Tag Archive: fashion

Celebrity hair stylist Asgar Saboo’s: Top 5 Tips for the Christmas party season

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It's Christmas time! The trees are going up, the decorations are emerging, the jingles are blaring aloud and the Christmas parties are nigh, so what better time to learn of the top hairstyles to steal the show?
Hair stylist to the A-list stars, Asgar Saboo, gives his take on the perfect Christmas hairstyles with in-depth tips to achieving them with exquisite style.

Asgar Saboo, a renowned figure among celebrities and a regular on red carpets, is synonymous with headline grabbing, style-worthy hair. He is trusted by supermodels Cindy Crawford and Twiggy, Hollywood actress Eva Longoria, as well as A-list stars including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone and legend Rekha.

His name is tantamount with cutting-edge and sophisticated hairstyles and his hair creations have been showcased at glittering premieres, showbiz events and multiple awards ceremonies.

Asgar is famed for the headline grabbing hairstyle he created for Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan, which has been the inspiration for Hrithik Roshan's wax work figure at London's prestigious Madame Tussauds. The UK based hair maestro has worked his magic on scores of celebrities and dignitaries the world over, making the front covers of several leading fashion magazines and item publications.



Half up, Half down

The half up, half down hairstyle is a favourite of the celebrities and goes perfectly with a white dress. It's important to find the right balance between the up and down divide at the back of the hair, keeping the correct ratio at all times. Traditionally, a higher divide is associated with a slightly more casual look, whereas a lower divide is considered to be smarter.

Top Tips: Firstly, separate the top half of your hair from the bottom half, securing it with a hair tie. It's imperative to keep the ponytail tight as you go back and gently tug on the top of the hair to give it some volume. You can then tease the tail, slightly near the base of the elastic and twist it around the base before securing the bun with a few bobby pins. To finish, adjust the divide to the shape that you want.



Christmas Updo With Curls

As elegant as they come, the Christmas updo with curls is extremely classy and oozes sophistication.

Despite the fact it is one of the more time consuming hairstyles, the rewards will pay dividends as you take centre stage, not just as the talk of the party, but as the talk of the town.

Top Tips: Curl the hair either using an iron or hot rollers. You can then take out your face framing bangs and pin the rest of the curls to the back of the head. To give your look leverage, back-comb the top of the hair so that is adds volume. You can then finish the look by adding any pretty hair accessories such as a braided headband. Remember, pin the curls wherever you see fit – there is no exact science to this.



Red-Carpet waves

Straight from the red carpet, waves are compatible with both casual and smart clothes.

Top Tips (Natural Waves): Prepare your hair for styling by applying a product that is designed to bring out natural waves to wet hair. There are a variety of mousses and other products that will give you hold, but not leave the hair feeling crunchy. To help give your waves some extra bounce, it helps to hold your head upside down or to the side as you blow dry. This helps prevent your hair from getting weighed down as it dries.

If you want added volume, you can try lifting your roots with duckbill hair clips before you begin blow drying. Simply divide the top layer of your hair into sections and put a clip under each section, angling it into the roots. This will help create some extra lift as your hair dries.

Top Tips (Straight Hair): If you have naturally straight hair but you want to use your blow dryer to add some waves, you will need to add product, such as sea salt spray, to give it some texture and allow it to hold the waves. Try experimenting with different products to find one that works for your hair. While your hair is still very wet, use your blow dryer to dry the roots. Positioning it so that the air pushes your hair up will create some volume.

Try using the flat nozzle attachment on your blow dryer for this step, as it will focus more air on your roots.

You can also use duckbill clips to add some lift to your roots. Use them to clip up small sections of your hair, angling the clips towards the roots from underneath. This will give you added volume when your hair dries.

Using the diffuser attachment for your blow dryer on a cool, low speed setting, gently scrunch your hair. Depending on the texture of your hair, you may want to apply more texturising spray and/or a finishing product to ward off frizz.




Perhaps the most simple yet effective of the party looks, the ponytail is the quickest look to perfect and will also stay intact throughout the night.

Top Tips: Firstly, give your hair some texture by adding some dry shampoo or hairspray in order to sustain your look throughout the night. Then pull your hair up towards the crown of your head and pull your hair up (not back!). Holding the ponytail in place with one hand, brush out any bumps with the other hand to ensure a smooth ponytail. Once you have found the perfect placement, it's time to take your elastic and secure the hair in place. To keep it in place, take one inch of hair from the underside and wrap it around the hair elastic. You can then secure the hair with a bobby pin to hide the elastic. For some added volume and texture, tease the ponytail with a fine-tooth comb, gently combing hair upwards and towards the front.



Classic Updo

A voluminous deconstructed chignon will forever be the peak of relaxed romantic elegance and one of the most timeless updo styles.

Top Tips: Start with clean, damp hair and blow dry with a diffuser. Once the hair is completely dry, backcomb at the root and sweep it all back into a low loose ponytail either behind the neck or to the side. Grab pieces of the pony at random; twisting and pinning them upwards to the head; until all of the loose hair has been gathered up to form a chignon. Slide fingers under the hair and gently lift to loosen the hold and add volume to the styling. Pull out some strands to frame the face and finish with a sweeping of medium hold hairspray.



