The most glamorous event of the year, the annual Lux Style Awards 2019, was held at the Karachi Expo Centre on July 7. The LSAs have been celebrating Pakistan’s film, fashion, television and music industries for the past 18 years.
Unilever Chairperson Shazia Syed said that her company believes that it is important to support the entertainment industry and emphasized the need to break stereotypes. She talked about how Unilever began their journey by first championing women rights, the rights of the people with mental and physical disabilities and then the rights of transgender people.
“It is through these bold decisions that we will be able to demonstrate our tolerance, inclusiveness and freedom from stereotypes,” she said as she kicked off the event.
The LSA Awards night, Pakistan’s most glamourous in a calendar year, involved many high powered women in leading roles. It was directed by maestro Frieha Altaf, while trusted and long time hair and make up partner Nabila was in charge of the styling, hair and makeup. Mehwish Hayat, Momina Mustehsan, Hina Dilpazeer, Mehwish Hayat, Saba Qamar, Maya Ali and Meera set the stage on fire with their individual performances.
Momina Mustehsan and Eva B, the rapper who is redefining music from Karachi’s deprived Lyari district, performed the first act of the night. Their segment, titled ‘Rukay Naa Rukay’, was an ode to resilient women who have given their all to achieve success.
“This special segment was an ode to the strong women in our society,” said Momina. “This is the first time I’m performing at the LUX Style Awards and what makes it most special for me is that it revolved around the women empowerment theme.”
The camaraderie between sizzling stars and Challawa heroines Mehwish Hyatt and Zara Noor Abbas Siddiqui was highlighted when the two spoke about how important it is for women to have each other’s back. They performed a light-hearted act to shatter stereotypes about women creating unnecessary drama when they work together.
Actors Mansha Pasha and Ahmed Ali Akbar, while speaking about their movie Laal Kabootar, said that it’s important to show women in non-traditional roles.“Bohat si filmon mein humain larkiyon ke liye aisay roles milay jo hum screen pe bohat kam dekhtay hain. Sirf sharmeeli, dorti bhaagti, nachti gaati larki ka stereotype bohat hadd tak challenge kia gya. Ab larkiyan sirf paharon mein saarhiyan pehan kar nahi dance karteen balkay motorcycle bhi chalati hain,” said Mansha. [Many movies showed women in characters which we have never seen before. The stereotype of shy and dancing girls has been challenged to a certain extent. Women are no longer dancing in mountains wearing sarees; they are seen riding bikes too]
Hania Amir played a young fighter pilot in Parwaz Hai Junoon, Mehwish Hayat portrayed the role of a polio worker in Load Wedding, while Sohai Ali Abro (who won Best Actress) played the role a motorcycle girl who travelled the length of Pakistan, the two actors pointed out.
The Unilever Chairman’s Lifetime Achievement Award was given to legendary Lollywood star Shabnam who travelled from Bangladesh. Her tribute performance was given by Meera, Maya Ali, and Saba Qamar who paid a stunning tribute to the beloved star by dancing to her iconic songs to honour the actor’s work. The tribute struck an emotional note as towards the end, Atif Aslam took to the stage to sing her hit song from Aaina, “Mujhe Dil Se Na Bhulana” and walked her up where her co-star of many films Nadeem Baig joined her and Shazia Syed presented the LSA statue.
The second Lifetime Achievement Award, this time for work in the fashion industry, was given to hair and make up pioneer, Nabila. The award was presented to Nabila by her sons, Zair and Zakir Maqsood.
On stage, Nabila, who has crafted a stellar career since the past 30 plus years, spoke about the power and influence of people in the room. She asked all to #DoMore with their collective social influence. “Let’s come together and do our bit to build a better world….A world which is diverse, inclusive, embracing and fair for all,” she said.
The LUX Style Awards for excellence in Entertainment and Fashion is an annual event where artists from four industries come together to perform and appreciate each other’s efforts throughout the year.