It’s a busy week in Karachi with several events that were postponed last week – here’s hoping the situation remains normal enough for everything to go ahead as scheduled. There are several winter exhibitions and sample sales this week including new winter collections by two of my favourites: Carmine and Blocked Textiles, as well as promising newcomer Nada Shah and the very talented Komal Lakhani. There’s also sample sales from Nazli Akbar and Ansab Jahangir, which will be a great opportunity to pick up formals at 50-70% off.  Update: There’s also a preview of Shamsha Hashwani’s Vancouver fashion week collection, an exhibition by Aliya Navaid, Farida Hasan at Ensemble and a Pop-Up bazaar featuring KA KHadija and Ayesha, Amna Arshad, Miaasa and more …scroll down for deets.

Away from shopping and fashion, the Sindh Theatre festival is happening at the Arts Council, there’s a fundraiser for T2F, various comedy shows, a painting workshop and lots more happening around town. Enjoy your week folks!

Carmine Studio Autumn/Winter Pret Exhibition

Carmine has burst onto the pret scene like a breath of fresh air and their outfits fly off the shelves at Ensemble. This weekend they are exhibiting their new collection at their studio and it’s a mix of day wear and fusion evening wear that’s perfect for the busy winter season

Date: Friday 9th November and Saturday, 10th November 2018

Venue: 55/1 8th Street, Khayaban e Badhban

Time: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Blocked Winter Exhibition

Blocked Textiles are exhibiting their Winter Festive Collection this weekend. The exhibition features a brand new, hand block printed collection of ready to wear and unstitched pieces. Expect stitched and unstitched shirts, 3-piece joras, dupattas and more – many edged with their signature, hand appliquéd kingri for a more festive look, as well as a very limited kids line. One day event only – they are not taking orders booking prior to the exhibition and cannot do advance bookings. Women only.

Date: Saturday, 10th November 2018

Venue: 184, St 20, Kh e Roomi, Phase 8, DHA, Karachi

Time: 08:30 am – 4 p.m.

Winter Festive Exhibit by Nada Shah

Nada Shah Designs is launching their Winter Festive collection! They are showcasing their timeless and elegant designs with you, just in time for the festive season. This line consists of formal Chunris, velvet Kaftans, casuals and semi formal pret wear in organza, Khadinet, pure silk and velvets!
Check out their Instagram page @nadashahofficial to see the designs!

Date: Saturday, 10th November 2018

Venue: 112/2, 9th Street, Kh e Muhafiz, Phase 6, DHA, Karachi

Time: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Komal Lakhani Fall/Winter Exhibition

Komal Lakhani is exhibiting a variety of luxury pret and semi formal outfits at their upcoming exhibition.

Date: 10th November 2018

Venue: F92/2, Block 7, Clifton, Karachi.

Time: 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Nazli Akbar Sample Sale

Nazli Akbar is having a sample sale of her coveted bridals and formals. Known for her beautiful embroidery, pure fabrics and elegant cuts. Nazli Akbar is a perennial favourite and this is a great chance to pick up some of her outfits at a 40% discount.

Date: Friday 9th November and Saturday, 10th November 2018

Venue: DHA, Karachi

Time: 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Ansab Jahangir Sample Sale

Ansab Jahangir’s sample sale is on Monday and it’s one you shouldn’t miss – her formals and bridals will be available at a 50-70% discount and this is a great opportunity to get your hands on the young designer’s signature style!

Date: Monday,  12th November 2018

Venue: Ansab Jahangir Studio, DHA, Karachi

Time: 12 p.m. – 6:30  p.m.

Shamsha Hashwani Vancouver Fashion Week: Collection Preview

Shamsha Hashwani will be hosting a preview of her latest collection ‘Shanaz’, featured in Vancouver Fashion Week. This collection brings forth contemporary silhouettes fused with Shamsha Hashwani’s signature, detailed craftsmanship.