Most Stylish Trendsetters of the year

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STYLISH: Alia Bhatt and Apeksha Patel on stage

STYLISH: Alia Bhatt and Apeksha Patel on stage


Deal Global Fashion Pvt Ltd in association with HT Most Stylish awarded Abhishek Bachchan and Alia Bhatt as the HT 'Most Stylist Male and Female Trendsetters' of the year. Vibrant patterns along with light and bright colours ruled the ramp. Other celebrities spotted on the red carpet were Amitabh Bachchan, Jitendra Kapoor, John Abraham, Asha Parekh, Randheer Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Kajol, Ajay Devgan, Jacky Shroff, Varun Dhawan Sidharth Malhotra, Anushka Sharma, Rani Mukharji, Dipika Padukone, Tapsee Pannu, Soumya Tandon, Kailash Kher, Prachi Desai, Isha Gupta, Shradha Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Ayushman Khurana and Mandira Bedi.  


Desi couture showcases with flair

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India, Pakistan & London Fashion Show merges design, artisty and culture

A magnanimous entry onto London’s high-fashion scene has been made by Indian, Pakistani and British talent, who showcased creations influenced by heritage and design from Asia.

The India, Pakistan and London Fashion show (IPL Fashion) celebrated a special part of an epic industry merging global trends with style, fabric and current collections from the sub-continent. The events, which took place at the iconic Gibson Hall, brought the finest concept fashion venture, amalgamating design, artistry and culture from the East and West, to UK shores.

A symbolic concept that boasts luxury and celebrates the pure form of couture, IPL Fashion is unique in that it shone a spotlight upon the grandeur of the three distinct countries, allowing attendees to come up-close and personal with their favourite designers and stars in one city, London, a melting pot of diversity and inclusivity.

Brainchild of Gurbani Kaur, the launch of IPL Fashion has been a great success. She said: “We started this journey as an experimental offering of the luxurious South Asian culture and fashion to international audiences, which has now blossomed into an exciting high concept fashion venture.

“As a boutique event, we work towards showcasing the very best, handpicked designers of fashion brands offering bespoke designs to an elite audience. IPL Fashion 2017 is a continuation of the celebration of a special cultural relationship shared between the UK, India and Pakistan in an epic industry.

“We have had a phenomenal response thus far to the show and look forward to giving our attendees the opportunity to sample the latest in cutting edge design and fashion from the East and West.”

Fashion parade for Pakistan’s 70th

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LUXURY PRET: 70 years of Pakistan’s style evolution with leading designers to be celebrated (Photo Credit Nas Din)

LUXURY PRET: 70 years of Pakistan’s style evolution with leading designers to be celebrated (Photo Credit Nas Din)

An exclusive event showcasing Pakistani bridal and luxury prêt collections, to an audience of Britain’s South Asians elites, is set to take centre stage at London’s historic former church, One Marylebone.

The who’s who from industries of fashion, media, business and finance will come together for an inaugural Fashion Parade Bride & Luxury Prêt, which celebrates 70 years of Pakistan’s style evolution on Monday 6th February 2017.

Some of Pakistan’s leading designers will be feature collections on the catwalk, including Nilofer Shahid, Nomi Ansari, HSY, Shamaeel Ansari, Maria B, Faiza Samee, Saira Rizwan, Rani Emaan, Seher Tareen, Tena Durrani and Sherezad Jewellery. Hair and makeup by the dynamic duo, Aamir and Ambreen will complete each bridal look with a flawless finish.

FASHION PARADE: Sadia Siddiqui launched her first fashion event five years ago, presenting luxury South Asian couture to a British audiences

FASHION PARADE: Sadia Siddiqui launched her first fashion event five years ago, presenting luxury South Asian couture to a British audiences

For the first time in the history of Fashion Parade (FP), consumers can purchase the showcasing designers collections via Studio by TCS, the headline sponsor of Fashion Parade Bride, and an exciting new fashion portal.

Fashion Parade is the brainchild of entrepreneur Sadia Siddiqui, who launched her first fashion event five years ago, presenting luxury South Asian couture to a British audience.

Fashion Parade Bride is the newest addition to the FP platform. "I created FP four years ago with the view of promoting Asian designers on a quality platform targeted to an international audience,” explains Sadia.

“Pakistan's fashion industry has come a long way in the last 70 years, with Pakistani designers at par with some of the worlds best.

“The design philosophy and ethics in Pakistan today reflect its culture and heritage, and combining an international appeal.

“It is an honour and privilege for me to showcase Pakistan's leading and emerging designers to an international audience on the FP platform, with an aim to get Asian and in particular, Pakistani fashion recognised and appreciated on an international level."

One Marylebone is a Grade I listed building and one of London’s most historic sites. It was chosen to host the inaugural Fashion Parade Bride in this milestone year to combine English heritage and Pakistani culture, as FP commemorates Pakistan's Independence.

Mustang Productions has partnered with the British Asian Trust, a charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales to transform lives in South Asia. The funds raised during Fashion Parade Bride will go towards life-changing programmes in the Trust’s children’s projects.

