Page 1

NOVEMBER 2012 $4.99 CAD | Dh 18.47 AED | £3.18





Specializing in: Modern yet Traditional Pakistani Wear Casual, Semi, Formal and Bridal Wear Pakistani Jewelry now available 4 SHE CANADA

2980 Drew Road Unit 121 Mississauga, Ontario L4T0A7 647-402-5584



Editor/Publisher KAMRAN ZAIDI Associate Editor PRIYA KUMAR National Account Manager CHIRAG PATEL Art Layout Coordinator DANYL GENECIRAN Styling Coordinator SAIMA HASAN Fashion Assistant LIZ GUBER Travel Correspondent ROBIN ESROCK Health & Wellness Contributor YAFA SAKKEJHA Special Features Correspondent SIJAL REHMANE Special Features Correspondent FRANCES DU Pop Culture Contributor YVETTE NANIUZEYI Beauty Contributor MYRTLE JURADO Subscription Inquiries: Please to go To Contact SHE Canada: Write to SHE Canada, 1999 Avenue Rd, Toronto ON, M5M 4A5 Or, Facebook: SHECanada

Twitter: @SHECanada




STYLESCOOP 12 HE 86 ∙ That’s what HE said, That’s what SHE said ∙ Musa Shah: Euro-Asian Street Smarts HEALTH/WELLNESS 90 ∙ Reap the Benefits of a South Asian Diet SHE CARES 92 ∙ CARE Canada shows us how to “Walk in her Shoes” ON THE ROAD 94 ∙ The Philippines: Bohol & Bicol BEAUTY 96 ∙ What germs are lurking at your local beauty bar? ∙ Jean Nicola Salon & Spa DESI GIRL PROBLEMS 100 HOROSCOPES 101 ∙ Psychic Lisa Moore, NYTimes "QUOTE/UNQUOTE" 102 ∙ “Talk to us about your love of South Asian music. What is your favourite?"


MAWI Neckpiece (p 78)

FASHION CENTRAL 18 ∙ NorBlack NorWhite ∙ Hidesign by Dilip Kapur ∙ The Secret Garden BUSINESS 40 ∙ AMMARA by Harvard Business School alum Ammara Yaqub SOUTH ASIA 44 ∙ Lawn in Peshawar ∙ Ritu Kumar's Panchvastra Couture Collection COVER STORY 56 ∙ Nadia Ali: The Queen of Clubs THE ARTS 70 ∙ blueFROG: At the helm of the South Asian Music Revolution ∙ Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Exclusive ∙ Midnight’s Children’s Deepa Mehta ∙ Book Review: The Reluctant Fundamentalist JEWELRY 78 ∙ Mawi Exclusive ∙ Lakshmi Jewellers NIGHTLIFE 84 ∙ Chai Bar



With the US election season upon us, this month we’re bound to see everyone’s political side come out. Despite being America’s reserved neighbours to the North, we as Canadians will be more impacted by the outcome of the ominous ballot count on November 6th, 2012 than any other nation. Specifically taking Mitt Romney’s remarks about 47% of the nation being reliant upon the government, this got us thinking. To recap, at a Republican fundraiser back in May, Romney was recorded on a cell phone camera making the following statement: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what...who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to youname-it. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

  Canadians—try to get your mind around this statement. A man who is one



federal election away from potentially being the leader of arguably the most powerful nation on the planet, does not believe it is his job to “worry” about these people. Let’s look at South Asia. With the finite resources governments have there, NGOs such as Oxfam, CARE and SOS Children’s Villages have stepped up to bridge the gap. Is Romney suggesting these charities set up shop in the good ol’ US of A due to their “equally” finite resources? Actually, that’s exactly what he’s suggesting.

  One has to bear in mind that given the situation in South Asia, many locals would be happy to have a government ensure a roof over their head, food on the table and health care that doesn’t break the bank. After all, healthy citizens contribute to a thriving nation. This notion is instilled in us as Canadians and watching the pre-electoral mud-slinging going on down south, Canada increasingly resembles a political utopia we can be proud to call our own.



  The bottom line—it is evident that both men running for presidency are intelligent, especially considering their pre-election platforms. As a print publication it is our duty to point out the f laws in their race for the White House and hope that our friends south of the border are being equally vigilant. And let’s all hold our breath in hope that the States does not see poverty of South Asian proportions.

  In closing, I hope you enjoy this issue! This month we have an exclusive




with Pakistani-American songstress Nadia Ali. Read on to discover how she balances her career and identity as a South Asian celebrity in the Western world. We also offer an insiders look into the blueFROG music project based out of Mumbai. We find out how it started a music revolution in South Asia. Finally, if you’re looking for that unique Diwali gift, you can’t miss our exclusive interview with iconic jewellery designer MAWI. We discuss how her South Asian heritage inf luences her design sensibility, her upcoming collaborations and her thoughts on being a crossover star. Politics aside, this issue offers the best editorial, layouts and photography SHE Canada has featured to date.

EDITOR S.M. Kamran Zaidi

New on the Website…Behind the scenes with Nadia Ali

Need your daily SHE Canada fix? We’ve got you covered. Our site is updated with up-to-the-moment South Asian fashion and luxury lifestyle news. This month, don’t miss our behind the scenes pictures and videos from the Nadia Ali cover shoot! These raw images will take you to Pikto Studios in Toronto’s renowned Distillery District and show readers what a real fashion shoot is made of.

Cut this out and mail it in! Attn: Subscriptions, 1999 Avenue Road, Suite 202, Toronto, ON, M5M 4A5




Associate Editor

As Associate Editor, Kumar caught up with cover girl Nadia Ali to discuss her wildly successful career as an EDM vocalist. Read on to find out why Ali is known the world over as the Queen of Clubs. (p. 56)

Styling Coordinator

Hasan breaks the mold again this month as Style Coordinator. Besides styling the Nadia Ali cover shoot, you can also find her work in The Secret Garden. This Renaissance woman also reviewed Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. What can’t she do?

Beauty Contributor

Fashion Assistant

This month Guber catches up with legendary Indian designer Anita Dongre. She discovers what it takes to become one of the most enterprising women in South Asia.


Jurado wrote the piece “Make-up Sampling Revealed”— this is apt because she has an irrational fear of germs. What she doesn’t fear is trying out new trends or styles— especially when it comes to beauty or fashion (p. 97).

Travel Correspondent

Esrock’s success as a global adventurer, travel writer, TV producer and international TV personality was no accident, although it did start with one. Esrock continues to write, blog, tweet and film his ongoing adventures. He is living proof that sometimes life is just an accident waiting to happen. This month he takes readers to the Philippines.

Special Features Correspondent

Health & Wellness Correspondent

Sijal Rehmane is recent liberal arts grad released into the world to ‘find herself ’. This quest brought her to SHE Canada, where in November she contributed the CARE Canada piece about the “Walk in Her Shoes” campaign. Read all about it here.

Sakkejha is a Palestinian who was born in Toronto, Canada. She currently runs the House of Verona, a health retreat company in Collingwood, Ontario. She also is a partner at Beneplan, a customerowned health insurance company. She became passionate about health when she met a whole community of people who successfully reversed diabetes, mood disorders and other diseases through advanced nutrition. This month she walks readers through maintaining the healthiest South Asian diet possible.

Layout Coordinator

Danyl is an aspiring Graphic designer currently studying at OCADU. While pursuing his career in school, he joined the SHE Canada team as the Art Layout designer. You will see his touch throughout the issue.

Pop Culture Contributor

Naniuzeyi wrote about the music revolution of South Asia and legendary leather brand Hidesign and how Dilip Kapur brought it to the forefront of international fashion. SHE CANADA


From Paris to London to Mumbai; celebrate the festival of lights with looks right off the runway!

Marchesa’s recent Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear collection took the audience on a Passage to India with this beautifully designed collection

Chanel’s Pre-Fall 2012 collection inspired by the rich culture of South Asia left us in absolute awe


A look from Louis Vuitton, who took the opportunity to have a Diwali party hosted by Waris Ahluwalia, back in 2010 in New York


Kallol Datta

One of India’s top fashion weeks LakmÊ Fashion Week F/W 2012 debuts the latest trends from Mumbai to put us in the festive mood!

Pankaj & Nidhi Pernia Qureshi

Anita Dongre

Christian Louboutin created a colourful collection of his signature red-soled pumps, celebrating all things South Asian SHE CANADA


Jimmy Choo Leather Biker Boots $950

Every Fall/Winter season we see a barrage of boots hit the runway, and this year SHE has narrowed down the TOP 3 Boot trends of the season – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Givenchy Fall 2012 RTW Over the Knee Boots $1695.00

Get it for less!

Zara Biker Boots $99.00

Zara Studded Ankle Boots $99.00


Alexander Wang Fall 2012 RTW Sofia Over the Knee Boots $904.13

Chloe Studded Ankle Boots $1290.00

Peplum made a splash on the runways for Spring 2012 and show no signs of slowing down. This holiday season use a peplum accent in a dress, blouse or skirt to be party-ready!

Pair this with the ALDO Gabay Pump in Burgundy to seal the fabulous deal!

Emma Watson at TIFF 2012 donning a gorgeous Jason Wu peplum ensemble (price on request), so elegant yet on trend.

Prabal Gurung Resort 2013 Collection

Who doesn’t love a one-piece, easy and FAB outfit? Jumpsuits started out as casual, lounging gear but designers are now creating jumpsuits with the utmost sophistication.

Get it for less!

Zara Studio Dress with Leather Peplum Frill $159.00

Get it for less! ASOS Jumpsuit $87.53

More Party Wear Trends Next Page

Emma Stone looks uber chic in this Elie Saab jumpsuit (price on request)

Accessorize with a statement necklace or stacked bracelets to complete the look! (Necklace: Aldo $18.00 / Bracelets: Aldo $18.00)



With the likes of Prabal Gurung and Bibhu Mohapatra showcasing this printed trend in their latest collections, we have no doubt that it will make for the hottest party-wear trend of the season!

Get it for less! Zara Printed Sequin Dress $119.00 Check out First Lady Michelle Obama in a Bibhu Mohapatra dress at her appearance on Jay Leno (price upon request) Bibhu Mohapatra Spring 2013 Collection

Pair it with classic black peep-toes in velvet to balance the print! (Zara Velvet PeepToe $59.00)

A good coat is essential for the colder seasons and really is one of the perks of freezing our noses off! Let us help you look fabulous AND stay warm. In coats this season we’re seeing fur accents, lots of leather and luxe jacquard fabrics

Get it for less! Burberry Fur Collar Herringbone Top Coat $6750.00


H&M Jacket $79.95 Marc Jacobs Single Breasted Tailored Jacket with fur accents $2100.00

Get it for less!

DVF Leather coat $1630.88

Danier Leather Coat $249.00

Giselle rocks Alexander Wang’s full leather trench coat Fall 2012 $3287.24

Who better than the Duchess of Cambridge to sport this luxurious trend?

