated every step of my journey because it gave me the chance to learn a lot.

When was the first time somebody recognized you on the street and how did you react?

It was probably after one of my first stage plays. To this day, it is a humbling feeling. Espe-cially for someone to take time out of their day to say a kind word.

Which actor or director have you most enjoyed working with and why?

I have been lucky enough to work with some wonderful actors and directors throughout my career. All of whom have made me grow and I am very grateful. I always enjoy my work and have never faced a situation where I have not liked working with anyone.

What is it like working in Hollywood and rubbing shoulders with the who’s who of American society?

It’s funny but when you are working together all that does not matter. Everyone is so focused on trying to give all they have to the project. Of course I feel blessed to be a part of the Hol-lywood fraternity and my experience has been a positive one. Everyone I have met and worked with in Hollywood has been talented and I have found good in all.

You’ve performed at an international level and you also possess a trans-cultural identity. How does this figure in your acting?

Your own experience with life, culture, society gives you the ability to draw from all of these aspects. I certainly have tried to use all these as my resources to enrich the characters that I play.

Do you feel you are typecast due to your ethnicity? If so, do you feel it holds you back in any way?

Sometimes one is offered roles of a similar nature. One just needs to be careful not to keep on repeating similar roles too much or it becomes artistic suicide. I try to bring as much diversity in my roles as I can. For example, this year my roles have ranged from Shakespeare’s Othello, to a concerned father trying to escape Syria with his family, to a playboy arms dealer, to the legendary Captain Nemo. Variety is the spice of life.

With mainstream shows such as ‘The Night Of’, ‘Quantico’, and ‘Master of None’ all with South Asian leads, do you think American audiences are ready for a South Asian lead in a mainstream feature?

Audiences are smart. They want to watch content that is interesting, fresh and captivating. If that comes with a South Asian lead then so be it.

What movies do you find yourself watching on a Sunday evening after a hard week?

I think the little boy in me is still alive so anything that will get my adrenaline pumping. The last movie I watched was Jason Bourne.

What do you specially like about Pakistan?

The ability we all have to be hospitable and generous.

What are your future aims and aspirations? Any projects in Pakistan that we should know about?

I would like to keep finding diversity and challenges in my work. There have been instances when I have been offered projects from Pakistan. Would love to work in Pakistan provided it’s a good script and the logistics can be worked out.

And we look forward to seeing farhan play the lead in a Pakistani production!

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