BIBISARA brings magic of the steppes to sands of Arabia

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A previous design by BIBISARA. (Photo courtesy: kfw.kz)
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A previous design by BIBISARA. (Photo courtesy: kfw.kz)
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Tamara Al-Gabbani
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Arwa Al-Ammari
Updated 11 April 2018
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BIBISARA brings magic of the steppes to sands of Arabia

LONDON: When BIBISARA founder Asem Altynbekova was preparing for her show at Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh, she spent some time considering what her home country of Kazakhstan and the host country have in common. First, she reflected, they are Muslim countries, and secondly they have magnificent, inspirational landscapes — the boundless steppes of Kazakhstan and the immense deserts of Saudi Arabia. 
As a designer who takes great pride in her culture and heritage, she was keen to bring a sense of this to Riyadh. She succeeded. Her wonderful collection is steeped in tradition. 
BIBISARA is named after her maternal grandmother, and Altynbekova recalls a childhood steeped in music, dancing and creativity. Her mother, she said, could turn her hand to sewing anything, including the latest fashions, and her rich collection of fabrics were always strewn around the room. 
“The sounds of the sewing machine were the sweetest notes of my childhood,” she told Arab News. 
Even so, her career path wasn’t straightforward. Altynbekova started out studying international relations before shifting to interior design. She followed that up with a spell working for the family construction business. It wasn’t until she was 27 that she finally followed her heart and launched BIBISARA. 
“There is something inside me that helps me go boldly forward without the fear of doing something wrong,” she said. 
Her exclusive AFW collection, she said, “tells us about the Muslim woman’s multifaceted nature. It highlights the ability of women to create and protect the family hearth. The ancient ornaments on the outfits, reflecting the sense of abundance and family well-being, represent this aspect. The black pearls and beads are like stars, twinkling in the sky over the desert. The long, light, chiffon plume, waving in the breeze, creates a mirage, an oasis of femininity and elegance. 
“The BIBISARA brand, like a fresh stream from the steppes of the Eurasian continent, has organically evolved into the aura of mysterious Saudi Arabia,” she continued. “Only the nomad will understand the Bedouin. Only the steppe is comparable to the desert .We feel the unity of our states in our understanding of the spirit of freedom and the winds of change, and our new BIBISARA brand collection reflects it.”
Altynbekova, who has previously participated in Kazakhstan Fashion Week, sees her participation in Arab Fashion Week as a great opportunity to move into the international market while staying true to her cultural heritage. 
“It’s a huge honor for me,” she said. I am happy that I am one of the witnesses and a participant,” she said.
Today, since we are a young brand, our main sales market is our native country Kazakhstan, and we only recently started to come out on the market, but as you see we do not stand still.”

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Georgia Fowler stuns in Zuhair Murad gown

Updated 21 April 2018
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Georgia Fowler stuns in Zuhair Murad gown

  • The designer’s official Instagram account posted the snap with a gushing caption that read: “The gorgeous @georgiafowler strikes again in Zuhair Murad.”
  • Fowler is the youngest daughter of Australian golfer Peter Fowler and appeared in the music video for Kygo and Selena Gomez's “It Ain't Me” in 2017.

DUBAI: New Zealand-born model Georgia Fowler just appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar Australia wearing a dress by none other than Lebanese powerhouse designer Zuhair Murad.
The model, magazine and the designer all shared an image of the gorgeous cover page, with Fowler saying, “Growing up, I wished to be in the pages of this glossy magazine, but to be on the cover — and for the third time — has me bouncing off the walls with glee. Thank you for your ongoing support, @bazaaraustralia.”
Meanwhile, the designer’s official Instagram account posted the snap with a gushing caption that read: “The gorgeous @georgiafowler strikes again in Zuhair Murad.”
In the shot, Fowler dons a gown that was unveiled as part of Murad’s Spring/Summer 2018 Haute Couture collection fashion show in Paris in January. The whimsical, floor-length dress features a daring plunging neckline and boasts a voluminous A-line skirt, all of which is belted with a thin black strap at the waist. The nude tulle is appliqued with black, white and red flowers and cacti over an ever-so-slightly sheer beige slip.
Fowler’s chestnut hair cascades down toward her shoulders in loose, beach-style waves and her make-up is kept to a sultry minimum. For jewelry, the young model wears nothing except a single thin bracelet.
The 25-year-old model, who was discovered when she was just 12-years-old, had her big break in 2012 when she walked in a Chanel show in Versailles. She went on to make international runway appearances for the likes of Victoria’s Secret, Armani, Phillip Plein and Elie Saab, among a raft of other major players in the global fashion industry.
Fowler has also appeared in the hallowed pages of Vogue Italia, Vogue France, Vogue Mexico, Elle magazine and various other fashion publications around the world.
In February, she told British Vogue that her favorite part about being a model is “the ability to morph into any character you’ve always wanted to be. I always find it quite fun. It’s being able to do so much more than just being an image.”
Her success as a model isn’t her only claim to fame, however. In fact, Fowler is the youngest daughter of Australian golfer Peter Fowler and appeared in the music video for Kygo and Selena Gomez's “It Ain't Me” in 2017.
Besides making it big in the world of high-end fashion, it seems that the model has also found time to fall in love — she is reportedly dating US singer Nick Jonas, who shot to fame as part of the Jonas Brothers boy band in the noughties.