‘Give a Girl a Future’: British Asian Trust launches appeal at exclusive fashion event

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‘Rise On The Runway’ features prominent fashion brands Raishma and Lucy Choi London, with acid attack survivors Laxmi and Adele gracing the catwalk.

‘Rise On The Runway’ features prominent fashion brands Raishma and Lucy Choi London, with acid attack survivors Laxmi and Adele gracing the catwalk.

The British Asian Trust, the UK’s leading organisation for British Asian philanthropy, launched it’s first public appeal, Give a Girl a Future at an exclusive pre-London Fashion Week fashion event on Monday 12th September.

In partnership with the GMSP Foundation, organizers hosted a gala evening at the Waldorf Hilton, which was graced by acid attack survivors Laxmi and Adele. The two brave women inspired the room with an appearance on the catwalk, which also saw collections showcased by leading designers Raishma and Lucy Choi London.

During the event, the British Asian Trust, which is also one of The Prince’s charities, launched it’s first appeal video for Give a Girl a Future, featuring chart topping music producer Naughty Boy, British TV stars Anita Rani and Sanjeev Bhaskar, Bollywood icon Anil Kapoor and British actor Ray Panthaki.

British Asian Trust ambassador Laila Rouass, British singer Sonique and ex-West Indian cricketer Carlos Braithwaite also attended.

The funds raised from the event will be donated to the Trust’s Give a Girl a Future appeal, with every £1 donated matched by the UK Government. Matched donations from the UK Government will support girls, women and their families across Pakistan in livelihood projects.

The GMSP foundation, set up by Ramesh and Pratibha Sachdev, invests in immediate needs and long-term mindset change with a focus is women and girls who they believe are the engine of social change.

The Give a Girl a Future campaign is aiming to transform the lives of 100,000 girls, women and their families in South Asia through a campaign that will see the UK Government match all donations by members of the UK public made before 7th December.

In some rural areas, 94 women in every 100 have no work and even those with work, may earn as little as 17p per day. With no skills or hope the brutal reality for thousands of girls born into poverty in South Asia is that they have no real future.

Money from the UK Government will support girls and women in Pakistan to access the skills they need to secure a sustainable livelihood.

Speaking at the event, Richard Hawkes, CEO, British Asian Trust said: “Tonight’s event in partnership with GMSP Foundation is a unique night of fashion and a chance to share the stories of vulnerable women in South Asia.

“Our first public appeal ‘Give a Girl a Future’ aims to transform the lives of girls, women and their families in South Asia and this will be an opportunity to raise funds to support the appeal and unlock the potential of a new generation.”

Donations to the British Asian Trust before 7th December 2016 will support some of the poorest people in South Asia. The UK Government will match all donations up to a maximum of £5 million during the appeal. This match funding will be used to give girls a future in Pakistan by supporting them to get the skills and opportunities they need to secure a sustainable livelihood.

New direction: Zayn designs Urdu inspired fashion line

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SOMETHING HE WOULD WEAR: Every item that Zayn designed is something he would wear himself

SOMETHING HE WOULD WEAR: Every item that Zayn designed is something he would wear himself

Zayn Malik has released a trendy new fashion line which features Urdu artwork.

The former One Direction singer has launched his 23-piece collection on and consists of raglan tops, bomber jackets and hats. What makes the clothing really stand out is the Urdu artwork.

The items are designed by Zayn in collaboration with Mark Wilkinson.

Zayn said, “My family is from Pakistan, so having artwork in Urdu has huge significance to me.”

Zayn added: “Everything was created with the idea that this is something I would want to wear.

“I wanted to approach this as an opportunity to extend my ideas as an artist, and to give fans another facet of who I am.”

NEW COLLECTION: Zayn is ahead of the trend with his super cool urdu bomber jackets

NEW COLLECTION: Zayn is ahead of the trend with his super cool urdu bomber jackets

Zayn left fans all over the world heartbroken when he quit One Direction in March 2015 and has now revealed that he decided to leave the boy band after an extra-terrestrial being talked to him whilst he was sleeping.

He said: “An alien spoke to me in a dream.”

Zayn - who is currently dating blonde model Gigi Hadid - also dished the dirt on his first celebrity crush - Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

He said: “They’re the same, right?”

The star's departure from 1D came as a massive shock at the time, and he claimed he wanted to step away from the spotlight but has remained very much in the limelight after a string of successful singles from his debut album, ‘Mind of Mine’.

Combining elegance and modesty this Eid

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SONY DSCAbayas and jubbas from the heart of Bradford

As Ramadan draws to a close this month and Eid celebrations take over, one fashion house in Bradford is ensuring 2016 is the most fashionable year yet.

Amira Abayas, located just off White Abbey Road, offers something for every taste and budget with abayas and jubbas imported from around the world.

Offering elegant modest clothing, in hundreds of designs, prices range from just £19.99 up to £99.99, with style sewn into every purchase.

Zubair Khan, who opened the store in January this year, says he wants to make sure the store’s first Eid is a memorable one for its customers.

“We want sisters to be able to wear something modest this Eid but at the same time classy,” he said. “They don’t have to settle for something old fashioned anymore.


SONY DSC“Instead, our collection of Abayas brings elegance to the market whilst upholding traditional Islamic values.”

