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.

Nora Attal has her day in the sun in Marrakesh

Updated 19 March 2019

Nora Attal has her day in the sun in Marrakesh

DUBAI: British-Moroccan model Nora Attal posed up a storm in Marrakesh’s golden sunlight for a new campaign by fashion brand Zara.

The in-demand model shared snaps from the campaign, photographed by Christian Macdonald, on her Instagram account.

The collection of photographs show Attal modelling looks from Zara’s laid-back Spring/Summer 2019 collection against a backdrop of rippling sand dunes. Her featured ensembled include kaftans and long-length cardigans with hefty stripes in a clay-and-beige color palette.

Attal is no stranger to fronting campaigns — in January, the model was chosen as one of seven rising stars to feature in British fashion house Alexander McQueen’s latest campaign.

The Spring/Summer 2019 collection photoshoot was shot by British fashion and documentary photographer Jamie Hawkesworth and featured Attal wearing a number of cowboy-inspired looks.

The year has gotten off to a busy start for Attal, who was similarly in demand in 2018, when she took to the catwalk for Elie Saab, Loewe and Dior during Paris Fashion Week in September and starred in Italian fashion label Versace’s summer advert campaign.

In May, luxury e-retailer Farfetch launched in the Middle East with a little help from the young model.

She starred in a photoshoot wearing pieces from collections on sale on the platform. The colorful photographs were accompanied by a snappy, chatty interview with the young model.
Readers got the chance to gain insight into her earliest fashion memories and learn some off-the-cuff facts about the star.

“Recently I’ve been obsessed with noughties trends. Everyone was so cool and effortless back then. Now I go out in a full Juicy Couture tracksuit with no shame,” she told Farfetch at the time.

“If I wasn’t a model, I’d probably be at university, studying to get into something like criminal investigations, profiling or law,” she added.

Attal finished off 2018 by hitting the sand dunes in the UAE — however, this time it wasn’t part of a high-end photoshoot, but rather a day of fun.

The model enjoyed an afternoon of sandboarding in the emirate of Sharjah and even posted a snap on Instagram at the time.

“Apparently sandboarding is a thing,” she captioned the sunset shot.