Chinoy's Oscar moment: Dreams of gold

Published: February 26, 2012
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy in Sania Maskatiya at the 84th Awards Luncheon. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy in Sania Maskatiya at the 84th Awards Luncheon. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy in Sania Maskatiya at the 84th Awards Luncheon. PHOTO: PUBLICITY Close-up of motifs used by Sania Maskatiya for Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's Oscar dresses. PHOTO: PUBLICITY A Sania Maskatiya dress designed for Chinoy to be worn at Oscar related events. PHOTO: PUBLICITY Sherezad Rahimtoola has designed some of the bracelets that Chinoy will be wearing. PHOTO: PUBLICITY Sherezad Rahimtoola has designed some of the bracelets and rings that Chinoy will be wearing. . PHOTO: PUBLICITY Kiran’s Fine Jewellery will supply the bulk of the gold jewellery that Chinoy will wear including a special bracelet with the flag of Pakistan. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

February 26 will see Pakistanis on the edge of their seats, wanting to see if Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will bring home the country’s first Oscar for her documentary Saving Face. As soon as the news that the film-maker was heading to the Oscars spread, one question that occupied everyone’s mind was, ‘What will she wear?’ or more importantly, ‘Who will she wear?’ Being a strong woman herself, it doesn’t come off as a surprise that Obaid-Chinoy chose to wear female designers, from her clothes and her jewellery: “I am wearing Bunto Kazmi for the ceremony and will be wearing Sana Safinaz and Saniya Maskatiya for Oscar-related events. My jewellery will be done by Kiran Aman of Kiran Fine Jewellery and Sherezad Rahimtoola of Labels. I am really excited to showcase local Pakistani talent, and that too all women,” revealed Chinoy. Interestingly, all designers, like the film-maker herself, are Karachi based.

While traditionalist courtier Kazmi and the urbane Sana Safinaz hardly came off as a surprise, Maskatiya who is just a year-old with her own fashion label, definitely came as a shocker. The Express Tribune gives you a detailed insight into the wardrobe of the lady who may bring an Oscar to Pakistan.

Bunto Kazmi

“I have designed an ivory coat with gold and silver as well as resham and azri work on it. We also used the Persian motif that I was working on and had saved for a special occasion — who knew that it would be the Oscars?” says designer Bunto Kazmi. “We have used a variety of work from vasli to French knots and motif of birds to create an elegant outfit,” adds Kazmi’s daughter-in-law Sehar, who was also involved in its creation.

Sania Maskatiya

“It’s a great honour for any designer to be given such an opportunity and I feel truly humbled. I designed two traditional outfits for Sharmeen, since she had especially asked me to,” beams Maskatiya.

The first outfit was designed for the Academy Award Nominee Luncheon. The dress is a hand-embroidered (hath ari) piece in which the tree of life serves as the focal theme. “The tree has multiple local birds such as the cuckoo bird, sparrow, parrots and owl and has other elements which include butterflies and bugs, while the front is decorated with a peafowl, locally known as surkhab. The base fabric used for the dress is an exclusive Maskatiya computer-embroidered creation,” explains Maskatiya.

The young designer adds that the, “The second outfit that I designed is fit to be worn at one of the Oscar-related events. An emerald green kameez and churidar pajama outfit embroidered in hath ari. The front of the dress depicts men going for hunting on horses using traditional archery tools. Within the narrative there are predators such as the tiger, king cobra and viper looking for prey. Other animals in the narrative are deer, rabbit and birds such as swans, geese and the woodpecker. At the back of the dress there are three boxes each depicting a different hunting scene. The inspiration was taken from ancient Mughal hunting scenes and flora and fauna of the same epoch. The technique of applique and hand embroidery was incorporated to create the imagery.”

Sana Safinaz

Sharmeen’s outfit was chosen after careful consideration of the fact that not only does she represent Pakistan, she is also the face of modern Pakistani woman. Therefore we had to maintain a balance of western and eastern fusion. Keeping these sensibilities in mind, we designed a soft, silver-grey, front-open kurta with delicate silver and gold work. We also designed three other outfits for Chinoy to wear to various nominations, lunches and parties. These too, were a fusion of eastern and western design philosophies,” said the designer.

Kiran Aman of Kiran Fine Jewellery

“Sharmeen will be wearing a pair of vintage gold earrings with diamonds and pearls that are from my ‘Time Scripts Man, Man Scripts Time’ collection. I have also designed a cuff band for her to adorn at the event. It is again in vintage gold, diamonds and pearls, with a unique clasp at the back that has the Pakistani flag attached to it with a gold rope. The flag is in white diamonds and green sapphires. I have named the piece ‘Amun’ which means peace,” states Aman.

Sherezad Rahimtoola

“Keeping in mind the historical importance of the event and Chinoy’s own profile, I have specially designed hand-crafted, long diamond earrings with rubies, a bracelet (cuff) of diamonds and rubies, a classic ruby and diamond ring and a pair of long diamond earrings in gold and enamel finish,” shares Rahimtoola. “The gem stones were selected to match Sharmeen’s ensembles,” she adds, while listing down the gems used for the documentarian’s exclusive jewellery.