Date: Saturday November 10th 2018

Venue: Shamsha Hashwani’s store, F 50/2 Block 4 Clifton

Time: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Winter Pop-up Bazaar

Shop till you drop at this Saturday’s Pop-Up-Bazaar. Discover the best gifts for yourself and others, from a wide range of fabric as well as ready to wear options by KA, eastern wear by Amna Arshad, denim by Blues and jazz, T-shirts by Hef, shoes by Miaasa, jewelry by Rida Chhotani and furniture by Castalia

Date: Saturday November 10th 2018

Venue: House Number A 20 3rd Gizri Street Phase 4 DHA Karachi

Time: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Farida Hasan at Ensemble

Lahori designer Farida Hasan has brought her latest winter pret and formals collection to Karachi this weekend. Head on over to pick some pretty pieces for the festive season.

Date: Saturday November 10th 2018

Venue: Ensemble, C-32, E-Street, Block 4, Clifton, Karachi

Time: 3 p.m. onwards on Friday and 10 a.m. onwards on Saturday

Aliya Navaid – Shawls and Winter Pret

Check out Aliya Navaid’s exhibition for formal kurtas and cultural chaddars, mysori wraps and a melange of jamavar and silk for upcoming wedding events.

Date: Saturday November 10th 2018

Venue: House Number 48, 7th Street, Khayaban e Momin, Phase 5, DHA Karachi

Time: 12 p.m. onwards

Launch Party | Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Liberty Books is organising a launch party for the Diary of A Wimpy Kid ‘The Meltdown’.

The launch party ticket is priced a Rs.795/- which includes a copy of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid ‘The Meltdown’. You can get your hands on these tickets at all their bookstores in Karachi from 27th October to 10th November.

Grab your family ticket and join them for a fun-filled event with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid themed exciting games, refreshments and prizes.

Date: 10th November 2018

Venue: Liberty Books (Flagship) bookstore, next to BBQ Tonight, Clifton, Karachi.

Time: 11 a.m. onwards

Date With Paint

Something beyond just food,
Something removed from Routine,
Something that inspires,
A journey you have never been on!

Paint your heart out with your partner and seal off the evening with a 3 course meal by Neco’s.
Limited slots.
Rs.6000/- per couple.
Registration is mandatory!
Contact for registration: 03100883339

* All Materials will be provided, including a large canvas and unlimited, high quality paints.
* No prior experience required.

Date: 10th November 2018

Venue: 8C, Lane 1, Bukhari Commercial Area, Phase 6, DHA., Karachi

Time: 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

The Writer in Me!

Do you shy away from writing, but know that a writer lives within you? In this hands-on creative writing workshop, you will write, share, have fun, and start to overcome your fear of writing.

Date: 10th November 2018

Venue: 4th Floor, 9-C South Park Avenue, Phase-II (Extension), Phase 2 Commercial Area, DHA, Karachi

Time: 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Project Hope

‘Project Hope’ is the launch of a weekly mental health support group initiative by online support group Anxiety Anonymous and The Second Floor (T2F). The event will be an uplifting and open house meet up for anyone struggling with mental health issues (or not) to sit with them, talk over a hot cuppa and discuss ways in which  mental health awareness can be raised  in Pakistan. Joining them, to share their stories of battling with mental health and coming out stronger than ever to becoming masters in their respective fields would be: *KHALID MALIK (Actor-Host/RJ). *AHSAN BARI (Music Director/Producer/Lead of Sufi Rock Band Sounds of Kolachi). *VARAH MUSSAVIR (Owner at The Crafter’s Guild/Firefly/Instructor Oral Communications & CSR at Iqra University) *YOUSUF BASHIR QURESHI (YBQ) (Designer/Artist/Influencer/Actor) A soulful performance by the incredible Fahad Ahmed of his latest track on mental health called ‘Himmat’ followed by a theatrical performance called ‘Light’-A monologue but that’s not all, they’ll let you drift away in harmony with an enthralling live performance by none other than SOUNDS OF KOLACHI! Don’t forget to drop by!

Date: 14th November 2018.

Venue: The Second Floor, 10-C, Sunset Lane 5, Phase 2, DHA, Karachi

Time: 6 p. m -9 p.m.

Sindh Theatre Festival 2018

The Cultural Ministry of Sindh and Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi present the “Sindh Theatre Festival 2018” , running from 2nd to the 18th of November,  where Pakistan’s best theatre directors will present 10 Sindhi and 10 Urdu plays. Details of the plays and timings are available from The Arts Council Pakistan on 0300 0802391.