Sentaler Grey Wrap with Hood $940

Get it for less! Kaleidoscope Jacquard Coat $2800

Zara Jacquard Coat $139.00

And of course we can’t forget our Canadian designers! Check out Canadian brand Sentaler’s chic designs found in our very own backyard Sentaler Beige Cape with Belt $740






SAIMA HASAN interviews Toronto-born, Mumbai-based designer duo Amrit Kumar and Mriga Kapadiya behind the colourful label NorBlack NorWhite. Inspired largely by Indian textiles, NorBlack NorWhite seamlessly combines the Eastern design tradition with a Western aesthetic to create a uniquely universal fashion line.


ow often have we heard of artistic attempts to combine both Eastern and Western cultures? As globalization becomes increasingly pervasive and borders are progressively transcended through Internet access, intercultural expression is fast becoming the new face of fashion. NorBlack NorWhite (NBNW) is championing this cause as their mantra “Designing through Adventure” suggests. Their exciting adventures take them through remote regions of India, gaining inspiration as they go, with these experiences literally becoming woven and hand-painted into the fabric of their designs.   The attempt to showcase authentic Indian textiles can come across as stereotypical or clichéd, but NBNW manages to avoid artistic potholes and create new and exciting


fashion for us to see, touch, and wear. Even their name NorBlack NorWhite suggests that they occupy a liminal, in-between space that prevents them from falling into the trap of a simplified label that can so often spoil artistic vision. Their creations are not shamelessly copied from other artists or borrowed from a Google image or YouTube video. Kumar and Kapadiya personally travel to remote villages and spend time not only learning traditional techniques from the local craftsmen but befriending them in the process. Through their adventures the pair have learned ancient textile practices such as the tye-dye technique called “Bandhani” from the Khatri dyers in Kachchh, India. By incorporating these timehonoured practices into their designs, NBNW helps preserve a rich culture and history of Indian textile design that is increasingly threatened by the more popular mass manufacturers. So how did two young SouthAsian girls from Toronto go on to become such socially conscious designers? Well, let us allow the girls to answer for themselves: What started it all? What motivated you to start this NBNW journey? We moved to India 3 years ago without a clear plan in mind. We just knew we wanted to create

here and explore the country. We had curated art shows, thrown together fashion shows before but did not have a strategy when we moved. On a trip to Kachchh we were exposed to beautiful textiles and met artisans with superb skills. We had been admiring Indian textiles for years without really even knowing what it involves. With this trip we began to learn more. Things began to take shape and become clearer. We realised the importance of meeting the source and learning the history of these practises. We wanted to document and tell stories, and textiles happened to be the format we chose to do so. Talk about the inspiration behind NBNW. We’re imspired above all by people - our friends who create their own art and the collective energy that it brings. Travel and movementwatching people and how they interact with the world around them. Why did you choose Mumbai as your homebase? Bombay (as we still like to call it) is exciting. It’s a centre of movement, of migration, fusing together of different cultures, and full of history. The sheer energy of so many people

coming together is exhilarating and almost too much to bear sometimes but it fuels our creativity. You don’t know what you’ll see walking down the streets. It also has a lot of amazing people creating amazing art. It is clear that you have a love for indigenous textiles and craftsmanship, which you incorporate beautifully in your clothing, how did that love for pure textiles come about? It all started with our moms’ wardrobes! We learned to recognise the beauty of craftsmanship and the value of something original and pure from observing what they wore and collected. It comes down to respect. And the more we’ve learned through traveling and collaborations in different parts of the country, the more we respect the immense amount of history and work that goes into these creations. You have a real knack for seamlessly combining different cultures in your clothing, is that always a conscious decision? Or does that come naturally? It comes out of the places we’ve lived in, traveled to and the people we’ve met along the way. Even when we were growing up in

Toronto, we would wear our moms’ shawls, and enjoyed mixing Indian textiles with our Toronto wardrobes. At the same time we were listening to hip-hop, we were rocking that gear. We design pieces we would like to wear and our friends would be excited about so it’s definitely a natural outcome. It’s part of the reason behind the name NorBlack NorWhite. Nor East, nor West but something that’s both, and in between the two at the same time. Through your travels for each collection, you have had the rare and special opportunity to witness ancient practices in textiles. What is your take on the current status of these artisans in India? We are obsessed with old things, and feel most of the gems come from the classic, handmade traditional arts. There are so many ancient art forms in India and generations of accumulated learning and skill.

more employable skills, it’s saddening. But at the same time there are kids who are so eager to learn and continue their family art. We can’t predict how it’s going to evolve, but we’re lucky to be able to witness and document these ancient practises before they are diluted. If someone was looking to purchase NBNW items in Canada, where would they go? We have regular popup shops at Miracle Thieves in Toronto. People can also check out our online store at Whats next for NBNW? We’re looking to focus on a lot of minicollections. Moving beyond just womenswear and also experimenting more with creating in mediums other than textiles. We have a lot to share!

And yet these skills are in danger of dying out. Fewer and fewer artisans are passing on this learning to their children, either because their skills are no longer valued as they once were or because they’re being edged out by new technology. There is a shift towards gathering SHE CANADA







ince 1978 Dilip Kapur, founder of Hidesign, has consistently kept business booming. He initially had no idea that his hobby of leather crafts would turn into an established fashion label. Kapur studied International Relations at Princeton and the University of Denver, with plans of pursuing a career in politics. However, he discovered his true calling was in leather craftsmanship. He went from having one artisan worker in the late 70’s, to becoming a business with $22 million in revenues in the 2010 fiscal year. Hidesign values natural beauty and all their products are created using the finest leathers, tanned with vegetable dyes, bark and seeds. Additional paint and artificial dyes are not added to correct mistakes in the manufacturing process. Finally, each of their pieces is accented with sand cast, hand polished brass buckles reflecting old saddler traditions.


Dilip Kapur never thought a hobby would turn into Hidesign, one of South Asia’s most renowned luxury brands. YVETTE NANIUZEYI looks into how Hidesign started, its innovative flagship department store/factory and what separates it from the competition.

In Hidesign’s early days, the brand was sold primarily to retail outlets in the United Kingdom, United States, and Europe such as Selfridges, Liberty, and John Lewis. But all that changed as soon as Indian consumer consumption increased with incomes, resulting in a fashion industry boom. Hidesign is now one of India’s best-known brands. It has 56 stores across the country and 16 international stores in Vietnam, Russia, Oman, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malaysia, and the United States. The Hidesign flagship store in Pondicherry is one of India’s largest concept stores by a luxury brand. Not only is it a retail store, but also serves as a museum of sorts, displaying Hidesign’s milestones throughout history. Both the first bag ever designed under the label and the boxy bags that won Hidesign the ‘Accessory of the Year’ award by the UK’s Accessory Magazine are on display as a selection of the pieces Kapur has decided to curate.   This retail space is spread out on four different levels. The first level displays all of Hidesign’s latest collections that carry the iconic features of the leather brand: luxury, heritage, and craftsmanship. The second level showcases all the men’s bags while the third, the travel collection. The fourth level has a small inhouse café where guests can take in the view of Pondicherry over a cup of espresso.  What attracts shoppers and fashion enthusiasts alike to this flagship store is not only the newest collection of the season, but also the interior design of the retail haven. Covered wall-to-wall with ornamental filigree work in gold, antique furniture, bluecut glass chandeliers and contemporary installations bring out Hidesign’s vision of global luxury. You can also walk through the gallery of the “People of Hidesign” which displays the individuals who have helped build the brand across the globe.   Ray Meeker, an American ecological building architect, built and designed The Hidesign Factory. Since then, Hidesign sees great value in natural beauty. In fact, more than 1200 workers

in Hidesign’s factory cut, sew, and hand-make the finest leather material products. Beautiful streams, ponds, and waterfalls are built into the layout of the factory. All the water, including other waste materials that are used in the factory goes through filtration and gets reused.   The unique natural look that the handbags offer allows the company to collaborate with many well-known international

fashion designers as part of its growth and expansion. Louis Vuitton happens to be among their international collaborators and has even had a 20% stake in Hidesign since 2007. President of Louis Vuitton, Yves Carcelle, was initially attracted to the brand for it’s diligent handiwork. To Hidesign’s many collaborations, Kapur says, “We are delighted to bring to the spotlight our craftsmanship through yet another avenue, which seems a natural growth for our brand. Our clientele is upwardly mobile, discerning in its style and maturing in its sensibility—similarly we are growing with this loyal clientele and are also foraying into a new arena of customers. Hidesign has forged the best creative alliances to mark the debut of its luxury label and we are looking forward to the response.” It looks like Kapur’s affinity for entrepreneurship runs in the family. Ayesha, his 16-year-old daughter, paved her way to fame in the accessory market as well. The brand titled Ayesha is South Asia’s answer to Claire’s Accessories. It is also the perfect avenue for the young accessories designer to test the fashion retail waters before taking the plunge into luxury. It is with great excitement that we await a grown-up Ayesha’s designs on the runways of New York, Paris, and Milan in the future.






Anita Dongre Lets SHE in on her Fashionable Upbringing, Designing for Men and Having it All By: Liz Guber


  Anita Dongre is a member of India’s fashion elite. A dominating power in the industry Anita has six lines under her creative control: 3 main brands, the eponymous label, Global Desi and AND, 3 sub-brands, Anita Dongre Timeless, Grassroot— an eco-conscious label— and Interpret, a line Anita describes as “fussfree occasion wear.” Merely listing Dongre’s many ventures leaves one overwhelmed. Not so for Anita, who it would seem was conditioned from an early age for such a prolific career. “By the time I was 15 I knew I wanted to design clothes. My father, a fabric trader, used to bring wholesale material, while my mother would cut, sew and stitch clothes for us.” Anita graduated from Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Women’s College in Mumbai and went on to work at a garment export firm, becoming the first girl to work in a family of 48 cousins.

Anita Dongre’s forward way of thinking extends to her design mentality, her Interpret line perfectly balances Indian and Western wear, while Grassroot embraces the green fashion movement. “I believe that every person should play a role in protecting the environment. I have been supporting the fair trade of the organic cotton movement. My Grassroot line encompasses handlooms and handicrafts that support farmers and artisans.”

  With a newly launched menswear line, a soon-to-launch jewelry line titled Anita Dongre Pink City and a host of other projects, the question begs to be asked ‘how does she do it?’ Anita answers, “I try [to] spend one day in the week on each brand. My family who are also involved in my business take care of all the retail, expansions and marketing. I’m lucky in that way to be able to concentrate on design.”

  Beyond helping to save the planet and dressing women for all occasions and price points, Anita Dongre has taken the leap into menswear with AD Man. She describes the venture as “a personal goal” adding, “I wanted to create a line that was fashionable and comfortable at the same time. The line consists of a wealth of ready to wear options.” The finest of Guttermann threads are used, the fluid cotton and linen shirts are constructed using a 22 stitch per inch method, the common standard is 12. This uncompromising attention to quality and detail is comparable to fine bespoketailoring methods.

  When asked which celebrity she would most like to dress – not to say that her clothes haven’t been donned by countless famous faces – Anita’s answer evokes a very pleasing visual. “ I would love to dress Angelina Jolie in a beautiful gown woven with handloom silk by weavers in Bendras. It seems like [Angelina Jolie] displays herself as a global ‘it’ woman and her interest in different cultures gives me appreciation to dress her in an Indian authentic piece.” Although she makes it sound easy, it would seem that with seven fashion lines (and counting!) a day off is not in Anita Dongre’s vocabulary. Amateurs take note: even when you’ve made it to the top, hard work is still necessary to stay there.




§ 'The Secret Garden was what Mary called it when she was thinking of it. She liked the name, and she liked still more the feeling that when its beautiful old walls shut her in no one knew where she was. It seemed almost like being shut out of the world in some fairy place. The few books she had read and liked had been fairy-story books, and she had read of secret gardens in some of the stories.” The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett Head Stylist SAIMA HASAN PhotographerSTEVE RHODES Stylist Assistants MUNA HASHMI Make-up MARISSA CLEMENCE Model ERIN (ELITE) Hair LUC ORNSBY (SALON ESCAPE)




School Girl Blues Blazer: H&M $39.99 Brocade Skirt: Zara Sheer tank: Zara Hairpiece: Sussman’s Bridal




Lacey Longings Lace tights: American Apparel Sheer tank: Zara Shoes: Spring Shoes




This Page Rose-Coloured Nights Blouse: Zara Shorts: H&M Shoes: Steve Madden Opposite Page Dressed for Dinner Lace skirt: H&M White Blouse: Zara Shoes: Spring Shoes SHE CANADA


How does an impeccably educated, Pakistani-American mother of one become the talk of the New York City fashion scene? PRIYA KUMAR catches up with women’s wear designer Ammara Yaqub behind flourishing luxury label AMMARA to discover how she has redefined contemporary style.

Business School is a training ground for CEOs. After completing the two-year MBA program, one inevitably comes out with an understanding/ awareness of all aspects of running a business, be it marketing, accounting, product development or strategy.” For an entrepreneur such a degree is ideal. When Yaqub founded AMMARA she wore many hats and everything she learned in Business School came into play.

  You would be hard pressed to attend a New York City fashion industry party without bumping into yet another South Asian design virtuoso. Their Eastern inspired prints and less-is-more silhouettes have caught the eye of style influencers across the world with their prevalence at red carpet events as testament. Although Ammara Yaqub can be counted among the gaggle of this new class of style makers, there’s one element that distinctly sets her work apart—the brain behind its beauty.

  She also attributes much of her design sensibility to her Pakistani heritage. Although her collections are predominantly western in style, she says her “upbringing certainly influences me in a variety of ways. Growing up in Pakistan, I shopped the market extensively for high quality, beautiful fabrics with my mother and my sister. My love for fabrics continues till today and I’m always looking for the most interesting and unusual fabrics to work with.”