The Amira Abayas Exclusive Line boasts some of the most eye-catching womenswear in the city. From heavy duty chiffon designs to delicate lace outfits, all tastes have been accounted for in the range.

This past week, new Turkish imports, under the official Amira label, have also arrived, just in time for a pre-Eid purchase. Handmade out of the highest quality materials, the designs are sure to fly off the shelves, with limited numbers available.

“To celebrate Ramadan we have cut prices on almost everything in store,” Zubair said.

“You can pick up a mix of 10 scarves for a tenner and three £40 abayas for £100.

SONY DSC“We have stylish jubbas for men and a range of childrenswear for boys, girls and even toddlers to make sure everybody can get into the holiday spirit this Ramadan.”

Eid gifts and cards can also be picked up from Amira, with their own perfume line providing blissful scents to all who wear them.

“The response throughout the holy month has been great so far and we are expecting an end of Ramadan rush so I would urge any customers to head down to the store early to avoid disappointment,” Zubair added.

Call in to Amira this Ramadan to pick up an Eid outfit worthy of any big occasion.


From door-to-door to dresses galore

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Tayyiba Fashions on Yorkshire Street is at the forefront of trends thanks to 28-year-old Ali Hussain’s keen eye for materials that makes heads turn.

Ali started selling clothes door to door in Rochdale two years ago and got such a good response that he decided to open his own shop nine months ago.

“I’m the only person around here doing ready-made clothes that are sourced directly from Pakistan and India,” Ali said, “so business has been very good.”

The young fashionista was inspired by his brother, who also owns a clothing business.

“He was the one who encouraged me and he helped me out,” Ali added, “and it’s thanks to him that this is where I am today.”


Tayyiba Fashions has been getting ‘plenty of attention’ on Facebook as Ali regularly uploads the latest trends for women and children there.

“The popular clothes are made from lawn material, which is a really fine, quality yarn that results in a silky, un-textured feel which is perfect for the hot days of summer,” Ali explained.

Also inside the store are a colourful range of dresses in cotton, linen and chiffon; flowing trouser suits and fabulously printed dupattas.

“Some clothes are designer and brands like 365, Mira and Rana Arts make a good impression around here. Also selling well is the Aanaya collection, along with Kaseesh; and Maria B master replicas are always in stock.”

Browsing through the stock, you can see that Ali sells everything from wedding wear to everyday shirts.

So pop in to Tayyiba Fashions for all your ready-made needs and you’ll be sure to bring on the colour this summer.


177 Yorkshire St,


OL16 2DP   

Tel : 07783 990 222

Shop ‘til you drop at Manchester Plaza



Celebrate Chand Raat at the North’s largest

Manchester’s retail landscape has received a welcome facelift this month following the official opening of the largest Asian department store outside of London.

With over 20,000sqft of shopping space over two expansive floors, Manchester Plaza is the only place you need to visit for all your retail needs.

SONY DSCUp to 40 retailers operate from inside the modern establishment, whilst a huge couture bridal suite will soon occupy space upstairs.

After a busy day’s shopping and browsing the extensive collections of goods on offer, shoppers can then relax at the 200-capacity dining hall, which will serve up scrumptious meals and bites – set to open after Ramadan.

Tariq Mohammed is one of the directors of Manchester Plaza and has overseen the development of the centre.

“We have seen the success of places like East Shopping Centre in London recently, and it just goes to show that there is a real desire for Asian shopping centres of real high quality,” he said.

“Our aim here is to bring the same, high-end concept to the North, with Cheetham Hill in Manchester, chosen as the site for a piece of retail luxury.

“A massive range of designer labels are available in-store, making the Plaza a one-stop destination for fashion fans across the country.”

Retailers from across the North of England have signed up to be part of the Plaza revolution with units almost full to capacity.

“We have been inundated with enquires from both retailers and customers alike since our opening and there is still room for a handful of clients for remaining stores,” Tariq added.

“Shops are stocked-up as and ready for the visitors who will be in for a host of surprises inside this amazing complex.”


Next month, shoppers and members of the public alike are invited to call down to the Plaza for special Chand Raat celebrations.

Running from 7pm until 2am on Tuesday 5th July, it is bound to be an event no family will want to miss.

“Everyone is welcome to call down on the day and celebrate the last day of Ramadan,” Tariq added.

“We have a number of surprises in store for guests and I look forward to seeing a host of old and new faces.”

Some of the retailers and brands customers can visit at Manchester Plaza include: Kamar Ilyas, Limelight Designer, Image Boutique, Glamour, Stylo Shoes UK, SweetieMe, Rahman Jewellers, Soni Collection, Jai Simran Boutique, Babu’s, Floral Clothing, Asim Jofa, Gul Ahmed Collection, Charizma, Maryams Clothing, Ramsha Clothing, Plus many more...

Limited spaces are still available for prospective tenants, with all enquires to be made to 0161 740 3116.


Contacts details:

Manchester Plaza,

Thomas Street (off Bury Old Road),

Crumpsall, Manchester, M8 5EL


Tel: 0161 740 3116

JANAN: Taking brilliance to a whole new level

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janan 2 (299x450)Flagship store expansion officially opens in Bradford

For the past five years, one name in fashion has grown faster than any other in Bradford, as Janan continues to raise the bar in South Asian couture.

