Ones to watch at Arab Fashion Week in Dubai

Arab Fashion Week in Dubai will showcase 13 designers from around the world. (AN/Ghaith Tanjour)
Updated 10 May 2018

Ones to watch at Arab Fashion Week in Dubai

  • 13 designers from around the world are taking part in this years fashion week in Dubai

DUBAI: Arab Fashion Week in Dubai is well and truly on the road and with 13 designers from around the world taking part, who should you keep on your fashion watchlist?

Arab News rounded up the most fearless, innovative and dreamy designers on show at the event, which is set to run until May 12, so you can keep them firmly on your style radar.

Ilse Jara

This intriguing Paraguayan designer blends a modern aesthetic with traditional techniques. Her collections have been inspired by the cellular structure of plants, the underwater world, gemstones, and cymatics — the study of sound waves.

Jara has said of her work: “I want my viewers to dream with me and live unique experiences. I love proposing new and fresh ideas. Exploring new materials and techniques is always present in the development of each collection.

Aiisha Ramadan

The UAE-based Lebanese designer launched her couture clothing line in 2007. In the decade-and-a-bit since, she has established herself as one of the region’s most accomplished designers, renowned for her cuts, embroidery and technique.

Ramadan apparently made her start in dressmaking “sitting on the floor near my aunt’s tailoring machine and picking up fabric scraps to make dresses for my Barbie dolls.” She’s come a long way since.

Rana Yousry

The founder of Cairo-based ASORY House told Insight Egypt that she enjoys “exercising the art of creation: from designing, production, tailoring, detailing and embroidery to seeing the final look of the design on stage or on my client.” She added that she wants to “carve the name of ‘ASORY’ into the history of fashion.”

She interned with Tony Ward, one of Egypt’s leading couturiers, before she started her own label, and credits that experience as one of the main reasons behind her success.

Yu Jordy Fu

Expectations are high around the multi-talented designer’s return to Arab Fashion Week. The UK-based Chinese architect, designer and artist, who has said she “works at the intersection” between those three disciplines, is one of fashion’s most inventive designers. “Creativity has no limits,” she told Bangkok Post of her multi-disciplinary approach. “The only limit is your imagination. As an artist and architect, my role is to make this world a better place and that’s what I am aiming to do.” Fu described herself to Design Trends as “a dreamer, creator, entrepreneur and a cat lover.”


Stars of the 'The Kitchen' movie talk to Arab News

“The Kitchen,” stars Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Domhnall Gleeson. (Supplied)
Updated 22 August 2019

Stars of the 'The Kitchen' movie talk to Arab News

DUBAI: “The Kitchen,” starring Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Domhnall Gleeson, is an ode to the ever-popular gangster movie, but also a reimagining. Three women who can’t pay the bills after their mobster husbands go to prison decide to take over the organization themselves — becoming violent criminals in the process. Gone is the Don, in his place are the Donnas.

“I love mobster movies, they’re some of my favorite movies, but I think I always watched them and thought, ‘Where am I in that story? Where am I represented?’ I never am. The opportunity to put those two things together — a real authentic, gritty mob story that has interesting, flawed, human women at the center of it felt like an incredible opportunity,” writer/director Andrea Berloff tells Arab News.

Andrea Berloff at the premier of "The Kitchen" in Hollywood. (AFP)

In casting, Berloff went against type — McCarthy and Haddish are best-known for comedic roles, and Gleeson’s roles in “Star Wars” and the Oscar-nominated “Brooklyn” suggested anything but a gangster.

“If I’d read the script I wouldn’t have thought of me for the role, so I was thrilled that Andrea for some reason thought that I could do a good job. The good ones are a surprise to you as opposed to something you track down — or that’s the way it’s been for me so far. I never thought I’d really want to play a killer in a mob movie. When this script came along, that’s what I found a bit scary and interesting,” says Gleeson.

Domhnall Gleeson at the premier of "The Kitchen" in Hollywood. (AFP)

Like Berloff, Moss has always loved the genre — especially the women in legendary projects such as “The Godfather” and “The Sopranos.” While the women of “The Kitchen” are different in many ways from those groundbreaking characters, they carry on their spirit.

“It’s something that we’ve seen in various mobster projects. With Diane Keaton and Edie Falco, and these incredible portrayals, I always find them the most interesting parts of those projects — to see the effect that that lifestyle has on women is really interesting,” Moss tells Arab News.

Elisabeth Moss loved the genre of the movie. (AFP)

McCarthy wasn’t as focused on the history of women in crime fiction as her co-star. Instead, the character and the script were rich enough that she was able to link it to her own life quite easily.

“I didn’t reference other movies,” she says. “For me, when a script it that good, and that complete, and that fully realized, I try to delve into the character itself. I thought about how I related as a mother of two, and what does that mean when you’re just trying to survive and try to take care of your kids. I don’t look to other movies as a guide — I’m a big movie fan, but I prepare a little more solo.”

Tiffany Haddish at the premier of "The Kitchen" in Hollywood. (AFP)

“I’m the same way,” says Haddish.

“It just seemed easy. It’s that great thing. Especially with Andrea running the ship, we all saw the same movie, which was really great, and we all naturally get along,” says McCarthy.

 Melissa McCarthy at the premier of "The Kitchen" in Hollywood. (AFP)

This is Berloff’s debut as a director (she was nominated for an Oscar for writing the 2016 hit “Straight Outta Compton”) and she hadn’t originally planned on helming the movie herself. But she found she felt so passionate about the story that she wanted to oversee the whole project.

“There are times when I write a script and I’m happy to hand it off to someone else and let them run with it, but in this case I felt like I had so much more to say about these characters, and this world, and these themes,” she explains. “I went in to pitch as a director and started saying to them, ‘Here’s what’s not in the script that you don’t know.’”