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When did we break up with the fashion editorial?



Week after week, Instep goes through hundreds, if not thousands, of fashion and style images, and finds itself decidedly unexcited more than half the time. Is Pakistan’s romance with high fashion over?

Do you remember the first time, when as a child, you tasted mint for the first time? In the 1980s, Polo was a curiosity. What was this flavor, so sharp, cool, bright like starlight in your mouth?

40 odd years later, mint may remain a favorite taste, but has lost its luminescence.

Pakistani fashion may not be comparable to mint at all, but the more style evolves in the country, the demurer our fashion houses and retail brands seem to be with their presentation. While in 1986, a heavily-kohled, red-lipped Atiya Khan might have stirred emotions and imaginations, including those of the far right, in 2022, we’ve seen it all and done it all and everyone has an established sense of what they want to see more or less of.

When did the fashion editorial become a luxury we can no longer afford? We have seen fashion shoots in Pakistan’s print from the times when it was just Teejay’s, Generation, Sundip, to when fashion giants like Maheen Khan and Rizwan Beyg made their presence known. ‘90s lightheartedness brought with it fun street shoots, with models enjoying breezy phone calls on Telecard payphones, or the stark minimalism of neutrals shot against a plain background. All modern, all fun, all about the post-‘80s buoyancy.

The 2000s saw incredible photographers like Rizwanul Haq and Kohi Marri join the ranks of fashion and art photographers like Tapu Javeri, Arif Mahmood, Khawar Riaz and Ather Shehzad.

Photography was going digital. There were so many more ways to manipulate light. There was great work to be done in and out of the studio. The fashion was constantly challenging us to keep up, the styling of shoots – whether dark or more bubblegum pop – demanded attention. Post-edits were a ‘thing’. For fashion in Pakistan, the previous decade proved to be more fertile.

As the years have worn on though, we have to say that while the fashion has evolved, become more forward-looking, even more accessible, it has become more goal-oriented. The goal, of course, is to make sure experiments have more finesse, and the top and bottom lines are aligned. This means, brands have to make more sales. To make more sales, of which digital transactions saw a 45% growth in the last year in Pakistan (source:, landing cumulative sales at almost $5.9 billion, brands must, and should, focus on ensuring their customers know what they’re buying. For that, we will need to see a front, back, profile and detail shot. And since that is where we want to grow the market, some – or most – brands will be content just putting out a technically correct, aesthetically pleasing catalog shoot of their wares.

Stylist Tabesh Khoja expands on this: “I have suggested to different designers to make a capsule collection and build a shoot around it, but I’m usually told ‘no’. They’re fine with what they’re putting out as long as it is getting sold.”

Khoja collaborated with designer Adnan Pardesy just recently for an editorial featuring denim. The initiative wasn’t Pardesy’s as one expected, but Khoja’s, who prompted the designer to create a few pieces for an editorial he had in mind.

“As people in the public eye, I feel like we have to kind of lead by example. When I curate my own Insta feed, I will make sure I’m putting out what my style, or my ‘brand’ if I may, is. Doesn’t it make sense for actual fashion labels to do the same?”

Here the debate forks into two different paths: one is digital curation to establish brand identity, the other, of how brands present their actual product. Some labels – albeit not couture brands – have remained committed to revitalizing their look and feel to fit the consumer they are catering to. Outfitters is a great example of this. Always a youthful label, in the last few years the retail fashion brand has changed the visual language, and actual language to communicate with the demographic they’re focusing on. The bright and shiny images of 10 years ago have been replaced with moody sets, moodier models, and a definite shift towards more androgynous looks.

Then there is the digital curation: if you haven’t already seen it, GENERATION’s Khadija Rehman has a gorgeous Instagram presence, with carefully composed grids and beautiful individual images. Similarly, photographer Tapu Javeri’s Instagram is bright and light: travel photos, fashion throwbacks, casual hangs. Without knowing either in any depth, you can easily pick on Rehman’s very artistic bent, and Javeri’s adventurous, tongue-in-cheek one.

Javeri has had perhaps more than everyone’s share of fun and creativity in fashion, his career beginning with more notable arcs in Pakistan’s fashion history. His work has gone from glam to experimental to really taking to digital manipulation. Of course his Instagram is stunning.

