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Ms DECEMBER 15, 2013


Fashion from 5th page Avenue


Designer Duo: Ayesha-Somaya



inside unwind —

Whats hot and happening

domestic goddess — Chicken soup for the soul



Section In-Charge: Batool Zehra Sub-Editor: Amna Hashmi

The unlikely storyteller



the buzz


Ms T sits down with the popular designer duo, Ayesha Sohail and Somaya Adnan for an inside look at the fashion world and their brand Ayesha-Somaya


Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your educational/personal background? What are your general professional and non-professional interests? Ayesha: I am a born and bred Karachiite. I got married nineteen years ago and have two beautiful children. After raising them for fourteen years, I joined hands with a very dear friend Somaya and held an exhibition of 50 outfits. With a bachelor’s degree in political science, it was quite a jump into fashion designing but I was born to a very creative mother which made it seem like I was meant to do this. I love spending time with my family and taking short holidays. Somaya: I atended Convent of Jesus & Mary and then DHA Women’s College. I was raised in a textile-oriented family so it was natural for me to enter designing because I love clothes and all things fashion. I’m a self-confessed workaholic but when I am not working, I enjoy travelling and listening to music.

When did you realise you wanted to become a fashion designer? Ayesha: The day friends and family started to seek fashion advice from me all the time! Somaya: Since I understood what clothes were.

What was the first article of clothing you ever designed? Ayesha: I believe it was a yellow organza kurta with gota on it. Somaya: It was a formal outfit for my cousin’s birthday.

In a time when virtually every woman with a thrifty tailor considers herself a fashion designer, the brand Ayesha-Somaya has achieved in just five years, what few brands do in decades. Established in 2008, entrepreneurs and real-life best friends, Ayesha Sohail and Somaya Adnan teamed up to fuse their creative ideas and experiences to develop what was soon to become one of Pakistan’s leading luxury clothing brands. Today, Ayesha-Somaya covers a diverse range of prêt wear, haute couture, cocktail and smart casual wear along with a successful annual collection of designer lawn. Ms T sat down with the fashion frontrunners for a one-on-one about their clothing line, how it came into being and where it is headed.

How long does it usually take you to construct a piece? Ayesha: Mentally, I need about 5 seconds. Somaya: Maybe an hour. Sometimes it takes weeks to complete a couture piece.



Describe the general process you go through to design and realise a piece of clothing. Ayesha: I always start with colour, followed by fabric and then cut. Once the kapra is on the adha then I am like an artist with a paint brush. Somaya: I always visualise the colour and silhouette first and then the accessories and embroidery. But all of that depends on my mood.

What are your favourite fabrics, colours and patterns (prints) to work with and why? Ayesha: Linens, because they fall so well and the colour red as it can make any design feel alive. Somaya: Chiffon and cotton net. I love the new Kalamkaari patterns we did for the 7th Bridal Couture Week. The zodiac silk prints are also a favourite.

What do you believe makes a quality article of clothing? Ayesha: A perfect combination of colour and cut. Somaya: The right fabric, tailored to perfection.

What are some of your favourite clothing stores/catalogs/ websites? Ayesha: Zara and Mango are my absolute favourite. Somaya: I love! Hehehe.

What matters to you most as a fashion designer? Ayesha: When I see others wearing my work. Somaya: To be able to look at each piece and say, “WOW! I made this!” It gives a sense of pride and love for my work.

Do you consider yourself an artist? Ayesha: Yes Somaya: In a way, yes because when doing couture, I tend to get carried away and lose every sense of time and budget. I just let myself go completely!

What do you like best about designing clothes? Ayesha: That I get to wear them first. Somaya: To be able to pick anything, anytime to suit my mood. It’s a translation of my emotions. Each garment is an interpretation of the time and care I have put in its creation.

What are some of your fashion goals? Ayesha: I would like to design for a woman of substance, like the Queen of England or any Hollywood actress. Somaya: To have retail stores across Pakistan and globally.

What do you dislike about designing clothes? Ayesha: Sometimes, they turn out to be a disaster. Somaya: Nothing! I only hate ill-fitted clothes.

How would you define the style your line exemplifies? Ayesha: Trendy, smart, feminine and sensuous. Somaya: Clean cuts, feminine and opulent.

Where do you get your inspiration? Ayesha: Travelling. Somaya: From my travels & music.

How would you define your city’s fashion? Ayesha: Karachi reminds me of New York. You can see someone dressed formally and someone in their track pants at the same event. Here, it is each to their own and I love this nonjudgmental attitude about Karachiites. Somaya: It’s edgy, fast paced and forever changing.

Who are some of your favourite designers? Ayesha: I think each and every designer has a forte. Somaya: Elie Saab & Roberto Cavalli.

What’s your favourite part about conceptualising a design? Ayesha: To see it taking shape and becoming part of someone’s wardrobe. Somaya: How I would look in it?

