March 01-15-2020


This 70’s trend has made a serious comeback. Whether it’s jeans, formal pants or eastern wear, flared pants are everywhere right now; and to be honest we kind of love it because comfort + fashion is always the best combo. Here are some of our favourite fashionistas rocking this trend.
























The very filmy and endearing heroine, Hira Mani, has stolen everyone’s hearts with her effortless charm and ingenuousness, all while breaking stereotypes, being an exceptional mother of two and a homemaker. Mehek Raza Rizvi chats with her to find out how she makes it look so easy

Hira, I’d like to start off by congratulating you for the success of “Meray Paas Tum Ho.” Despite being introduced much later in the drama serial, you won hearts with your convincing performance. How does receiving so much love feel like? 

I’ve received a lot of love and it feels great. Over the past four years, I’ve worked incredibly hard to prove my mettle and when your audience appreciates that, there’s no better feeling. However, success comes with responsibility and I take that very seriously. I want to use my fame well and break the stereotype of a “heroine,” according to which actresses have a limited shelf life. I also hope to demonstrate that good conduct and humility are the keys to real triumph.

“I want to prove it’s possible to enjoy the best of both worlds, so other women can find the inspiration and strength to not give up on their dreams”

You started your career after getting married and saw the most success after the births of your children. Not only does this break stereotypes within the industry, but also provides inspiration for working mothers. How do you manage work-life balance? 

There’s a common misconception in our culture that women can’t have successful careers after they get married, particularly in the media. I’ve seen so many girls delaying their weddings, claiming it would affect their work, but personally, I never understood this theory.

I’m perhaps one of the few actresses to have started my career after becoming a mother and I don’t think that’s ever come in the way of my work or the upbringing of my children. I want to prove it’s possible to enjoy the best of both worlds, so other women can find the inspiration and strength to not give up on their dreams. If you’re passionate, there’s nothing you can’t do.

Of course, it helps to have a supportive family, especially the men. My husband, Mani, my sons, Muzammil and Ibrahim and my father have always encouraged me and I couldn’t have accomplished anything without them. I would urge all men to let the women in their lives aim for the stars and fulfill their dreams.

As far as work-life balance is concerned, I don’t take credit for anything, Allah helps me. I’m blessed with His support and a great family.

What do you look for in an ideal script? 

No script can come to life if the team working on it isn’t dedicated. No matter how good the writer is, the end product depends profoundly on those involved; from the director, to the cast, the DOP and even the help ironing clothes on set. It’s very important for me to work with people who I’m comfortable with and know are passionate about the project.

For example, when I signed “Yaqeen Ka Safar,” I knew Farhat Ishtiaq had done a great job with the script, but also realised it would be executed well because Shahzad Kashmiri was directing it—just like Danish Nawaz made “Sun Yara” a huge success.

Honestly, when Humayun Saeed called me to discuss “Meray Paas Tum Ho” I didn’t even hear the script. I was out of money, with just twenty thousand rupees in my bank account, so immediately said yes. I just heard “Nadeem Baig” and was game. In our field, payments are delayed all the time, so this project saved me at a crucial point.

Have you ever found it hard to detach yourself from an intense/ complex role you’ve played?

Not at all. I’m not a method actor and don’t let the roles I portray take over me as an individual. When I go on set, I read my lines, discuss them with my director to understand their point of view and get into character. Once the scene is over, I’m immediately back to my normal self.

“I found him to be very real; he was himself, even on screen. He seemed like a very genuine person and that appealed to me because I felt I could relate to him. I saw a lot of similarities between the two of us” — on her husband Mani

We hear you’ve dabbled a bit in fashion design. Can we expect a business venture in the future? 

Most of my friends have degrees in fashion, which is why I also developed a curiosity towards the field. When I was getting married, my interest grew as I started working on my own clothes.

You never know what the future holds. My son, Muzammil, sketches really well and keeps designing interesting stuff for me. Ibrahim also takes interest in what I should wear at events, so who knows, maybe my little army will push me to start a business with them.

“When Humayun Saeed called me to discuss “Meray Paas Tum Ho” I didn’t even hear the script. I was out of money, with just twenty thousand rupees in my bank account, so immediately said yes”

Tell us about your upcoming projects. 

Right now I’m looking forward to a beautiful drama serial called “Kashf,” directed by Danish Nawaz. It’s very close to my heart and I hope will people love it. I’ll give you an exclusive interview to talk more about it soon!