What you won’t really see anymore is a fashion shoot by Tapu Javeri. Javeri is very clear on the fact that fashion editorials have ceased to exist, and the reasons why as well.

“It’s simple,” says Javeri. “Print isn’t exactly around to support the kinds of visuals that a fashion editorial is made of. I have recently seen a very good-looking issue of Destinations Magazine, so if we get more of that kind of platform, the editorial might just make a comeback.”

Along with brands being able to sell online, photographers, stylists, and makeup artists can now also publish their own work. Work done off-assignment will always be freer and bear more of the artist’s mark than a client’s. If we quickly look up fashion photographers currently on major social platforms, we will find their work beautiful, but won’t see a similar quality in the formal shoots that are put forward.

Labels like Rastah will still take a chance with an offbeat shoot; a well-established couture designer with one iron in the retail fire will prefer to catalog.

“In recent years the ‘campaigns’ that are shot are for lawn,” says Javeri, “after you’ve done a few, you’re done. Me, Arif (Mahmood), we are sort of done with that kind of work.” Javeri does point out that he shot one of Wardha Saleem’s latest campaigns because it was offering a different look at locations in Pakistan.

That said, if we are to pay attention to Aamna Isani, Pakistan’s foremost authority on fashion, there are plenty of fashion editorials still being shot.

“Lots of stylists working with younger photographers would disagree that editorial shoots have died,” she says. “Lawn brands would insist that they spend millions on the creative development of their annual summer lawn shoots. At the end of the day, the editorial shoot looks dead because fashion innovation is dead.”

Isani has a point, but again, just because a shoot’s cost went into millions, doesn’t mean it was fashion forward in any way. Even beautifully shot in the most exotic surroundings, a lawn catalog remains a catalog.

As print becomes somewhat secondary to digital, though not completely, younger creatives do want to work untethered and promote their style on their own terms. There are a lot more people spilling into all creative fields, and they demand fair compensation for their work. Fashion or photography or styling is no longer a side hustle: it’s a full-time career.

Ultimately though, as Tapu Javeri puts it, “all creativity needs an outlet. I don’t like looking at things on Instagram myself, unless I must, and then too it’s on my iPad. That 2×2 pane somehow doesn’t have the pull of seeing your work – or anyone else’s – in print. So, you never know.”

Khoja is a little more unforgiving.

“There are still creative people who want to work on more creative projects,” he says. “We don’t need a fashion glossy to put out the kind of work that we want to do. We can put it online, or we can find likeminded cohorts who will find a way to give the work a solid presence.”

This may seem like a lot of bellyaching just because brands are being smart with their assets and capital, and putting them into worthy endeavors like bigger stores, or a more persistent digital media presence, but it comes from a place of love.

For anyone who has ever looked at and to a Vogue, Elle, or ever Cosmopolitan with devotion, catalog-style editorials are – how can one put this eloquently – just sad. We want to see the clothes, but we also want to see the essence of the brand, the soul of the clothes, be compelled to replicate that look, know what to aim for when we are in that mood, and sometimes just to look at another artist’s work. Fashion is aspirational, sure, but it is more inspirational, at least to the masses, and we need a source point to understand what every turn and curve means. Yes, there are bigger problems in the world, but you still gotta dress up to face them, right?

While fashion in Pakistan has evolved, become more forward-looking, even more accessible, it has become more goal-oriented. The goal, of course, is to make sure experiments have more finesse, and the top and bottom lines are aligned. This means, brands have to make more sales. And since that is where we want to grow the market, some – or most – brands will be content just putting out a technically correct, aesthetically pleasing catalog shoot of their wares.

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Trader Joe’s: A Unique Grocery Shopping Experience



Trader Joe's: A Unique Grocery Shopping Experience

Discover the unparalleled shopping experience at Trader Joe’s, a renowned grocery store chain offering a wide range of high-quality products at affordable prices. Explore the diverse selection, innovative offerings, and friendly atmosphere that make Trader Joe’s a favorite destination for food enthusiasts.

