GT – November 01-15 2017


Pakistan has a new heartthrob—the intensely charming and extremely handsome, Bilal Abbas Khan. Famed for those oh so beautiful eyelashes and his particular brand of smouldering innocence, Khan is a breath of fresh air. Starring alongside Sajal Aly in the popular drama O Rangreza, this truly versatile actor is sure to hit the big time. Bilal speaks to Afshan Shafi about his journey, romantic side and more

“The weirdest habit I have isbeing lazy and clumsy”

What has been your most favourite role to date and why?

My most favourite role to date (while I do feel it’s too early in my career to have favourites) is the one I am playing at the moment in O Rangreza, because this is the first time that I am playing a role that is completely different to my personality. This character is a sensitive and emotional boy who is completely opposite to my own personality.

If you had to choose a profession other than acting, what would it be and why?

No other profession to be honest. Since childhood I wanted to be an actor in theatre, television or cinema. This is my calling and I hope I am good enough to do this till the day I die.

Which actor is your greatest inspiration?

No specific actor. I believe every actor is an inspiration for new performers like me. However, I really admire the works of Nauman Ejaz, Al Pacino and Marlon Brando a lot!

On the set we learn from every actor and they inspire you to do better with each scene. It’s an evolutionary and learning process.

What kind of characters would you love to play in the future?

Oh there is so much to do for me in all genres. The wish list could just go on…

Would you ever like to play a role diametrically opposed to your public image?

I am lucky that I have gotten a role like O’Rangreza to play so early in my career. It’s really different from my real self to be honest. And this is the basic reason I got into this profession, to focus on the craft of acting and play diverse personalities every day.

What kind of contemporary actors would you compare yourself with? Or would like to emulate?

I don’t compare myself to any actor. Everyone has a different way of approaching a role respective to their career. I just want to focus on my own work.

Who are the most (local) talented actors of your generation in your opinion?

Feroze Khan, Ahad Raza Mir and Wahaj Ali.

Rapid Fire

Favourite perk of the job?

The ability to evoke emotion

Worst pitfall of the job?

Constant pressure

What’s the last thing you binge-watched?


The weirdest habit I have is…

Being lazy and clumsy

Most romantic thing I have ever done…

Yet to come (haha)

Hottest woman in Pakistan:

Mahira Khan

What is your dream car?


Love is…


A character I wish I had played is…

Raj Kumar Rao in Trapped

Classical Art or Modern Art?


What do you judge people for that you probably shouldn’t?

On how they easily judge other people

One thing I just won’t eat is…


Celebrity crushes local/international?

Mahira Khan, Angelina Jolie

Dogs or cats?

Neither (not really a pet person)

A historical figure you’d love to have coffee with?

Mohammad Ali

If you had one superpower, what would it be?


Sana still has her pink stuffed bunny from her childhood called bunny wunny!

Having faced some of the toughest personalities in Pakistan when she was working as a news anchor, Sana Bucha’s personality and her no-nonsense gutsiness has made her one of the most inspiring and dynamic women in the country. She recently made a mark as an actress by working  in the movie Yalghaar and we have heard there are many more projects underway. We love this actress and advocate who inspires us to embrace every ounce of who we are! Sana Zehra gets together with Sana Bucha for a quickie

Nickname that really annoys you…

Sana “Bitch”a

Sana still has her pink stuffed bunny from her childhood called bunny wunny!

Weirdest habit you have is…

I am so OCD, which is a problem for everyone because I want the cushion in place and I want the carpet proper so yeah, I guess that is a weird habit.

First thing that comes to your mind…

About Laikan?


About Botox?


Regarding the red carpet?




Favourite movie?

I love Ijazat, Peter Pan, Pulp Fiction, Legends of the Fall. There is not one favourite, I have many.

What would be a good theme song for your life?

I get knocked down but I get up again.

Whose brain would you like to pick?

Ahmed and Ijaz

Whose brain would you like to have had?

No, I want to keep my own brain please.

If you could be successful in another profession, which would you choose?


If you could commit one crime without being caught…?

I’d kill someone.

Sana still has her pink stuffed bunny from her childhood called Bunny Wunny!

Greatest work of art?


If you could invent anything?

A clock that moves really slowly

What colour describes you best?


What object best represents your personality?

You know those cuboids with different colours, I am that with different colours.

What period of history most fascinates you?


Worst work experience?


Change one thing about your childhood?

I wish my parents hadn’t gotten divorced.

Do you believe in magic?


Are you superstitious?

Yes, very

What would you like to be known for?

A good heart

If you could have witnessed one event in history?

I would really like to have seen Hazrat Khadija marrying the Holy Prophet (SAW).

If you could ask God one question?

Why do you continue to love me and bless me after all the wrong that I have done in life?

Single most valuable thing you’ve learned?

Ok, this is something really important and I just learned this. I thought professionalism and passion are the same thing. They are not. Please learn this early in your life.

The five most important things in life?

My parents

My husband

Good friends

A little bit of money

A purpose and meaning in life

If you could be reincarnated as someone you know?

