The iconic Vaneeza Ahmed and the fashion guru Deepak Perwani shone in Tonight with HSY with their views about their development as artists, acting and of course, fashion. The friendship of the trio was evident as they cherished their days of youth and related to how their work has transformed them.
Vaneeza Ahmed, or the famous “Vinny” as called in the fashion fraternity, is one of the most celebrated models in the Pakistani Fashion scene. She has been an actor not only for television, but has also impressed with her acting skills in film Jinnah.
In a candid interview with HSY, Vaneeza said that after doing so many things, she would now want to start an outlet of ready-to-wear casual clothes.
“I have tried everything and I enjoyed it all very much. I have been running my brand [for lawn prints] for nine years. Now we have decided that we will open an outlet of ready-to-wear, casual clothes."
"I am not a designer. I am a business person," said Vaneeza. "I take my inspiration from other cultures, it does not come to me naturally, which is why I don't call myself a designer."
"I have a style and if people like my style, they'll like my clothes as well.
|Vaneeza Ahmed on 'Tonite With HSY'|
Responding to what is her biggest career achievement, Vaneeza responded: “The biggest achievement is yet to come. I cannot say that I have done something big as yet. However, I have done many good things in fashion and that is the reason I am here today. People know me and respect me for my contribution to the fashion industry.”
Vaneeza took a break from work after her daughter Inaya was born.
So will Vaneeza Ahmed return to the industry and continue her career?
“It depends. I haven’t agreed on doing anything as yet because Inaya is still too young. I feel that when you have a baby, being a mother is a full time job and my prime focus is giving her the right upbringing. I want to spend this time with my daughter," shared Vaneeza.
"I have taken a break. However, I will do a drama or even a movie if it is not time consuming, but that doesn't seem to happen. I am waiting for Inaya to grow up a bit.”
Commenting on the recent trend of Pakistani actors doing Bollywood movies, Vaneeza said: "I will do a good role if offered. I would do an art movie, but I would never perform on an item song.”
Talking about any regrets in life, Vaneeza said: “There are no regrets as such. However, I might have done some things differently. Like some plays and shoots or those head gears I wore in fashion shows – I wouldn’t do that now."
She added: "When you become a mother and you want to set an example for your child, it makes you think about what you had done.”
Comparing her time with today, Vaneeza said that earlier, the models had a sense of sisterhood: “That friendship does not exist now. Now I see competition, jealousy, undercutting. I see Botox and plastic surgeries; things have become very artificial now.”
Defining herself, she said: “Ten years ago I would have said something else. But now, first I am a mother. I am determined and focused. I used to be very driven and hard working.”
On getting married
Vaneeza recounted her story of getting married and said that she was surrounded by people who always asked her about her marriage, but she had left it to God to decide for her.
“When everybody used to ask me when will I marry, I used to tell my mother that nothing happens without the will of God. And then the same happened when I didn’t even have plans to marry."
"We met through Facebook after 18 years… it all happened so quickly – within four to five days,” said Vaneeza.
Just before Deepak Perwani joined them on the set, Vaneeza praised him for being the most innovative designer she had worked with.
“I still remember it was the start of my career. It was that cover that people still talk about and he [Deepak Perwani] came up with the amazing concept of how to bring out the local traditions in our present [fashion] world. I remember that on the cover of Extra, I was wearing an ajrak trouser, and it [the designer] was the one and only, Deepak Perwani."
|Deepak Perwani on 'Tonite With HSY'|
HSY congratulated Deepak Perwani for winning his international award, to which Deepak responded: “Just last night somebody said that I must start taking myself seriously. Whenever we talk about your awards you say, 'Ok, I have won another one', but yes it is an honour.”
Vaneeza was all praises for Deepak: “It is not that he has won the award in Pakistan. He is the 6th biggest brand in the world, that's a huge honour.”
HSY asked Deepak why in his recent interviews had he described himself as obnoxious and insane.
“I think it's the fact that Deepak Perwani has been in the industry for over 20 years and still goes on with the same fervour,” said Deepak.
