(Published in Express Tribune on July 8th, 2013)
The city of Lahore hosted its very first Lux Style Awards on Thursday, a night full of razzmatazz, glamour, shocks, disappointments and high voltage. In typical Lahori fashion, the red carpet, which was supposed to start at 5pm, kicked off no earlier than 7pm at the Expo Centre.
While the awards were high on glitter and bling, media and press handling was at its worse. Many publications left at the gate after the PR teams failed to accommodate them. It is times like these that one missed the very efficient Team Lotus that treats media personalities like royalty.
With time delays and unnecessarily long speeches, the event moved at a painfully slow pace, making it tedious. The final version for television airing, however, will be much crisper and well-edited. As for the dance performances, Sahiba and Noor were forgettable, Mathira failed to leave a mark, Meera was visibly making an effort but it was Sana who outshone everyone with her moves. Her moves were eclectic yet composed and she seemed to be having fun. Atif Aslam, who paid a tribute to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, along with Humaima Mallick and Amina Sheikh, was the star of the show.
As for the hosting, Ahmed Ali Butt was a far cry from his last year’s work. Mathira was trying too hard and was a bit too much at times but then that’s Mathira for you. At one time during the event, Mathira and Ahmed came down from the stage and made a few guests dance with them on popular Bollywood hits which turned out to be quite fun. While Nomi Ansari was reluctant, Ayesha Omar showed some serious moves.
As for the fashion nominations, Ammar Belal finally won the Best Menswear Brand Award despite the fact that he moved to New York last summer for further studies and hasn’t shown much on local platforms. Khaadi and Sana Safinaz retained their Best High Street and Achievement in Fashion Design — Lawn awards respectively. Other deserving winners included Mehreen Syed, who after countless nominations in previous years, walked away with Model of the Year. The talking point of the night was the results of the remaining fashion categories, which took everyone by surprise. Imaan Ahmed of Body Focus, who has been MIA from the fashion frontier for a while and hasn’t shown a collection since forever, went away with both Achievement in Fashion Design Pret and Luxury Pret, awards much to everyone’s dismay. Most of the editors, journalists and bloggers were rooting for Sania Maskatiya for pret and Shehla Chatoor or Elan for the luxury pret categories respectively, but the announcement for the winner came as quite a shock. Another surprise of the night came when Saima Azhar won the Emerging Talent in Fashion Award ahead of more deserving nominees like Abdullah Haris and Misha Lakhani.
But it wouldn’t be Lux Style Awards without a few shockers and surprises. As Salim Chatoor (Shehla Chatoor’s husband) very aptly put it, LSA is a googly. One couldn’t agree more!
Despite the negatives, there are countless positives to take home. Bringing LSA to Lahore, the city of Lollywood was always a great idea and apart from all the controversies, LSA still remains one of the most respected and respectively impartial award shows. That does not mean that there aren’t lots of ifs and buts that need to be sorted out. Some of the awards leave too many questions to be asked. The process of nominations and jury needs to be cleared up — it’s mind boggling that some of the same nominees keep winning the award each year (like Nabila, Sana Safinaz). The performances, too, need some serious boosting. Same goes for time management and the management of guests and media, which was quite a mess this year. But as long as the platform continues to show, grow and evolve, one can hope for the show to get better each year.
Images courtesy Catalyst PR
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