My father

Reincarnated as an animal?

I’m so hyper and have so much energy that I think I’d be a good horse.

The most difficult question you could be asked?

Why don’t you love yourself?

Last time you cried?

Last night

Sana’s backup plan?

I have no backup plan.

Guilty pleasure?


Favourite toy growing up?

I still have it. It’s my pink bunny called “Bunny Wunny.”

Which economic policies would turn Pakistan into a growing economy?

Our economic policies are so inherently flawed. First and foremost, we need to set our priorities straight. Taxation is important of course. We need to focus on real life issues such as clean water, electricity, health care, etc. only then we can move forward.

Morning or Night?

Oh night.

What’s on your iPod right now?

Lots of artists and U2 for sure

Pop or Sufi?


Lipstick or Lip-gloss?


Favourite season?


Blow dry or air dry?


Diamonds or Pearls?


What does GT mean to you?

Globetrotting. I know its good times but for me its globetrotting.

They make music with the instruments they were born with — their voices!

Music is a passion, a fever for those who think of nothing else and reach out to the audience with their soulful voice. Emerging as the new vocalist with major star power, Romee Khan is creating quite a buzz in the music world with his powerful vocal cords and heart touching songs.

Born on June 18th 1996, this young supernova dove into the realm of songs and music at the tender age of nine. Romee is an enigma; a child star from an immensely talented and educated family. Despite the fact that he has been performing, creating and improvising almost since he was old enough to walk, Romee is as humble and down to earth as they come. He may have hordes of fans and photographers surrounding him whenever he steps out in public, but he is an intensely private man who lives with his family in London.

While still just a teenager, he created his own home studio to record his songs. Despite being comparatively new, he was signed by the big banner of T series for a recording deal. In 2013, he started releasing music and today he is trotting the globe and performing live in  popular shows, sharing the stage with icons like Mika Singh, Atif Aslam, Ali Zafar, Bohemia, Kamal Raja, Abhay Deol, Ali Azmat, Nargis Fakhri, Sonu Sood and many others. His recent performances with Tony, Sonu and Neha Kakarr in New Zealand and Australia were such a raving success that another USA tour is planned with them for November this year.

Romee is quickly climbing the ladder of success due not only to his powerful voice but also to his unique stage presence and charisma. He has achieved quite a few recognitions, like The Amazing International Singer award presented to him by the king of Indian music Buppi Lahri himself and Best International Singer presented by Nargis Fakhri. His performance with Sajid Wajid Musical group and Shilpa Shetty was commendable and soon we should expect to see him with the fabulous Sushmita Sen.

Romee is never satisfied. There are so many different avenues and so many different things that he wants to do and is excited about. From Philadelphia to Atlanta, from New York to India, he has performed for millions in packed arenas swaying to his hit  songs Rab di and Teri Yaad. Keep your eye on this fast rising star.

Who? Anjum Nida Rahman

Why? This Samsung executive sporting a statement jacket epitomises how to appear polished and well turned out at a high profile work event

Who? Sehyr Saigol

Why? The doyenne of the fashion world is polished in a simple cream jacket. Less is more ladies, look and learn

Who? Musharraf Hai

Why? The managing director of L’Oreal is always a thorough professional yet so much fun. We love women like her who do it all!

Who? Shoaib Malik

Why? Awarded the Most Stylish Sports Personality at the Hum Style Awards 17, the cricketer is dressed to impress in a Scottish tartan jacket

Who? Ayesha omer

Why? The winner of the Most Stylish TV Actress at the Hum Style Awards 17 is wearing a breath-taking princess gown by a Russian fashion designer

Who? Laaleen Sukhera

Why? This journo/author/ communications professional looks elegant in a full length Murtaza Hussain coat with a thankfully bling free Brazilian lace collar framing her face

By Afshan Shafi

Sana Safinaz

Ruffles Galore 

Gold by Reama Malik x Wasim Khan

Jewelled Classics 

Shiza Hassan

Modern Tissue

Ali Xeeshan

Optic Brightness


Sleek and Chic

 Nickie Nina

Exuberant traditionals 

Sadaf fawad khan


Shamsha Hashwani

Royal hues Zuria Dor

Iridescent splendour

Fahad Hussayn

Ethnic Allure

Nomi Ansari

Proud as a peacock 

Saira Shakira

Young & Sassy 

Sania Maskatiya

Princess Bride


By Maria Mahesar

It came as a shock to my friends and family when I decided to spend my holidays in Singapore. Their (family and friends) suggestion was the usual i.e. Thailand, London or Dubai especially the latter since it was closer to home.  Contrary to the popular recommendations, I opted for Singapore mainly to attend the Singapore Grand Prix.

On September 13th I boarded the flight to embark on the rather unusual route to Singapore from Karachi i.e. via Dubai. But once I landed in Singapore, the pollution-free breeze, greenery and infrastructure immediately made me forget about the long flight, boredom and loud baby cries I had encountered on the flight. This time on strong insistence of my friend I opted for Airbnb and booked a studio apartment in China Town that was 10-15 minutes away from all the central tourist points of Singapore.