This month, just prior to the start of Ramadan, the Shearbridge Road store officially opened its latest expansion, giving customers an even greater shopping experience every time they walk through the doors.

The million-pound extension doubles the shop-floor size, bringing a dedicated Asian bridal lounge – the largest in the country, alongside an eye-catching shoe wall and men’s attire (Sherwani studio) to the establishment.

Upstairs, state-of-the-art offices, a photography studio, conference room and a dedicated printing room also ensure the day-to-day running of Janan keeps up with the fast-paced fashion industry.

janan 7 (800x532)

janan 1 (299x450)The Khan brothers, Asghar, Asif and Abid, founded the company back in 2011 and have worked tirelessly to grow the business into the nationally-renowned brand it is today.

Speaking of the latest developments at the flagship Bradford store, Managing Director, Asif Khan, said: “When Janan was created, it was done so with the vision of creating a premium department store for quality South Asian clothes.

“Over the years, we have continued to provide customers with designer wear from renowned labels and established the name, Janan, as a high street label that delivers on its promises.

“This latest store development is only the continuation of our commitment to providing a single place for all your outfit needs.”

janan 6 (800x532)

Over the past half a decade, Janan has developed a presence in The Broadway Bradford, Birmingham, Manchester and London, whilst an online store serves a global audience.

No longer do shoppers have to visit retailers all over the UK and further afield, with Janan bringing their unique brand to people nationwide.

Asif adds: “To see the company in the position in which it is today gives me a great amount of satisfaction.

janan 3 (800x532)

“Our customers have really backed us from day one and now it is our turn to give something back to them with the store expansion.

“I invite everyone to come down to see the store for themselves and get a feel of the Janan experience.”

janan 4 (800x532)

Students of style: High school’s high fashion moment

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PASSION FOR FASHION: The students wanted to promote a greater cultural understanding between different communities

PASSION FOR FASHION: The students wanted to promote a greater cultural understanding between different communities

Students from a Dewsbury high school ‘dressed to impress’ last month as they hosted an evening full of fashion, music, dance and food in the name of community cohesion.

The fashionable team, from Westborough High School, hosted their first ‘Community Fashion Show’ on Friday 27th May at Batley Town Hall.

Inspired by Kirklees Council’s Community Heritage Team, the project was led by eight pupils who aimed to promote a greater cultural understanding between communities.

The night was a product of a lot of sweat and tears over a two-month period, as excited pupils and staff took to the catwalk – where they also showed off their dance moves and vocal talents.

Two girls hosted the night’s free extravagant proceedings, which involved fashion parades from Eastern, Western and African cultures.

The acts were extremely well received by the audience who demanded encores from two of the performance pieces; a duet by two Year 10 girls, Aqsa Hussain – who also co-hosted the event with Ayesha Siddiqua – and Tia Ramsden, and an upbeat and energetic Bollywood-style routine.

DESIGN PARADE: All participants looked the part as they strutted their stuff

DESIGN PARADE: All participants looked the part as they strutted their stuff

Habiba Patel, who oversaw the project, said: “The event was a tremendous success. It was a pleasure to work closely with some amazingly talented and dedicated young people. It was also nice to see other staff get involved – especially strutting their stuff on the catwalk.”

She continued: “But it wasn’t just people from Westborough, though, as others from the local area kindly volunteered their services - namely Kiran from Amana Beauty and Spa and former pupil Suriya Sadiq who assisted with hair and makeup, along with Kulsum Patel and other students from the University of Huddersfield.”

Once the live show was over, there was the chance to enjoy catering from all of the cultures featured with guests tucking into plates of African, British and Asian foods.

The eight pupils who led the project all have a keen interest in fashion, as well as business management, which are key areas in which they want to continue to expand their knowledge and experience.

Co-host, Aqsa, said: “I thoroughly loved every single minute. I love fashion and I love talking - so hosting it with my good friend Ayesha was brilliant! Everyone got involved and it was amazing to see so many people come out and support us. We can’t wait for the next event.”

Transgender trendsetters

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BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS: Sharmila Nair’s latest collection of saris was launched using transgender models

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS: Sharmila Nair’s latest collection of saris was launched using transgender models

A fashion designer in India says she is aiming to break down barriers and stereotypes with the launch of her latest collection by using transgender women to model it.

Sharmila Nair, from Cochin, was inspired by the inaugural transgender policy drawn up in the state of Kerala last year, when launching her latest line of saris.

Via her fashion label, Red Lotus, the 24-year-old designer has brought a new colourful collection under the title ‘Mazhavil’ - meaning ‘rainbow’.

“Since the LGBT community is represented by the rainbow flag, I thought why not give my collection the same shades and use all the colours of the rainbow,” Nair told reporters.

The saris are crafted from Hubli cotton dyed with natural colours and paired with printed blouses.

Several variations are available to promote the image of ‘inclusivity’.

“When Kerala announced its transgender policy, I thought that if our government can, we need to start thinking about inclusivity too. Why shouldn’t we?” she said.

