A Pinch of Salt Welcome to Laaleen’s blog series for HELLO!

A Pinch of Salt Welcome to Laaleen’s blog series for HELLO!
Just How Clichéd is Your Event?

Take this quiz and find out!

Attending a tedious array of launches, exhibits and teas is becoming a social epidemic here in metropolitan Pakistan.

Gung-ho enthusiasts make it a point to never miss an occasion, to see and be seen—and invariably photographed and referred to in the manner of a local ‘celeb’ in the press, their names synonymous with incongruous ‘#Spotted’ references.

The more blasé and socially jaded among us, however, tend to make quick obligatory appearances, if at all. Definitely more #JOMO than #FOMO, so to speak.

After a certain point, it’s an unremarkable blur of monotony.

The occasions that ultimately stand out are not necessarily the ones with the most lavish budgets—although that’s a distinct advantage—but the ones that refreshingly bear some elements of originality.

So whether you’re a host, a party planner or a marketing executive, here’s a handy guide to guesstimate the predictability level of your not-so-special occasion.

Do give yourself 1 point for each term that applies—you can select multiple answers simultaneously if they’re relevant. No cheating, now…!

You are a/an:

Budding socialite


Event planner ordinaire

Insta-FB brand entrepreneur

Your occasion is held in honour of a:

‘Lawn’ launch #5,827,492

Fashion exhibit or pop-up shop

Retail opening or brand launch

Ladies’ tea party or ‘committee’ event

Movie premiere, with red carpet appearances by cardboard representations of Hollywood & Bollywood actors

Your printed/Facebook invitations inevitably contain the following text:





High tea maddeningly spelt “hi tea”

The unfortunate word “cum” (example: lunch-cum-tea)

“Hors d'oeuvres” misspelt or with a misplaced apostrophe (or, unforgivably, both)

Your pre-event bribe-bag accompanying the invitation includes:

Customised cupcakes or truffles for your gratified guests to post on social media

An outfit for your enthused guests to wear—and prepare to be photographed in—at your event (best bribe ever! Keep ‘em coming!)

A printed note (FYI personalised, handwritten notes are always more thoughtful)

Hackneyed hashtags that unintentionally overlap with other campaigns around the world

Your theme, if any, includes:

An overt homage to an iconic department store, designer accessory or other consumer product, neither of which are event sponsors (a Louboutin lunch, a Bloomingdales brunch or a Selfridges soirée, seriously?)

An OTT smorgasbord of kitsch (think Moulin Rouge meets truck art meets Breakfast at Tiffany’s on acid) aka gigantic Christmas ornaments presented as objets d’art with fishwire, metallic branches and neon antlers against multiple mirrors garlanded with faux fur, feathers, strings of pearls and crystals, lit up by multi-hued LED lights (you get the idea)

Your red carpet includes

Panflex/cardboard backdrops and gigantic props in the manner of a children’s birthday party for adult photo-ops (this is fine if it’s intentionally amusing; but it’s absurd when non-entertainment-industry guests pose against said backdrops in straight-faced, hand-on-hip, ankle-crossed mode for the paps and appear to take themselves very seriously)

Excessive logo-embossed, floral or topiary backdrop walls (unless it’s the Met Ball)

Your décor and/or photo-op foil includes passé elements such as:

Multiple giant frames suspended in mid-air (for people who lack framing apps on their phones)

Enough floral arrangements for ten weddings (a ‘more is more’ mentality)

Multitudes of crystal chandeliers (to rival the guests’ brilliance)

Multiple birdcages (minus the birds; who needs ‘em, right)

A lone carousel pony (minus the merry-go-round; unless the event is meant to be a carousel of sorts?)

Your menu includes:

Elaborately decorated yet inedible cakes

Five kinds of chaat

Instant coffee in the guise of gourmet

A hotchpotch of continental, Asian and desi cuisine

Uninspired canapés

A bar tended by inebriated waiters

Your attendees include

Guests dressed identically to the surrounding décor and colour scheme to the extent that there are multiple camouflaged Cheshire cats, from the tips of their manis down to their matching brag-bags

A-list to D-list model types (especially when they have little to do with the brand’s demographic or campaign)

A-list to D-list modelizers (aka serial sleazoids)

More paparazzi than a Hollywood premiere (enough to rival Cannes)

Women glimmering in wedding-wear finery, desi ‘gowns’ and solitaires in the daytime (guests, not models)

Women strutting the red carpet in trendy designer lawn released the preceding day and stitched in record speed (guests, not models)

Women striking a pose in athleisure-wear with clashing theatrical makeup styles i.e. heavy contouring and faux lashes (yup, guests, not models)


 33-42 points:

Cliché overdrive!

Honey, whimsical is one thing, but if you take things this seriously, it’s social detox time; #HRH #ClicheQueen #ClicheKing

22-32 points:

Cliché alert!

Seriously blasé; #Yawnistan

11-21 points:

Borderline clichéd!

Your do is synonymous with the most abysmal of social diary spreads; #UtterlyBlah

0-10 points:

You’re not metaphorically in Pakistan, are you?

Miraculously, you haven’t conformed to our #HerdMentality…yet

Disclaimer: The opinion, belief and viewpoints expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect the opinion, belief and viewpoints of H! Pakistan or official policies of H! Pakistan

  • In: Lifestyle