  The Harvard Business School (HBS) alumna noticed there was a distinct void in the women’s wear market. “It seemed that the market either skewed very young/ contemporary or very old/bridge. For the woman who wanted fashion forward, high quality clothes that did not break the bank, there weren’t very many options out there. AMMARA fills that void and caters to women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and up who want to be trendy and look great without being overly youthful or boring.”


  Yaqub attributes her creative aptitudes to her undergraduate experience at Smith College in Northampton, MA. “Being in an environment that defines curriculum and success in very broad terms, really helped open up my mind. I began to value different opinions and develop a balanced view of the world.” Being a women’s college, she felt it also built her confidence, which was especially useful when she launched her business. She furthered her education at HBS where she matriculated with an MBA. “Harvard

  Her mother also played a role in her career early on by instilling certain criteria in her that consumers look for in their fashion choices. “My mother always places great emphasis on fit and that has probably become the biggest focus for me. I work on fit almost to the point of obsession. My philosophy is that if the garment doesn’t fit well, it doesn’t matter how beautiful it is, the consumer will not buy it.”   In recent weeks she has added a social conscious element to AMMARA. Incidentally Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, her former Smith roommate, went on to become an Oscar-winning documentarian. Yaqub was always impressed with her filmmaking work but was particularly moved by Saving Face. “Saving Face was in a different category altogether. It wasn’t just how well the documentary was made or Sharmeen’s fearlessness in tackling a controversial topic, it was the impact that the movie made on me when I watched it. I knew I had to do something to help the cause. I thought about it a great deal and decided that a scarf that could potentially be continued season after season would be a great way of establishing an ongoing stream of revenue for the fight against acid violence.”

She told American Vogue that she decided to do a scarf as opposed to the pervasive t-shirt because, “T-shirts mean nothing to the people of Pakistan.” Furthermore, scarves are worn by all women in South Asia, not just those who have been attacked. The scarf comes in three colours and features an abstract eye print to represent the one visible feature of women in the Muslim world. The Noor Scarf is available on AMMARA’s website for $85 USD.   For her Fall/Winter 2012 line, she took a timeless approach to design and drew her inspiration from Hollywood legend Marlene Dietrich. “Marlene could be overthe-top glamorous one day with sequins and fur and wear a little boyish suit the next day. I think the modern woman does not have one look – she dresses to suit her mood and likes to look feminine and sexy but also unexpected and fresh.” Yaqub does not shy away from modern textures and colours to change the tone of a look. “In

my opinion a little shine goes a long way! Another favorite of mine in [my Fall/ Winter 2012 collection] is a silver metallic menswear inspired jacket which is a great way of changing a day time denim and t-shirt look to an evening ready look!”   Her preferred textiles include silk, silk cotton voiles and wools for basics, and for outer layers, “exciting prints and textures such as tweed, crochet, lace and lurex blends.” She has always had panache for using leather in her collections. “I will do a full leather piece here and there but I mostly utilize leather (in all colors) to add a little edge to more conservative pieces.”   The future of AMMARA is certainly looking bright. Yaqub is currently working on her Spring/Summer 2013 collection and plans on expanding to include children’s wear. Inspired by her 4-year-old daughter, she hopes to also include a line of shoes with the collection. With bigger design houses catering to children like never before, her pieces for miniature sartorialists are sure to be a hit. AMMARA is available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Fred Segal and online at SHE CANADA













PRIYA KUMAR offers his take on the designer’s manifestation of an age-old myth

nown as the empress of South Asian fashion, Ritu Kumar did not disappoint with her latest couture collection titled Panchvastra. Literally translating to “five threads” in Sanskrit, the collection revolves around the five heroines in the Mahabharata. For you non-history buffs out there, the Mahabarata is one of two Sanskrit epics written in the 4th century BC in South Asia, the other being the Ramayana.   Known as one of the longest mythologies every written, the Mahabarata tells the tale of five women— Ganga,Draupadi, Kunti, Amba and Gandhari—as they face trials and tribulations that have served as religious allegories for centuries. Kumar’s col-

lection is her interpretation of each woman’s plight and her inner strength to prevail.   Gota, a type of metallic embellishment, is predominant in the collection. Lenghas, anarkalis, phulkaris and saris are front and center. The collection is split into five with each segment representing the disposition of each woman including themes such as purity, seduction, swayamvar, exile and darkness. Purity was represented by hues of white and peach, while seduction was depicted by all shades of burgundy. Swayamvar, or the Palace of Illusions segment, displayed the opulence of Swarovski crystals embellishing the garments. Exile, counter intuitively, was denoted by a rainbow of bright traditional colours like fuchsia, orange and gold. Finally, the most dramatic pieces in black, gold and indigo were repre-

sentative of darkness.   The show was held at the luxurious Aman in partnership with American Express. The relationship between Kumar and the financial giant has spanned decades. The presentation employed various uses of textile, theater and film to give the characters meaning to its contemporary audience.   For such a grand show, four legendary Bollywood actresses of past and present walked the ramp as showstoppers—Sushmita Sen, Kirron Kher, Dia Mirza and Seema Biswas each appeared in a different segment. Kumar speaks of her show stating that “Panchvastra is a collection with a rare synthesis of fashion, craft and inspiration. The costumes have a rich feel, which emanate from India’s oldest and richest crafts researched over the last 45 years. What adds a newer dimension to the collection is the more contemporary yet aesthetically sound interpretation of the same idiom by Amrish Kumar, [my son]. This takes the collection from vintage costume to an aspirational younger offering giving it a rare synergy recreated for a newer generation.” What a synergy it is; Kumar’s collections never fail to dazzle. Visit for more information.

Dia Mirza, Kirron Kher, Anita Ratnam, Seema Biswas and Sushmita Sen with Ritu Kumar










SPLENDID OPULENCE OF A BYGONE ERA Ritu Kumar’s Vintage Collection photographed at Toronto’s iconic landmark, The Sultan’s Tent & Cafe Moroc Canadian Contributing Editor S. M. Kamran Zaidi Photographed by ZVONKO ZUPANCIC Fashion Editor PRIYA KUMAR Hair/Make-up SHIRLEY WU Stylist Assistants LIZ GUBER, CHANTELLE HENRIQUES, SHIRLEY WU Models TARA ELIZABETH SINGH




Ritu Kumar creates pieces that have a certain timelessness. Her fashion house has truely has endured the age since its founding in 1968. Opposite Page: Rainbow Churidar, Vintage Ritu Kumar First & This Page: Forest Green Bridal Lengha, Vintage Ritu Kumar










id-morning on an unseasonably hot September day in Toronto, I pensively wait for Nadia Ali, world-renowned singer/songwriter. We are scheduled to meet at 10:45AM sharp in the CityPlace cul-de-sac for our SHE Canada cover shoot in the Distillery District. After having relished her music for more than a decade, I am anxious for her arrival. Ali is best known for her long line of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) smashes that have been released, remixed and re-released, garnering her a coveted Grammy nomination last year. The EDM scene went from underground raves when she first began her career in 2000 to full-blown mainstream festivals across the world that have capacities of up to half a million but still manage to sell out in mere hours. Being in a class of such genre greats as Avicii, BT, DJ Sultan, Ned Shepard and Armin van Buuren, MTV branded Ali the “lasting empress” of the principally male dominated genre. Wondering a mile a minute where she could be—did I get the address correct?, could she have missed her flight into Toronto?, did I confuse the meeting time?—I flinch as each minute passes. All of a sudden the pint-sized songstress pushes her way through the glass doors of the sleek high-rise, profusely apologizing for her minor tardiness. I exhale a huge sigh of relief.   Truthfully speaking, my interview with Ali feels more like a long overdue catchup with a school friend than work. Although I am supposed to be conducting the interview on her career and accomplishments in the music industry, she is eager to learn about me first. This is equal parts perplexing and disarming, but speaks volumes about her charm.   Born in Libya to Pakistani parents in the early 1980s, Ali relocated to Queens, New York with her family as a young child. Having grown up in a traditional Pakistani household, music was perceived as a hobby as opposed to a career. She says, “[singing] wasn’t necessarily the most promoted thing in the house. My parents wanted me to study and go on to become a lawyer or a doctor, but I really didn’t have much interest in that. I always really loved music.” As an 8-year-old schoolgirl, a friend complimented her hummed rendition of a Madonna melody. “After she planted that seed in my head, I began volunteering to sing at every opportunity I could just to try it.” SHE CANADA


By the age of 15, she began penning poems for friends to cheer them up when they were depressed. The poetry was so touching, they encouraged her to keep doing it. It was her first step towards songwriting.

went on to say ‘check category 53.’ I started shaking and was like ‘there is no way.’ I had been told a couple of years ago that some people on the committee were big fans of my music, but I didn’t know it was that big.”

  Soon, as a 17-year-old ingénue, she joined the ranks of Versace’s New York headquarters. Her coworkers were delighted with her vocal stylings at office holiday parties. Although prior to breaking into music, Ali also served as an Executive Assistant to Eileen Ford at Ford Model Management, it was a colleague at Versace who introduced her to the record producer with whom she would eventually launch her career in music.

  Although she’s an artist who has been inspired by so many other music greats before her, such as Stevie Nicks, Bono and Sade, she attests there is always an Eastern influence found in her work. “I grew-up listening to Bollywood/Arab music. I think that’s why Eastern people relate to it—they sense the Eastern influence.”

  At the age of 20, when Ali’s singing went from a part-time passion to a fulltime career, she joined forces with Marcus Moser to form the famed Electronic Dance Music duo iiO. The pair soon became best known for their club anthems Rapture and At the End. Named after the Sony VAIO she used to write her lyrics on, iiO became a household name on the nascent EDM scene. What sets Ali apart from her contemporaries is the fact that she writes everything herself from scratch. “Rapture I wrote about a personal experience. Pressure I wrote about working in the industry. Believe It was actually not even written for me. I was writing it for another person to sing. But I wanted it to be about what it’s like when you’re working hard all day and kind of visualize your goals. I think the more authentic a song is the more people relate to it.”   Although Ali left iiO in 2005, the music she wrote is still released under her former group’s name to this day. When pressed for information on the break-up in the media, she says that she has not spoken to Moser since, but will not comment on whether the split was amicable. Regardless, Ali has since proven to be a powerhouse in her solo career.   Despite her incredible range and capacity to select the music genre of her choice, she opted for EDM because, “it just so happened that I used to love going out dancing. Whenever I used to listen to the music in the nightclubs, I used to be like ‘Wow, this music is the coolest genre ever.’ I wanted to be a part of it. Originally, it was just to do a song or two. It was never an intention of mine to do it as a career and have it be my identity in this career. Life presents opportunities to you if you’re open to them, then they can become something. There are benefits in being in the industry and then there are obstacles. For me, I think it was because I just loved to dance that I wanted to be a part of it.”   Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” After working incredibly hard for over a decade, Ali received a Grammy nod in 2011 for her collaboration with top American DJ, Morgan Page on the track Fantasy. She remembers finding out about the nomination in detail— “I was on the Armin van Buuren tour at the Paris airport waiting for my connecting flight to the Ukraine. I know it was wintertime. Morgan texted me ‘check’” She wondered, “What would I have to do with He


  She wholeheartedly acknowledges the significance of her heritage and the impact it has had on her career. “Being Pakistani I feel like it is very important to set an example that [we as] women are intelligent and capable of taking our careers into our own hands. Not just in music but in any kind of art, any kind of professional field. I feel like I have a responsibility to all women who are stereotyped and oppressed. I’m proud that I have been able to achieve things that may not have been possible before”. Many fans of South Asian origin have approached her in the past to let her know her career as a musician has inspired them to follow their own dreams.   Alas, over the course of her professional career she has received some backlash from irate individuals and groups who have expressed their unhappiness with her public persona. Far from reserved, Ali rocks the hottest fashion on stage that does not necessarily conform to the conservative nature of her homeland. This has resulted in a flurry of online comments and even complaints about her position as a role model to youth. We quickly discovered this attitude is entirely unwarranted. At the SHE shoot, Ali was very vocal in our portrayal of her. She expressed her desire to be respectful of her fans sometimesconservative beliefs and set certain guidelines for our stylist to abide by.   Over the course of the day I spend with Ali, it is easy to forget the level of fame the tiny chanteuse commands. Her fans regularly wonder in disbelief via Facebook and Instagram how she is able to venture out in public without being recognized. Ali integrates so well with our team, sharing laughs and amusing anecdotes about her travels over a large catered Indian meal, it’s easy to forget we are shooting one of the most influential vocalists of the dance music genre. All of a sudden, her hit Pressure blares over studio sound system. Not unlike how I might have referred to an *NSYNC jam at the age of 13, Ali remarks, “This is my song!” It was in that instance the rest of us were transported back to our mortal lives. When asked if it was a strange sensation to hear her music played on the radio or TV, she responds, “No, not really. What’s weird is to see is people in the clubs reacting to the music, but in a good way. In a great way, actually.” Days after our interview and shoot with Ali, BT released a new track featuring Ali’s vocals titled “Must Be The Love.” She is currently on tour in the Middle East and Asia.