Date:  2nd – 18th November 2018.

Venue: The Arts Council, M. R Kayani Road, Karachi.

Time: Various

Unplugged Improv with LOLWaalay

After 6 years and many hundreds of shows later, we, the LOLWaalay will depart from our signature short-form style and bring you some never before seen improvised, experimental long-form! Also, in addition to our act, we will feature some of our funny friends as well!

If you were to tie the knot with long-form improv via arranged marriage, here is how a rishta aunty would describe it:

‘Long-form improvisation is an unscripted performance of anywhere between 20-90 minutes based off a single audience suggestion. Common elements include monologues, games and series of inter-connected scenes. Long form is much closer to theatre than short form. The final product often appears to be an improvised play. According to a popular improv director, long form is to jazz as short form is to pop’.
What an insightful and eloquent rishta aunty.

Come watch LOLWaalay unplugged and friends next Thursday at The Second Floor! Tickets Rs. 300 available at the venue. Gates open at 7 45 PM. Show starts at 8 PM.

About the Performers:

Akbar Chaudry
The Voice of the Troupe (and the Hair)

The long-time Artistic Director of the troupe, Akbar led the way when LOL Waalay established itself as the premier of comedy at a time when quality live shows across the country were unheard of. Since then, he also single-handedly put the underground stand-up comedy scene on the map by not only performing his own sold out shows, and with notable comedians like Saad Haroon, but also providing a platform to the emerging talent. His crazy curls and fluctuating voice are as much an inspiration as his signature performing style.

Ali Gul Pir
The Sayeen

The improv extraordinaire and mentor is the latest addition to the troupe. A film graduate, Ali initially started off as an improviser in a comedy ensemble put together by Azfar Ali, later moving on to another troupe with Saad Haroon. Soon after that, he broke major ground in the music industry with the very original and hilarious, Wadaira Ka Beta, which went on to become a cultural phenomenon for Pakistanis worldwide. Having become a successful recording artist ever since, the Sayeen is now revisiting his roots in improv with old friends, LOL Waalay. Did we say friends? We meant family. *wipes away tear*

Sannan Wastani
The Bad Boy/Corporate Suave

Long hailed as one of the funniest LOL Waala, Sannan truly personifies what it means to be the bad boy of comedy, if that is a thing. Famed for his priceless comic timing, off the cuff one-liners and true-to-life sense of humour, he started off with theater, starring in plays like, the Office, and its sequel. It was not long before he too was mesmerized by the ways of the LOL Waalay, and became a part of the cause. However, his true mastery lies in doubling as a suave corporate type during the day and comic beast at night. See the point about him being a bad boy? We don’t either.

Syed Muhammad Kumail
That Uncle/That Crazy Uncle

Like we said; here, at LOL Waalay, we are a family. And every family has that one uncle who hangs out with the kids once in a while, cracking jokes, telling old tales (a thousand times), and listening to classical raag at deafening levels. That’s our Kumail, or as we lovingly call him, Mamoo. Mamoo is an engineer by education, teacher by profession and comedian out of compulsion. Sometimes he mixes the three up. He is also a prolific stage actor (Nida Butt’s East is East, The Office 1 & 2) and outstanding stand-up comedian, in addition to being the present Artistic Director (read, protective parent) of the troupe.

Zubair Tariq
Mr. No-Opinion

Some argue that procrastination and laziness are signs of unbounded creativity. We argue in favour of those people, because Zubair has established himself on all three fronts. An introverted writer in real life, and a maniac on stage, he hails from a theater background (Nida Butt’s Grease, East is East, and The Office 1 & 2) and recently finished co-writing a screenplay. Also having a number of TV appearances to his name, Zubair sometimes likes to quietly stare at corners. Nobody is allowed to disturb him then. Oh and did we mention he plays swell guitar?

