KARACHI: Knockout performances, acceptance speeches that pulled at the heartstrings and near-clean sweeps in film and fashion categories are just some of the highlights from the 14th Lux Style Awards ceremony held on Wednesday night at the Expo Centre with a sizzling Red Carpet surrounded with lounge spaces created by the main sponsors.

The opening performance by Amjad Farid Sabri to Tajdar-i-Haram (originally performed by Ghulam Farid Sabri Qawwal) led to a somewhat nostalgic segment where Humsafar stars and brand ambassadors Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan drove onstage in a sport red convertible. They were joined on the stage shortly afterwards by actor Yasir Hussain in character after which good times really started to roll. Yasir power-packed performance included taking jabs at fellow performers, hinting at deliberate references to certain brands, making sweeping statements about new film releases as well as social media status and controversies, and so on and so forth. There were times when he even overshadowed the Humsafar stars and hosts for the evening. Yasir scored repeatedly throughout the ceremony, reappearing with Ayesha Omer as the transsexual make-up artist Honey and a few times with partner-in-crime Abdullah Farhatullah.

In the film category, the rebirth of cinema has led to the release of 13 films so far and awards were distributed in various categories. Best Film Actress went to Saleha Arif for Dukhtar, Best Film Actor to Javed Shaikh for his work in Na Maloon Afraad (his award was received by his son Shahzad Shaikh as the senior Sheikh is visiting the US these days), Nabeel (NMA) for Best Director and finally the Best Film trophy was bagged by Fizza again for Na Maloom Afraad.

Interspersed in between the awards show were medley-based song and dance performances, the first featured performances based on films released this year. Ayesha Omer performed to Tutti Fruiti from Karachi Se Lahore, Urwa Hocane to Dur Badur from NMA, Amna Ilyas to Kala Doriya from the film Dekh Magar Pyar Say and Ahmed Ali Butt’s performance to the title song of the film Jawani Phir Nahi Ani.

Celebrating Pakistan’s rich music culture and legacy, the music awards saw the trophy being given away in categories such as Best Music Video Director (Adnan Kandahar for Josh), Best Emerging Talent (Sara Haider), Best Original Soundtrack (Billi,NMA), Song of the Year (Farhan Saeed, Roiyaan) and Album of the Year (Zoe Viccaji, Dareechay).

The second such song and dance medley featured emerging artists who did covers of Ali Zafar’s songs over the years. Farhan Saeed performed Channo, Uzair Jaswal Dil Jhoom Jhoom, Sara Haider Rangeen and Jimmy Khan Chal Dil Mere, at the end of which Ali himself came onstage in a mock act to show these amateurs how it’s done and performed to Rockstar while flanked with Resham and Meera to create what was a classic LSA moment.

The handing out of scholarships to complete final-year thesis to deserving students of Napa in music (Erum Nafees and Junien Qaiser) and NCA in film and TV (Raja Roy and Mahad Ali Sajid) was next followed by students studying fashion design in Lahore’s Pakistan Institute of Fashion & Design (Maimoona Basharat and Areej Iqbal) and Karachi’s Asian Institute of Fashion & Design (Alizeh Dildashti and Shameen Shiraz Lalani) being handed certificates of merit.

The homage to stars that have passed away included big names in the industry such as Zubaida Khanum, Reshma, Bashir Ahmed, Aqeel Ahmed Ruby, Bulund Iqbal, Zille Huma, Tariq Ahmed, Qureshpur, Javed Mir and Tufail Niazi.

In the fashion category, the Best Model (male) award went to Shehzad Noor, Amna Ilyas for Best Model (female), Best Photographer was won by Nadir Feroz, Nabila for Best Hair & Make-up (her ninth such award), Sana Safinaz for a whopping three wins in Achievement in Fashion Design (Luxury Pret), Achievement in Pret and Achievement in Fashion Design (Lawn), followed by Best Menswear going to Ismail Farid, Sadaf Kanwal getting the Best Emerging Talent LSA trophy and finally Achievement in Fashion Design (Bridal) for Nomi Ansari.

A tribute performance by Moammar Rana, Resham, Marayam and Noor Bukhari also ensued.

The Unilever Chairman’s Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Syed Noor while Mussarat Misbah was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in fashion.

In television, Aiza Khan won Best Actress for her role in Six Sigma Production’s Pyare Afzal, which also went on to bag the Best Actor trophy for Hamza Ali Abbasi, Best Play for Humayun Saeed, Best Director for Nadeem Baig and Best Writer for Khalilur Rehman Qamar.

At this point the best dressed male and female wins were announced for Uzair Jaswal and Nooray Bhatti, respectively.

Finally, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performed all-time hits Zaroori Tha, Chori Chori, Tere Mast Mast Do Nain and Habibi to performances by Nooray Bhatti, Sabeeka Imam, Sadaf Kanwal and Fia Khan in an effort to explore their avatars as potential screen stars.

Finally, of powerful statements there were quite a few during the ceremony.

Syed Noor said: “When I received my first award at the age of 24, Madam Noor Jehan was seated in the front row of the audience and as I came down from the stage she called me to her and told me ‘You will go very far as you share half my name’. I have left the Noor of 45 years back at home and what you see now is the birth of a new me who is not ashamed to learn from his juniors!”

Mussarat Misbah cut an impressive figure while receiving her Lifetime Achievement Award and said: “My work is far from over. With the Depilex Smile Again Foundation treating acid-burn victims, it is still going on …”

Amna Ilyas emoted public sentiment and got a round of applause when she ended her acceptance speech thus: “To all those people who said I’m ugly just because I’m dark ... This is my answer to them!” (waving her LSA trophy for Best Model (female).

Published in Dawn October 2nd, 2015

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