My first three days revolved around Formula 1 activities, attending the training, qualify round and of course the main race. Watching the cars in real life was like a teenage dream come true, the passion, excitement experience on the race day was phenomenal! A large number of people sporting their favorite team jerseys, caps and merchandise showed up at the venue chanting in support of their team, and even though it rained the race went on as planned.

Once the Singapore Grand Prix fever was over it was time to embark on some typical touristy adventures i.e. wandering around the streets, tasting new cuisines, shopping and of course asking your friend to take your photograph at every step of your adventure.

First stop, the much talked about Haji Lane. If you’ve ever visited Singapore I doubt if you had missed out on this beautiful fashion paradise. There’s something so special about the beautiful yet quirky graffiti displayed on the walls of the narrow lanes of Haji Lane that cannot be described in words.  The cozy roadside cafes, pop art shops, compact book shops, antique shops make you instantly fall in love with this tourist hotspot. Instead of two hours, I ended staying there for 8 hours and got most of my shopping done from there. Also getting my first ever tattoo from the much talked about tattoo parlor called Visual Orgasm located in Haji Lane makes this place even more memorable. While I continued to be mesmerized and fascinated by Haji Lane, I did take some time out to visit the famous Marina Bay Gardens, China Town shopping street and Universal Studios.

Home to a diverse ethnic group means you get to meet people from all corners of the world including Pakistanis and of course get to taste some amazing mouthwatering dishes such as Hainanese Chicken Rice, Laksa, Char Kuay Teow, Char Siew Rice/Noodles.

There were some great things to learn from this country such as people patiently waiting in queues for their turn, cleanliness maintained on the roads/streets, how Singaporeans respected and obeyed the law, most importantly their openness and hospitality towards tourists. All these reasons and more have convinced me to visit Singapore at least once a year.

As I left for Changi Airport on September 20th for Dubai I couldn’t hold back my tears, without any exaggeration I had the best time in the longest time. Singapore you continue to amaze me, I’ll be back soon!

Fashion designer, Mona Imran last showcased her collection Goldrush at FPW 16 to positive reviews. Her signature look is a mix of rich golds and reds with intricate hand embroidery. Sana Zehra catches up with Mona in Karachi

What sparked your interest in fashion?

It’s my passion.

How has your work evolved over the course of years?

We all grow in terms of our work. The essence of my brand is modern cuts but staying true to our roots. We make wearable clothes for Pakistani women.

What is the biggest fashion mistake women make?

Overdoing makeup

What was the first break you got in your career?

My first bridal show

What is your source of inspiration?

I find inspiration in everything—books, music, nature.

Favourite place to find budget buys?


Favourite place to shop in Karachi and why?

Dolmen Mall Clifton, where all brands are under one roof.

If you’d choose to give any celebrity a makeover who would it be and why?

Anushka Sharma, she’s got a lot much to offer.

What are the must-haves a woman must have in her closet at all times?

Bags, a good watch, and of course, a sexy black evening dress.

Favourite all time designer?


If one is really stuck and don’t know what to wear, what would you suggest?

A black flared cocktail outfit with an embellished belt.

Item worth splurging on?

Chanel bag

Who is the most difficult celebrity you’ve worked with?

All celebrities think they deserve to be treated a certain way and have this totally over the top attitude.

Favourite vacation spot?


Have you ever been in love?

I believe everybody has fallen in love at some point.

Any fashion related message?

Shop till you drop.

Any styling advice?

Don’t style past your comfort zone.

What are the key trends for bridal and wedding wear for the upcoming season?



Trendy cuts

Long dresses

What are classic silhouettes that flatter every woman?

Well tapered and well finished

What trends would you like to see die?

Modern contemporary

What trends would you like to see more women experiment with this season?

From futuristic fabrics to tonal dressing, fashion is throwing some frivolous, and some revolutionary ideas our own way for the new season.

What do you hope to see more of from designers in bridal and wedding wear this season?


One shoulder

Hi-lo drapes

What does GT mean to you?

Old is gold.

By Staff writer


Thor: Ragnarok

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his home world and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela (Cate Blanchette). But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)

Also starring Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins, the film is set to release on the 3rd of November, 2017.


HOT 100


# Song Name Artist
1 Rockstar Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage
2 Bodak Yellow (Money Moves) Cardi B
3 1-800-273-8255 Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid
4 Look What You Made Me Do Taylor Swift




Crazy Rich Asians takes you behind the scenes of some of Asia’s wealthiest families. When Rachel Chu agrees to go on holiday to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick, she imagines that this will just be a fun summer, a chance to meet his family and see Singapore, before returning to the simple life they live in New York. But Rachel has no idea that Nick is Nick Young (of THE Youngs, one of Singapore’s most established and wealthiest families). Rachel is thrown into a storm of gossip, money, interfering relatives, family secrets, and some seriously mean girls. The bonds of their love are tested, and Rachel must decide whether she can handle being in love with Nick and, therefore, being tangled up in his family.

