Tommy Hilfiger and Gigi Hadid stage London Fashion Week show

Gigi Hadid
Updated 21 September 2017
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Tommy Hilfiger and Gigi Hadid stage London Fashion Week show

LONDON: London Fashion Week has reached its giddy conclusion, the extravaganza more than meeting expectations with a string of shows, parties and presentations.
The theme seemed to be a frenzied search for fun and whimsy, a shade less serious and complicated than usual as designers looked forward to next spring and summer.
There were big shows by Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Versace, and more, and more intimate affairs by the up-and-coming designers London depends on for its fashion cred.
The first day was marred when a subway train was attacked on the outskirts of London, raising fears of more attacks, but the fashionistas stayed calm and partied on.

Tommy Hilfiger, Gigi Hadid pay homage to rock music
Designer Tommy Hilfiger and model Gigi Hadid staged a grungy rock affair for their show on the final night of London Fashion Week. It was the pair’s third collaboration and featured early appearances by Hadid’s siblings, Bella and Anwar.
The Tuesday show was presented at London’s legendary Roundhouse, where stars such as James Brown and Bob Dylan have performed over the years.
Concert-style merchandise stalls had pieces from the TOMMYNOW collection available to purchase around the venue.
The outfits included leather jackets with leopard print collars, worn with cropped denim shorts and beanie hats emblazoned with “Gigi Hadid” — a homage to band merchandise and an appeal to the model’s vast fan base.
Models also wore lanyards mimicking backstage passes printed with “Gigi” and cropped T-shirts also bearing the model’s name.
Patterns were checks or stripes, and oversize puffer jackets were worn open.
Hadid said she was happy the show was such a family affair.
“It is obviously a huge event, and I put a lot of pressure on myself as I am a perfectionist, so to be able to look around and see my family is very grounding and keeps me calm,” she said.

Victoria Beckham gives glimpse of Victoria, Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham did not have a runway show at London Fashion Week, but she showed the spring and summer 2018 collection for her popular Victoria, Victoria Beckham line to journalists and guests at a private club in Mayfair.
The former Spice Girl, whose New York show won accolades last week, is offering a youthful look. Some of the clothes celebrated Miami and its neon colors, including a jacket with pink flamingo designs.
The saturated pop colors included “milkshake pink,” ″bubblegum” and “peppermint.” One tan suede outfit of short-short pants and a patch pocket jacket caught the eye, as did some pajama-style slouchy outfits. The look was relaxed and meant for fun, a far cry from the black that was once Beckham’s signature color. She is emphasizing pastels now — at least for summer — and suits made of pinstriped cotton twill.
It is been quite a year for Beckham, who in April was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.


Japan’s ambassador conquers Iraqi hearts and minds

Fumio Iwai. (Courtesy: en.abna24)
Updated 17 min 7 sec ago
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Japan’s ambassador conquers Iraqi hearts and minds

  • The ambassador is surprised other diplomats haven’t taken to social media to try to connect directly with host citizens
  • Iwai’s journey in the Arab world began 30 years ago, on his bosses’ orders

BAGHDAD: While foreign diplomats often struggle to win over ordinary Iraqis, Japan’s departing ambassador has stolen hearts — thanks to witty social media videos in classical Arabic and local dialects.
Fumio Iwai has been in post in Baghdad for less than three years, but his fan base reaches far beyond the heavily fortified walls of the diplomatic Green Zone.
Hundreds of thousands have been reeled in by his humble charm.
And never more so than when the bespectacled and wiry ambassador recorded a missive wearing an Iraq football jersey ahead of a potentially divisive World Cup qualifier.
The opponents? Japan.
Iraqi civil servant Haydar Al-Banna remembers this dispatch by Iwai — in June last year, since watched by over 730,000 people — fondly.
The ambassador said “I will be happy if our team (Japan) win, and I will be sad if the Iraqi team loses,” recalls 35-year-old Banna.
Moments like this have seen Iraqis claim the diplomat as their own, impressed by his deft navigation of a country still engulfed by chaos 15 years after the US-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.
“We say he is an Iraqi — he is like someone who has lived here for 50 years,” Banna says.

Iwai’s journey in the Arab world began 30 years ago, on his bosses’ orders. “The Japanese foreign ministry ordered me to learn Arabic,” the 67-year-old tells AFP.
The young diplomat spent two years in Egypt, living with a family and immersing himself in the language.
Iwai says Arabic is “one of the most difficult (tongues) in the world, because of the vast number of words and expressions.”
Three decades on, he claims he is still at “the start of the road” in his efforts to master the language.
But Iraqis beg to differ.
Mention Iwai’s name in Baghdad, and the response is invariably the same — “have you seen his latest video?“
In a country obsessed by smart phones and social media, the ambassador knows how to play to a modern gallery, while respecting traditions.
The videos are short — typically between one and two minutes — allowing him to grab and maintain the attention of social media users.
But he still manages to cram in a thundering “Salam Aleikum” and other Muslim formalities, before zeroing in on a chosen theme.
On Japan Day, Iwai recorded a video at Baghdad’s international fair, in traditional Iraqi dress, with a black and white Iraqi keffiyeh scarf slung across his shoulder.
“Look how beautiful I am! Today, I am a full-blooded Baghdadi!” he beamed in that dispatch.

The ambassador is surprised other diplomats haven’t taken to social media to try to connect directly with host citizens.
“Several ambassadors speak Arabic, but it is rare that they use it to speak to the people,” Iwai tells AFP.
The diplomat says he will miss certain things about Iraq, like “dolmas” — stuffed vegetables some dub Iraqi sushi.
But there is one thing Iwai will not miss.
“The main difficulty is the weather,” he says, lamenting summertime temperatures that often surpass 50 degrees Celsius (120 Fahrenheit).
“Each time I come back here I feel it’s getting hotter and hotter,” he adds.
“That might be related to concrete walls, less green land and air pollution.”
While Iwai is due to depart this month, his fans want him to become an Iraqi citizen.
And some netizens even eye him as a future Minister of Reconstruction.
But ever the diplomat, Iwai has politely avoided causing red faces, by pointing out that Japan does not permit dual citizenship.