This and Previous Pages Dresses: Cara Chung, Price on Request, Shoes: Christian Louboutin




This (and First) Page: Dress: Cara Chung, Price on Request, Shoes: Christian Louboutin Opposite Page: Dress: Codeglam, Shoes: Christian Louboutin







This page and opposite: Dresses: Cara Chung, Price on Request Shoes: Christian Louboutin



Black Sequined Dress: Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet $625 (available at The White Space, The Bay Queen Street) Faux Bordeaux Jacket: Trina Turk $498.00


Hair/Make-up Credits: TREsemmĂŠ Haircare Eyeshadow by M.A.C in Vex Lips by M.A.C in Russian Red Lipglass Blush by Elizabeth Arden, Mascara by Cover Girl Fusion Blast



blueFROG is changing the face of music in South Asia, YVETTE NANIUZEYI discovers. Previously dominated by Bollywood, blueFROG is giving the music scene an alternative. From Indie to Electronic, artists who are signed to blueFROG are becoming the talk of the town.


revolutionary music project based out of Mumbai, blueFROG is a hub for artistic collaborations for both international and local musicians. Besides boasting four state-of-the-art recording studios, a production house and a record label, it is home to the country’s premiere live music venue. One could say that blueFROG is at the epicenter of South Asia’s music revolution. The club runs six nights a week featuring international artists regularly, having hosted the likes of Armin van Buuren, Nadia Ali, BT, Talvin Singh, LCD Soundsystem and Dirty Vegas to name a few. With locations in Mumbai and New Delhi, this music project works with all types of genres. From jazz, blues, and funk to Afro/Latin, and electronic, blueFROG creates a diverse atmosphere for partygoers and musicians. It also encourages musical theatre performances with the club’s very own “Gold Nights.” BlueFROG embraces all types of theatre arts such as stand up comedy, poetry, and film nights. The Mumbai space even includes an art gallery featuring modern South Asian artists’ works. The space is not only one of a kind in South Asia, one would be hard-pressed to find another project like it in any major metropolis across the world.

  For artists, its intelligent sound consultancy, integrated music production, and custom-designed audio experiences are what keep them coming back to the label. Artists involved with “the FROG” as it is fondly known, include the most popular indie musicians in India. Here are some of our picks:


Shaa’ir + Func This electronic band formed in 2005. In Mumbai, India at 5am, Randolph Correia and Monica Dogra had no idea they would be forming one of India’s most successful bands in the indie music community. Their records, “New Day,” “The Love Album,” “Light Tribe,” and “Mantis” allowed The Sunday Guardian to brand them India’s “Most Important Band” and one of the defining indie Bands of our generation.

Something Relevant The name of the group sums them up to a tee. This group became relevant in 2003. In Mumbai, the members of the group met at various colleges. The band soon became regular performers at the legendary Mumbai Jazz club called, “Jazz by the Bay” near Nariman Point. From 2003 to 2008, they’ve been able to pave their way to success by performing at jazz clubs, charity and rock concerts, weddings, music and arts festivals, colleges and even military stadiums. In 2009, the band was picked by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to perform at the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. After that, music became a fulltime job for the boys. In 2010, YRF Studios and blueFROG recorded and released their first album. They came out with numerous hits such as “City in a Situation,” which aired on VH1. Anushka Manchanda Anushka’s rock-n-roll ways were genetic. She grew up with parents who played killer rock-n-roll at home. In her final year at school, she made it into Viva, India’s answer to the UK singing competition Popstars. When the band broke up, she decided to go on to music television. She hosted shows in India such as On the Run, First Day First Show, and Channel Hotline. Her knowledge of music made her pursue her solo music career. Since then, she has collaborated with the hottest music directors in India: Vishal-Shekhar, Salim-Sulaiman, Printam, and Anu Malik just to name a few. She now performs

with an indie electro-rock band Shkabang and she is also the voice behind advertisements for brands such as Levi’s, Vodafone, Sony, Nokia, Dove, and Lakme and Nivea. Her rebellious attitude is what makes her one of the hottest voices in the Indian film industry. DJ Antrixx DJ Antrixx dropped his first tune banger, “Greece 2k,” in 1997. Since then Kolkata, India has never been the same. He has swayed and enthralled clubbers all around. For over ten years, his music has been playing at top-notch shows and nightclubs all around Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, and Hyderabad. His sound has catapulted him into the who’s who of EDM internationally. It is evident that blueFROG has become a stepping-stone for many amateur performers as well. Although their location in Mumbai was initially a derelict textile mill, they have revitalized the complex as the place to be in the city. Their neighbours now include high-end eateries, cafés and boutiques. And in case you miss your favourite artist at either blueFROG’s Mumbai or New Delhi locations, live video is available for streaming at any time on their web portal. Calling blueFROG a revolutionary concept is, in fact, an understatement!




Basking in her Post-Oscar Glow, Saving Face Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Plots a Revolution Against Acid Violence in Pakistan, while PRIYA KUMAR listens


rom a young age Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy was taught the importance of speaking her mind on issues she holds dear. Born one of five girls in Karachi, she was already investigating human injustices as a teen and even went on a hunger strike when her father would not give her permission to go to an American university. She did eventually attend prestigious Smith College in Northampton, MA for her undergrad in Economics and Political Science followed by Stanford University for two Masters degrees.

  Although the documentary put Pakistan on the world stage of filmmaking, film subject Rukhsana alleges she was short-changed for her role in the production. She told The Express Tribune (a subsidiary of The International Herald Tribune) that Obaid-Chinoy promised her both a house and 3 million Rupees (approximately $31,000 USD) but received

  She launched her film career in 2002 with Terror’s Children, a

documentary about Afghan refugees in Pakistan for The New York Times Television. What’s almost unknown about Obaid-Chinoy is that she is a dual citizen of Canada and Pakistan. When she married her husband, financier Fahd Chinoy, she relocated to the well-heeled neighbourhood of York Mills in Toronto—a stone’s throw from the SHE Canada office.

  More than a dozen hot-topic documentaries soon ensued and Obaid-

Chinoy was receiving international accolades for her work. Earlier this year she received her first Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—the highest honour awarded in film. It was under the Best Documentary Short category for her film Saving Face. The award was also a first for Pakistan. When the winners were announced by the stars of last year’s smash-hit comedy Bridesmaids, locals in Obaid-Chinoy’s hometown of Karachi were seen passing around mithai in celebration.

  Saving Face follows Dr. Mohammad Jawad, a UK-based Plastic Surgeon,

to his homeland of Pakistan. He goes with the purpose of performing reconstructive surgery on victims of acid violence. Acid attacks are an increasingly common form of domestic violence abusive husbands and scorned suitors use against women across the Middle East and South Asia. Although the ideology behind the act is barbaric beyond comprehension, Dr. Jawad’s jovial personality brings smiles to his patients’ faces during what might be the grimmest period of their lives. The film also trails two acid violence survivors in particular—Zakia and Rukhsana—allowing audiences to empathize with their harrowing ordeals. The film is divided into the medicinal aspects of their recovery and the legal proceedings that follow.

neither. She also claims her family have since excommunicated her for appearing in the documentary. Obaid-Chinoy cites she would have never promised something of that magnitude because it is unethical to do so. Although a lawsuit against the filmmaker has been filed, Obaid-Chinoy made a very valid point; “Her parents were interviewed, her husband was also interviewed. If they did not know about the film, how come they are interviewed in it?” Controversy aside, the win was not just a victory for the filmmakers and Pakistan, but also for hundreds of acid victims who have been left without a voice. Having accepted the award in a Bunto Kazmi salwar kameez, Obaid-Chinoy made it clear in her acceptance speech with Hollywood and the world listening that she dedicated the award to “everyone in Pakistan who fights against terrorism every single day.” At the Vanity Fair afterparty she was approached by producing heavyweight Harvey Weinstein and actress Cameron Diaz separately to express how touched they were by her words.

  How has life been post-win for the Academy Award-winning filmmaker since Saving Face? Obaid-Chinoy exclusively told us, “Life has been busier than ever! I am in the midst of producing my next film while continuing to raise support for the effort to counter acid violence. The Oscar win was a blessing in that it brought acid violence to an international platform and garnered the support of countless individuals and organizations. I hope that this international dialogue will continue in the direction of social change!”

  When asked if Saving Face, the Oscar win and all the publicity

that ensued will put a stop to acid violence, Obaid-Chinoy says, “No, but it is a great way to start a movement!” She hopes to use it as a platform to educate a larger audience. By showing the film in areas where this type of violence is most pervasive, it will uncover the issue to those who would have not previously been aware of acid violence. She goes on to say, Saving Face has started a conversation, now it is our job to sustain it.” SHE CANADA


s this issue was going to press, Deepa Mehta’s highly anticipated film adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (2012) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). I attended the red carpet gala as a guest of Ms. Mehta herself—as it so happens, she is a distantly related aunt of mine—and over the years it has been a thrill to see her groundbreaking work and the impact she has had on Canadian filmmaking.

  My first encounter with Mehta was over ten years ago on the set of Bollywood/Hollywood. As I sat behind the scenes with a then 20-something Lisa Ray, I discovered how involved Mehta was (and still is) with her projects. Although it had been pouring rain for the majority of the shoot, she pressed on well into the chilly, Fall Toronto night. As I casually chatted with the cast and crew about their experience with the film, my teenaged-self had no idea the significance this film would have on Canadian cinema (let alone that of the South Asian Canadian variety).   Mehta was born and raised in Amritsar in the north-western state of Punjab in India. With a father deeply involved in film distribution, she was privy to innumerable films growing-up. “My father being a film distributor was absolute heaven. Before going to school and after going to school, all we did was sit in movie halls. I was watching Hindi films [mostly] and once a week in Amritsar, they’d have what they call Western films. “Blue Hawaii” was my first Hollywood film. Strange film but it was good fun.”   She attended the prestigious boarding school Welham Girls School in Dehradun followed by the University of Delhi where she graduated with a degree in Philosophy. Given the nickname “Dolly” growing-up, her peers included equally famed filmmaker Mira Nair and renowned


fashion designer Ritu Kumar—there was no shortage of creative thinkers in her circle of childhood friends.

  Soon after Mehta matriculated, she began making short documentary films in India. She made many invaluable contacts doing so, including the Canadian filmmaker Paul Saltzman, who incidentally became her future husband. After marrying in 1973, they relocated to Canada.   Mehta’s early career included screenwriting for children’s programs and documentary filmmaking. She made her feature-film directorial debut with Sam & Me—a touching story about an elderly Jewish man and a young Indian boy living in Toronto’s west-end neighbourhood of Parkdale. The film garnered many accolades including an Honourable Mention at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991.   Although she has been recognized for many critically acclaimed films since, including Republic of Love (2003) and Heaven on Earth (2008), she became somewhat notorious amongst Hindu fundamentalists for her Elements trilogy. Each film was a social-drama that covered a controversial topic in India involving women. Fire (1996) chronicles the boredom and restlessness of two housewives in India that results in an erotic affair with one another. Mehta vehemently denies the film is about homosexuality; “I have no idea why they have labeled it a lesbian film. Maybe because people like to talk about sex? I don’t know. Lesbianism has become the simplest way to raise a discussion about the film. I just don’t care now. I used to care a lot, because Fire is not a film about lesbians. But now they can talk about any aspect of the film. I just don’t care…I didn’t make Fire for the section of audience who can’t understand the film and just talk about sex; there are audiences in India who will understand Fire. India is not a monolithic society.”