TV Series:


Netflix’s latest binge worthy show, Mindhunter, is a detective drama executive produced by David Fincher and Charlize Theron. It explores the psyche of some of America’s most infamous serial killers. Based on the nonfiction book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, the show follows a pair of FBI agents in 1979 that interview and analyze imprisoned mass murderers in order to prevent future crimes. For crime drama fans this one is truly a must watch.

1. Fashsouq.com Fashionably Early for the New Term

Dubai-based e-commerce site Fashsouq.com, set to officially launch this October, boasts a portfolio of luxury brands including Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Valentino as well as popular high street brands, such as Zara, Massimo Dutti and H&M. The Dubai-based e-commerce site also represents a range of beauty brands, such as Huda Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, YSL Cosmetics, Benefit Cosmetics, Kylie Cosmetics and Beautyblender.

Ali Ahmed launched the site as a solution to the retail limitations of the region. “Practically hordes of shoppers travel from other countries in the Middle East and from India and Pakistan to Dubai just with the sole purpose to shop. With this site, I’m hoping to take Dubai to them.”

2. Tivoli & Sumo   

Originally founded in 1990 as Tivoli & Sumo, this quaint little eatery was Lahore’s first Japanese fusion restaurant. Now reimagined and reinvented, Sumo once again opens its doors for patrons for a truly contemporary Japanese experience.

3. House of Shazia Cheema      

We can’t get over the amazing decor by the maestros at House of Shazia Cheema. The have taken the wedding industry by storm with their creativity and attention to detail. Follow their amazing work on Instagram @houseofshaziacheema or call 03234198926 to book.

By Khadija A. Malik

It all started in 2005 with that tragic earthquake. Nuria Rafique-Iqbal and Mahin Hasib rallied up volunteers and donations from designers to host the very first bargain basement sale. It was so successful that the idea just took off from there and every year the funds raised were distributed the funds to organizations in need.

The Fundraisers BBS brings together players in the fashion and design industry in a unique way. It creates a platform for giving back. The group of people comprising the Fundraisers are all volunteers who give their time and energy to put the event together. Designers/Brands donate all clothing/items which are then sold at discount. Companies offer resources, and celebrities pledge their time. BBS 2014 had the kind support of mystery guest Fawad Khan who helped us reach a 2.5 million rupee mark in funds raised for cancer awareness, education, flood rehabilitation, and old people’s homes. In 2015 we doubled that number with the continued support of wonderful stars, like Meesha Shafi, and crossed 5 million in funds raised towards these same causes.

By November of 2016 our scale had grown with 180+ brands in store, and we set our sights high and increased the number of charities to support. We pledged the funds we expected to raise to Pink Ribbon Pakistan, Bali Memorial Trust, Rising Stars Pakistan, and Lahore Welfare Hospital Society. A smaller percentage of the proceeds were promised to Todd’s Animal Welfare and The Giving Tree Foundation. In the house was the team from Lahore Se Aagay, who conducted the auction, and two of the stars, Saba Qamar and Yasir Hussain, had everyone smiling as they bought the pieces themselves to support the BBS cause Our group of volunteers manned those counters all day as BBS shoppers helped us cross the 10 million rupee mark.

As we gained momentum we separated the Home Sale and held a smaller event in April 2017, to help sustain the charities who solely rely on the money raised by the Fundraisers BBS, and within the first hour of the event sold out all inventory valued at 3.2 million rupees.

To facilitate this we have worked hard this year to provide a tech savvy sale that empowers the shopper with a cash free sale. Apart from credit card points, Sim Sim Finja is partnering with BBS this year to help shoppers set up their digital wallets. In addition we have partnered with Lumensoft Technologies to create our own software inventory.

Our first tier sponsors for the sale on this 5th of November are Sapphire and Interwood. We also have the kind support of our second tier sponsors Guard Filters, Daewoo Express and Royal Palm. Eight charities stand to benefit from the proceeds this year. These include Pink Ribbon Pakistan, Bali Memorial Trust, Rising Stars Foundation, Lahore Hospital Welfare Society, Pink Rickshaw, The Giving Tree, Medicare Health Foundation, and Door of Awareness. We look forward to seeing happy shoppers on the day as they browse through clothing, art, gift items and household goods from over 200 brands! And at 50 percent off who can really resist?

To get the low down on all things BBS,  follow our instagram page @thefundraisersbbs.

Were Robin Hood and his ladylove Maid Marian born of a folk of story or did the rebellious Medieval English couple actually exist in reality?

By Mahlia Lone

According to English legal records as early as the 13th century, Robehod or Rabunhod were common epithets for criminals. Robert was a common given name in Medieval England, and Robin (or Robyn) was a common short form of it, especially in the 13th century. Hence, medieval criminal records show a vast number of men called Robert or Robin Hood. An oral traditional of singing the outlaw Robin Hood’s praises started to flourish at this time. While the first literary reference to the “rhymes of Robin Hood” is in the alliterative allegorical narrative poem Piers Plowman, composed circa 1370s by William Langland, considered to be one of the greatest works of English literature of the Middle Ages.

