November Issue 2008
Out of Style
After much fanfare and amid an announcement that the seventh Lux Style Awards (LSA) would be held in Lahore, followed by rumours that it had been scrapped altogether because of budget constraints, and a combined ceremony would be held next year, and even speculation that only a closed-door affair would be held this year in which just the awards would be given out, the organisers finally decided to go ahead with the event.
If it is true that the decision-makers had been contemplating a small, closed-door ceremony, they should have stuck to their guns rather than hosting what can only be described, in the politest of terms, as a half-hearted venture. Regardless of the controversy surrounding the awards every year, the LSA has come to be accepted as the only glitzy awards event recognising local talent over a broad spectrum. And anything falling short of the bar was not a good idea.
To begin with, the LSA tried to recapture the glamour normally found on their Red Carpet, but the pizzazz was just not there. Many of the regular faces from the world of fashion, television and film were missing, and the Red Carpet was predominantly occupied by males, with a few female models planted here and there.
After some umpteen announcements that the “programme will begin shortly,” it finally commenced after 10 p.m. with Shan, who has by now become a regular face at the LSA, at the podium. The first set of awards to be announced were in the category of music, a segment that had been assigned to Ali Azmat to handle — a big mistake. It’s time people realised that just being able to speak correct English is not reason enough for selecting masters of ceremony. Azmat was a major pain, with his constant taunts about “a dead audience” — the producer covering the show is going to have a tough time editing all his unsavoury references to an unresponsive audience and some unpalatable jokes.
Tooba was invited to hand out the award for the “Best Song of the Year,’ which went out to ‘Sajni’ by Jal. Unfortunately, no one was there to receive the very first award of the evening — although the band had been present at the Red Carpet. Zeb and Haniya presented the ‘Best Live Act’ award which went to Strings, but again, no one was there to receive the award, so the duo accepted it on their behalf. The last award in the music category, ‘Best Music Album,’ presented by Iman Ali and Imran Abbas, went to Jal, who by this time had made an appearance.
From the next category, devoted to television, the ‘Best Terrestrial TV Actress’ award went out to Beenish Chohan for PTV’s ‘Pehli Boond’, while the ‘Best Actor’ award was bagged by Asif Reza Mir for ‘Meray Dard Ko Jo Zuban Milay.’ Presenting the ‘Best TV Director Terrestrial’ and ‘Best TV Play Terrestrial’ were Noor and Resham, with both the awards going to Manzoor Magsi for ‘Lyari Express’ from PTV.
If the tedious banter of the presenters hadn’t done the trick by this time, the entertainment segment that followed surely did, for the medley featuring Saima, Atif Aslam and Shehzad Roy — meant to be a tribute to Reshma — all but put everyone to sleep. The only positive aspect of the performance was that Reshma also joined the performers on stage, and received a spontaneous standing ovation from part of the audience.
If there were an award for the Best Presenters of the evening, it would surely have gone to Juggan Kazim and Jal who came up to present the ‘Best Pret Designer’ award, for they were the wittiest on the mike. The award went to Maheen Karim, while the ‘Best Menswear Designer’ award went to Deepak Perwani.
Just as Nadya Hussain and Adnan Malik presented the award for ‘Best Hair and Make-up’ to Khawar Riaz, there was a short-circuit backstage, leaving the stage in pitch darkness and without any sound. As smoke started to filter into the marquee, people made a beeline for the exit in panic, and many in the audience left the venue altogether.
When the programme finally resumed though, the ‘Best Emerging Talent in Fashion’ award went to Rabia Butt while the ‘Best Couture Design’ once again went to Rizwan Beyg — his third consecutive LSA award. The ‘Best Model of the Year’ was bagged by Neha Ahmed and ‘Male Model of the Year’ was awarded to Ameer Zeb. The much awaited ‘Lifetime Achievement Award in Fashion’ went out to Sugra Kazmi, and her daughter-in-law, Bunto, who received the award on her behalf, remarked, “Better late than never!”
The awards given out in the field of satellite television were controversial, to say the least. For one, Bushra Ansari was presented the ‘Best Actress’ award for her relatively minor role in Geo’s ‘Vanee’, which she herself admitted she didn’t deserve as much as Saba Pervez did for her performance in the same play. The ‘Best Actor’ award went to Humayun Saeed, while the ‘Best Director’ went to Anjum Shehzad for Geo’s ‘Pehla Chand’, a play that didn’t merit an entry to begin with, as it didn’t fulfill the criterion of being at least 40 minutes long. In fact, the organisers had reportedly agreed to pull it out when its nomination had been contested by others in the media, so it was surprising that it bagged the award. The ‘Best Satellite Play’ went to HUM TV’s ‘Man-o-Salwa’.
After another lukewarm song and dance performance, the film awards were given out, all of which went to the sole nomination in this category —Khuda Kay Liye. Shaan in his acceptance speech for the ‘Best Actor’ award, rambled on about how he didn’t think his role had been anything special and he valued his ‘gujjar’ roles just as much, and promptly gave his award to Fawad Khan, who was hosting this segment of the awards ceremony.
Probably the funniest dialogue delivered the whole evening was when Shaan, complimenting the two relative youngsters, Fawad and Iman Ali — the latter bagged the ‘Best Actress’ award — on their talent, made the mistake of saying that he hadn’t complimented Reema, who was presenting the awards, as she was his senior. All hell broke lose as Reema immediately retorted, “But you were older than I was when we started!”
One is told that after the awards ceremony Jal came on the stage to perform, but by that time it was so late that hardly a handful of people stayed on to watch the performance. All in all, this was one evening LSA couldn’t be too proud of; they’ll have to work extra hard next year if they want to erase the memory of this lacklustre event.
The writer is a freelance journalist based in Karachi. She also works at Hum television.