Lebanese designer grabs US limelight

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Melania Trump arrives for a reception and dinner at Union Station in Washington on Thursday. (AFP)
Updated 20 January 2017
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Lebanese designer grabs US limelight

WASHINGTON: For one of her first inaugural weekend appearances on Thursday — a candlelight dinner at Union Station — US First Lady Melania Trump chose a shimmery gold dress from Lebanese-born, New York-based Reem Acra.
The designer, a Hollywood favorite, has also lived in Paris and Hong Kong. She is known for her eponymous bridal gowns and refined, often intricately crafted evening wear that draws from a diverse range of influences.
Acra’s involvement, however, fueled some social media remarks as Twitterati recalled President Donald Trump’s past remarks on immigration.
@BeirutCityGuide tweeted: “Why would @reem_acra dress Melania Trump? After everything her husband has said about Arabs and immigrants...”
A spokeswoman for Melania Trump said: “Mrs. Trump appreciates the well wishes she has received from around the world and looks forward to participating in the events of the next few days along with the American people.”
The Telegraph noted Trump’s choice for the pre-inauguration gala appeared to be a nod to both the US fashion industry and its global diversity.
Acra is also a red carpet go-to and was the designer behind the Jennifer Lopez’s similarly figure-hugging gown at the People’s Choice awards on Wednesday evening.
Trump chose a high-neck, long-sleeved gold gown with embroidery that one New York designer and longtime family friend of the Trumps, who was in the crowd, described Thursday night as “magnificent.”
Acra still maintains a home in Beirut.
In May 2013, she said, “(My) heart is here in the region,” when referring to Beirut.
Acra describes her work as “breathtaking collections in ready-to-wear and bridal” that “combines tradition with a modern aesthetic and leads the way by continuously redefining the boundaries of fashion,” according to her website — reemacra.com.
Choosing an Acra gown was a strategic move for the first lady, VanityFair reported.


House of Khan: Pakistani finds fame as ‘Game of Thrones’ doppelganger

Updated 22 March 2019
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House of Khan: Pakistani finds fame as ‘Game of Thrones’ doppelganger

  • The 25-year-old so resembles actor Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister in TV hit ‘Game of Thrones’
  • Not only are Khan and Dinklage’s faces strikingly similar, they are also the same height

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan: Pakistani waiter Rozi Khan had never heard of the Game of Thrones — or its hugely popular character Tyrion Lannister — until his striking resemblance to the dwarf anti-hero got heads turning at home.
The 25-year-old so resembles actor Peter Dinklage — who has played the witty and wily nobleman since the hit series’ first season in 2010 — that he gets regularly stopped by strangers desperate for a picture.
“I don’t mind. A lot of my pictures have been taken, that’s why I have become very famous everywhere,” he said.
Not only are Khan and Dinklage’s faces strikingly similar, they are also the same height at around 135 cms (4 ft 5in).
Photographs of the pair have unsurprisingly made their way onto social media showing the doppelgangers side-by-side.
“Wherever I go, someone says to me: ‘Sir, who is this man with you on Facebook’, I say that he is my friend. ‘He looks like you’. I tell them he is my brother. It’s not a bad thing,” said Khan.

Khan and Dinklage. (AFP)


The television series has won 47 Emmys — more than any other fictional show in history — along with a Golden Globe for Dinklage, 49, for best supporting actor in 2012.
A much anticipated final series is set to premiere on April 17.
Khan works at a small Kashmiri restaurant down a narrow line in Rawalpindi, serving customers hearty dishes such as mutton and spinach curries.
Owner Malik Aslam Pervez described him as a hard-worker — and also a drawcard for the eatery.
“When he takes a day off or gets sick, people look for him and ask where did he go? They get upset. They love him. There is always a crowd here but it has boomed because of him,” he said.
Born in Mansehra in northern Pakistan, Khan says he would love to meet Dinklage, describing him as a friend and brother.
“I love him very much, he is my friend... he is my height so I like him a lot,” said Khan.
For customers, seeing Tyrion Lannister in the flesh is also a thrill.
“When I saw him, I’m happy, I feel that I met with Lannister in real [life],” said Zain Hadri, 20.
“Game of Thrones” tells the story of noble families vying for control of the Iron Throne, all the while keeping one eye on the “White Walkers” leading hordes of the undead toward an invasion from the North.