A century later, in the 1400s Catholics, as all Christians were at the time, in England celebrated May Day on the religious holiday of Whitsun featuring a quasi-religious rebel who robbed and murdered government tax collectors and wealthy landowners in plays and games. Agrarian discontent lay at the foundations of the feudal system that was built on the shoulders of toiling peasants. As time went on, the characters of Maid Marian, Friar Tuck and Alan-a-Dale entered May Day rituals as well. Robin Hood was actually shown at this time participating in Mariology, the cult of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Originally Maid Marian (or the French Marion) was a shepherdess associated with the Queen or Lady of May or May Day. Keeping this in mind, “the world’s foremost authority on Robin Hood,” author Jim Lees in The Quest for Robin Hood set forth that the hypothesis that Maid Marian may originally have been the personification of the Virgin Mary and derived from the older French tradition of a shepherdess named Marion and her shepherd lover Robin in Adam de la Halle’s Le Jeu de Robin et Marion, 1283. In fact, Marian’s association with May Day celebrations lasted long after Robin Hood’s  did, as pointed out by Scottish born poet Alexander Barclay in 1500, “some merry fytte of Maid Marian or else of Robin Hood.”

As time progressed, generations of wandering minstrels in the Middle Ages spread stories far and wide in England by singing ballads about the exploits of the violent but heroic yeoman Robin Hood who lived in Sherwood Forest with his merry band of men and clashed with the Sheriff of Nottingham. The popular Hood (lum) was portrayed as a commoner who was a highly skilled archer and swordsman. Dressed in a Lincoln green doublet and hose with a jaunty feather in his cap and with his longbow strapped on his back, he was said to have robbed from the rich to give to the poor. The characters of Little John and Will Scarlet were also added to Robin’s merry crew or outlaw gang by now. The early compilation, A Lyttell Gest of Robyn Hode (written in 1450 but printed after 1492) states that Robin lived during King Edward’s reign and it shows Robin Hood accepting the King’s pardon then giving it up and returning to his outlaw life in Greenwood. Robin’s status  was said to be between a knight and a peasant.

King Richard Pardons Robin And His Men

But John Major wrote an alternative version in his tome, A history of Greater Britain as well England as Scotland (1521): “At this time (the reign of Richard the Lionheart) there flourished the most famous robbers Robin Hood and Little John, who lay in wait in the woods, and robbed those that were wealthy…The feats of Robin are told in song all over Britain. He would allow no woman to suffer injustice, nor would he rob the poor, but rather enriched them from the plunder taken from abbots.”

Major placed the Robin Hood story into the last half of the twelfth century in the more distant time when King Richard was off fighting the Third Crusade with fellow European leaders in an attempt to reconquer the Holy Land from the Muslim ruler of Syria and Egypt Salah ad-Din the Great. Though the Crusaders recaptured some territory, they failed to capture Jerusalem and on his return journey King Richard was ignominiously held for ransom by the Duke of Austria. Back in England his brother King John was his proxy ruler who to the resentment of his people levied heavy taxes to pay for the war.

Richard The Lionheart
King Richard On The Third Crusade
King John Of England

According to Dobson and Taylor in their book The Rymes of Robyn Hood: An Introduction to the English Outlaw, Major’s “exceptionally influential eulogy” of Robin presents him as a bold but moral hero, only killing in self-defense, a protector of women and the poor. He was not only a humane robber but also a “chief” or dux in Latin imparting aristocratic implications. In this way, the “renaissance Robin Hood” figure of “distressed gentleman” arose. Major established the basis for point of view, moralizing his deeds, elevating his character to the point of gentrification and, most importantly, removing any trace of the earlier hero of Catholicism, since the Anglican Church now held sway in England.

Accompanying the newly “gentrified” Robin Hood was the equally nobly born lady, Maid Marian who was surprisingly not portrayed as chaste and virginal but retained some of the aspects of her “May Day shepherdess” characteristics. In 1592, playwright, satirist and writer of witty erotic poems, Thomas Nashe recorded that her character of later May Games was played lewdly by a male actor as a parody and figure of fun.

Elizabethan playwright Anthony Munday, titled the “poet to the city” (of London), wrote two plays on the life of Robin Hood: The Downfall and The Death of Robert Earl of Huntington, mentioned in the Rose Theatre Kingston records in 1597-8 and published in 1601. Munday ennobled Hood by presenting him as the Earl of Huntingdon since tales of courtly romance and adventure were in vogue at the time. Marian was presented as the daughter of Robert Fitzwalter who fled England due to an assassination attempt on King John (legendarily attributed to King John’s attempts to seduce Matilda) and Robin’s wife who changed her given name Matilda to Marian when she joined him in Greenwood. Her cousin, Elizabeth de Staynton, was the Prioress of Kirklees Priory, near Brighouse in West Yorkshire. In later versions of Robin Hood, Maid Marian is in fact commonly named as “Marian Fitzwalter.”

