Stars get tickled pink at the Emmys

TV star Yara Shahidi wore a Gucci gown. AFP
Updated 19 September 2018
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Stars get tickled pink at the Emmys

  • There were princess looks and stars pretty in pink, liquid metallics and in reliable red for TV’s big night at the Emmy Awards
  • TV star Yara Shahidi wore a sugar pink Gucci gown

DUBAI: There were princess looks and stars pretty in pink, liquid metallics and in reliable red for TV’s big night at the Emmy Awards.
TV star Yara Shahidi, whose father is Iranian-born, wore a sugar pink Gucci gown, complete with floral embellishments and crystal detailing on the floor-length skirt.
Claire Foy in custom Calvin Klein by Appointment, Jessica Biel in ruffled Ralph & Russo and Scarlett Johansson in Balmain represented in white Monday, as did RuPaul in a jacket adorned with Andy Warhol designs of black Statues of Liberty on one side.
Yellow came in a variety of shades, from neon (Regina King) to mustard (16-year-old Gaten Matarazzo) to gold (Gwendoline Christie) to the lightest Easter hue, worn by a few.
And then there was Tracee Ellis Ross. Love her or scorn her in voluminous Valentino Haute Couture with a puffy top that surely set a world record.
“I almost shed a tear when she hit the carpet,” Julee Wilson, fashion and beauty director for Essence magazine, told the Associated Press of Shahidi’s “black-ish” co-star. “She cements her status as a style icon every time she gets dressed. But then again, she was birthed by Diana Ross, so it makes sense.”
Other best-dressed votes for Ellis Ross rolled in after the parade of fashion on the Emmys gold carpet in Los Angeles.
“If you plan to make the carpet all yours, it makes sense to go all out and do the volume of Valentino Haute Couture,” said Avril Graham, executive fashion and beauty editor for Harper’s Bazaar. “Absolutely perfect.”
It was bright pink. It had volume to spare all the way to the ground.
Erin Cunningham, senior fashion editor for the millennial-focused style site Refinery29, lauded Ellis Ross for never holding back, fashion wise, but also among her top looks was actress Poppy Delevingne in seafoam, ruffle-caped Giambattista Valli couture. It included an oversized silhouette that began just above the knee.
“The color is unexpected and a rarity on the red carpet, and she topped the look off with a cute ribbon bow in her hair,” Cunningham said.
Delevingne also sported $200,000 worth of Amwaj citrine and diamond earrings, plus rings.
Cunningham noted pink had a renaissance in shades that felt less saccharine than usual, including Ellis Ross and Shahidi.
“There was Tracee’s magenta dress, Leslie Jones’ holographic Christian Siriano suit (in pink and blue) and Thandie Newton’s one-sleeved bubblegum pink gown,” she said, referring to Newton’s one-shoulder Brandon Maxwell that looped at the neck in a long cape effect on one side.
Supermodel Gigi Hadid wore the look on Maxwell’s recent New York Fashion Week runway.
So where do these people shop? Well, while others ripped their outfits off runways or wore custom gowns, Meghan Mullally purchased her Carolina Herrera sheer black look with floral detailing online. Kristen Bell wore a classic white column gown from an unexpected brand, Solace London.
While basic black is always abundant, Wilson had kind words for Keri Russell of “The Americans,” for elevating the color in Zuhair Murad couture. It was beaded black crepe with a peplum ruffle in feathers atop a black pleated chiffon skirt.


Pakistani tailor adds former US president to star-studded list of clients

Updated 15 February 2019
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Pakistani tailor adds former US president to star-studded list of clients

  • The 36-year-old outfitter has built a customer list of famous names from the sporting, show business and political worlds
  • His family enterprise was established more than 100 years ago and operated from large shop premises in Kolkata, India

KARACHI: It is probably safe to say that tailor to the stars Sarfraz Akbar has the market for celebrity clients all sewn up.

The 36-year-old outfitter has built a customer list of famous names from the sporting, show business and political worlds through his reputation for making high-quality garments.

And now Akbar, who works for his family business at shops in an affluent neighborhood of Pakistan’s port city of Karachi, can add a former American president to his star-studded client base.

During a trip to the US in July last year, he was invited by an American-Pakistani friend to meet with George W. Bush.

“I was super-excited when along with my wife and daughters we boarded my friend’s private jet and flew from Houston to Dallas,” Akbar told Arab News.

After taking measurements of the former US president, he returned to Pakistan and made several suits for him, before dispatching them to Dallas in December 2018.

“My happiness doubled when I got a call from the US informing me that the former president had appreciated my work after wearing the suits,” Akbar said.

Akbar’s father Mohammed said his son had built up a distinguished list of Pakistani personalities he has worked for. 

“By earning praise from George W. Bush, my son has not only made me proud but it’s also a matter of pride for all Pakistanis.”

The youngest of three brothers, Akbar has brought fame to the family name and business, his father added.

The family enterprise was established more than 100 years ago and operated from large shop premises in Kolkata. The family moved from the Indian city after the inception of Pakistan.

The business now has two shops under the “Ambassador” brand name in the Zamzama district of Karachi. 

“We could have opened dozens of outlets, but we believe in quality. The materials we use are imported and we focus on precision,” said Akbar. 

“It’s handmade, customized work. We don’t sell readymade stuff.

“However, we’re now getting people coming to us from other cities wanting to have their wardrobes from the tailor of George W. Bush. Some clients even ask to have their photos taken with me.”

Akbar said he has always had big ambitions. Following matriculation in 1999, he continued his studies but opted at the same time to focus on the family business with a view to taking it to new heights after his graduation.

When the Indian cricket team toured Pakistan during 2005-2006, Akbar made clothes for all the Indian players. 

“Almost all the Pakistani players including Wasim Akram, Misbah-ul-Haq, Sarfraz Ahmed and Shahid Afridi — the latter being a regular customer – have worn our wardrobes too,” Akbar said.

He also designed kurta shalwar clothing for West Indian player and Peshawar Zalmi skipper, Darren Sammy, during the last season of the Pakistan Super League.

Akbar also has a long list of political clients including Pakistan’s former leader Pervez Musharraf, incumbent President Dr. Arif Alvi, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and Sindh Gov. Imran Ismail. “I made a waistcoat for Imran Khan after he was sworn in as the premier of Pakistan,” he said.

Summing up his achievements to date, Akbar said: “You can be proud of yourself and your family, but you just need to focus on your work and work hard.”