CANADIAN FILMMAKING LEGEND   Upon its release, Hindu fundamentalists were up in arms. Cinemas screening the films in metropolises across India were attacked and audiences were scared away from purchasing tickets. Government ministers were quick to side with protesters and the film was yanked from theaters. Mehta held a candlelit protest to demonstrate her right to the freedom of speech and a year later the film was re-released uncut by India’s Censor Board without incidence.   Fire was soon followed up by Earth (1998) and then the muchanticipated Water (2005), her undisputed masterpiece. Water was honoured with being the Opening Night Gala of TIFF in 2005. The New York Times called the film “Exquisite...Serene on the surface yet roiling underneath, the film neatly parallels the plight of widows under Hindu fundamentalism to that of India under British colonialism.” It even garnered an Academy Award nomination in 2007 for Best Foreign Language Film.   This year’s TIFF Gala for Midnight’s Children opened a new chapter for the Canadian filmmaking icon. The film is based on Salman Rushdie’s book of the same name. Penned over thirty years ago, the Booker Prize-winning tome is narrated by main character Saleem Sinai (voiced by Rushdie). Although born poor the night of India’s independence, Saleem was switched in the hospital with another baby boy from an affluent Mumbai family. The story traces how Saleem’s life unfolds and how it will remain forever entwined with his changeling, Shiva. Much of South Asia’s history is covered both literally and allegorically in this film from partition to the independence of Bangladesh, but it is the portrayal of Indira Gandhi that has caused the most controversy. Between 1975 and 1977—a period known as The Emergency—Gandhi took control of impoverished areas. Her portrayal in the book was so dark that she sued Rushdie for defamation

back in the 80s. This is one of the many aspects of the film that have Indian distributors shying away from it.

  Although there have already been whispers about the Indian Censor Board not allowing the film to be screened there, Canada has welcomed it with open arms. Throughout the making of the film, the cast and crew were constantly under threat—so much so, that production had to be moved to Sri Lanka although the majority of the film is set in and around Mumbai. Mehta is not in the least fazed by the possibility of a foreign relations nightmare. “We were told that the Sri Lankan ambassador to Iran was scolded by the Foreign Minister and said that, ‘We are told that Salman Rushdie’s book is being shot in Sri Lanka and we want you to stop it.’”   To Mehta, her films are not about issues, but emotions. “All art is political. We know that. And it should be, but it has to be about a story. It has to be about real people within that story that are maybe dealing with an issue. It has to be owned and represented by something that is living, breathing, that talks, that stops, that decides to sit in a corner and weep. Issues are boring. Feelings are important.” She plays on her audiences’ emotions when putting together a film to evoke thought about a particular topic. Her message is less a partisan one than a human one. As a filmmaker, she simply tells the story and ultimately it is up to the viewer to decide what they feel. For Mehta, the making of her latest work has been somewhat of a cathartic experience—“When I think of Midnight’s Children, I think of finally being at peace with India.” —Priya Kumar reports



By SAIMA HASAN The Reluctant Fundamentalist By: Mohsin Hamid Random House Price $19.95 CAD (Paperback)

akistani born author, Mohsin Hamid released his debut novel Moth Smoke in 2000. It made quite the splash on the literary scene, garnering international acclaim for himself and his childhood home of Pakistan. The attraction of Moth Smoke, both domestically in Pakistan and abroad, was largely due to the revealing nature of the story, delving into a secretive and privileged world of drugs and tumultuous romance in Pakistan’s elite youth. Following the success of Moth Smoke, his subsequent novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist, was so highly anticipated that any seasoned writer would have been overwhelmed. However, despite the pressure, Hamid prevailed in capturing the complexity and convulsions of the ever-elusive Pakistani-American identity, particularly post 9/11, all the while resisting the need to resolve these complexities in a palatable package for reader consumption. It is no surprise then that The Reluctant Fundamentalist has since become an international bestseller and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2007. It was recently made into a film directed by Mira Nair debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film includes an ensemble cast of Hollywood heavyweights such as Kiefer Sutherland and Kate Hudson, while protagonist Changez is played by Riz Ahmed. Pakistan’s sweetheart Meesha Shafi makes a cameo as Changez’s sister Bina. The story begins in an outdoor café in Lahore. As the narrator, Changez tells an American tourist about his antithetical past life in New York and the events that cause him to return to his birth country. Like many privileged Pakistanis, Changez is schooled abroad at Princeton which leads him to land a dream job at a top valuation consultancy. A picture is created of the protagonist’s “American Dream”— living in Manhattan, working on Wall Street and frequenting multiple aprèswork bars on the company’s dime. Enter Erica; she's the willowy brunette from the Upper East Side, the poor little rich girl, who’s free-spirit has been stifled by a lost love and


the ever-keen Changez takes on the task to liberate her. Therein ensues an awkward yet sweet romance between two lost souls that complements yet further complicates Changez’s sense of belonging in his home away from home.

This novel is groundbreaking in many ways as it is the first time for many readers to vicariously experience the tensions many Muslims in North America faced (and still do) following the horrendous events of 9/11. In the novel, while watching the falling of the twin towers, Changez’s first reaction is to smile at the audacity of the event, admittedly in self-disgust. This becomes potentially the most jarring statement in the entire narrative, foreshadowing the eventual disintegration of Changez’s American Dream.

Changez’s conflicted Pakistani-American identity becomes the common thread for the remainder of the novel. Hamid captures this conflicted state wonderfully through seemingly minute details like facial hair; when Changez doesn’t shave

for two weeks alienating him from his co-workers and the general public at large. The significance in this detail is further challenged by Changez admitting that he cannot clearly grasp his motivations for growing a beard, but that he is angry and refuses to conform to North American society which regularly alientates him post 9/11. This growing anger coupled with a newfound introspective attitude spurred by a wise Chilean publisher he encounters during a corporate evaluation, eventually leads him back to Lahore where we learn that he inevitably becomes a ‘reluctant fundamentalist’. Certain parts in the story seem all too contrived, like his work trip to Valparaiso, Chile meeting the sage, a Juan-Batista, who eventually encourages Changez to address his internal strife. Even the set up of the novel is a single monologue with an unnamed, silent American tourist and this one-sided conversation becomes quite redundant. These artifical moments undermine Hamid’s mostly honest writing. They create a lack of believability, interrupting the reader’s experience and take us out of our ficitional fantasy. However, despite these glitches, Mohsin Hamid’s strength is in his honest revelations of the internal struggle of a Pakistani in America, living in a world that once accepts and then rejects him. It is a formidable task that Hamid so bravely takes on and delivers to the best of his ability as we continue seeing these unresolved tensions between Muslims and Non-Muslims, enacted through individual stories much like Changez’s narrative and further exacerbated by American foreign policy.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist 3.5/5 stars SHE CANADA



I first came across MAWI last year as a luxury brand PR Executive in India. My agency represented a high-end concept store in South Mumbai that happened to stock the eclectic jewellery brand. The first MAWI piece I ever set eyes on quite literally took my breath away. Bold, elegant, polished and chic, Mawi Keivom designs using modern materials such as rose gold and gunmetal embellished with crystals, pyramids and spikes. Worn by style influencers such as Emma Watson, Alexa Chung, Sienna Miller and even Rihanna, MAWI has perfected the fusion of old and new, western and eastern design traditions. This year the Indian-born, London-based designer celebrates her iconic jewellery brand’s 10th anniversary. I had the opportunity to catch-up with Keivom to discuss her heritage, the impact it has on her brand ethos and what exactly is in store for MAWI’s silver anniversary.


lthough from India originally, you spent a good deal of your formative years living elsewhere. How have your travels influenced your design sensibility?

I was a lucky kid. I got to travel the world and experience places, people, cultures, situations and most of all the creativity in all these amazing places. It’s made me see the world from a different perspective. My diverse upbringing has been a defining influence. There’s always a collision of cultures and underlying influences. I like to mix elements from different cultures, eras and genres all at once. My work is all about the juxtaposition. You enjoyed a wide variety of artistic pursuits growing up. How did you eventually settle on jewellery design over, let’s say, apparel? I never set out to be a jewellery designer. It was quite organic. I studied Women’s Wear and fate led me up the trinket path and I have not looked back. It’s been like a rollercoaster ride. Early on in my childhood my mum was instrumental in my creative development. She stressed the importance of crafts. I had to learn how to knit, sew, crochet and bead from a young age and by the age of 12 I knew I was going to be in fashion. This early exposure for the appreciation of art and beauty and workmanship has been a key influence and has continued to shape and define my aesthetics. Being based in London, what exactly about the city inspires your work? I’ve always been drawn to London. It’s a creative hub and the fashion capital of the world. It’s such an inspiring city to live in.


It’s definitely the city that gives me my mojo. London allows you to be who you are and it’s all encompassing. I’m hugely influenced by British culture, history and music. I also met my husband and collaborator Tim here and it’s the birthplace of MAWI. London has embraced me and given me the platform to do what I do - plus I love British humour and fish and chips! Explain how your two main lines came about (Heirloom and Costume Luxe). The two lines are distinctively different whilst still being signature Mawi. The Fine Costume Luxe is all about statement pieces inspired by mechanical elements, architecture and sculpture whilst the Heirloom Collection harks back to the past with vintage inspired pieces that are like treasured family jewels. Designing the two collections comes very naturally to me and it keeps things exciting and diverse.

We loved the Disney Couture collection! Can we look forward to any collaboration in the coming months? This season we are collaborating with Mark Fast (a Canadian designer based in London) and Ryan Lo a new emerging talent who’s a real name to watch. Last season we collaborated with Alice Temperley and Hugo Boss. Congratulations on your 10-year anniversary! What are some other highlights you can share about the past decade? Where do you see the brand in the next decade? Opening our first flagship store [in the Shoreditch neighbourhood

of London] was a milestone and a testament of the hard work we have put in. We have now set up the foundations for growth. The next decade will be about expansion, growing the online business, growing the retail arms and opening more stores, expanding the men’s line (which has just launched exclusively at Lane Crawford) as well as growing the consultancy side of our business. We are also launching MAWI handbags this season at London Fashion Week and will be expanding and growing this angle of the business.

MAWI has brought unprecedented innovation to the luxury jewellery and accessories world. The detail and intricacy with which Keivom designs are staggering to comprehend. Owning a MAWI piece is not just a fashion decision; it is an investment in a piece of art. Whether in the market for some arm candy or a bold neckpiece that makes a look, fashionphiles will be thrilled to know contemporary vintage is no longer an oxymoron. MAWI can be purchased at







n Hinduism, Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth. There could not be a more fitting name for a jeweller. With Diwali and wedding season just around the corner, PRIYA KUMAR discovers South Asians based in the GTA need not look any further than this Mississauga institution for Holiday trinkets and Bridal statement pieces.   Back in August 2011, I had the opportunity to attend India International Jewellery Week (IIJW) at Mumbai’s lavish Grand Hyatt Hotel. While many groan at the prospect of an accessory having its own fashion week in South Asia, one must consider the sheer breadth and depth of the South Asian jewellery market. Jewellery is not merely worn on a special occasion such as one’s wedding or religious festival. Rather, it is passed down and inherited for generations. When a bride shortlists the jewellery for her bridal trousseau, she must keep in mind the pieces she selects need to be timeless enough to be worn by her daughters and their daughters.


Every Bride’s Trousseau Essential

Sandeep Anand, owner of Lakshmi Jewellers of Mississauga, is one of the many international buyers who attend this prestigious annual showcase. He describes the event as “an array of different jewelers to pick from, offering the best of the best to our North American [clientele].” The week of shows not only features a smorgasbord of top South Asian jewellery designers, but also the A-list showstoppers who represent the brand in the media such as Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone. Buyers and designers are welcome to mingle and make business transactions at the event, thus allowing for the globalization of the South Asian jewellery industry.   Admittedly, outside of South Asia, a bride’s options are limited. Twice a year a variety of wedding trade shows in the GTA offer an outlet for brides to get as much local shopping done as possible. Quality goes by the wayside given the slim pickings available. Anand goes above and beyond to offer his clientele options from Mumbai, Kolkata, Dubai and Karachi. By coming back from IIJW with the most inspired and intrinsically designed jewellery available, Lakshmi keeps Toronto-based brides abreast of the latest styles and designs fresh off the runway.   He says the Canadian market has evolved quite a bit over the years. Twenty years ago, yellow gold was in vogue, but a bride in 2012 might opt for a rose gold or platinum setting as her metal of choice. He acknowledges this shift in taste and curates Lakshmi’s collection accordingly. Furthermore, because antique pieces are also becoming increasingly popular with vintage making a comeback, Lakshmi offers customers a wide selection of older pieces that one would be hard-pressed to find in the current marketplace.

