Lebanon’s Ashi Studio takes over Cannes

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


What We Are Buying Today: Yataghan Jewellery

Updated 20 July 2019
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What We Are Buying Today: Yataghan Jewellery

In January, my family celebrated my birthday by gifting me a “Hubb Collection” necklace that I had wanted ever since I laid eyes on it, when one of my relatives wore it.

The design of the word ‘Love’ — written in Arabic Farsi font and angled in a way that makes it heart-shaped — fascinated me, and I have worn the necklace ever since I got it, partly out of sentiment, but also because I find it so beautiful and unique.

Jeddah-based Yataghan Jewellery — the maker of the “Hubb Collection” — has a variety of gold designs, stackable jewel-ornamented hexagon rings, necklaces, bracelets and rings engraved in Arabic Farsi.

The store’s Instagram account @yataghanjewellery documents its trademark pieces and shares customers’ experiences along with how they choose to stack their Yataghan pieces.

Customer favorites include their Allah necklace, and the “Hubb Collection” (rings, necklaces and bracelets in crystalized or standard gold, silver or rose gold with a single colorful or silver crystal).