Introduction: Welcome to Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s has revolutionized the grocery shopping industry with its distinctive approach to retail. With a commitment to providing unique and high-quality products, Trader Joe’s has garnered a loyal following of customers who are eager to explore the ever-changing assortment of items on their shelves. In this article, we will delve into the world of Trader Joe’s and explore the reasons why it stands out from the competition.

Trader Joe’s: A Shopper’s Paradise

A Haven for Food Enthusiasts

Trader Joe’s is more than just a grocery store; it’s a paradise for food enthusiasts. With an extensive selection of gourmet and specialty items sourced from around the world, Trader Joe’s caters to the discerning palate. From unique snacks and appetizers to artisanal cheeses and decadent desserts, there’s always something new and exciting to discover at Trader Joe’s.

Unbeatable Prices and Value

One of the hallmarks of Trader Joe’s is its commitment to providing exceptional value to its customers. While the store offers a wide range of high-quality products, it manages to keep its prices affordable. This combination of quality and value is what sets Trader Joe’s apart from its competitors, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious shoppers.

A Neighborhood Vibe

Step into any Trader Joe’s, and you’ll immediately notice the warm and welcoming atmosphere. With friendly staff members who are always ready to assist you, shopping at Trader Joe’s feels like a visit to your neighborhood store. The company prides itself on fostering a sense of community and creating an enjoyable shopping experience for its customers.

Exploring Trader Joe’s Selection

A Cornucopia of Fresh Produce

Trader Joe’s offers an impressive selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, sourced from trusted suppliers. Whether you’re in search of everyday staples or exotic produce, Trader Joe’s has you covered. From crisp apples to vibrant heirloom tomatoes, their produce section boasts a colorful array of options that will inspire any home cook.

Delightful Dairy and Cheese Selection

Cheese lovers rejoice! Trader Joe’s is renowned for its diverse selection of cheeses from around the world. From creamy Brie to tangy blue cheese, you’ll find a range of flavors and textures to suit your taste buds. Pair your favorite cheese with their assortment of crackers and you’re in for a treat.

International Flavors Galore

At Trader Joe’s, you can embark on a global culinary adventure without leaving the store. Their shelves are stocked with a wide variety of international ingredients and products, allowing you to explore different cuisines and expand your culinary horizons. Whether you’re in the mood for Thai curry, Italian pasta, or Indian spices, Trader Joe’s has everything you need to create authentic and flavorful dishes.

Unique and Innovative Offerings

One of the reasons why Trader Joe’s is so beloved is its constant introduction of unique and innovative products. The store takes pride in being a trendsetter in the grocery industry, and customers eagerly anticipate the arrival of new items. From seasonal treats to unexpected flavor combinations, Trader Joe’s never fails to surprise and delight its customers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What makes Trader Joe’s different from other grocery stores?

Trader Joe’s stands out from other grocery stores due to its unique selection of products, unbeatable prices, and friendly atmosphere. The store offers an exciting array of gourmet and specialty items, all at affordable prices,making it a destination for food enthusiasts. Additionally, Trader Joe’s prides itself on creating a neighborhood vibe with its welcoming staff and sense of community.

2. Does Trader Joe’s offer organic and healthy options?

Yes, Trader Joe’s is known for its commitment to offering a wide range of organic and healthy options. The store carries a variety of organic produce, as well as organic dairy products, meats, and pantry staples. In addition, Trader Joe’s has a selection of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian products to cater to different dietary preferences and needs.

3. Are Trader Joe’s products affordable compared to other grocery stores?

Yes, Trader Joe’s is renowned for its affordability. While providing high-quality products, Trader Joe’s manages to keep its prices competitive. This combination of quality and value makes it an attractive choice for shoppers looking to get the most out of their budget.

4. Can I find international ingredients and spices at Trader Joe’s?

Absolutely! Trader Joe’s takes pride in offering a diverse range of international ingredients and spices. Whether you’re looking for exotic spices for a specific recipe or unique international snacks, Trader Joe’s has a selection that will satisfy your culinary cravings.

5. Are there any Trader Joe’s branded products?

Yes, Trader Joe’s has its own line of branded products. These Trader Joe’s branded items are carefully curated and developed to meet the company’s high standards for quality and taste. From snacks and pantry staples to frozen meals and beverages, you’ll find a variety of Trader Joe’s branded products throughout the store.

