Pack a punch with Indian label Saaksha & Kinni

Updated 12 June 2018

Pack a punch with Indian label Saaksha & Kinni

  • The woman we create for is unafraid to explore her feminine-meets-fierce side
  • The Spring/Summer 2018 line, titled “Forza,” is ideal for the hot months ahead

DUBAI: Indian label Saaksha & Kinni isn’t an obvious choice for your Eid attire, but it’s one that should be firmly on your style radar.

The brand has more than eight years of experience in designing embroidery swatches for the likes of Balmain, Elie Saab and Armani and two years ago decided to translate that expertise into a series of whimsical garments.
The Spring/Summer 2018 line, titled “Forza,” is ideal for the hot months ahead, with pops of fuchsia, lush rainforest greens and sparkling whites in a collection of breezy skirts, robes and dresses.
“The inspiration behind our collection lies in the Indian state of Gujarat,” the designers told Arab News.
“We discovered the angarkha (a traditional upper garment), once worn by men in court and on the battlefields — a sharp piece of design that served to protect. We fell in love with the idea that it carried femininity in its fierceness, a concoction that has always spoken to our core. Look closer and Gujarat will come alive to you in the form of the archetypical bandhani and batik prints intermingling with dark florals.”
The line also boasts the traditional mirror embellishments common in this area of India, leading the designers to declare that “with Forza, we are paying our respects to the past, discovering the present and creating for the future.”
 The brand’s aim is to take its luxe-bohemian garments to an audience outside the Indian Subcontinent, all the while representing India and staying true to the country’s heritage.
It is exactly why the pair behind the brand believe the Arab world is such an important market for their designs.
“We think our designs would work well in the Arab world as they empower women with their bold colors, edgy silhouettes and strong embroidery, yet maintain a certain level of intimacy and modesty that Arab women value.
“The fabrics we use and (our) silhouette choices also lend themselves well to both the climate and traditional cuts of the Middle East.”
That is certainly true of their summer collection, the pieces of which would not look out of place at an informal Eid Al-Fitr lunch or iftar gathering.
A multi-tiered, polka-dotted dress in white and black stands out as the perfect choice for a hot summer’s day with its floor-length skirt and cool, comfortable material.
Meanwhile, a beautifully delicate lavender ensemble features an origami-style pleated skirt printed with intricate, sketch-like patterns alongside a billowing cape embroidered with mirrored tiles at the cuffs. It’s a statement piece that manages to retain its grace and femininity while still turning heads.
It almost perfectly encapsulates the label’s design ideals, explained by the founders as both feminine and fierce.
“The woman we create for is unafraid to explore her feminine-meets-fierce side, all the while keeping it luxe-bohemian. Nothing’s unassuming here. It’s layered, enigmatic, even at times surprising. And yet it’s comfortable, playful and easy. Quite like us. Quite like many women we know.”
 You can browse the designers’ collection online at, where prices and delivery options are clearly listed.

Beyoncé wears Tunisian-French design in viral video

Updated 20 June 2018

Beyoncé wears Tunisian-French design in viral video

DUBAI: Beyoncé and Jay-Z stunned fans by dropping a surprise joint album this week, and the artistic video for the lead track, “Apes***,” sees the Grammy-winning queen of pop wearing a turban by French-Tunisian milliner Donia Allegue.

The nine-track album “Everything Is Love” dropped Saturday on the Tidal music streaming service that Jay-Z partially owns, before the couple released it on Spotify on Monday.
The pop diva and hip-hop superstar announced the album from the stage in London as they wrapped up the British leg that opened a global tour.

The couple also put out an elaborately choreographed video that takes place inside the Louvre museum in Paris for “Apes***,” AFP reported.

The video opens with the couple standing regally in front of the “Mona Lisa” — Jay-Z in a light green double-breasted suit, Beyoncé in a lavender pantsuit — and features a squad of scantily clad dancers moving sensually in front of Jacques Louis David’s “The Coronation of Napoleon.”

In a later scene, Beyoncé dons a floor-length black turban by Donia Allegue with a nude-colored bodysuit by French design house Cadolle. According to Vogue Arabia, Allegue revealed that the headpiece took eight hours to create and is made of six meters of tulle.

“Honored and proud to have adorned Queen @beyonce (with) an exceptional headpiece for her grandiose clip,” the design house posted on its Instagram page this week.

The video is a veritable treasure trove of sartorial high points chosen by stylist Zerina Akers, who scored the latest designs from international runways, as well as custom pieces from various high-end brands.

Fashion aside, the album, driven by warm, sultry soul with a largely hip-hop cadence, marries the styles of the two artists but is more consistent with the recent direction of Jay-Z.
The two stars have recorded together previously, notably on the Beyoncé-led single “Drunk in Love,” but the album comes after an especially public window into their marriage.
Beyonce on her last solo album “Lemonade” in 2016 revealed infidelity on the part of Jay-Z, who a year later asked forgiveness on his own album “4:44.”

This year, as the title of “Everything is Love” implies, their relationship is apparently swell.

On the final track, the joyously brassy “Lovehappy,” the two acknowledge past pain but also their efforts to reconcile.

“We’re flawed / But we’re still perfect for each other,” Beyoncé sings.

As two of the most prominent African Americans in pop culture Jay-Z and Beyoncé have played increasingly visible political roles, from campaigning for former president Barack Obama to championing the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Everything is Love” offers a paean to African American identity in “Black Effect,” which opens in Beyoncé fashion with a monologue about self-love before a haunting soul sample.
Jay-Z on the song name-checks Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African American shot dead in 2012 by a neighborhood watchman in a Florida gated community, and raps, in a twist on performers’ rote calls for crowd gesticulation, “Get your hands up high like a false arrest.”