You’ve mentioned you were a fan before meeting your husband Mani. How were you two introduced for the first time? Could you have imagined you’d end up marrying him? 

Mani was a friend of a friend. The day I saw him for the first time on TV, he became the reason why I switched from Indian drama serials to Pakistani ones.  This was some fourteen/fifteen years ago.

I found him to be very real; he was himself, even on screen. He seemed like a very genuine person and that appealed to me because I felt I could relate to him. I saw a lot of similarities between the two of us.

When you start admiring someone at a young age, it’s very natural to start looking up to them and try to emulate the way they do things. This is why every time someone tells me my performances are natural and real, I credit it to Mani. I was that crazy fan who followed his work and life very closely.

I’m a huge believer in the law of attraction; every time I’ve envisioned or wanted something badly and worked hard for it, I’ve gotten it. I was a complete tomboy and never one of those girls who would follow actors and become die-hard fans; but because of Mani things changed completely. Since then, I always knew he would be an important part of my life. So yes, I did believe we would end up together.

What was your childhood like?

I grew up around elder cousins, so felt grown up as I constantly tried copying them. I would do my hair like them; tie it up in a bun or a long braid. I never dressed like a child and since I was tall as well, I didn’t quite look my age.

When I was in school, I was known as the life of the party. Even at home, family would always surround me and I was always the one solving other people’s issues.

I was very filmy and absolutely obsessed with music. I’d say not much has changed in that department. Anytime I hear a sad song that touches my heart, I automatically get stuck in a zone where I’m blue and upset with Mani for no reason, so I can really enjoy the essence of the song. Music has definitely been a huge part of my life.

“I’m Muzammil and Ibrahim’s ami, Mani’s wife and my father’s daughter”

What is Hira Mani like at home? 

To everyone reading this, I want to tell you, at home, Hira Mani is exactly like your mother. I’m very domesticated, extremely particular about cleanliness and discipline. I don’t like house chores like cooking lunch/dinner, washing dishes and laundry being delayed. Everything should be done by mid-afternoon.

I keep a close eye on my kids’ schedule, even if I’m at a shoot. From their tuitions and football sessions to the clothes they’ll wear, I have everything lined up. I’m always on high alert, taking care of what needs to be served for dinner, who we need to go see, who we need to invite over etc. Once, I have some time to myself (which is rare), I like to sit in my room and listen to music.

In my personal life, I’m as normal as any other woman. My life revolves around my family – I’m Muzammil and Ibrahim’s ami, Mani’s wife and my father’s daughter.


Who do you consider to be your closest friends within the industry? 

I think they’re still the same as Mani’s

Pick your favourite project between “Meray Paas Tum Ho,” “Ghalati” and “Aangan.” 


“To everyone reading this, I want to tell you, at home, Hira Mani is exactly like your mother”

What do you feel are the key elements behind a good drama serial? 

A strong team and a respectful environment

An actor or actress you would want to share screen space with next? 

No one specifically. Anyone who is passionate about their work.

What’s the last photo you took? 

A picture of Muzammil and Mani at a dinner, while they were joking around

Do you have a nickname?

My parents called me “Hero” at home. Little did they know I’d become a heroine instead!

What was the last lie you told?

Despite having no interest in films, since I’m asked constantly asked when I’ll be doing one, I said in 2020

Your biggest achievement in the last decade?

“Do Bol”


Words: Mehek Raza Rizvi

Photography: Jaffer Hasan

Hair & Makeup: Adnan Ansari

Wardrobe: Mariyam D Rizwan, House of Masaba — Vesimi

Styling: Emergency Room

Beirut-based couturier Georges Chakra has created a niche for himself in the fashion business with the likes of Helen Mirren, Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez spotted in his designs. Hailing from a country where freedom has suffered, he launched his new line at the Petit Palais in Paris, conveying a political message to safeguard liberty in Lebanon. Find out more about Chakra and his vision in this exclusive interview with Haider Rifaat

You’ve been in the fashion business for over three decades. What’s the key to your success?

Passion—my team and I love creating haute couture. I like surprising people each season, without repeating any of my designs, even if an idea has proven successful already. My work is detailed; I’m not sure if that’s a good quality to factor in so often, but I try to deliver perfection. I’m never satisfied with what I do, which pushes me to do better.

