Annual issue 2018

By | Fashion | Published 6 years ago

In a social milieu increasingly peopled with fashion clones, there are certain women who exude a surefire ebullience buoyed by self-awareness, innate personal style and a fierce individuality.

Newsline asked a few arbiters of style: leading fashion editors, journalists and bloggers to pick their favourite Pakistani women. Some names kept recurring on these lists, and needless to say that’s a sure sign of these fashion icons’ irrefutable impact and influence.

Style, as they say, is eternal…


Amna Haider Isani Editor, Instep, The News, and publisher & editor-in-chief, Something Haute


Meesha Shafi, singer

“Meesha is perhaps an obvious choice as she is one of the more original style icons in the country today. Meesha does not conform to what is expected of her — as a woman in the public eye — neither does she depend on stylists to put her look together; she is distinctive in her strong, powerful and very personal sense of dressing. Whether it’s cutting-edge makeup, which we’ve often seen her setting trends around — one case in point being face glitter – or her sharp dress sense, Meesha is a delight to observe.” 


Mahira Khan, actor

“It’s taken Mahira years to shake off the ‘Khirad’ shadow — or curse, as I call it — and her sense of style has now really found its own feet, finally managing to shake off the puritanical, ‘pyari bahu beti’ character that made her a household name with Humsafar. I think Raees was the turning point in her personal evolution as a star and a style icon. Polished and sophisticated, today’s Mahira is someone who can carry off anything she wears, whether it’s traditional garb — the churidaar and churiyan look is iconic on her — or whether it’s fashion-forward western. She looks just as good in distressed jeans as she does in a couture gown on the red carpet.”


Nabila, image consultant

“Nabila has always been left-of-centre when it comes to personal style; she is someone who looks within her intellect for vision rather than for outward inspiration. And even when she’s looking out, it’s beyond the border and into the most unusual places of the world. There have been many phases in Nabila’s style life — I’ve seen the ‘white shirt minimalist’ phase, as well as the ‘ornate love for detail’ phase, and while they’ve all been impressive, her current Japanese-inspired mode is one of my favourites. It’s exaggerated, offbeat, oddly defiant and gender non-specific. It’s just as ageless as the style guru is herself!”


Maliha Rehman   Fashion correspondent for the Dawn newspaper group and a regular columnist for the Business of Fashion, UK


Meesha Shafi, singer

“Meesha is possibly my favorite style icon. I enjoy her adventurous streak which leads to some very interesting sartorial choices. She often dabbles with experimental styling: winged liners, chopped-off hair, quirky shades … Meesha’s an absolute rock star! What I love about her is that she has developed a certain style of her own. Unlike so many other celebrities who don’t have a personal style and simply swivel from one look to a completely different one, Meesha Shafi is a perennially elegant, edgy and modern, standout.”

Nabila, image consultant

“I look forward to Nabila’s wardrobe choices. She travels the world, picking up eclectic, interestingclothes that reflect who she is: inventive, mercurial and always out-of-the-box. She’ll purchase a pair of pants during a trip to Japan where one trouser length will be shorter than the other. She’ll wear dexterously constructed draped dresses or an off-shoulder one, revealing just her collar bone, or baggy silken shirts and then, she’ll complete the look with shades from her fabulous, extensive collection. I also love the fact that despite being the country’s top stylist, she veers far from the madding crowd of blow-dried, make-up laden beauties. She’d rather opt for a natural look and I’ve known her to improvise with hair effortlessly; slicking it back with a coating of coconut oil because she doesn’t have time, or shearing it to a short crop one day just because she is bored. Mundane concerns like age and trends don’t seem to trouble her because she transcends it all. Nabila always has, and continues to be, fashion itself.”


Sara Shahid, fashion designer

“Sara Shahid is not your quintessential ‘It’ girl. She exudes understated, sublime glamour, although she may pass people’s notice because she simply spends a moment at the red carpet before retreating into the background. She is always perfectly turned out; the tall, slim woman wearing the perfectly cut blazer or pairing an ebullient yellow blouse with basic pants, accentuating the look with large earrings. It helps that she’s a very good — though niche — designer. A woman who understands design is bound to know precisely how to dress well.”



Salima Feerasta      Style blogger, social media consultant and founder and chief editor of


Samira Dada, socialite

“Socialite Samira Dada is easily one of the most stylish women in Pakistan. Her petite frame is not the easiest to dress, but her savvy way with silhouettes and unerring eye for understated, luxe accessories means Samira always turns heads. From Sania Maskatiya to Menahel Mehreen to Misha Lakhani, Samira’s designer choices illustrate a love of craftsmanship and modern luxury.”