For the new collection’s photoshoot, Sharmila teamed up with the transgender rights organisation ‘Queerala’, who helped her get in touch with transgender models, Maya Menon and Gowri Savithri, both 29.

She hopes the shoot will help create more opportunities in the future for India’s transgender communities.

“It takes time to break stereotypes and for people to accept it,” she concluded.

Harpinder is your new Miss Leeds: Swapping airport runways for fashion runways!

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BEAUTIES: The competition was extremely high in this year’s Miss Leeds contest with all the entrants stunning the judges

BEAUTIES: The competition was extremely high in this year’s Miss Leeds contest with all the entrants stunning the judges

All hail your new beauty queen! A stunning air hostess from Leeds has managed to pluck the crown from the hopeful hands of 13 other gorgeous girls to become Miss Leeds.

With her beautiful dark hair, huge brown eyes and heart-stopping mega watt smile, 24-year-old Harpinder Rai may soon be swapping airport runways for the runways of the fashion world.

The grand final - held at the Queen’s Hotel on Sunday 22nd May - saw her become our greatest hope for the title of Miss England, which will be judged in Southport in July.

For the renowned beauty competition, the girls wore their own ‘Eco outfits’ which could be bought from a charity shop or hand-made from recycled materials, a little black dress and a sportswear outfit.

SHE’LL GO ALL THE WAY: Harpinder won’t be hindered on her path to the Miss England crown

SHE’LL GO ALL THE WAY: Harpinder won’t be hindered on her path to the Miss England crown

Speaking exclusively to the Asian Express, Harpinder said: “I didn’t expect to win. When they called my name out, it was a complete shock and surprise. Being the new Miss Leeds hasn’t properly sunk in yet. It’s weird.”

She continued: “With the amount of people there, it was quite intimidating but all of the girls were in it together and we coped with whatever was thrown at us, whether it was nerve-wracking speeches or wardrobe malfunctions.”

“My mum was especially proud. She ran up to me when I won,” Harpinder laughed.

Harpinder has only been Miss Leeds for a few days and says she is ‘slowly settling in to her new role’, whilst trying to juggle her work and also concentrating on preparing for the Miss England competition.

When asked what useful advice she would share with future entrants to the competition, she replied ‘never hold back.’

“Just go for it because the experience is amazing and you learn so much about yourself,” she continued. “You grow as a person, especially in confidence.”

If Harpinder beats the 50 regional winners from across the UK to be crowned Miss England, the final prize will be a very pretty £25,000 and the chance to compete in the Miss World competition.

The contest, title owned by the Miss World organisation, is organised each year by Angie Beasley, herself a winner of 25 beauty contests in the 1980s.

WINNER: Harpinder managed to beat 13 other hopefuls

WINNER: Harpinder managed to beat 13 other hopefuls

All eyes on Iyna!

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shopkeeper (800x532)

Fashion store Iyna has been open on Leeds Road for just over a year - and what a busy year it has been for owner Fayzul Islam.

Fayzul has over 20 years of expertise in the restaurant industry but has always wanted to open a fashion store in Bradford.

Now, thanks to a stunning shop - ten minutes stroll away from Bradford’s Broadway - he has finally realised his dream.

Stepping inside, customers are greeted by gorgeous, glossy cool tiles underfoot and a large bright space in which to browse the wide selection of beautiful women’s fashion items.

Iyna’s clothes will suit any woman from 18 to 50 years old, and their funky fusion of ‘East meets West’ is eye-catching, unique and flattering.

Thanks to its splendid array of colourful couture, the store’s Instagram has a growing legion of two thousand followers which is growing daily.

One customer, Amelia Malik, wrote on their social media page: “I can honestly say, Iyna is the best place in Bradford at the moment. You can buy amazing outfits that are not overpriced. Their stitching is good and lasts.”

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All the prints in store are chosen and manufactured by Iyna themselves in Lahore and if there’s a problem with any item, Iyna will endeavour to put it right.

Flying off the shelves this season are the digitally printed kurtas, which are popular because they can dress up any outfit, matching flawlessly with both ‘everyday’ jeans and high heels alike.

Also popular are the salwar kameez, which have intricate stitching and embroidery, making them the perfect fashion statement for celebrations and special occasions.

Fayzul adds: “We’ve been seeing customers from as far afield as Manchester visit the store. For the prices you’ll find here, you just can’t beat the quality.

“Soon we’ll have a web store and clothes will be available to buy online, but there’s nothing better than coming here in person, receiving a friendly welcome and being able to see just how fantastic the clothes look on the rails.”

Visit Iyna now and give your wardrobe an injection of high fashion.

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374 Leeds Road, 




Open every day: 11am to 8pm

Tel: 01274 928 598


JANAN: Brilliance at whole new level

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janan interior (350x350)New lines and new appearances at Janan

Janan’s flagship Bradford store is getting bigger and better in 2016, with extended walls and extended lines giving shoppers even more reasons to call down.

To meet with the increasing demand of the store’s loyal fashionistas the luxury fashion store has undergone a massive extension and is looking nothing less than a landmark.

Janan was founded in August 2011 by the Khan Brothers - Asghar, Asif and Abid, whose ultimate goal was to provide trendy South Asian clothes in the UK.