Fashion capitals of the world—New York, Paris and London—drive mainstream consumers to their markets. As a designer from Beirut, do you not find yourself lagging behind?

I don’t think most designers who showcase their lines originate from these major cities only. The world has become a melting pot of cultures and I haven’t found myself lagging behind. Many designers from the Middle East, including myself, contribute creatively to the world with our collections. Lebanon may not have its own fashion week, but our designers have certainly held their own in the international market.

Have you considered moving to these cities to compete with the best in fashion?

In 2001, we opened a showroom in Triangle d’Or, Paris, to entertain our clientele and have a strong base during fashion weeks. My head office is in Beirut and will remain there indefinitely. With a network of people and our teams in Los Angeles, New York and Paris, we’re able to create an extensive system that can handle anything.

Why should consumers choose Georges Chakra?

We create pieces that are timeless and can be passed down with ease. This has happened several times. Our consumers appreciate originality, experimental fabrics and our one-on-one relationship with them.

You recently debuted your exquisite collection at the Petit Palais, campaigning for freedom in Lebanon. Why did you choose such an occasion to relay a political message?

Fashion has always acted as a barometer of attitudes in society, reflecting moods and thoughts, expressed through the length of hemlines and cuts. Following the recent revolutionary movement in Beirut, I wanted to portray to the world Lebanon’s frantic energy, its youth’s desire for freedom and the complex reality we were living.

Walk us through your S/S 2020 collection. What have you done differently this time?

My inspiration for the 2020 collection is Lebanon. It has my heart. Couture is art and art is the core component of its surroundings. The country’s ongoing situation is exactly how I see my brand. We’re constantly evolving and incorporating fresh ideas, so my vision for this year took off from here. I can proudly say that my efforts have proven successful again.

After the show, my team and atelier walked for the first time on the Parisian ramp to symbolise unity. We gave each guest a white organza rose as an embodiment of support for peace in Lebanon. I collaborated with renowned jeweller and good friend Fawaz Gruosi on a necklace. The sales we generate from it will be donated to Beirut‘s Children Cancer Hospital and the scholastic scholarships of St. Vincent de Paul School. All these measures are a part of the positive change we wish to see.

Artistic expression is essential in your line of work. What encourages you to create garments that are a reflection of who you are?

The generic answer would be culture, but I wouldn’t say it’s my only source of encouragement. I think the hardest battle for me is to draw inspiration from my surroundings and to condense ideas that can translate well into a couture collection.

Is fashion a stigmatised profession for men in Lebanon?

It was, but the trend has changed now. Success stories of Lebanese designers have become more common in the past decade. Fashion in my home country has garnered immense recognition around the world. The induction of fashion design programmes at many Lebanese universities has also helped the cause. Despite these efforts, the government should support our industry and the private investors involved.

Have you encountered any mishaps during fashion weeks? If so, how did you bounce back?

Sometimes, yes, but things work out in the end. We’ve had issues backstage that required us to swap the sequence of models.  We’ve also had to have a few of them removed before shows. I suppose the most shocking moment for us was when a habilleuse (dresser) had dressed our model unsuitably. The clients responded surprisingly well and we ended up re-creating and selling the garment as it was.

Which other Lebanese designer do you like and find underrated?

I admire the work of our new generation. They have a long way to go, but as clients we should believe in their talent and support them despite limited resources, execution techniques and socio-economic challenges in the market.

The first time I heard of your work was through the Oscar-nominated film, “The Devil Wears Prada.” Tell us of a memorable moment you shared on set with the cast and crew?

The film producers emailed us, asking for our S/S 2005 collection in a movie starring Meryl Streep. However, we never knew that our gowns would make it to the final cut. When we saw our label alongside Valentino and Azzaro in the fashion sequence of the film, we were over the moon! Woody Allen’s “Café Society” and “Gossip Girl” also featured our brand.

Professionally, who do you cite as your source of strength?

My business partner, Jocelyne Abdel Malak, who has been by my side through thick and thin and my daughter Jennifer. She joined our team a few years ago as an Assistant Creative Director and is heading our ready-to-wear line. Above all, my ateliers who make the impossible possible and translate my challenging ideas and designs into beautiful garments.