In their book Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales , Stephen Knight and Thomas H. Ohlgren point out in the introduction to the post-Restoration (after 1660) ballad Robin Hood and Maid Marian (Child Ballad 150, circa 17th century) that it’s the only ballad in which Maid Marian, “a bonny fine maid of a noble degree,” played a significant part. She wass portrayed excelling in beauty both Helen of Troy and Jane Shore, one of the many mistresses of King Edward IV (reign 11461-1470) of England, one of three whom he described as “the merriest, the wiliest, and the holiest harlots” in his realm in beauty.

Friar Tuck
Claude Rains As Prince John
Nickolas Grace As The Sheriff Of Nottingham In Robin Of Sherwood

“The events of the ballad had already been foreshadowed in Munday’s play, where Matilda Fitzwater goes to the forest, becoming Marian in the process, to meet the Earl of Huntington, alias Robin Hood. The popularity of Robin Hood ballads was so great that several of these ‘prequels’ seem to have been produced, as in Robin Hood’s Progress to Nottingham and Robin Hood and Little John.

Structurally the interesting thing about Robin Hood and Maid Marian is that it shows the only credible way to join the outlaw band is to fight a draw with the leader: this is a ‘Robin Hood meets his match’ ballad in a wider sense than usual. Foolish as commentators have found it, the notion of the hero’s fight with his lover is a potent one, whether it testifies to the woman’s possible martial skill, or the enormity of mistreating woman, or both at once. Found in the recent film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), the motif is here taken quite seriously, down to the length of the fight and the sight of blood, however improbable it may be that Marian does not hear Robin’s voice until he asks for respite.”

Another twist in the legend occurred when antiquarian Joseph Hunter in his 1852 pamphlet on Robin Hood identified a Robert Hood from Wakefield, Yorkshire, in the archives preserved in the Exchequer, whose story matched very closely the story of Robin in Robert Munday’s play. Hunter wrote that the real Robin Hood spent a stint at the court of Edward II (reign 1307-1327) and subsequently married a woman named Matilda, who changed her name to Marian when she joined him in exile in Barnsdale Forest (following the Battle of Boroughbridge) in 1322. She too had a cousin named Elizabeth de Staynton who was Prioress of Kirklees Priory. With so many similarities with the famous outlaw, there is a distinct possibility that these real life personages on whom the legend is based.

ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, THE, Olivia de Havilland, 1938

Robin Hood’s sweetheart in Robin Hood’s Birth, Breeding, Valor, and Marriage (Child Ballad 149), is named as “Clorinda the Queen of the Shepherdesses,” Marian’s alias in later stories. It recounted Robin Hood’s adventures hunting and a romance with Clorinda, a heroine who wasn’t able to displace Maid Marian as his sweetheart in the mind and hearts of the public. In his introduction to the ballad, American scholar and folklorist Professor Francis James Child who compiled a collection of English and Scottish ballads now known as the Child Ballads gives its first printing as 1716 in the poet Dryden’s Miscellany and points out the “freedom with which it treats tradition and common sense.” So this version was completely discarded.

In 1765, Thomas Percy, the Bishop of Dromore, published Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, including ballads from the 17th century Percy Folio manuscript, which had not previously been printed, most notably of Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne, a late medieval ballad. In it, the fictional Sir Guy was hired to kill Robin Hood but is killed by him. In later depictions, he also became a romantic rival to Robin Hood for Maid Marian’s love.


Then in 1795, Joseph Ritson published an enormously influential edition of the Robin Hood ballads Robin Hood: A collection of all the Ancient Poems Songs and Ballads now extant, relative to that celebrated Outlaw, including Robin Hood and the Potter ballad. Ritson’s collection became a source book for future English poets and novelists. Ritson was a staunch egalitarian and a supporter of the principles of the French Revolution and an admirer of Thomas Paine, the English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, revolutionary and one of the Founding Fathers of America whose writings helped shape many of the ideas that marked the Age of Revolution. Ritson wrote that Robin Hood, “a genuinely historical, and genuinely heroic character,” stood up against tyranny in the interests of the common people.

In his preface to the collection, Ritson put together an account of Robin Hood’s life from the various sources available to him, and concluded that Robin Hood was born in 1160 and died on 18th November 1247 at the age of 87 years. His exploits took place in the reign of Richard I. He theorized that Robin was of aristocratic birth with at least “some pretension” to the title of Earl of Huntingdon, that he was born in an unidentified Nottinghamshire village of Locksley and that his original name was Robert Fitzooth. Ritson cited various sources for his methodical research.

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Robin’s Merry Crew

Dobson and Taylor credit Ritson with having “an incalculable effect in promoting the still continuing quest for the man behind the myth,” and note that his work remains an “indispensable handbook to the outlaw legend even now.” So we have Ritson to thank for the modern day story of Robin Hood as we know it.

