Fashion show spotlights traditional Saudi attire

A model displays a southern headpiece made of jasmines that are worn by brides on their wedding day.
Updated 08 February 2018
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Fashion show spotlights traditional Saudi attire

RIYADH: A fashion show just for women at the King Abdul Aziz Foundation on Monday showcased traditional regional clothing from around the Kingdom.
The National Heritage Society event showed off traditional Saudi clothing in a unique modern form with Saudi models wearing each region’s different attire.
A model strutting down the runway in a red dress embroidered in gold opened the show. She was covered from head to toe, with only her eyes showing. From then on, a rainbow of colors swirled down the runway.
The event, attended by Princess Nouf bint Faisal bin Turki and sponsored by Arabian Centers, took place outdoors, with oud music playing in the background. White chairs and tables lined the spotlit runway. Guests sat amid tall palm trees, and the sound of laughter and chattering filled the air.
Rotana TV covered the event, which was hosted by presenter Roaa Rayan, dressed in a traditional Saudi jalabiya.
Young Saudi women proudly showcased their dresses on the runway. Each model wore a garment from a different region in the Kingdom, representing its heritage.
There were many stands selling clothing. One of the participants was Bin Ghaith Textiles, a prominent Riyadh establishment since the days of King Saud, selling traditional textiles and clothes.
“Sofrat Saud is a well-known textile that has been worn since the days of King Saud; it was brought from India and since then, worn in weddings,” said Al-Jazi Bin Ghaith, the great granddaughter of the founder.
An attendee exclaimed: “Look at how beautiful our clothes were — vibrant colorful and most of all sleek. No woman could possibly look bad in these dresses.”
Layla Al-Bassam, a teacher at the Princess Nourah University, is an advocate of traditional clothing without modern touches. She showcased some of her traditional Saudi designs. She said that today’s show is unique: “We will see the clothing of brides of the Kingdom of all regions.”
Basma Al-Nowaisher, director of activities and events at the National Heritage Society, explained that the event aimed to promote the Kingdom’s traditions and preserve them.


Tanween festival: Seeking the unusual? You’ll find it at Ithra

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), which organized the Tanween festival, is a creative feat in itself. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 15 October 2018
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Tanween festival: Seeking the unusual? You’ll find it at Ithra

  • Tanween encourages people to see something in a new way, try something they had not done before and explore their relationship to disruption

DHAHRAN: “Beyond Unconventional” is the subtitle of Ithra’s first Tanween creativity festival, and it is true to its word from what the Arab News team witnessed on its opening weekend at Saudi Aramco’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, aka Ithra, in Dhahran.

Running from Oct. 11 to 27 with talks, workshops, performances and installations, the three weeks are divided into themes: this week is “Humanities’ Response to Disruption,” in art, science and technology; the second week is “Manufacturing and Communication,” including disruptive technologies such as AI and big data; the third and final week is “Fashion Technology/Adventures in Disruption.” Curating this year’s festival is Robert Frith, the creative director of Ithra’s Idea Lab, who has worked as head of exhibitions at Christie’s and as a senior exhibition designer at the British Museum.

As it says in the program: “Tanween encourages people to see something in a new way, try something they had not done before and explore their relationship to disruption.” Many of the installations and speakers addressed the theme of disruption, including Adam Savage, who visited Saudi Arabia for the first time.

INSTALLATIONS

Heart Catherization

Abdullah Al-Othman

One doesn’t need to visit Ithra to experience Tanween. Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Othman wrapped a building in Al-Khobar entirely in tinfoil “in a symbolic gesture to its frozen state, making a statement about the absurdity of thinking that the cycle of change could ever be stopped.” We found it driving through the narrow streets near the Corniche, glinting in the sunlight, mosque-goers passing it by with barely a raised eyebrow.

Silent Fall

Studio Swine 

Founded by Japanese architect Azusa Murakami and British artist Alexander Groves, it presents an “interactive intallation and multi sensory experience” consisting of “delicate mist-filled blossoms that disappear on contact with skin and surfaces.” It’s like a waterfall of durable white bubbles continuously falling from above making random patterns as they slowly drift down. Likely to be one of the festival’s Instagram hits.

The Drifter

Dutch Studio Drift

A block of what looks like concrete floats slowly along “a controlled 3D path.” “The Drifter creates a performance in its space, calling on the viewer to reconsider the relationship with our living environment, which is often accepted as static and lifeless,” the creators Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta said. There was nothing static or lifeless as visitors here laughed in delight as they pretended to lift it.

 

• AN photos by Ziyad Alarfaj