 Finally, truth be told, it takes two to make a marriage. Thus a wedding isn’t only about the bride. Lakshmi also offers a generous selection of men’s regalia as well including engagement/ wedding bands, bracelets and chains.   Admittedly, Lakshmi is much more than the average South Asian jewellery store in Toronto. Anand not only offers pieces available exclusively in South Asia, but he will also customize pieces for clients with their own distinct taste. For a sneak peek of what’s currently available at Lakshmi, be sure to have a look at their website—its innovative virtual showroom includes beautifully photographed shots of their latest collection.

Lakshmi Jewellers 7152 Airport Road Mississauga , ON, L4T 2H1 Canada T : 905 678 1500 F : 905 678 1501 Web: SHE CANADA



LIZ GUBER Seeks out the Traditional Beverage, and Discovers One of Toronto’s Greatest Culinary Legacies


hose that know me well are quick to call forth my addiction to sweet, milky beverages. Be it the rice milk and cinnamon concoction from Mexico, known as horchata, bubble tea, or a good chai latte, I’ll drink them all with equal delight. It was my pursuit of an outstanding cup of chai however, that led me to Indian Rice Factory’s recent addition of Chai Bar, conveniently located in the barn next to the restaurant. Indian Rice Factory, a Bloor Street Annex institution, has been around for an impressive 40 years and boasts an equally extraordinary story. In an unimaginable time, when there were only two Indian restaurants in all of Toronto, Mrs. Amar Patel was having lunch at the Four Seasons. She was intrigued by the day’s buffet theme, titled “From the Chafing Dishes of India.” Mrs. Patel was served a cautiously prepared array of meats in a modified béchamel sauce, coloured a feeble shade of yellow. She called the chef forth to tactfully explain that the meal was sub par. Embarrassed by this calamity, the head chef invited Mrs. Patel back the next day, this time into the kitchen to teach the staff what masala (a blanket term for South Asian spice) is really all about. She left the chefs stunned and spent the next year teaching the staff everything she knew. She then moved on to the Bombay Bicycle Club, where willowy, sari-clad waitresses served her creations to eager patrons, before becoming a chef at the luxurious Hyatt Regency. In 1970 Indian Rice Factory was born, and along with it, Toronto’s love of South Asian spices. Eleven more Desi restaurants opened 3 years later, and as the city continued to embrace exotic cuisine, Mrs. Patel’s presence grew. She was always eager to share her recipes with anyone who asked. After a lifetime of culinary genius, master chef Mrs. Patel passed away in 2011, leaving behind a legacy.


In bustling, present-day Toronto Indian Rice Factory is still alive and well. Now run by Mrs. Patel’s son Aman, the restaurant prides itself on dishes that are neither generic nor pretentious. In an effort to gain back the love of the neighbourhood following Mrs Patel’s passing, Aman opened the Chai Bar. “My mom was very sick for some time, and we concentrated more on her obviously, and the price we paid was losing contact with our neighborhood again, so this was an ideal opportunity to find a way to re-establish that contact.” Aman goes on to add that Indian influences were used sparingly in the new space, “bottom line is we actually set up the chai bar not to hoist Indian themed food and product on people, but rather have it as an accessory.” The preparation of a masala chai at the Chai Bar is unlike any other in the city. Aman describes the protocol behind the preparation, “Start with high quality ingredients. Use the principle of less is more; you don’t have to put in more things to make it tastier. If you are deft with your hands, you [will] make something tasty without having to overuse any one particular ingredient.”

the beverage is near boiling, so I must wait a few minutes before indulging. The taste is both smooth and piquant and no spice overpowers the other. When I ask Aman how close this is to the chai had in India he replies confidently, “It’s bang on.” Other temptations at Chai Bar include toasted marshmallow ice cream and tarts that taste like a homemade interpretation of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. If the steady stream of customers is any indication, the neighborhood has embraced Chai Bar wholeheartedly. Aman agrees, “It’s been excellent. We’ve been really warmly received by everybody.” It is standard practice at SHE to ask individuals featured in our issues the question “Which South Asian inspires you?” When Aman answers “my Mom” it is easy to understand why. Had it not been for Mrs. Patel’s ingenuity, Toronto’s Indian food scene may look very different than it does today, and I wouldn’t be writing this while sipping on the best cup of Chai I’ve had yet.

As the barista muddles cardamom, black pepper, cloves and other spices with a mortar and pestle, I cannot help but lean over the marble counter, enthralled with the process. Once the perfect blend of spices has been achieved, milk and pre-steeped black tea is added. I am warned by the barista that




n this new feature, SHE takes everyday scenarios that have two dividing solutions. Below you will find more than just creative problem solving, but a look into the workings of the male and female minds and the differences between them. Write in to SHE with your own dilemmas and see them dissected by two opposing viewpoints in an upcoming issue. Scenario 1. A couple has been in a serious, committed relationship for over a year. Increasingly, the woman is feeling that her boyfriend’s jealousy is starting to border on irrational. He expresses feelings of envy

even when she spends time with relatives or girlfriends, and a recent brief trip abroad without him left the boyfriend feeling extremely lonely, furthering feelings of jealousy and extreme co-dependence. All of this is starting to wear on the woman. He Said: Women don’t seem to ever know what they want. Would you rather he pays no attention to you? Doesn’t it feel nice to be missed? Consider the opposite for a second and then think about whether or not this is a real problem or a silly nuisance that can be rectified with a simple adult conversation. She Said: Do not underestimate the power of personal space and separate interests. If the jealousy is described as “irrational” it’s a problem. It seems like the boyfriend is in some serious need of friends and interests of his own. The simple explanation for the jealousy he’s feeling is his own social laziness or insecurity. Scenario 2. After a few years of marriage a woman has become unhappy with her husband’s fitness (or lack thereof) and weight gain. She feels that women are unfairly scrutinized for their bodies yet men can get away with being less than perfect.


He Said: The unfair scrutiny women’s bodies receive in media or in the real world often come from other women. Face it, girls can be very cruel. So don’t just blame this on a double standard and realize that perhaps women’s expectations of men are as unrealistic as the one’s placed on women. She Said: Yes, this is unfair. Would the man still be attracted to his wife if she gained 20-40 pounds? Women are constantly scrutinized, more than men, just look at any famous female who has recently given birth. She should speak up so that both of them can stay fit, healthy

and attracted to one another. Scenario 3. Fall temperatures are a favourite among the fashioncrazed. One man however, is finding his partner’s experimental clothing choices a bit much. He’d like to tell his girlfriend to “take it down a notch”, however fears offending her. He Said: Men have been putting up with the mystifying garments women wear for a long time. Leggings, Uggs, pretty much everything worn at Coachella…There’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism. Said with respect and her best interests kept in mind, the girl should at least hear him out. She Said: Not all girls want to dress for men, but rather for themselves. Her clothing choices are making her happy, and they show that she’s secure about who she is. Isn’t one of the perks of being in a committed relationship that you can dress for YOU and not the man you’re desperately trying to get? Just look at Carrie Bradshaw, all the wacky outfits she could ever want and the man of her dreams. Let’s all aim for that, shall we?

ell men, Movember is upon us. In order to garner support and shore up awareness for a disease that will affect 1 in 7 men throughout the course of their lifetime (and this is expected to rise to 1 in 4 within a decade) a great many men will be trading in shaved faces for a mustached visage. Here at SHE we want our men to look and feel their best while donning their seasonal duster. Here’s a step-bystep guide to selecting and caring for that mustache, gentlemen: Grow that canvas Simple enough. Enjoy a break from the rigors of grooming and let it grow, baby. It’s always wise to hit the ground running so enact a little foresight and put the razor on the shelf during the final days of October. Select a style What suits you? Will it be the Fu Manchu, the Chevron, or the Handlebar? Feel like having fun with it? Then maybe it’s the Dali. Keep in mind your features and select a style that balances and complements your face. For instance, a man with a prominent nose will likely benefit from a medium to large-sized moustache (the Chevron, the Walrus). On the other hand, if you have a small mouth or prominent upper lip then a smaller moustache is called for (such as the Painters Brush or the Lampshade).

Grooming In short, keep it clean. Once you’ve selected your style be vigilant about maintaining the shape and volume of the mustache. Pairing scissors, a razor and comb are your weapons of choice. Take pride in sculpting your moustache to perfection. Styling Now, you have your ‘stache and it’s tended to. Time to add the finishing touch. Men, it’s as simple as wax, in fact, it is wax. So, find your way to the supermarket and grab some styling wax. Products exist specifically for this enterprise. This will allow you to give permanent shape and finesse to your mustache style. Care The most common complaint amongst bearded and mustached men, especially newcomers is the resultant irritation associated with lengthy facial hair. This occurs because facial hair tends to wick moisture from the skin, which subsequently evaporates. So, be sure to massage the skin under the ‘stache with moisturizing creams or agents on a regular basis. Another solution is at hand, as well. Work a little conditioner into the mustache while showering and you will be delighted to trade that thicket of bristles in for a gentle bushy brush. SHE CANADA


Distinctly Modernist and Decidedly South Asian, expect to see Musa Shah’s designs hit the street very soon. Sijal Rehmane reports.

Within two years of graduating with a degree in fashion design, PakistaniDutch menswear designer Musa Shah has already had a taste of success. The first class honours grad has had his work featured in two fashion weeks, namely Amsterdam and Shanghai. The collections from these shows display a distinctly modernist sensibility, with some silhouettes bordering on the outrageous, but always with a wearable, real-world appeal. Many— if not all— of the pieces also flaunt a decidedly South Asian influence. Shah explains that this influence is usually an unconscious one that comes into play when selecting materials and colours and he attributes it to his mother’s love for clothing, fashion, and experimenting with materials. “It’s something which I have seen every day so I don’t think it’s surprising that I use influences of my Eastern roots.” Shah firmly believes that “clothes should be easy to wear yet they should have a very clear shape,” since he is a self-professed “fan of simple geometric shapes.” He therefore


prides himself on producing clothing that is comfortable, and goes out of his way to select natural fabrics that can be worn effortlessly such as silk, wool, and cotton.   At the same time, Shah feels it is important to express one’s individuality, and that fashion is a great outlet for such expression. “To me, it was and is always important to look different than others.” Shah has been acting on this desire to stand out since he was a teenager, when he started making his own clothing. The collections showcased in the Shanghai and Amsterdam fashion weeks tell us that this desire to be different is still alive and well today. Shah’s work stands out with its amalgam of European street style blended with unmistakably South Asian detailing. “I am a big fan of the Kameez. This is something which I always have in every collection. I also love East Asian collars and necklines.” Indeed, East Asian collars and necklines feature heavily in Shah’s collections. As well, he often draws inspiration from other artists, who may guide him with their simple use of shapes or colour. While Musa Shah’s products are only available to private customers thus far, he is hopeful for international expansion that will eventually see his clothing on sale worldwide.



Our South Asian diets incorporate some of the healthiest foods on the planet - but we sometimes overcook them or add a little too much sugar to our desserts, thus out-weighting the healthy properties. Here are some guidelines to keep our bodies trim and healthy without deviating from our traditional diets. All facts have been derived from peer-reviewed medical journals or interviews with college-registered professionals. By YAFA SAKKEJHA All spices have benefits; cinnamon reduces insulin and thus fat storage, allspice, cardamom, curry, turmeric have anticancer benefits, cayenne increases metabolism and burns fat and cumin is anti-aging and anti-wrinkle. Focus on cooking with more green vegetables versus root veggies for higher nutrition with less calories and starch. Don’t over stew vegetables because it kills all nutrition. Instead, steam them on the side for just 3 minutes and then add to the food at the last minute. Use brown rice instead of white basmati rice - more fiber and B-vitamins and you feel fuller faster. Avoid drinking liquids at the same time as eating - this dilutes the digestive enzymes, makes it more difficult to digest, and poor digestion leads to fat storage.