“I have only two assistants in my design house. I am a control freak. I do everything myself and I believe in small teams. I think large design teams create confusion in designs also, plus, I like to keep the designs and teams in a box.
"When you do too much sampling you get too many great ideas. I want to use those ideas very, very slowly,” he added.
Responding to what, other than work, makes him insane, Deepak responded: “Stupidity and time wasting makes me insane. And when people, who don’t know anything about fashion, comment on it.”
“Fashion is an art; fashion is a business. It is a creative mind putting something on a blank canvas and it takes a lot for a designer to do a collection. It is very easy to critique,” expressed Deepak.
|Vaneeza Ahmed and Deepak Perwani on Tonite With HSY|
Vaneeza supporting Deepak’s point of view affirmed: ”You can’t define the fashion with big or small. It is about business."
New models need to quit modeling
Responding to whether they thought there is any model who needs to stop modeling, not age wise, but that she should just not model, Vaneeza said: “In that sense, I think all of the newer models — I would say all of them should be removed.“
|Vaneeza Ahmed on 'Tonite With HSY'|
Agreeing with Vaneeza, Deepak shared that they should be removed because there are a lot of height issues.
“It’s not about height only; I feel that she is just not a model," responded Vaneeza. "They don’t practice; they don’t know how to walk (on the ramp); nor do they look good — they have nothing. It’s just that they have got the permission, hence they are walking on the ramp.”
Deepak continued and said: “It’s a growing industry right now where there aren’t any set standards. Standards in the sense that she should have a certain height and weight and whether she has it nor not. There are very few models who have all these, right from the beginning.
"It’s very difficult to translate yourself from an eastern garment to a western garment and then go back to the eastern garment. It takes a lot because if you have never worn that dress, then you’ll never know how to carry it.
At this point, it was Vaneeza who threw a rather fiery question at both HSY and Deepak:
“I want to ask as to why do you designers make short outfits when you know our models do not know how to carry them.”
Deepak answered: “I am fond of making short dresses — I like making them and I also have clients who wear such dresses.”
HSY added that earlier he also made short dresses, but few of his clients wear them so he doesn’t make too many of them. He added that Deepak’s clients hail from the younger lot, hence they prefer short dresses.
Vaneeza on the other hand remained adamant about her point and commented: “We don’t know how to carry it as it is not a part of our culture.”
|Deepak Perwani on 'Tonite With HSY'|
Deepak provided a reason for laughing: “If we do not make short dresses, you'll say “behan-jee jese kapre bana diye”.
Vaneeza, however, was not convinced and inquired again as to what was the harm in making those “behan-jee” clothes.
"People deem us to be crazy when we walk the red carpet in such [short] attire because who in the public wears that? Does your business come from that?” said Vaneeza.
To this, Deepak agreed that business does indeed come frombehan-jee type clothes.
In the entire debate, Vaneeza had the final say: “Exactly, so make behan-jee style clothes.”
On being virtually social
Even though it was social media that helped Vaneeza find her life partner, she doesn’t believe in connecting with her fans.
“I feel that my private life is my private life and I don’t need to announce it to the world. Social media seems to be big but in reality it is only making people anti-social.”
Deepak, who uses both Twitter and Facebook, also quipped in: “A very simple example for this is that if you want to wish your mother a happy birthday then what’s the point of wishing her on Facebook? Just go to her room and wish her. What’s the point of announcing it to the world?”
Both celebrities agreed that social media cannot replace the pleasure of letter writing or reading a book, instead of writing emails and reading e-books.
There was a sense of nostalgia as Deepak talked about olden times: “The joy of taking those 36 on-roll pictures to get them developed — now you don’t do anything.”
|Vaneeza Ahmed and Deepak Perwani on 'Tonite With HSY'|
While Deepak Perwani remains in touch with his friends over telephone, Vaneeza does not talk on the phone as much as she previously did.
“My priorities have changed because of my daughter. I try to spend as much time as I can with Inaya.”
The vivacious episode finally concluded with a surprise for all as HSY asked Deepak what would be the next big thing for him and it appears that the wedding bells will be chiming soon.
“Marriage is on the cards,” said Deepak.
However, he added that it will take another two years because he is currently building his house.