They're armed, dangerous and crazy about lawn!

Women flock to lawn exhibitions and fight it out to get their hands on the best pieces, all over a sexy billboard?

Nojeba Haider February 15, 2011

Winter is nearly over in Karachi and I can already see billboards of Iman Ali modeling for lawn.

This is just the beginning of the lawn madness in Karachi.

Every year, designers hold exhibitions selling overpriced lawn where mobs of women claw and push each other to get the best pieces.

Even if the prints are a big disappointment, women will still wait in long lines at exhibition venues.

Aunties gone wild

I made the mistake of attending one Gul Ahmed lawn exhibition. While I was standing at the counter, a middle-aged aunty came and pushed me from behind because I had asked the salesman to take out a piece that she liked. I yelped in pain as the counter’s edge jabbed into my stomach, and the piece dropped from my clutches. The aunty proceeded to snatch it saying it was hers.

At the Sana Safinaz exhibition last year, women started gathering outside the venue before the gates opened so they could be the first in line. My colleagues had actually taken the day off so they could be among the first few to buy the prints.

Shop till you drop - literally

I have heard stories about women who make their maids stand in line at payment counters while they select prints; there was even an incident where the organisers had to arrange for first aid due to claustrophobia and lack of oxygen.

At the Sana Safinaz exhibition, prints were sold out by 5pm on the first day; some women had bought three pieces of the same design and even asked salesmen for their cell phone numbers to check if new stock might arrive the next day.

Eye witnesses have told me that when the gates at the exhibition venue eventually closed, women banged their fists and tried to break down the gate. Eventually, a police mobile had to be called in to control the mob.

Such behaviour is shocking, especially when it comes from educated women who are probably in their late 40's. Women who come back disappointed and agitated vouch never to go to an exhibition again. But one such lady confessed that when she learnt that fresh stock had arrived, she sheepishly went back and returned victorious, with a new purchase.

What are we paying for?

To me, some brands look like they are promoting the model and makeup artist rather than the fabric (Iman Ali’s provocative poses, anyone?)

This year, high end brands like HSY, Nomi Ansari and Nadya Hussain will be holding exhibitions. If poor quality fabric can cause a riot at the Marriot just because of a sexy billboard, I wonder how many women will flock to these exhibitions that promise the best quality.

When I look at women at these exhibitions, I wonder how people can say that Pakistan is a poor country. Let’s see how many ambulances, cat fight and first aid kits this year’s lawn exhibitions bring to us.
Nojeba Haider A corporate banker based in Karachi. Nojeba tweets @nojeba.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Aamir | 13 years ago | Reply Iman Ali's billboard on Two talwar, clifton, karachi was banned and removed. other billboards in karachi with models werent banned. That shows that her modelling was so obscene and provocative that she had to be removed. Im a man and I have to admit the way she was lying on the floor was provoking men on purpose. @ Mohammad Ali Mengal: To say its her profession is stupidity. If that justified it, then a stripper also has a profession, a dancer also has a profession, they all meet demands of society too.I God forbid would never let women from my home lie in an indecent position in public like Iman Ali did. Most of her modelling positions are indecent, lying on the floor, lying in male models laps, she purposely provokes men. Im sure you wouldnt like women in your house to lie in such positions in public, then how can you justify Iman ali doing it. Like i said if its about profession, then even dancers, strippers have a profession. overall thank God the lawn craze season is finally over
Nojeba | 13 years ago | Reply @Mohammad Ali Mengal: I didnt decide the picture to be put up for this article. and if Iman Ali is doing what all models do, then she shouldnt go on Tv and say " the fashion industry is too modern for me, im too innocent for it" All models do it yes, but then you shouldnt deny what you do. If she believes what she is doing is right, then she should stand up for it and not act like a damsel in distress. Its funny how men do not let women of their own house wear such clothes but when Iman Ali does it they protect her just because she uses her sickness or profession to justify it. May i remind you, prositution is also justified by prostitutes by saying that they do it as a profession and they need money. As you said then: a prostitute is also fulfilling the needs and demands of our society.
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