It is ideal to wait 2 hours before having dessert. This allows your body to process the heavy insulin load that has just taken place from a big meal with lots of types of food groups. Therefore causing less fat storage. If you eat dessert right away, it stores more fat. This has to do with how our body deals with excess glucose coming into the body—if it’s more than the short term stores can take, it puts it aside for fat storage. You only need 4 tsp. of sugar in your body in order to trigger fat storage. That’s 1 to 2 bites of a dessert! If you choose to eat meat, always buy an organic hormone free version. Non-organic meats have been linked to breast cancer says Shushma Shah N.D. in Toronto. Vegetables should be 50% of the plate. If you are serving for your kids, increase the veggies as much as possible.

Avoid using dairy since it has hundreds of problems. Use a dairy free yogurt such as an almond based one from a health food store. Problems with dairy: 1. Linked to cancer 2. Full of hormones and antibiotics 3. Full of mucus 4. Pasteurization denatures calcium and other nutrients leaving it not a nutrient rich food 5. Can initiate diabetes Kid-friendly tip: Hide veggies in your desserts. zucchini in cake. avocado in pudding. kale in a chocolate pie—the options are endless! SOURCES:



Darcy Knoll, the Communications Manager for the humanitarian organization CARE Canada tells SIJAL REHMANE about the Walk in Her Shoes campaign, and what the 8,000 steps represent for women a world away



efending the rights of women all over the world is no easy task, but it is certainly one that CARE Canada takes very seriously. With their roots originating from post-World War II relief efforts in Europe, CARE established its Canadian identity in 1977 when they formed an autonomous agency locally. In 1989, CARE Canada became fully private and has since been responsible for the “implementation, management and evaluation of a portfolio in more than 35 countries,” states Communications Manager Darcy Knoll.   CARE International operates in 84 countries worldwide, making CARE Canada a significant part of an organization that has its sights set on making big changes in the world. “It’s essential that CARE’s mission to defend the dignity of people and fight poverty is reflected in everything we do,” Knoll continues. CARE started out as simply an emergency assistance organization operating out of Europe in 1945, sending out upwards of a 100 million “CARE packages” in the 20 years that followed World War II to those who were most in need. Gradually, the company began to make more and more commitments worldwide, eventually moving on to establish offices in several locations the world over, including Canada.   Among the causes, all CARE operations have in common are food security, climate change and economic development. However, the main focus of the company now lies in empowering women and girls. CARE attributes this focus to the overwhelming evidence indicating that women are the greatest agents for change. As Knoll points out, “[CARE’s] experts on the ground have seen time and time again that, when equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help lift families and entire communities out of poverty. We really feel that they are a fundamental catalyst for change.”   As a result, all CARE operations worldwide maintain a heavy focus on running campaigns that benefit women, such as the “four signature maternal, newborn, and child health programs in Africa” and a “$15.2-million project in Pakistan to empower women in targeted rural areas to become economically and socially empowered,” Knoll tells us.   The goal is not to provide women with an unfair advantage over

the men around them but to simply level the playing field. The ideology behind CARE’s mandate is that the female population, as stated on the company website, is “disproportionately affected by poverty and discrimination. Not everyone starts from the same place on the path out of poverty. Lack of education for girls contributes to early marriage, higher birth rates, and lower income. Discriminatory laws prohibit women from owning or inheriting property, holding bank accounts, or prosecuting abusers.”   For those concerned that the organization’s seemingly unbalanced emphasis on women may ignore the root cause of their plight by focusing merely on the symptoms of oppression, the CARE Canada website assures the public that they work with “both women and men to create more equitable relations” and they work to “enable more girls and boys to attend school.”   CARE Canada’s “Walk in Her Shoes” Campaign was held across the country from March until May of this year. Knoll explains that the campaign seeks to highlight what females in the developing world experience daily in terms of being “responsible for collecting water, firewood and other basic necessities, walking an average of six kilometres a day, or 8,000 steps.” Canadians may simulate these experiences by “walking 8,000 steps a day for a period of eight days,” in a personal or team walk while simultaneously raising funds for women and girls in the developing world.   This year, the campaign raised $150,000 across Canada, all of which went towards CARE’s many poverty-fighting initiatives worldwide. The campaign also took place in other CARE operations across the world, including Australia, UK, and Norway, with the list set to expand for the 2013 run of the campaign.   “Walk In Her Shoes” is just one of the many projects that CARE has launched in their unrelenting efforts to meet their vision of creating a world of “hope, tolerance and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and people live in dignity and security.” For more information about CARE Canada and the Walk in Her Shoes campaign, please visit: SHE CANADA



ourism in Asia is often directed to Thailand, Malaysia, Japan or Bali, and yet the Philippines are a beautiful 7000-island nation that offers great value on the dollar, and no shortage of things to do and see. With direct flights from Canada to Manila, it’s also relatively easy to get to. Having previously explored Manila, my wife and I took advantage of budget domestic airlines to explore some lesser-known parts of the country. Climate, people, attractions - it’s easy to feel the warmth of the Philippines.


  After a long, grey Canadian winter, we’re instantly refreshed by the colour and vibrancy of the tropics. Even though it’s 37°C with 96% humidity, the thrill of being somewhere so different gives us ample energy to explore the oldest city in the country, Cebu. We visit the spot where Magellan landed in 1521, an impressive Taoist Shrine, and an old colonial house called Casa Gorordo, with ghostly mirrors reflecting former ages on polished hard wood floors. The streets are dusty and loud, crammed with colourful jeepneys (jeep-like buses exclusive to the Philippines), tricycles, and cars squeezing into makeshift lanes. It all feels so alive. At a mountain viewpoint called TOPPS, the most romantic spot in town, we watch the city lights flickering like firebugs beneath us. On the way down, I see a family of six seated on one scooter, and another having a picnic under the glow of a streetlight. They pass the food around and smile generously, in that Filipino way that makes you fall in love with the country.

After a wonderful diving diversion to world-famous Malapascua Island, we catch the fast ferry to Tagbilaran, capital of the region of Bohol. Bohol has some of the best beaches anywhere in the Philippines, and some truly unusual attractions. We check into the Panglao Island Nature Resort, with its infinity pool blending into the bright blue sea. Our spacious room looks over the resort’s private island, and is just a few steps from the beach. It’s the perfect place to unwind, with dinner on the veranda, and the jasmine smell of gumamela in the air.   Bohol’s biggest attraction is the 1776 unusual formations known as the Chocolate Hills. Credited to erosion (or the teardrops of a giant, if you prefer local mythology), the hills look like upside down teacups, scattered across the landscape at various sizes. They got their name during the dry season, when they turn milk chocolate brown. Since it’s wet season, and water roars down for a half hour forcing us to take shelter in the restaurant, the Minty Hills is perhaps more accurate. Steam rises off the hills when we finally climb the stairs to the top of a viewpoint. Although I’ve been to over 100 countries, I’m amazed to discover such a unique landscape.   Not too far away is Bohol’s second biggest attraction, albeit one that is much, much smaller. The tarsier is a primate that looks one part Yoda, one part Dobby, and one part Gremlin. The world’s smallest primate is the size of a hand, with a rat’s tail and creepy webbed feet. Its dominant feature is its eyes, which are bigger than its brain, and 150 times larger than human eyes relative to its size. Threatened with extinction, this is its only protected habitat in the world. We walk through the lush rainforest, seeking out the elusive creature. The tarsier is frozen to a branch, looking so

fragile and nervous that my sneeze might give it a heart attack. We leave the primate in peace, refresh in the on-site swimming cave back at the resort, and catch a flight to another less-known region of the Philippines, Bicol.   Our destination is the city of Legaspi, in the shadow of the most active volcano in the country. Mayon is a perfectly symmetrical volcanic cone, with a tuft of smoke above the crater. It looms over the city, erupting every couple years, with the lava flow flattening a coconut grove or two. Today, the scenic volcano lets us enjoy its views from various points around the city, including right at its foothills with the help of an ATV. Atop Ligñon Hill, we watch the lights flicker in Legaspi much like they had in Cebu City, many miles and not too long ago. A tricycle deposits us at the Embarcadero Seaside Mall, where we dine on fresh fish in the popular outdoor restaurants. Over the course of the week, we’ve been constantly amazed at the hospitality of Filipinos, the pride in their country, and the little moments that shine in our memories: a farmer in a rice paddy with a water buffalo; three young girls giggling at us on the beach; the staff at hotels greeting us warm smiles, and the fragrance of mango and jasmine in the air. The Philippines is not the first country people think of when they want to visit Asia. After several visits to the country, I’m convinced that will soon change. Vancouver-based Robin Esrock is the co-host of the OLN/CityTV series Word Travels. You can follow his adventures at SHE CANADA


4 1

5 2

3 6


1 2 3 4 5 6

Betty Boop for LancÔme HypnÔse Star $33 CHANEL Poudre Compacte Route des Indes Summer 2012 $80 Philosphy Ooey Gooey Cookie $21 Ecriture de CHANEL Eyeliner $52 Dior Skin Nude $54 LancÔme La vie est belle starting at $72

By: Myrtle Jurado hen testing makeup samples from beauty counters, be aware that you might be applying a little bit more on your skin than just the perfect foundation shade. A study ran by Good Morning America indicates that most beauty counters, regardless of price point and prestige, change their samples just once a year. And as far as those communal brushes and applicators go, the amount of bacteria found to be growing on them will blow your mind. According to GMA, at least 20% of all of the beauty counter samples tested contained significant growth of harmful substances such as yeast, mold, and worst yet— fecal matter. Think back to your last visit to the makeup counter. It all seemed pretty harmless, but when you factor in the amount of people who probably haven’t washed or sanitized their hands before touching products, or who actually use the products on their eyes, face, and lips without having them sanitized before and after use, the prospect of testing the new Urban Decay lip-gloss can be very disconcerting. Although it would be nice to believe that by now people have realized the importance of proper hygiene, that isn’t always the case. The bacteria that can be found on communal makeup and makeup brushes may lead to skin irritation, rashes, and even sickness. But it doesn’t stop at the beauty counters. Old, expired makeup that is still circulating in your makeup routine could be just as harmful. And although it might be hard to finally dispose of that discontinued perfect red lipstick, you might want to reconsider for your own health. In case you aren’t aware of the expiration date on your makeup, below is a list of products and their average time of expiration:

Mascara – 3 months Concealer – 6-12 months Eyeshadow – 1 year Powder Blush – 1 year Cream Blush – 6-12 months Liquid Eyeliner – 6 months Eyeliner and Lipliner – 2 years Lipstick – 1 year Lipgloss – 18-24 months Moisturizers and Skin Care – 1-2 years Here are some SHE recommended tips to stay safe: 1. Know what it is you are looking for before entering the store—that way you will minimize what you are trying on. 2. While many cosmetics chains offer disposable wands and sponge applicators, you don’t know how many customers before you double dipped into the tester. 3. Any product that you try using your finger is a red-flag—stay away! 4. Even with a disposable applicator for eye products like eyeliner and eye shadow, only use your hand to test the colours. Your eyes are sensitive and will get infected if the product is contaminated. 5. Test your foundation on your neck as opposed to your face that could result in the spread of infection. 6. When testing lipstick, apply only to your wrist. 7. Testing mascara is never a good idea—ask for a description instead 8. Opt for a store’s return policy. If you’re not happy with the product, you can always take it back.





Salon & Spa: Living a True Canadian Dream


hen I was a child I had a fixation on my hair. Having been cursed abnormally kinky and unruly hair for a young South Asian girl, I made it my mission to tame every last strand into place. By the time I had hit my teens, highlights or “streaks” as they were known, were all the rage. As many fellow ravenhaired beauties know, bleaching the black out of one’s hair is not only damaging, it also proves immensely ineffective. In my early hair-dye experiments, efforts to go ash blonde resulted in something closer to Ronald McDonald-orange (or brass depending on who you asked).

