Going Gaga for Hedi Slimane

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The singer looked ethereal on the red carpet in Venice. (AFP)
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Lady Gaga showed off a bag from the new line. (Instagram)
Updated 05 September 2018

Going Gaga for Hedi Slimane

French photographer, fashion designer and agent provocateur Hedi Slimane, who is of Tunisian heritage, has never been known to shock in halves.
The maverick genius took two contrasting slants when he replaced Phoebe Philo at Celine, the French ready-to-wear and leather luxury goods brand.
The first was a subtle, yet impactful, hint of things to come when Slimane used artist Lady Gaga to debut a sleek, yet versatile, handbag at the Venice film festival late last week. Slimane and Gaga are relevant for being artistic and bizarre.
Just when the critics were dissecting the craftsmanship and versatility of the purse he went nuclear by wiping out Celine’s entire Instagram account and ditching the brands famous accent.
The world was waiting for a shakeup of Slimanesque proportions and he did not disappoint. Opinion as usual, was strong, but divided.
Known to be a disruptor of ideas and traditions Slimane is known to send observers, loyalists and critics in the fashion world into a tailspin with his unorthodox applications. His documented stints with Dior Homme and Saint Laurent, where he knocked off the “Yves,” to earn the rage of thousands, are cases in point. His talent is unquestioned, but the approach to his craft is always the subject of deliberation.
Slimane’s posts on Instagram to highlight the new Celine application was a video of sparkling gold lamé fabric accompanied by dramatic music. He rationalized the brand’s facelift saying, “The new logo has been directly inspired by the original, historical version that existed in the 1960’s. The accent on the ‘E’ has been removed to enable a simplified and more balanced proportion, evoking the Celine collections of the 1960’s where the accent wasn’t used often.”
The reaction from the fraternity has been consistent — a mixture of outrage, bewilderment and admiration.
Slimane will debut the Celine menswear and womenswear collections in Paris this month. But the sneak peek provided by Lady Gaga, herself no stranger to controversy with her ability to shock and awe, has got critics launching a thousand theories.  
Err… about the bag: The oversized black tote features gold hardware and a subtle monogrammed tag— simple lines from a brand and a designer who are more avant-garde than conventional.

Arab style stars front new Michael Kors campaign

Updated 13 November 2018

Arab style stars front new Michael Kors campaign

  • Lebanese beauty queen and model Jessica Kahawaty takes the lead in the Michael Kors campaign
  • The special-edition Whitney bag will be unveiled on Nov. 14

DUBAI: Fashion powerhouse Michael Kors (MK) has enlisted the region’s style icons to unveil an exclusive Middle East design of a limited-edition shoulder bag.

Lebanese beauty queen and model Jessica Kahawaty takes the lead in the elite portrait series showcasing a special-edition of the Whitney bag, set to be unveiled at an exclusive event in Dubai on Nov. 14.

The beauty queen took to Instagram to announce the stint, where she posted a picture of herself along with other Arab fashion icons strutting the newly redesigned Whitney bag, including Dubai-based influencer Leena Al Ghouti, fashion blogger Ola Faharat, and filmmaker Lana Al Beik..

“So honored to be fronting this @michaelkors campaign for their new Whitney bag. My MK family is here in Dubai all the way from New York for the celebration this week and I couldn’t think of more powerful ladies to share this photograph with,” Kahawaty wrote.

Dubbed as the Whitney, the compact bag is one of the newest additions to the fashion label’s exclusive accessory collection. The bag is crafted in panel-quilted lambskin, accompanied by a sleek chain strap.

“We were able to incorporate a very subtle M-shaped outline, something I’ve been sketching since I was in middle school,” American designer Michael Kors himself said.

The Middle East edition will be released in a rich blue, which Kors described as “the perfect blend of sophistication and luxury for our customers” in the region.

Kors has expressed how the Middle East is an important region for his fashion label, saying “our customers in the Middle East truly love fashion and glamour, which makes it a fun and exciting place to be as a designer.”

MK, widely known for its premium leather handbags, recently bought luxury designer Versace for $2.05 billion, bolstering its position against its larger European rivals.

“With the acquisition of Versace we have created one of the world’s leading fashion and luxury groups,” said John Idol, chairman and CEO of Michael Kors Holdings.

This came a year after it also acquired British stiletto-heel maker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion.