Lebanon’s Ashi Studio takes over Cannes

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone took to the red carpet on Friday. (AFP)
Updated 12 May 2018

Lebanon’s Ashi Studio takes over Cannes

  • Lebanese design house Ashi Studio is taking over the red carpet at Cannes
  • Bollywood star Deepika Padukone chose to wear the brand

DUBAI: Lebanese design house Ashi Studio is pulling out all the stops at the Cannes Film Festival and has already dressed two international stars for their jaunt on the red carpet.
Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone took to the red carpet on Friday before the screening of the film “Ash is Purest White (Jiang hu er nv)” at the 71st edition of the festival. She statuesque star wore magenta Ashi Studio gown and could not stop smiling, giggling and apparently enjoying herself in the larger-than-life dress.
Her face was framed by huge pink ruffles, while the train of the voluminous, tiered skirt seemed almost never ending — she took special care as she strode up the famous steps at the film festival, taking the hand of a lucky usher who was presumably more than happy to help.
The brand also dressed British-Thai actress Araya Hargate for the same premiere. Hargate wore dramatic feathered jumpsuit with a V-shaped plunging neckline.
The white outfit stood out in a sea of traditional gowns due to its bootleg cut and heaping of fine, feathery wisps. Although the Abominable Snowman does come to mind, Hargate’s expertly curated jewelry and tight up-do place this outfit just on the right side of the blurred line between high fashion and hilarity.
Women are making headlines at Cannes, and thankfully it isn’t just for their outfits. They are the heroes of a new wave of films at the film festival, where Hollywood’s #MeToo moment may have just spawned its first big budget all-female blockbuster.
AFP reported that Jessica Chastain caused a stir Thursday by revealing a dream team cast of female talent including Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Lupita Nyong’o of “Black Panther” fame and Fan Bingbing for her new $75-million Bond-style caper called “355.”
The “Interstellar” and “Zero Dark Thirty” star said she came up with the idea after serving on the Cannes jury last year where she found the depiction of women in the line-up “quite disturbing.”
With little or no female-led action films in Cannes’ more commercial market, she decided to do something about it.
The top secret project leaked out when the A-listers were spotted meeting potential backers in a five-star Cannes hotel.
Chastain quickly went public, tweeting: “Top secret no more. Mission accepted.” And she walked out in style with her co-stars to promote the project.
“I love ‘Jason Bourne,’ the Bond films and ‘Mission Impossible,’ and I asked myself why, apart from ‘Charlie’s Angels,’ there has never been a female spy movie like that,” she said.
While fellow Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett and Kristen Stewart — who lead this year’s majority female jury — have been preaching empowerment at Cannes, other women are doing it for themselves in a series of new movies at the festival.
They go from an Icelandic eco-warrior outrunning the island’s army to Kurdish women fighters battling Daesh.
“Girls of the Sun,” with Iranian star Golshifteh Farahani heading a brigade of Yazidi women out for revenge on extremists, is only one of a number of estrogen-fueled films where women go well beyond the cinematic stereotypes.
Another contender in the running for the Palme d’Or top prize — Jia Zhangke’s “Ash is the Purest White” — has a young dancer pick up a pistol to defend her man from rival Chinese mobsters.
And among the festival’s most praised films so far is “One Day,” which follows a Hungarian working mother through a grueling 36 hours as she tries to juggle her job with the demands of her three children and a husband who may be about to stray.
The Hollywood Reporter raved about how it makes “painfully visible how much self-effacing effort goes into... the least appreciated job on the planet: being a mother.”
“No one thanks her but everyone expects her to remember and do a million little things every day,” it added.

Gigi Hadid hits back at paparazzi ‘stalking’ as photographer threatens legal action

Updated 21 October 2018

Gigi Hadid hits back at paparazzi ‘stalking’ as photographer threatens legal action

DUBAI: US-Palestinian celebrity model Gigi Hadid is hitting back at a paparazzo who she says threatened her with legal action over a photo she posted on Instagram.

The model took to the social media platform over the weekend to reveal that she is being “legally pursued” for reposting a street style photo taken by a paparazzo, a snap which she has since removed from her social media feed.

“The photo is by a paparazzi and is of me on the street outside an event last week,” the 23-year-old told her 43.8 million followers. “I posed/smiled for the photo because I understand that this is part of my job,” Hadid wrote.
“These people make money off us every day, legally stalking us day in, day out,” she continued.
“It is not spoken about enough the mental/emotional toll that this kind of pressure has on people, days I (and countless others) have stayed inside because I don’t want my photo taken or to have that attention/suffocation while just trying to live as normally as possible,” the model added.

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Hadid went on to reveal the dangerous position some paparazzi put celebrities in on a daily basis.
“They drive dangerously close and extremely recklessly; they put the general public in danger in pursuit of a photo (I and many people I know have gotten in car accidents in cabs/car services because of paparazzi) and it seems that they can never get enough,” she wrote.
In the post, Hadid wrote that she found the uncredited image on Twitter and reposted in on Instagram, adding that she “had no way of knowing which of the 15+ photographers outside that day took these exact photos.
“If the person had just commented on my photo I would have been happy to tag and give you credit,” she added.
“To the paparazzi, I understand that this is how you make your living, and I respect that this is something I must accept with my job. But there is a line. We are human beings, and sometimes it takes a lot of courage to engage with you because of the resentment I feel for the negative parts of these experiences.”
Hadid’s statement garnered support from celebrities and models alike, with reality star Khloe Kardashian sharing her own experience in the comments section.

“I was sued for hundreds of thousands for posting a picture of myself. I don’t understand how it’s right that they literally stalk us and taunt us and they are allowed to sue us for posting our own photo,” she wrote.

Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowksi Candice Swanepoel and Olivia Culpo also left messages of support on the Instagram post, which had more than one million likes as of Sunday afternoon.