Date: Thursday, 8th November 2018
Time: 08:00PM – 09:00PM
Place: Faraar Gallery, T2F
Entry: Rs.300/- (Available at Venue)

Mai Dhai: Moods of Tharparkar

Hailing from Tharparkar, Sindh from a very humble family background, Mai Dhai is an epitome of folk culture. With her uniquely soulful voice, strong vocal power and rapturous Dholak playing, she is able to mesmerize her audiences and transport them to the vast and scorching landscape of Tharpakar. Mai Dhai was born in Barmer district of the Indian state of Rajasthan and trained with her mother, Khand Bai. She was first picked up by Lahooti Live Sessions in Jamshoro, and then by Music Mela in Islamabad, after which she made her appearance on national television in Coke Studio Season 8. Mai Dhai has since performed across Pakistan and at several eminent international venues such as South by South West Festival in Austin Texas and the City University of New York last year.

Date: Saturday, 10th November 2018
Time: 07:30 PM – -9:30 PM
Place: Faraar Gallery, T2F
Entry: Rs.500/-

T2F Fundraiser: Sur Sangam

It was 11 years ago that Sabeen Mahmud founded PeaceNiche – a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting democratic discourse and conflict resolution through intellectual and cultural engagement, whose activities took place on the second floor of an old building at Ittehad, in Phase 7 DHA. The story of how the vision and passion of one women and her companions turned into an institution that inspired and continues to inspire thousands of young students, artists, musicians, activists, entrepreneurs… of Karachi, is one of heroism, tragedy and rekindled hope. Though Sabeen is no longer physically among us, her presence continues to grow through her legacy of T2F and the work that is far from over.

Many professional artists, journalists, musicians, intellectuals, entrepreneurs and business people of Karachi have been directly influenced by Sabeen Mahmud and T2F. Here credit is also due to all those dedicated people who managed to keep the work at T2F alive and relevant, even after Sabeen’s parting.

Regular programs that happen on almost a daily basis at the T2F Faraar Gallery include: Art Exhibitions; Science ka Adda; Thinking Films; Urdu Hai Mera Naam; Qavvaali Series; Sur Ka Safar; First Fridays Open Mic; Dance Mandala; Dholi Taro Drum Circle; Maa Dharti Project; Philosophy Circle; Comedy Nights; Jambro Jamathon; Debating Circuit; Hafta-Itvaar Arts Bazaar; Book Launches; Poetry Readings & Spoken Word; Improv Theatre; Music and Dance Workshops and various other talks, projects and panel discussions relevant to civil society of Pakistan today.

The work of T2F is imperative for the intellectual growth of our society, as not just the first cultural café and art venue of its kind in Pakistan; but also as a safe platform for discourse, an incubator of constructive ideas, and a generator of culture. As all real initiatives, T2F is dependent on the community that it serves. We therefore call upon your continued support and invite you to join us at our fundraiser concert, “Sur Sangam” for an inspiring night of devotional music, with two of the top musical acts of their respective genres of mystical music – Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad Raziuddin Qavvaal and the Shah Jo Raag Faqeers of Bhitshah.

Shah Jo Raag Faqeer are the preeminent musicians from the shrine of Hazrat Shah Latif in Bhitshah and specialists in the recitation of Bayt-Vaai. Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad Raziuddin are the most prominent masters of the Qavvaal Bachon ka Gharana – the oldest branch of Qavvaali hailing from the first students of Hazrat Ameer Khusro.

Date: Sunday, 11th November 2018
Timings: 08:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Venue: Arts Council Karachi
Pass: Rs. 2000/-

For more details email us at [email protected] or call us at +(92-21) 3538-9043

Comedy Scene: Hot Mic Night

Comedy Scene presents their 5th ‘Hot Mic Night’ on 9th November (Friday) at T2F!

‘Hot Mic’ is an open-mic night where aspiring stand-up comics take the stage and share their talent. Some of our talented stand-up comics have already signed up for this event. So do join us for the show and bring your friends.

It’s been more than two years for Comedy Scene to be hosting such stand-up events. We feel a sense of pride in the improved number of talented comedians in Karachi, through the efforts of this platform and others. If you or someone you know wants to perform, please drop us a message on our Facebook page. Don’t be shy.

Date: Friday, 9th November 2018
Time: 08:00 PM-09:30 PM
Venue: Faraar Gallery, T2F
Entry: Rs.300/-


Salima Feerasta

Salima Feerasta is chief editor of and one of Pakistan's top fashion and lifestyle journalists.

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