Sir Walter Scott used his friend Ritson’s anthology collection as a source for his picture of  Robin Hood in Ivanhoe, written in 1818, on which the modern legend of Robin Hood as a high-minded Saxon fighting Norman lords is based. Richard the Lionheart calls him “King of Outlaws and prince of good fellows” in it. French historian Jacques Nicolas Augustin Thierry’s Histoire de la Conquête de l’Angleterre par les Normands (1825) presented a similar figure.

20th century writer-illustrator Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood became a popular version for children and further influenced modern accounts of Robin Hood in the U.S. and the world over. Pyle’s Robin Hood is a yeoman, not an aristocrat, who is a staunch philanthropist, a man who takes from the rich to give to the poor. His adventures are more local than national in scope. While King Richard’s participation in the Crusades is mentioned in passing, Robin takes no stand against Prince John, and plays no part in raising the ransom to free Richard.

Kevin Costner

The 1976 British-American film Robin and Marian, starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn, takes up the story after Robin has returned from service with a less than perfect and more realistic Richard the Lionheart in a foreign crusade and Marian has gone into seclusion in a nunnery. Though the film lacked punch, it attempted to flesh out the legend.

Another modern addition to the merry crew in recent times is the diversity factor. Since the 1980s, a Saracen (Muslim or Arab of Turkish extraction) has been shown among the Merry Men.

Robin Hood and Maid Marian

(An English Legend)

There was a time when Robin Hood, the famous outlaw, was not an outlaw at all but a nobleman, Lord of Locksley. He lived near Sherwood Forest, and it was in that forest where, one day, Robin went out hunting and came upon a maiden wearing a dress as green as the springtime leaves.

Robin gazed at her, entranced; her face was the loveliest he had ever seen, and he thought she must be a princess.

But the longer he looked at her, the more he could see that this woman had not even one touch of false pride, and that she held her bow and quiver as if she had been born to hunt. He watched her fierce concentration. She took aim and shot, but Robin did not see what it was she hunted. He was staring at her beautiful hair, as black as ink, and at her gaze, which was wise and open.

There, he knew at once, was the woman he would always love.

Later that day, Robin learned her name was Marian. She was the daughter of the noble Earl of Fitzwalter, who lived in a castle not far from Robin’s home. Soon he introduced himself, and before long he and Marian went out hunting together. They would walk and share stories, and naturally they fell in love. When Marian agreed to marry Robin, he thought he must be the happiest man in the world.

But before they could marry, the sheriff of Nottingham cheated Robin out of his fortune, and with his change of luck, Robin was forced to run away into the forest. From that day on, the green wood was the place he would make his home.

Robin was now poor and without any belongings, but he was wise and crafty. He swore to take revenge on all who stole and lied and cheated other folk, and he knew he could live happily in the forest, protecting those unable to protect themselves. Life would be fine, except for one thing. He could never ask Marian to live with him, for he no longer had a home to share with her.

And so, his heart breaking, he wrote to Marian and broke their engagement.

Robin’s life in the forest as an outlaw began. One by one he gathered his band of Merry Men, and with his trusted right-hand man, Little John, and his friends Will Scarlet, Much the Miller and Friar Tuck, Robin Hood became the man everyone knew about. He was generous and gentle to women and children, to all who worked hard, to worthy knights and gallant squires, to anyone who was helpless. Only those who cheated and harmed others — those who used their power to hurt the less powerful — were the targets of Robin’s wrath, and they would never forget the man once they crossed his path.

Robin Hood. Original artwork for Look and Learn (issue yet to be identified).

Time passed. Robin never spoke to anyone of Marian, but he never stopped thinking of her. Sometimes when he was alone in the forest, he imagined what it might be like to see her again, but most of the time he hoped she had found happiness and peace in her life.

But in truth Marian had never stopped thinking of Robin, and at long last she decided she must find him. Traveling alone was unsafe for any woman, and so Marian disguised herself as a young knight. She tucked her hair beneath her helmet, which hid most of her face, and with a sword for protection, she set out into the forest, determined to find her beloved.

At the same time, Robin was in the forest, but he too wore a disguise. Robin did not like to be recognized, and his costumes were so clever that sometimes even Little John did not recognize his own friend. And so on this bright, springtime day — the sort of day that made Robin sad, for it reminded him of meeting Marian in a time that seemed so long ago — he was hunting and dreaming of his long-ago love.

When Robin happened upon a young man in the forest, he disguised his voice, and called out, “Stop, you there! What is your mission here? What is your name, and where are you going?”

Now this young man, in truth, was Marian, but Robin did not recognize her, and she did not recognize him. In fact, his voice sounded so gruff, a shiver passed down her back, and fearing that he meant to harm her, she drew her sword.

When Robin saw that, he too drew his sword. “Since you do not answer, you must be up to evil, lad.”

The two began to fight.

Robin was taller, and stronger too, but Marian was a master with her sword. She defended herself better than nearly anyone Robin had ever fought. He was amazed at the grace with which his enemy moved, the speed and artistry the young knight employed. Under his breath, Robin whispered, “How I wish this man were part of my band of men.”