What are some of your personal accomplishments as a designer? Ayesha: Ayesha-Somaya lawn is definitely an accomplishment! Apart from that, it feels great when a client keeps coming back to us for clothes. Somaya: I feel being accessible to a global audience via our e-store,, is a major accomplishment for me.

How would you define your personal style? Ayesha: Short tunics with capris or track pants with a t shirt. Somaya: Casual chic.

Who are your favourite local models to work with? Ayesha: Fauzia Aman & Amna Ilyas. Somaya: Fauzia Aman, Amna Babar & Nadia Hussain.

How do you select your models? Ayesha: Depends on whether the collection requires an eastern or western touch. Somaya: We select models based on our collection. For instance, Amna Babar was amazing for our zodiac prints collection. It was a fun, hip and exciting line which was released as a luxury prêt, digital print collection comprising of twelve original prints inspired by each of the zodiac signs and interpreted artistically through design and colour.

What does fashion mean to you? Ayesha: Fashion for me is looking and feeling good, comfortable and elegant. Somaya: Fashion is your lifestyle and an expression of who you are. My mood shows in what I wear daily.

What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers? Ayesha: Bring out your own talent and don’t give up. Also, never show a client anything you wouldn’t wear yourself. Somaya: Design only what you would wear.

Where can readers buy your clothes/jewelry? Ayesha: The Ayesha-Somaya Design Studio and Flagship Store is based in Karachi. Apart from that, we have recently launched our e-store for fans to shop from across the globe. Somaya: The brand is also stocked at Brands Just Prêt stores in Karachi, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Fashion Pakistan Lounge in Lahore, Concepteurs Lounge in Peshawar, House of Pashu in Multan, Labels in Faisalabad, Bia Galleria in Riyadh and Elan by Salima in Atlanta.

Where can readers find out more about you and your work? Ayesha: They can log on to the Ayesha-Somaya Facebook page to learn more about our work. Somaya: From our Facebook page and e-store.



en vogue



Calling all youngsters: Snuggle up with the designer label 5th Avenue’s edgy new winter collection to keep you warm and trendy during the crisp cold days. It is fun, flirty and fabulous!




Coordination: Umer Mushtaq Styling: Ehtisham Ansari Hair, makeup & grooming: Nighat Misbah @ Depilex Label: 5th Avenue Designer: Amir Anees Photography: Shahbaz Shazi Models: Amna Babar, Omar Shahzad, Shahzad Noor and Ayyaan





Winter Skin Regime:

Ms.T ’s recommendations for everything that is doing the rounds across the world. Make sure you give each a shot to stay in the loop!


The Naik Parveen Syndrome:

With the advent of the internet and the rapid rise of feminist sentiments across the world, pro-feminist websites, blogs and papers are rife over the internet. However, none can possibly match the brilliance that is the Naik Parveen Syndrome, a satirical Facebook page aimed at the Naik Parveens out there, highlighting the trials and tribulations of being a be-daagh desi girl. With tips on how to impress rishta aunties, making perfectly round chapaatis and even quirky ideas for wedding photography (see: the toilet paper style), this page is packed with enough humour and sarcasm to make you roar with laughter and feel much lighter about your household duties . Give the page a hit at nSiynrumNaikParveenSyndrome?fref=ts. Laughter guaranteed!


Koffee with Karan, season 4:

Calling all Bollywood freaks: our favourite filmmaker, the delectable Karan Johar is back to rule the small screen with an all new season of his acclaimed talk show Koffee with Karan. We are already two episodes into the season but in case you missed the start, Ms T has got you covered. In true KJo fashion, season four opened with a banging new episode featuring the great Salman Khan as its chief guest, followed by a fun-filled encounter with Bollywood’s favourite cousin duo, Kareena and Ranbir Kapoor. We have yet to see how the remaining season will pan out but with exciting new guests, rocking rapid fire rounds and a juicy tagline, KJo promises to once again, spill the beans on the lives of our favourite celebrities. So ladies, clear your appointments for Sunday nights and tune in for your weekly dose of celebrity catcalling, controversy and conjecture. We promise you will love it!