Having seen family and friends travel abroad for shopping they envisioned a department store that would provide all this at their doorstep.

That dream is now a reality and the success of their brainchild, Janan, is evident.

In just four years, there are six stores nationwide with two more opening this summer. The flagship store has recently doubled in size with a dedicated brand new floor for the sleek head-offices.

The million pound extension will feature a designers lounge where a bride-to-be's every whim will be catered for - including a shoe room nothing short of the heel-loving ladies dream come true.

A massive shop floor features casual clothes, formal wear, haute couture and evening wear, and helps create a one stop destination with everything under one roof to complete your dream wardrobe.

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To celebrate the launch, and to witness brilliance being unveiled, join the team at Janan on Saturday 30th April for the annual spring sale.

Doors open at 10am and shoppers can enjoy up to 70 per cent off on the season’s latest collections.

The sale will include discounts on the latest collections from Sana Safinaz, Lakhani Silk Mills, Gul Ahmad and much more. It's an opportunity not to be missed, so come along with your loved ones and see for yourself.

Modesty & Spencers

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CONTENTIOUS: M&S Collection’s burkini has been causing ripples of controversy in France (Pic Credit: M&S online)

CONTENTIOUS: M&S Collection’s burkini has been causing ripples of controversy in France (Pic Credit: M&S online)

Burkini ‘irresponsible’ says France

Britain’s shoppers are growing increasingly diverse, and in a sign of the times, Marks and Spencer has decided to stock a range of funky burkinis in their shops.

The burkini, which helps wearers retain their modesty whilst swimming and bathing, made headlines in 2011 after TV chef Nigella Lawson donned one when holidaying on Bondi Beach in Australia.

The M&S version - costing £49.50 - is a lightweight, three-piece full body suit which promises to ‘cover the whole body with the exception of the face, hands and feet, without compromising on style’.

In branches of the chain in Dubai and Libya, where it has been on sale for three years, the product has flown off the shelves.

However, when France heard that the quintessentially British brand were selling the modest fashion item, their women’s right’s minister,  Laurence Rossignol, slammed the move.

Ms Rossignol said to RMC radio: “What’s at stake is social control over women’s bodies. When brands invest in this Islamic garment market, they are shirking their responsibilities and are promoting women’s bodies being locked up.”

She continued: “You cannot pass off as trivial and harmless the fact that big brands are investing in a market that puts Muslim women in a situation of having to wear that.”

The Guardian’s Remona Aly said: “If I want to buy a burkini from M&S, I bloody well will.

“I think it’s about time that the patronising is sewn up once and for all. The hypocrisy of a fashion guru telling women what not to wear and a minister of women’s rights taking away the right of choosing to cover up, isn’t lost on me.”

The burkinis are available online from M&S and will soon be available to buy in the UK at the company’s flagship store in Marble Arch, London.

‘Dress to impress’: University of Huddersfield students head to the catwalk

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FASHION: Sanya Rehman and Zahra Mahmood will be showcasing some of their latest designs at a special fashion show in London this weekend

FASHION: Sanya Rehman and Zahra Mahmood will be showcasing some of their latest designs at a special fashion show in London this weekend

A pair of talented entrepreneurs, who just five years ago were selling garments on a Bradford market stall, were named as two of the featured designers at the annual Urban Muslim Fashion Show in London last weekend.

Friends, Sanya Rehman and Zahra Mahmood, along with their award-winning business Sanzaa, unveiled their new designer collection of modest-wear scarves and hijabs on the renowned Mayfair catwalk on Saturday 10th October.

Sanzaa’s ambitious story began on a small market stall in 2010 when the girls were studying for their A-levels at Bradford’s Belle Vue Girl’s School.  

Even then, they had a keen entrepreneurial spirit and were selling garments every weekend and after school, whilst studying for their exams.  

It was during this time that they first became attracted to buying and selling within the fashion industry.

“We received such a buzz from trading with our clients on the market stall,” Sanya explained.  

“We couldn’t wait to work on the stall after school and at the weekends to trade and talk with the customers.  We just loved the whole atmosphere.”

After college, Sanya and Zahra enrolled on the University of Huddersfield’s ‘Enterprise Development degree’, and after gaining enough confidence, opened their own business premises in Bradford.

Now operating out of a stylish fashion boutique, the local team are continuously expanding their brands to meet ever-growing demand.

“Sanzaa has grown and evolved with us,” Zahra added.  

“Initially, we were selling just basic dresses, then we added scarves and hijabs to the collection.  Now, we are designing our own unique pieces and accessories, just to keep up with the demand.”

The inspiration for their style came after the business partners noticed that many of the clothes in the high-street stores were unsuitable for Muslim women to wear and then, of the clothes which were suitable, there wasn’t a varied selection to choose from.

“We noticed a distinct gap in the market,” said Zahra.  “The clothes in the high-street stores are gorgeous and really stylish, but they don’t fully meet the needs for modest Muslim women.  With our collection, they now have more choice.”