The fight lasted for a half-hour, when finally Robin wounded Marian’s arm, and Marian’s sword found its way under the heavy hood Robin wore and scratched his cheek.

“Halt then,” Robin called, for he had begun to feel sorry for the young knight. This time, he forgot to disguise his voice, and the moment Marian heard those words, she dropped her sword. “Robin,” she gasped. “Can it be you?”

Now Robin too recognized the voice. This was Marian, the love of his life.

Robin threw back his hood, and Marian flung down the her helmet, letting her hair fall loose. When they saw each other without their disguises, they laughed, and wept, and embraced. Marian swore she would never again let him leave her. She, too, would live in the green wood.

The two walked together toward the trysting tree, the place where Robin and his Merry Men gathered, and when Robin told the tale to his friend Little John, Little John knelt and took her hand in his.

“Lady Marian,” he said, “you shall be our queen, for Robin is our king. And now, we must celebrate!”

And so it was that in that forest, on that lovely spring day, Robin and his sweetheart and all their friends danced and sang and celebrated love and romance.

Similarly, Maid Marian’s role as a strong female character has been picked up by modern feminist writers, such as Theresa Tomlinson in Forestwife novels (1993–2000) that are told from Marian’s point of view. She portrayed Marian as a high-born Norman girl escaping entrapment in an arranged marriage. With the aid of her nurse, she runs away to Sherwood Forest, where she becomes acquainted with Robin Hood.

And in the latest update to the story, Margot Robbie stars in Marian, a new film set in “an alternate Robin Hood universe.” Screenwriter Pete Barry depicts “Marian picking up the cause to lead her people into a pivotal war after the love of her life, Robin Hood, dies. She comes to power, charging into a battle that will not only decide the fate of the kingdom, but also see her don the mantle of the man she loved.” Sounds like a fun ride!

Little John’s Alleged Grave In St Michael’s Church Graveyard, Hathersage, Derbyshire
Robin Hood

There seems to be some truth to the fact that the real Robin Hood and Maid Marian did exist. However, it is also clear that the details of the story have changed over time. Regardless, if you are interested in the legend, and happen to be in West Yorkshire, do pay a visit to the alleged grave of Robin Hood at Kirklees Priory, behind the Three Nuns pub in Mirfield. The headstone bears an inscription of the fifteenth-century ballad relating that before he died, Robin told Little John where to bury him. According to this, as an octogenarian when he became ill, Robin went with Little John to be nursed by his aunt, the Prioress. But Sir Roger de Doncaster persuaded her to murder her nephew and the Prioress slowly bled Robin to death. With the last of his strength, he blew his horn and Little John propped him up by the window placing his trusty bow and arrow in his hands. Before drawing his last breath, Robin shot an arrow and instructed Little John to bury him where the arrow landed. The inscription on the grave still hauntingly reads:

Hear underneath dis laitl stean

Laz robert earl of Huntingtun

Ne’er arcir ver as hie sa geud

An pipl kauld im robin heud

Sick [such] utlawz as he an iz men

Vil england nivr si agen

Obiit 24 kal: Dekembris, 1247

Mahlia S. Lon

This last fortnight was rocking. It started with the Magnum Party in Lahore, which was more like a show. There was a mannequin wearing a chocolate gown greeting the guests, while a team of confectionary chefs from Scafa were customizing Magnum ice creams at a chocolate bar for the guests. There were models wearing Magnum inspired couture gowns and the piece de resistance was Meesha Shafi belting out her tunes wearing an LED lit Kamiyar Rokni show stopping voluminous evening gown. Next up was PLBW and this season it did not disappoint. At the brand new The Nishat hotel, Emporium Mall, Lahore, PLBW 17 was superbly organized by Sehyr Saigol and PFDC, Selina Rashid Khan and her expert Lotus team, Mustang Productions and the staff at The Nishat. Not only was the entire fashion week very professionally done, but it closed with a bang with Ali Sethi and Zeb Bangash singing soulful duets. Selina told me at the close of the proceedings that PFDC rightly decided that fashion weeks in Pakistan needed to change from entertainment to focusing on the business of fashion. Fashion is a huge money making enterprise and can be a value added export for the country if we keep heading in this direction.

As soon as PLBW ended, Élan’s stand alone show Champs de Patchouli took place. It was fittingly different in theme and tone; more a celebration of Khadijah Shah’s standing as a premiere designer and her astounding achievements in such a short time. There are many talented designers, but very few with the business acumen of this bright young woman. Next up, the spotlight shifted to Karachi on to the Hum Style Awards 2017. The show there was stolen by Ayesha Omar in a gorgeous Princess-y garnet coloured tulle ball gown sent over expressly by a Russian designer. Another standout sophisticated look was surprisingly Shoaib Malik’s. Instead of going for a loud suit like many of the other men, he chose a tasteful yet different Scottish tartan jacket. The rest of his suit spoke quietly and his shoes, which I always notice on a man, were those befitting a gentleman. Like they used to say in Virginia Slims ads, “You’ve come a long way, baby!”

But don’t just take my word for it, flip through GT and see for yourself.

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