There’s just something about the ‘50s that captivates our imagination, even after all these decades. In this editorial, the talented lens of Mohsin Khawar transports us to a quintessential American diner from the days gone by, when preppy fashion reigned supreme

Photography & concept: Mohsin Khawar

Art direction, props & styling: Aysha Mohsin

Model: Fareeha Sheikh

Hair & makeup: Sonia Nazir

Wardrobe: Nine Lines

Location: Big Moe’s Diner


Spring is finally here and for us Pakistanis that  sadly means just a couple of weeks of pleasant weather before we hurtle straight into summer. (Climate change is real guys!) However short spring may be, it brings with it the essence of rebirth, a chance to chuck out the old and move ahead with the new. Flowers bloom, baby birds are hatched and the promise of new life is all around us.

This euphoric feeling pervades our homes as well. In fact the term spring-cleaning is derived from historic Persian and Jewish practices where the annual arrival of warmer weather meant thoroughly cleaning the house in preparation for springtime festivities. Over time, it’s become a way for winter cobwebs to be cleared, warmer clothes to be packed up and summer-friendly linens, drapery and upholstery to replace their cold weather counterparts.

While there are several ways to go about your annual spring cleaning, ranging from the Marie Kondo method, the Swedish Death process, to simply just packing up everything and storing it in the back of a room to be dealt with later, I would like to focus on a different type of cleaning. The new year and the new season (and this time around the new decade) provide us with an opportunity to self-reflect and sort through more than just our material needs. I firmly believe that every year we should use this opportunity to go through our personal lives and do a bit of spring cleaning there as well.

In this article, I’ll be listing a few areas where I’ve taken to doing so over the past few years.

Personal Goals

By the time spring arrives, our new year’s resolutions are already down the drain. We’ve gotten bored of the new language or instrument we decided to learn, the gym becomes another thing we pay for but attend infrequently, financials are all over the place and the idea of happiness that we decided to chase continues to elude us. So three months down the road from the start of the year is the ideal time to re-evaluate your goals and see where you stand. At the risk of sounding like Kondo, what’s bringing you joy and what isn’t? Grab a pen and paper and make your list!

Career Goals

It’s important to differentiate between your personal goals and your career goals, although they are definitely intertwined. If what you’re doing is causing you to burn out and/or doesn’t seem to bring the sense of satisfaction or elation it once did, then this is high time to start floating your resumes around, or depending on your work environment, have “the talk” with your superiors. Where do you plan on being in the next five years? What sort of work seems worth your while? These are important questions to answer. Sometimes, it’s not the job itself, but in fact the work environment that is pernicious to your personal development and hence must be axed from your life.


Cleaning out closets is a lot easier than this part of spring cleaning. Relationships in any form are complex and carry with them a lot of emotional weight. Despite that, your personal sanity is of paramount importance and analysing your relationships is a crucial step towards achieving a sense of balance in your life. Toxic relationships, whether with your parents, siblings, romantic partners or even friends, need to be identified and steps must be taken to remedy the situation. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but at least being cognisant of the toxicity in your life allows you the space to react accordingly. As they say, acceptance is the first step. I firmly believe that non-romantic toxic relationships are the ones we hold on to the longest, due to the associations we have developed, as well as the way society views them. But, if a friend is dragging you down or if there needs to be a functional shift in the way you interact with your relatives, then let that happen. In the long run, it’ll work out in the best way for everyone involved.


This might be the new year’s resolution you’ve broken already, but taking stock of where you’re at health wise is essential. Schedule an annual medical check up every spring (especially to see what damage wedding season caused) and take it from there. Maybe a hardcore gym regimen isn’t for you, but knowing your health status will at least prompt you to make the lifestyle changes required for living a healthier life. See what needs to be cut form your diet or lifestyle and what should be added. Always consult a professional for this.


Anyone who knows me is aware of the palpitations I get whenever I need to do anything remotely related to finance. I’m uncertain if it’s because my finance professor wasn’t captivating enough or whether it’s the fact that I’d rather not face the truth of my bad financial habits (probably the latter). However, an annual financial cleanse is important and something I’ve been working on. Various software exist to facilitate this process, providing you with data regarding your spending. Observe the areas where you’ve spent the most and what can be cut down. Ensure you’re saving some money every month (once again, easier said than done in this economy, but of the utmost importance). An annual overview of the previous year’s financial health allows you to move forward in a more deliberate manner.

These are just some of the areas I believe should be incorporated in our annual spring cleaning rituals. Reducing toxicity, whether in relationships or the way we live our lives, is conducive to entering the future in a more mindful manner. Happy cleaning!

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