Maheen Khan, fashion designer

“Maheen Khan is living proof that style has no sell-by date. Refusing to dwindle into a nondescript also-ran, Maheen proves you can set trends at any age. She’s said in the past that stopping dyeing her hair was incredibly liberating. Her subtly highlighted edgy grey crop has become a style icon in and of itself, while her flowy, fusion silhouettes are timeless. Unlike many women of her generation, who clutch their designer handbagslike some sort of security blanket, Maheen’s less-is-more approach to accessories is an inspiration.”




Ronak Lakhani, Philanthropist/Chairperson, Special Olympics Pakistan, socialite

“Ronak Lakhani’s voluntary work with the Pakistan’s Special Olympics team is legendary, but she is also one of the most stylish women in Karachi. It takes confidence to move beyond fads and incorporate the best of current fashion into your own personal style, but Ronak manages it effortlessly. Patronising some of Pakistan’s best designers, her elegant style demonstrates a love of artisanal techniques and chic cuts.”



Syed Aamir Bukhari  Fashion blogger/critic and founder and publisher of Aamiriat


Nabila, image consultant

“Nabila is one of my best dressed women because she embodies how a woman is supposed to evolve with grace and personality: a perfect example of restraint and why ‘less is more.’ Her penchant for monochrome looks and an uncluttered palette over the years of her many award shows and red carpet appearances illustrates that one doesn’t need ‘It’ bags and flashy monogram labels to make a mark.”



Meesha Shafi, singer

“She is an actress, singer, model and pretty much the only proper encapsulation of an “IT girl” inPakistan.  Meesha Shafi is one of my best dressed women because she is always pushing the sartorial envelope, be it her dabbling into international designers like Rohit Bal at Coke Studio, or favouring old school ghararas by kitschy high street brands on Eid. No matter how loud the style statement, she is still at the forefront, without any blind brand worship.”


Iman Ahmed, Body Focus Museum, fashion designer

“Iman Ahmed is that grown-up woman who doesn’t need to wear princess ball-gowns to fancy occasions; hers is usually an elegant piece that holds a lot of allure marked by wrapping and draping, which is further enhanced with her cool personality. Although she largely remains elusive, Iman’s few appearances at award shows and private events like Sana Safinaz’s recent private showcase at Fashion Pakistan Week Winter Festive, evoke a seriousness of intent that is compelling yet effortless.”


Anusheh Shahid  Fashion and wellness blogger, and founder and editor-in-chief of Style Haven



Zahra Ayub, LA-based fashion stylist






Maira Pagganwalla, fashion editor and socialite







Sana Hashwani, fashion designer




All three women indubitably embrace their individual personal styles really well.”


Zurain Imam   Fashion, lifestyle and entertainment journalist

Sana Hashwani, fashion designer, Sana Safinaz

“I remember Sana from the days before she launched Sana Safinaz when she was probably about 17-years-old, dressed in a Chanel bouclé jacket, replete with dangling chains and with a supernova aura about her. She was destined to be an enduring style icon in my books because her sense of style was so obviously innate.  She is the best walking billboard for her brand and she often wears her own creations, making them look supremely elegant, individualistic, age-appropriate and aspirational – all the hallmarks of an indubitable style icon!”

Meesha Shafi, singer/actress

“Meesha seems to be everyone’s favourite style icon, perhaps because her sense of personal style is so blatantly individualistic, unique and adventurous. She understands that as a proverbial “rock chick,” image is essential to the overall package of a star. Her chosen oeuvre allows her to make bold fashion choices, but she contains them with an innately elegant restraint and is never OTT. She knows how to create dramatic, edgy style with élan and finesse.”

Kiran Malik, model/actress/online fashion entrepreneur

“With her stint as a stylist for, launching her online store, Styleberri, and living in myriad fashionable cities, including London, Kiran has been able to create her very own individualistic and quirky sense of fashion. Her wardrobe choices range from classic to quirky with myriad timeless pieces. She doesn’t seem to kowtow to or be “owned” by any stylist. Recently, she opted for a refreshingly unconventional look in a custom-made Sana Safinaz pant-suit at the Geo Lux Style Awards 2017. Kiran is increasingly becoming known as a rising fashionista to watch.”