6. Does Trader Joe’s have a return policy?

Yes, Trader Joe’s has a customer-friendly return policy. If you’re not satisfied with a product you’ve purchased, you can return it to the store with a receipt for a full refund. Trader Joe’s aims to ensure customer satisfaction and stands behind the quality of their products.

Conclusion: A Shopping Experience Like No Other

Trader Joe’s offers a shopping experience that is truly unique. With its diverse and high-quality product selection, unbeatable prices, and friendly atmosphere, it has become a favorite destination for food enthusiasts and budget-conscious shoppers alike. Whether you’re searching for everyday essentials, international ingredients, or innovative snacks, Trader Joe’s has something to offer. So, the next time you’re in search of a grocery store adventure, don’t miss out on the vibrant and exciting world of Trader Joe’s.

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Rebbe’s Dollar distribution



Rebbe's Dollar distribution

Uncover the extraordinary story of the Rebbe’s Dollar distribution, a powerful tradition that has transformed lives and inspired acts of kindness across the globe.

The Rebbe’s one-dollar bill, a symbol of charity and compassion, continues to embody the spiritual legacy of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, inspiring countless individuals to embrace a life of giving and kindness.

Every Sunday, people from all walks of life – Jews and non-Jews alike – would line up outside the Rebbe’s residence at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York, eager to receive a dollar bill and a blessing from the Rebbe.

It was a testament to the universal nature of the Rebbe’s message of love, kindness, and the power of good deeds.

The Rebbe would hand out dollar bills to each individual, instructing them to donate the money to a charity of their choice. Through this small act of giving, the Rebbe instilled the value of charity and the potential of a single dollar to create positive change.

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Sustainable Diamonds – What You Need to Know About Lab-Grown Diamonds in NZ



Sustainable Diamonds - What You Need to Know About Lab-Grown Diamonds in NZ

The use of lab grown diamonds NZ in jewellery has been growing rapidly over the last few years. This is because they are eco-friendly, and they cost less than mined diamonds. However, it is essential to understand the differences between a lab-grown and a mined diamond before making a purchase decision.

A Lab-Grown Diamond is a synthetic diamond created by humans in a lab instead of being mined from the ground. They are similar to natural diamonds in almost every way, except that they do not cloud or lose their luster over time.

There are several processes that can be used to grow a diamond in a lab, but the most common ones are High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). These methods are incredibly complex, but they have the same end goal: to replicate the conditions that naturally occur when a diamond grows on the earth’s surface.

Unlike mined diamonds, formed after millions of years of exposure to extreme heat and temperatures within the earth’s crust, lab-grown diamonds are created by scientists in a controlled environment. This allows them to mimic the same physical and chemical properties of natural diamonds, while also being significantly cheaper and environmentally friendly.

How They’re Made

When a diamond seed is placed inside of a sealed chamber, it is pressurized and heated until the carbon particles break down and crystallize into a fully grown diamond. This process is called growing a diamond in a lab, and many companies have done it since the 1960s.

In addition to being more sustainable, lab-grown diamonds are more ethical than mined diamonds because they don’t heavily impact the environment. For example, a study by Frost & Sullivan found that for each carat of diamonds mined using traditional methods, nearly 100 square feet of land is disturbed and more than 5,798 pounds of mineral waste are created.

Another great thing about lab-grown diamonds is that they don’t consume as much water in the making process. This is because the processes involved in creating a mined diamond require significant amounts of water, and they also create a lot of pollution.

This can lead to many issues, including depleted water supplies and environmental calamities. In addition, the soil can be destroyed, and in turn, the land is rendered unusable once mining operations have ceased.

It is also worth noting that lab-grown diamonds don’t contribute to global warming like mined diamonds, as their carbon is sourced from CO2 emissions. This is a very good thing for the planet, and it is one of the major reasons why people are switching to lab-grown diamonds instead of mined diamonds.

If you want to buy a piece of jewellery with a lab-grown diamond, you’ll need to do some research and make sure that you are getting a good deal on the product. You can do this by checking out prices at different retailers and comparing the costs. You can then choose which option is best for you and your budget.

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