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If you thought the Lux Style Awards were slowly preparing to pack up (judging by last year’s petite tea party) this power-packed event pulled the brakes on all speculation. The country’s biggest and most highly anticipated awards show unraveled at Karachi’s Expo Centre, bringing the country’s brightest shining stars from Film, Fashion, Music and Television under one roof. It was a night where legends were honoured and rising stars were recognized; the balance was almost perfect.

The LSAs 2015 were hosted by two of the most beautiful people Pakistan can boast of today – Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan – but while they stole hearts just by standing there and looking gorgeous, it was Yasir Hussain – in all stammering, fumbling and self-deprecating humour – who stole the show. His brand of comedy had people in fits of laughter all evening, making the two-hour delay almost bearable. It reminded one of the legendary Moin Akhtar and the joy he brought to the LSA program in 2003.

Bringing it back to the present, here are some of the highs and lows from the 14th Annual Lux Style Awards…

High: When Best Model became role model

Amna IlyasAamna Ilyas picked up the trophy for Best Model (female) and she deserved another for her acceptance speech, in which she reflected on all the praise she had garnered for her height, body and poise but at the same time the criticism she was doled out for the colour of her skin. “When I started modeling I got praise and criticism at the same time,” she said, “But what I heard over and over again was, ‘aye hai yeh to kaali hai’ (oh but she is so dark). So thank you Lux for helping me believe in myself. This goes out to all the dark-skinned girls.” Aamna is a true role model!

Low: Worst Acceptance Speech

While Aamna Ilyas was a rock star in her acceptance speech, Shahzad Noor, winner of Best Model (male) was an unfortunate dud. “Thank you Hum,” he thanked Hum TV, a channel that ironically pulled out of the LSAs this year. He quickly corrected himself but the damage had been done. Fourteen years have showed us that male models are better off just looking good and not saying anything at all.

 High: The star quotient was bright and beautiful

The stars turned out in full glory. Film, the most popular segment, saw the cast and crew from hit films Jawani Phir Nahi Aani, Karachi Se Lahore and Na Maloom Afraad dominate the arena. Hamza Ali Abbasi cut a humble image as he laughed at all the ‘Facebook Status update’ jokes cracked at his expense, Humayun Saeed was just as dignified. Even Asad-ul Haq proved to be a good sport to turn up, despite the mickey that was taken out of his film, Dekh Magar Pyar Sey. In the front rows sat legendary Syed Noor and Nadeem Baig, Bushra Ansari, Saba Hamid, Rubina Ashraf, Hina Dilpazir … and how can we forget Meera, who not only came but gave Mahira quite a comic cold-shoulder on stage. Sara Haider was pop icon of the evening while Jimmy Khan, Farhan Saeed and Uzair Jaswal stood up as the future of music. Also in the musical chairs were Rup and Khurram of Josh, Umair Jaswal, Zoe Viccaji and rockstar of the evening, Ali Zafar. Fashion was just as star-studded with designers and their muses turning up the heat on style. The wow factor was intact!

Low: Timing!

The evening started unforgivably late, at the inhuman hour of 10:30pm. This meant that the show wasn’t over even by 3am by which time most people had left in a state of despair or extreme starvation.

High: Performances by Ali Zafar, Ahmed Ali Butt, Amjad Sabri, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Moamar Rana and Resham

Ali ZafarThe show started with the larger than life Amjad Sabir as he belted out the rich baritones of ‘Tajdar e Haram’ and ended with the unparalleled Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Ahmed Ali Butt turned on his rapper-avatar as he danced to the title song from JPNA. The man is a natural. Ali Zafar delivered a high octane performance, which reminded us of how performances are meant to be. ‘Rockstar’ was delightful and went on to show the great energy that Ali always manages to bring to the stage. Moammar Rana and Resham reminded us of the lost days of Lollywood but given the natural chemistry between the two, their segment was very smooth.

  The biggest surprise performers of the evening were Aamna Ilyas and Fia Khan, who strangely showed how models are more comfortable on the stage than most actresses these days. Throwback to Aaminah Haq and you’ll know what we mean!

Low: The LSA lounge and lack of style

More than 75 per cent of all the people present in the LSA lounge were unknown to anyone, bringing the style quotient of the usually stylish red carpet to an unprecedented low. The stars did, of course, make their customary red carpet appearances but they were outnumbered by the herds of lackluster spectators that were busy taking selfie after selfie of themselves. Who were these people: no one knows!

 High: Credit where it is due

Kudos to Frieha Altaf, show producer and director, who managed to put the magic back into the LSAs and uplift it beyond past mistakes to the relevance of today. The show has suffered bouts of inconsistency over the years but it is thanks to those passionately involved – like Frieha Altaf and Fareshteh Aslam – that it continues to thrive. And it wouldn’t look the same without the proper styling, which comes courtesy Nabila and her creative team. It’s no wonder that this powerhouse wins year after year; there still isn’t anyone who can rival her meticulous vision and execution.

Signing off on that note, we wish the LSAs an even stronger 15th year in 2016 and hope that the show will only get bigger and better.

– Photographs by Faisal Farooqui at Dragonfly


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