As the weather gradually cools down and we look forward to cosy nights and walks in the crisp sunshine, our skin may indeed take a down turn. Dryness, itching and red-blotches are the norm in winters as the skin suffers from reduced barrier function. This leaves it vulnerable to sensitivity and if not checked, can result in inflammation, premature ageing or permanent damage to the skin! Therefore, as the weather conditions change outside, so should your skincare routine and Ms T is here to help you! These top tips shared by some beauty experts to not only help you survive the ravaging winter days but also emerge looking better than ever. 1) Moisturiser Madness: Using oil-based moisturisers (as opposed to water-based ones) is better during winter as “the oil creates a protective layer over the skin that retains moisture,” says beautician Beenish Pervez. This works best when the cream is patted onto damp skin, than rubbed in. 2) Shelter from the Sun: “I can’t stress the importance of sunscreen enough!” says Shammal Qureshi, CEO and creative director at Toni and Guy. Experts recommend a sunscreen lotion with an SPF 15 or more to shield your skin from the sun and avoid dehydration. 3) Avoid Allergies: If your skin is prone to allergies and tends to act up during winter, Shammal suggests giving up scratchy, thick clothing for softer, breathable woollens and cottons to avoid irritation and to moisturise before putting them on. 4) Hand, nails and feet: “We tend to neglect our hands and even our nails tend to dry up,” explains Shammal. He recommends applying hand cream thoroughly after every wash and treating nails to nail strengtheners twice each week to keep them sturdy. 5) Warm-ing: According to Beenish, “Warm showers irritate the skin, causing it to become itchy and scaly.” Not to mention, hot water burns the scalp. Mildly warm water is gentle on the skin so, next time your shower, make sure that the water is lukewarm at best. 6) Bottoms Up: We are well aware that water is of the utmost importance when it comes to hydration and healthy skin but did you know, herbal tea can prove just as beneficial? “Cold weather is the perfect time to drink lots of warm herbal tea,” says Beenish. “So drink up and you’ll see a natural, healthy glow in no time.” Happy holidays!

domestic goddess 7


Recipe During winter, we all need hearty foods to brighten up those dusky days and keep us warm and that is exactly what this recipe is all about. Try my version of clear chicken soup, easy to make and full of nutrients to carry you through the cold winter days. I promise you will love it!

Clear Chicken Soup for the Soul

Method • Marinate the chicken in salt and black pepper for about an hour and cook it in a frying pan until it becomes light brown.

Arooj Waqar runs a Facebook cooking page called Mona’s Kitchen and aspires to convert her passion for cooking into a career

• Add sliced mushrooms to the chicken and fry for 2 minutes. • In a separate pot, add chicken stock and boil. • Once the chicken stock is boiled completely, add the cooked mushrooms and chicken cubes to it. • In a small cup, mix the corn flour, salt and pepper in water and pour the mixture into the chicken stock, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. • Once the soup has thickened, beat an egg and add it to the mixture and allow it to simmer for a few minutes before taking it off the flame.


Chicken stock 6 cups

Boneless chicken cubes ½ cup

Black pepper (to taste)

Vinegar (to taste)

Egg 1

Dark soy sauce 1 tsp

Salt (to taste)

Water to dissolve the cornflour


• Add soy sauce and vinegar to the soup as desired and mix. Your soup is now ready. • Serve hot with a side of bread and butter. Cornflour (as required)

hottie of the week 8


Status Born

Married and father to an adorable son, Nael Lahore, Pakistan


March 11th, 1983



Yasir M Jaswal



Who is he? Call it a coincidence but there appears to be something in the Jaswal blood that breeds talent and super star power. Earlier this year, we brought to you Umair Jaswal, Islamabadi rocker and frontman of the local band Qayaas and today, we present his older brother Yasir, an equally talented musician but with a side of radio-jockeying, filmmaking and photography. Edgy and bustling with creative energy, Yasir is a household name in Islamabad’s underground music scene and has previously been a vocalist for Irtaash. Most recently, he became the frontman of the popular Pakistani band Call, with fans across the country relying on him to carry the band to new heights. In spite of his musical prowess, Yasir’s true calling lies in working behind the camera as a filmmaker. He had been involved in many different professions before finally realising his passion for directing, upon which he founded Jaswal Films, an audio, video and imagery powerhouse. Under the banner of his own production house, Yasir has directed many music videos, including the hit Bolay for his other brother, singer Uzair Jaswal. With oodles of talent and charisma, Yasir is all set for stardom so do keep a lookout for him!



Why we love him A born storyteller, Yasir says he had always been exceptionally imaginative as a child and loved to share what he was cooking up in his mind. He admits that it was his love for storytelling that encouraged him to enter the music and filmmaking industry. A dreamer at heart, Yasir relishes the challenge of portraying something that has already been done with his own, special take on it to help his audience view it in a new light. One thing which truly stands out about Yasir is how well-rounded his personality is. The rocker and filmmaker is also a wonderful husband and doting father to a baby boy named Nael. He hates deceptive and pretentious people and tries to be as honest himself as he would like others to be. Often described as reserved by friends and family, Yasir loves being in his hometown Islamabad, spending time with those closest to him. All in all, he is one wholesome, talented force of nature that we simply can’t stop thinking about!

What you didn’t know about him Apart from showbiz, Yasir is a keen chef and often cooks for himself and his family. His most prized possession is his classic 1973 Ford Mustang, which he is currently restoring to its original condition himself! Yasir’s idea of the perfect adventure is facing his fears and testing his limits, whether in terms of artistic expression or physical activity. He believes in constant hardwork and tries to outdo himself regularly.

Total Package


The Express Tribune hi five - December 15  
The Express Tribune hi five - December 15  

The Express Tribune hi five for December 15th 2013