BIBISARA brings magic of the steppes to sands of Arabia

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A previous design by BIBISARA. (Photo courtesy:
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A previous design by BIBISARA. (Photo courtesy:
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Tamara Al-Gabbani
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Arwa Al-Ammari
Updated 11 April 2018

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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The Six: Arab gowns on the Emmys red carpet

Updated 18 September 2018

The Six: Arab gowns on the Emmys red carpet

  • Hollywood stars took to the red carpet in Arab Designers
  • Stars wearing a host of designs by the region’s fashion heavyweights

DUBAI: The Emmys red carpet turned into a veritable catwalk for Middle Eastern designers on Monday night, with stars wearing a host of designs by the region’s fashion heavyweights.

Tina Fey

Fey glowed in a floral, lace and velvet gown by Elie Saab, part of his autumn/winter 2018 pret-a-porter collection. The gown featured pleats and a fitted waist in colors perfect for the cold season.

Yvonne Orji

Orji stunned in this black, fitted, velvet gown from Georges Chakra’s fall 2017 collection. With simple detailing and a tailored cut, the dress is flattering and feminine.

Kristin Cavallari

Cavallari wore a couture Maison Yeya Fall 2018 black dress. Simple but sophisticated with its different layers and hemlines, this sculptural off-the-shoulder look is a piece of art.


That gold carpet at The Emmys

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Chrissy Tiegen

Tiegen sparkled in a Zuhair Murad fall 2018 couture gown. With geometric antique silver motifs and long sleeves, the gown sparkled in all directions.

Keri Russell

Russell wore a Zuhair Murad two-piece outfit, a pleated skirt and peplum jacket. It had structured shoulders, feathers, a high slit and fitted midsection to accentuate her figure.

Sydney Sweeney

Sweeney radiated glamor wearing this feminine and delicate pale pink Reem Acra pre-fall 2018 strapless gown. The dress featured a beaded waist and sweetheart neckline.



Actress @Sydney_Sweeney wears #ReemAcraPreFall18 to the 2018 #Emmys.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #ReemAcra #SydneySweeney

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