When asked why the culturally sound film-maker chose these designers,
Obaid-Chinoy said, “I chose these designers for a variety of reasons. I was eager to showcase Pakistani fashion at the Oscar’s and thought that it would be ideal to wear women designers exclusively. I have also worn these designers before and have admired their work for a long time; it seemed like a perfect combination of my personal style and the message, I wish to give.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • ahmed
    Feb 26, 2012 - 3:08AM

    All the best !!


  • Truth From Pakistan
    Feb 26, 2012 - 3:21AM

    Good luck Lady ! Keep up the good work. Happy for everybody whose involved in this event’s preparations. The pictures of the motifs and jewelry are beautiful. Have a wonderful time!


  • Adnan
    Feb 26, 2012 - 5:27AM

    Wah Wah, at one side a parliamentarian, Waheeda Shah of a liberal PPP party slapping a presiding office and here Ms.Chinoy giving a smile.

    I think Chinoy needs to save faces of Pakistani women from liberal feudal of Pakistan


  • Ras
    Feb 26, 2012 - 8:10AM

    Pakistanis and Grammarians wish Sharmeen Obaid the best of luck at the Oscars tomorrow.


  • WoW
    Feb 26, 2012 - 10:13AM

    Seconded. But then again this oscar-documentary has been heavily funded by State Dept, something I wonder if ET will be unbiased enough to publish in my comment.


  • smssr84
    Feb 26, 2012 - 12:14PM

    Really praying for her success tonight!!!!….. she deserves every bit of it!!


  • Ali S
    Feb 26, 2012 - 12:54PM

    Great work by Ms Chinoy – do your country proud. I hate to struggle to find her previous documentaries on the Internet, it’s a shame that local cable providers aren’t promoting her documentary.


  • Yusuf
    Feb 26, 2012 - 2:10PM

    Sharmeen chose local Pakistan designer wears like Sanaya Maskatya, Sana Safinaz and in the words of Bunto Kazmi, ” Whjo knew it would be the Oscars…”


  • Parvez
    Feb 26, 2012 - 3:05PM

    Amazing – a true role model.


  • hina
    Feb 26, 2012 - 5:13PM

    The main thing is to get nominated. Sana Safinaz could have given her a better outfit to wear at the luncheon. Can’t wait for tmrw. Best of luck.


  • Mariam Faisal Amin
    Feb 26, 2012 - 5:26PM

    Al the Best & Good luck Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy on Your Glorious Achievement…A Dream Come True :-) keep up the Amazing Work & Very Proud of You Dear :-)


  • Iqbal
    Feb 26, 2012 - 9:13PM

    Bring an Oscar home, lady. All the best!


  • sara
    Feb 26, 2012 - 11:18PM

    Saniya Maskatiya is over rated


  • syra
    Feb 27, 2012 - 3:52AM

    how can you compare a women like Ms Waheeda SHAH wit hMs chinoy !! ways apart , one is there to make Pakistan’s Image and other is…. no comments …


  • BLing BLing
    Feb 27, 2012 - 9:09AM

    She has done it! She won the first ever Oscar award for Pakistan!!!


  • Ishrat shafeeq
    Feb 27, 2012 - 9:18AM

    congratulation for winning Oscar she look really good but i wish she do not wear sleeveless


  • Yusuf
    Feb 27, 2012 - 10:02AM

    Congratulations, Noor Chamka.


  • Truth Teller
    Feb 27, 2012 - 12:05PM

    God Bless You for Making Pakistanis Proud especially in USA!


  • Adnan
    Feb 27, 2012 - 5:07PM


    Not comparing. I am just smiling at the contrast.


  • Nomi
    Feb 27, 2012 - 7:04PM

    Congrats this is victory is for PAKISTAN
    thnx Lady


  • hikmat nawazi
    Feb 28, 2012 - 12:03PM

    Pakistan has won it’s first Oscar. We should all be proud of this achievement and the national service Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has done for our great nation. This win is a contribution to the great cause of women’s rights in our country and we must all be proud of it.


  • Zaib
    Feb 28, 2012 - 12:19PM

    Congrats, Proud of you all Pakistan, God Bless you.


  • Feb 28, 2012 - 5:14PM

    it my great opportunity 2 have here & write commits on her she is our proud God bless her she is all of us God will help her in all his project i m very happy thax take care


  • Feb 28, 2012 - 5:16PM

    God bless u


  • Armita
    Feb 28, 2012 - 7:48PM

    Amazing. Her elegance and true patriotism is seen through her actions. She is truly an inspiration.


  • Mar 5, 2012 - 2:16AM

    Another “Indian alike Slum dog millionaire in the making”!! Idea conceived by a Pakistani and put together by a Westerner, gets recognition.Question: Why does portraying the negative image gets recognition? Why not all the positives example women in parliament, women pilots, muslim women in pak military etc At the same time she (obaid chinoy) did not mention that she wanted to dedicate it to Pakistan specifically”. Nothing to be proud of i may say, just shows how one can easily defame his/her own country for the sake of fulfilling the prsnl need of EGOISM while the world moves towards homeostasis..its a sham!!


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