Stylish Sehar

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sehar hussain fashion designer

FASHION: Sehar Hussain attends Leeds Beckett University on a fashion degree and hopes to eventually run her own fashion label

Fashion student showcases early creations

A budding fashion designer from a University in Leeds saw her first industry-standard garment design go on show this past week as a special exhibition was held in the city.

20-year-old Sehar Hussain, was joined by other creative designers when ‘The Shirt’ public exhibition opened on Thursday 29th January, at the reception of Leeds Beckett University’s City Campus’ Broadcasting Place.

Running until Friday 6th February, the exhibition displays pieces of work from a number of undergraduate students, enrolled on the Ba (Hons) Fashion course.

Working off a simple brief - to create a white shirt that contains a two-piece collar, pockets, plackets, a yoke, sleeves, cuffs and tucks – the designers were then given creative freedom to put their own ‘personality’ and ‘spin’ on the shirt.

Sehar, who hopes to work with a design house in the future, and eventually run her own fashion label, explained more about her own final product.

sehar hussain fashion

“My design consisted of two layers, an undergarment which was a fitted bodice, and a top layer which was loose fitting - a Two-p two-piece,” she said.

“The batwing style sleeves have been left open at the armhole and are closed at the cuffs.

“I chose to have a normal button stand for the undergarment and a concealed placket for the top layer in order to give the shirt a simple finish to go with the batwing sleeves.”

The promising designer said she had thoroughly enjoyed her time on the course so far and praised the university for its ‘industry experience’.

“The best thing about the course is that it covers various aspects of fashion, including hand designing, pattern cutting, construction and computer aided design,” she added. “What’s more, the tutors have first-hand industry experience.”

Course Leader, Katie Lenton, has overseen the exhibition and explained more of what visitors can expect when attending the show.

She said: “The exhibition is a reflection of the creativity and individuality of our students, who have all fully embraced the concept of the project.

“They have each designed and produced an original white shirt, all of which have been finished to an industry standard and everyone is welcome to celebrate with us at the special exhibition.”

The Ba (Hons) Fashion course was launched at Leeds Beckett University in September 2014.

Outrage over Delhi bus rape fashion shoot

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Delhi gang rape: India outrage over fashion shoot

A Mumbai-based photographer, whose fashion shoot showing a woman being groped on a bus has caused outrage, with social media users saying it glamorises the 2012 Delhi gang rape.

Raj Shetye rape photoshoot 1 Raj Shetye rape photoshoot 2

Raj Shetye's images depict a model fighting off men on a bus, with thousands of people on social media stating that said they found the photos "disgusting" and "horrible".

Shetye has defended himself saying that the fashion shoot was his depiction of the situation of women in India and it wasn’t based on the rape and murder of the Delhi gang rape.

Atiya Zaidi posted on Twitter: “ Shame on you Raj Shetye. The whole country spits on you and your team”, while Ashtosh Tiwari said “ India photoshoot on bus in very bad taste. Sick twisted person to recreate horrific abuse/rape of woman as “art”… shame on you”.

Four men were sentenced to death with a fifth - a juvenile at the time is serving a three-year sentence for the rape and murder of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student, dubbed Nirbhaya (fearless). Her ordeal prompted weeks of protests with people participating in the thousands, forcing Indian authorities to introduce tough new anti-rape laws.

Shetye has been hugely criticised after he published his photo-feature ‘The Wrong Turn’, with many questioning why and how the photographer had thought this subject was appropriate for a fashion shoot. Many have called for him to be prosecuted.


Managing Editor Andleeb Hanif says: “Depicting rape has been a heavy tradition in the Bollywood and Lollywood industries - mostly during the 80’s and 90’s. In fact it was so common that I remember that when I was a child, I could prevision such a scene as soon as the actress was being hassled by a group of men. My mother would hurriedly grope for the remote control to fast forward. I didn’t understand the full context of what was happening but I knew it was wrong, very wrong. We need to ask questions about why the ‘rape culture depiction’ exists in the first place.”


Janan launches new Birmingham store

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To celebrate the launch of our NEW Birmingham J. by Janan store,
we are offering a 25% discount off all purchases in the Birmingham store,
which will END on 25th April 2014


Janan launched their highly anticipated latest boutique ‘ Janan’ on Saturday 12th April 2014.

The store caters to customers, who want to buy attire which is appreciated and boasts quality and style. A range of clothing for both men and women and children is supplied that allows them to keep up-to-date with the latest fashion trends of the season.

The store is hosting a range of Junaid Jamshed attire which is inspired by being modest and stylish simultaneously.

His collection consists of unique and impeccable prints with vivacious, flamboyant colours, which have been creatively blended to create a work of art. J. by Janan also exclusively stocks Almirah attire.
jdot by janan shop
These outfits are overwhelming with beauty and are perfect for any occasion. An alluring combination of colour, design and print, which harmoniously blends together to make a dramatic fashion statement - perfect for the upcoming Spring season.

To celebrate the launch of our NEW Birmingham J. by Janan store, we are offering a 25% discount off all purchases in the Birmingham store; which will END on 25th April 2014.

Visit the store on 148 Ladypool Road, Birmingham, B12 1XD for an enjoyable shopping experience.
Our store is the place to be to make you blossom this Spring!

Love Fashion. Love Janan.