All Things Mochi boasts homespun Ramadan collection

All Things Mochi unveiled its Ramadan collection. (All Things Mochi)
Updated 17 May 2018
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All Things Mochi boasts homespun Ramadan collection

  • The Dubai-based brand has long been a champion of ethical threads, incorporating artisanal embroidery techniques from across the globe into perennially boho-chic blouses and billowy dresses.
  • Originally from Palestine, Tabari insists upon creating designs that are both culturally authentic and befitting of the jet-set fashionistas she counts among her clientele.

LONDON: While a range of designers and retailers have rolled out special capsule collections this year, All Things Mochi may take the cake for its full embrace of the Ramadan spirit. 

The Dubai-based brand has long been a champion of ethical threads, incorporating artisanal embroidery techniques from across the globe into perennially boho-chic blouses and billowy dresses. This year’s Ramadan collection is no exception, but a local spin makes it particularly appropriate for the holy month — launched in collaboration with the Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, the line features “Talli” braiding, a traditional brocading technique that has been used to adorn Emirati dresses for centuries. 

While Emirati craftswomen have passed on this ancient weaving knowledge through the generations, the Mochi Ramadan collection will fit comfortably in modern wardrobes: Billowy kaftans and ankle-skimming dresses are patterned with printed and embroidered hands. Inspired by henna, another embellishment with a long local history, the line embodies a casual, bohemian vibe. Patterned with the collection’s token henna hands, the Maliha dress — with a slight crew neck and three-quarter-length sleeves — would be equally perfect for a stroll in Los Angeles or an iftar gathering in Jeddah. If blushed and earthy ochre tones dominate the line, bold-hued bracelets, chokers and earrings are the perfect complements to an otherwise subtle and chic Ramadan collection.

The entire look book is at once modern and modest — a full embrace of Emirati femininity and history with easy, loose silhouettes.

“I am really happy with how this collection developed, it really represents everything my brand stands for (and) makes clear reference to the culture I am surrounded by day in day out,” said All Things Mochi founder Ayah Tabari. “It strongly recognizes the talent that is among us in the region and the communities which are helping to sustain their craft.”

But the line is far more than a historical homage: Each design was handwoven by one of 36 female artisans at the Bidwa Development Program Center in Sharjah in an initiative by the Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, which helps connect local craftswomen with global designers eager to incorporate their unique intricate embellishments in their designs. 

With nimble, hennaed fingers, women at the Sharjah-based center transform spools of thread into Mochi’s luxe frocks.  

“The council’s Bidwa Social Development Program, in Dibba Al-Hisn in Sharjah, enables craftswomen to generate a sustainable source of income and achieve professional and social empowerment through their craft,” explains Reem bin Karam, director of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment in a released statement.

Mochi has championed the skills of local craftswomen across the globe and Tabari has previously worked with female artisans from Morocco to Uzbekistan. Originally from Palestine, Tabari insists upon creating designs that are both culturally authentic and befitting of the jet-set fashionistas she counts among her clientele. Her approach has generated a cult following — everyone from Georgia Jagger to Queen Rania of Jordan have donned the duds. Earlier this year, Tabari presented a Mexico-inspired collection at New York Fashion Week. 

But the local roots and story behind the 2018 Ramadan collection make it particularly appropriate for the season. Bridging the gap between glossy modern malls and homespun Emirati heritage, the line is a festive celebration of both the old and the new.


Like a Berber: Madonna celebrates 60th birthday in Marrakech

Updated 19 August 2018
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Like a Berber: Madonna celebrates 60th birthday in Marrakech

  • The Queen of Pop donned the attire of a “Berber Queen” in Marrakech on her birthday
  • On Sunday, the American star posted pictures and videos on her Instagram of a fun photo shoot with British-Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj

JEDDAH: Madonna’s 60th birthday celebrations are creating quite a buzz, especially delighting her Arab fans that she chose to mark the milestone in Morocco.
The Queen of Pop donned the attire of a “Berber Queen” in Marrakech on her birthday, wearing a fuchsia chiffon long-sleeved gown by Gucci with Berber jewelry and a headpiece by Marianna Harutunian.
On Sunday, the American star posted pictures and videos on her Instagram of a fun photo shoot with British-Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj, known as the “Andy Warhol of Marrakech.” Madonna, who posed for pictures with her family, is seen dressed in a traditional red attire, accessorized with colorful jewelry and a Louis Vuitton headscarf.
“Life can be sweet and sour and sometimes a surprise can happen that you never would think of and this was one of (those) moments; want to thank Madonna and her lovely family and being patient for the shoot at my riad,” Hajjaj wrote on Instagram.
Hashtagged #birthday #magic #Marakesh, Madonna’s pictures have gone viral on social media since she first posted a portrait of herself bedecked in Berber jewelry and brandishing a sign that reads “The Queen.” She wrote: “Finally and at last it’s my birthday! I have survived! Life is beautiful!”
On the eve of the big day, she toured the former imperial city of Morocco under the close watch of the paparazzi and wrote: “Walking through the Labyrinth of the Medina during the Call to Prayer.” She posted a video shot at night, wandering in the alleys of the city’s ancient market.
“Mystical walk through the desert,” she captioned a photo featuring her in the desert, with six horsemen holding candles in the background.
Another portrait shows Madonna wearing a fez decorated with Berber jewelry, along with a caption reading: “Today I am wearing CAKE on my head!“
Known for repeatedly reinventing herself during her 35-year pop career, Madonna has been staying at the luxury palace-turned-hotel El Fenn, owned by the sister of British billionaire Richard Branson, Vanessa. The property has been redecorated and staff have had their smart phones confiscated to protect the privacy of Madonna and her guests. The birthday guest list has also been kept secret, and Moroccan police were keeping journalists and photographers at bay.
Guests reportedly dressed in traditional Bedouin garb for the Arabian-themed party featuring Berber music. According to the Mirror, Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee designed kaftans and Berber costumes for them.
Agence France-Presse reported a local photographer as saying that he had spotted Madonna wearing a veil covering the hair and face but for the eyes. She reportedly visited the five-star Kasbah Agafay spa, went shopping at a souk and enjoyed a camel trek in the desert.
Local media reported that she and around 15 friends had dined out at a restaurant in western Morocco, escorted by bodyguards and under police surveillance.
Taking to social media under the hashtag #MadonnaAt60, fans from across the world sent birthday wishes to the pop diva. Since her first, eponymous album came out in 1983, Madonna has sold more than 300 million records, with albums such as “True Blue,” “Like a Prayer” and “Ray of Light” topping music charts around the world.