It was during my late teens I discovered there was a better way to dye my type of hair. After envying an underclassman’s tresses for years (every other month she would show up to school with a fresh, new colour, each time more dazzling than the last), I had to know where she got it done. As it turns out, it was none other than her cousin, Jean Saliba owner of Jean Nicola Salon & Spa.   From my first visit to see Jean over a decade ago, I knew I was hooked for life. All those words you hear the models and celebrities of the moment cooing about in L’Oreal commercials like luminosity, depth and dimension finally became tangible when I saw his work. He even creates his own line of colours available exclusively at Jean Nicola.   Although on the outside, the cozy cottage that is home to the salon off the corner of Kennedy and 401 seems like your run-of-the-mill luxury day spa, it has a backstory worthy of a blockbuster movie. After spending innumerable hours at Jean Nicola over the years, I’ve really come to know Saliba as a person and friend.   Born in Libya in the 1970s to Lebanese parents, Saliba’s family relocated back to Lebanon when he was a young boy. Having lived through some of the most violent decades known to the Lebanese people, Saliba recalls the 1982 War in detail. “Pretty much we had to live accordingly to the war and killing. We had no water, no electricity. It was pretty tough growing up to that especially as a little kid. Seeing your friends was hard. One day you see them, then something would happen. It’s sad growing up with that.” Saliba lost many loved ones in the civil war including a brother and for a good portion of the 1980s was forced to live underground in hiding from the combat. “We all lived underground. In the morning, you would see a building in front of you. In the afternoon you would come back and only half of it would be there. The safest place to be was underground.” He would only leave his bunker to collect necessities like gas, food and water.   Eventually he and his family were able to escape to Canada via Syria and Cyprus. One had to have connections in wartime to do so, and luckily a Canadian aunt stepped in to help. Saliba and his family entered Canada in the 1990s under refugee status and began to build a new life. Having survived a war “definitely makes you appreciate what you have,” Saliba says. “It makes you stronger, and smarter, and believe it or not, it makes you more successful because you know what you have.”   Jean Nicola Salon & Spa may be a success today, but Saliba initially was not even considering a career in hair styling. As a teenager he took a part-time job at Medoro’s Hair Design, the

Ajax-based salon where another brother of his worked. Although he took the job to both pass time and make a few extra bucks, he surprised everyone with his talent. “On the weekend I was going with my brother to work and that’s how I discovered I was good at what I was doing. His clients would ask him if it was okay for me to do their hair and my brother would be like, ‘well, no he doesn’t have his license yet.’” Of course, that changed quickly.   Soon Saliba was the head stylist at the salon’s Toronto location at Kennedy and Ellesmere. His client Rolodex continued to grow and as time went on, he found himself able to buyout his employer and Medoro’s soon became his. Initially he didn’t change the name because of the red tape preventing him from doing so, but everything came to a head when his lease expired. If he decided to relocate, it would be a fresh start for his business but his landlord was on his case to renew. His own distraction by the situation turned out to be serendipitous. “I was on my way home one day, I wanted to get on the highway and I totally missed [Highway] 401 thinking about the lease. And I never go anywhere north of the 401 because I lived in Richmond Hill at the time. I went straight to the light and as I’m making a u-turn, I see this little house right in front of me that had a “FOR SALE” sign. So I called and made an appointment with the realtor. When I saw the place it was a dump. Inside, the windows were all broken. There was water damage everywhere. No ceiling. The roof was halfway down. But I had a vision. I’ve seen a house as a hair salon before and I loved the idea of it. So I turned it into a hair salon. It took a while to get the construction done— about six months or so. But it happened.”   And as they say, the rest is history. Saliba has been in his current location for six years now and could not be happier. He turned the second floor of the house into a serene day spa, while the ground floor remained reserved strictly for hair. In recent years, Saliba has added another USP to his business—he is now one of the few Toronto salons to offer full hair extension services. His decision to branch out came to a head when a very loyal client of his was diagnosed with cancer. She had completed a round of chemotherapy and in the process lost a good deal of hair. She came to Saliba with the hope of restoring her old look with extensions. To fulfill her wish, Saliba took a course on hair extensions attachment. He loved that it looked completely natural on her and that she wouldn’t have to remove it like she would a hairpiece, so he kept offering the service to other clients. Now women come to him from across the province specifically for his work.   Saliba is worlds away from his childhood. When asked if he’s returned to Lebanon since immigrating to Canada, to my surprise he says he goes back every year. Although it will never be the utopia Canada is to him, it is still his home and responsible for who he is today. Although moving, his past is not unique. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homelands for a better life on Canadian soil. What separated Saliba from the rest was his ability to take a risk and believe in himself. “You will never get anywhere in life if you’re scared. You’ve got to take a chance. If you’re sure of your work, if you put hours into your work, I can’t see it not working. Anything you put your mind to. You’ve got to stay positive. Have a vision.” With two young daughters of his own, Alessandra and Cristiana, he has a whole new generation with whom to share his memories of his past and also to make memories for the future. SHE CANADA


1. Dear SHE, I am constantly torn about my outfit choices because of my very strict parents! I am not allowed to wear short skirts, or anything that reveals too much. I have tried persuading my parents to bend their rules a bit but had absolutely zero luck. I have a feeling while I am living with them; I’m going to have to follow their strict dress code. I personally don’t mind dressing conservatively; I do feel more comfortable that way but I’m not AS conservative as my parents. In the colder months, this is not a problem but during holiday parties and hot weather I have a hard time picking something to wear that is somewhat conservative. Any advice would be SO appreciated! Cover Girl Dear Cover Girl, I feel your pain. When I was in high school, make-up was my thing and let me tell you, I was experimental! One day I came down with red eye shadow on and my mother told me I looked like a clown and to take it off immediately. Looking back in retrospect, I’m glad she did! It must not have been pretty. I would suggest trying to see things from your parents’ point of view. We’re lucky to live in a place like Canada where pretty much anything goes in terms of what’s acceptable dress. Please do keep in mind just because your friends’ parents allow them to leave the house wearing a tube dress and heels it doesn’t necessarily mean they look good. There are many ways to dress modestly yet stylishly. Here are some tips— look at what’s on the runway for the Fall/Winter season. Now that Fall is in full swing, covering up is not just en vogue, it’s necessary for the Canadian winter. Colourful tights will not only keep you warm but will look super chic under a pleated skirt and oversized sweater. Many of my industry friends say Fall is their favourite time of year because it’s the ideal season to rock the best fashion possible. When the weather gets a little warmer, switch to cooler fabrics like cotton and looser fits to keep cool yet conservative. Dressing conservatively will not only give you the opportunity to make more fashionable choices but those around you will respect you more for doing so. 2. Dear SHE,


I am in my last year of high school and plan to go to a great university next year. But before I start doing my applications I don’t know whether I should apply to places away from home or close to home. My parents are ok with both but have promised to buy me a car if I stay at home. My mom especially really wants me to stay at home with them; I’m an only child so I think they will be bored without me! I’m so confused because both options sound tempting. I have never really been away from home on an exchange or anything and actually love my house. All my friends are planning different things; everyone seems to be going everywhere, some want to stay at home and some want to leave but I seem to be the only one who has NO idea what I should do! Homebody Dear Homebody, Believe it or not, every high school senior deals with this exact same dilemma. Regardless of what you’re pursuing academically, if your hometown has exactly what you’re looking for in terms of educational programs, your parents’ argument for you to stay home is further


strengthened. That being said, the college experience is a completely different one if you do choose to leave home. Having experienced the out-of-town version of undergrad myself, I can tell you moving out on your own for the first time is overwhelming. For the first few weekends all I wanted to do was go home to my parents’ house and I even cried when I dropped my best friend off at the VIA Rail station after her visit over Thanksgiving. These feelings of anxiety and loneliness will pass by the end of first semester and you’ll begin to wonder how you were ever able to live at home full time. By involving yourself in activities that are dear to you (whether it be intermural sports or student politics) you will meet a ton of new friends who share similar interests. Moreover, there really is nothing like learning to appreciate your own company as well, and with the escalated course load you will be sure to discover in university, you’ll need some alone time. Besides, if after a year or so you do not find yourself adjusting to this lifestyle, you can always return home. Universities require a minimal GPA of 3.0 to transfer—very do-able. But by not allowing yourself a shot at early adulthood independence, you could be missing out on discovering who you really are. 3. Dear SHE, I have been noticing that my best friend since grade 4 has been lying a lot to me lately about her plans. We have been friends for over 15 years now and I only realized this over the last year or so. The lies are fairly common and it seems like she is avoiding me. I try to make plans with her to go out like we normally do but I always get excuses and frankly I am sick and tired of making all the effort. I call her and text her and she takes a few days to reply. When I ask her why she is being so distant, she lies about her whereabouts and why she didn’t reply, and I’ve actually caught her in her lies to me. She says everything is fine and it’s just her “chaotic life” but she seems to have time for other people but not me. I am almost at the point of giving this friendship up but I really don’t want to, what should I do? She’s Just Not That Into Me Dear Into Me This is bizarre—but if I do the math you would be in your early 20s, correct? These days one’s youth has stretched far past the teenage years and ends well into adulthood. That being said, you must understand that friendships and relationships will go through many changes during this period. Studies show children have an easier time making friends then adults and as we grow older, our friend circles tend to shrink into relationships of convenience. Retrace what it is that made you friends to begin with. Do you still share the same interests? Now before you go and end your lifelong best friendship, have you thought to directly ask her what the problem is? For all you know, she may in fact be very tied up with family or work commitments. Let her in on your insecurities and if that isn’t enough for her to give you a straight answer, put some space between the two of you. Busy yourself with friends who do have the time and one of two things will happen: one, she will resurface and it is your call whether or not you want the friendship to continue or two, she will drift away and you will have no other option but to press on without her friendly support. Or lack thereof. But at the end of the day, do you really need to be around someone you have to beg to have coffee with?

“LISA is a fantastic reader. She accurately pinpoints where you’re at and where you’re heading. She’s direct and to the point. She provides clarity where there is indecision.“ -- Joelle, BC April 20th to May 20th You will connect with the energies around you and people around you too. These will help deal with any complex situation that you may be in this month. Remember, you are not alone so don’t be afraid to ask for help, it will save you time and energy but most of all it will offset stress.

November 22nd to December 21st You’re feeling lost and confused. Whatever you try to accomplish seems to be tearing at the seams but it’s just a little set back. This is your month to make changes. Start over and stand up for what you believe and don’t be scared - you can do it!

May 21st to June 20th Life takes a turn this month. You are likely to feel that everyone is relying on you for advice and direction and it’s overwhelming, but don’t be negative about these situations. It will get better if you hang in there.

December 22nd to January 19th Love seems to be right where you need it, so now you can finally focus on your career. There are many changes coming this year that will brighten your horizons and set you on the right path.

June 21st to July 22nd This month you are more sensitive than usual and you may be feeling all alone. This is just a state of mind, you are not alone, and your friends have been waiting for you to reach out to them. So, surround yourself with friends and loved ones and you will feel much better and stronger. Good luck.

January 20th to February 18th Finances are getting low; you need to start thinking about investment. Talk to a broker and see what your options are. The coming year is the time for less spending and more saving, and there seems to be a new member of the family on their way, so get ready! February 19th to march 20th A new love comes barging in that you didn’t anticipate but take the time to see where this is going. It looks like a new beginning and a long lasting relationship. Something you have been waiting for and your time is finely here. March 21st to April 19th It’s wonderful to feel appreciated and loved but you can’t help that there are friends, family or co-workers who want to stick their noses into your relationship business. You feel like as soon as you’re happy everyone has an opinion.

Services Include: reuniting loved ones, aura cleansing, bringing happiness, peace of mind, palm readings, dream interpretations, picture readings and more.

July 23rd to August 22nd Time, time, time, something you don’t have on your side. You have been waiting too long to put your life in order and now your time is up. Winter is coming and you need to change the things that are going awry around you and clean up. Out with the old and in with the new. August 23rd to September 22nd Family and friends are feeling that you’re spending too much time on work and not enough time with them. They are right, take time for your loved ones. The present workload is not going to change—it will always be there. September 23rd to October 22nd Even if the path before you looks wonderful don’t charge forward until you are really certain about where you want to go. Appearances can be deceiving; some things look better than they really are. So don’t be fooled, take your time, you will get there. Fools rush in. You were born to be a leader not a follower.

AS SEEN IN Lisa has the powerful knowledge in negative reversal and can help you overcome all problems.

There is no problem too big or too small she can’t handle. Lisa will call out your issues one by one without asking a single question. She has helped people from all walks of life worldwide; don’t be fooled by other Psychics giving false hope! Lisa tells you what she sees not what you want to hear! If you are ready for the truth, Lisa the psychic is for you! Don’t stay stressed! Help is a phone call away! Office 416-972-5000*ALL CALLS ARE 100% CONFIDENTIAL*WALK IN WELCOME – 475 BLOOR ST. WEST (WEST OF SPADINA) SHE CANADA





SHE Canada November 2012  
SHE Canada November 2012  

In the November issue of SHE, we interview Nadia Ali, revel in London design company Mawi and speak with Oscar Winner Sharmeetn Obaid-Chinoy...