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
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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.


Gwyneth Paltrow, Karen Gillan wear Arab jewelry to LA premiere

Gwyneth Paltrow showed off earrings by Beirut-based brand Yvan Tufenkjian. AFP
Updated 24 April 2019
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Gwyneth Paltrow, Karen Gillan wear Arab jewelry to LA premiere

DUBAI: Hollywood actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Karen Gillan both showed off Arab jewelry brands at this week’s world premiere of “Avengers: Endgame.”

Paltrow showed off statement earrings by Beirut-based jewelry brand Yvan Tufenkjian, which featured teardrop-shaped stones and resembled ear cuffs.

Meanwhile. British actress Gillan boasted a pair of diamond drop earrings by UAE-based label Amwaj at Monday’s Hollywood premiere.

After nearly two dozen films and billions of dollars in ticket sales around the globe, the Avengers are gearing up for a final time — and their last adventure could shatter all box office records, AFP reported.

“Avengers: Endgame” is the final installment of a wildly ambitious 22-film arc featuring the beloved superheroes of the Marvel universe, many of them the creations of late comic book legend Stan Lee.

It hits theaters this week and pundits are predicting a debut weekend that could break records with the first billion-dollar opening in history.

Karen Gillan wore earrings by UAE-based label Amwaj. AFP

That would easily beat out the previous record holder, “Avengers: Infinity War,” the first part of the “Infinity Saga” — as it was dubbed by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, who has produced every single movie in the franchise — which opened in 2018 with $640.5 million.

After Monday’s star-studded world premiere in Hollywood, the six original Avengers celebrated the end of the road Tuesday at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) assembled for a final time with Feige at the TCL Chinese Theatre, where they signed blocks of cement and marked them with handprints.

“It’s been an amazing ride,” Ruffalo — who attempted a handstand while waiting for the cement to set — said of the 10-year project.

The 21 preceding films have earned about $19 billion globally, and though “Endgame” marks the end of the current narrative arc, Marvel Studios is far from through.

Even as they mark the end of what Johansson called a “wonderful” experience, Marvel Studios has already announced several new projects: in addition to sequels for “Spider-Man,” “Black Panther” and “Doctor Strange,” there will also be “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” “The Eternals” and “Black Widow,” the second Marvel universe film to give a female character solo top billing.

“The fun thing about an ending is that you eventually get to do a new beginning,” Feige told AFP.

“So yes, there will be a new beginning, but right now, it’s about this combination of 22 movies. That’s what we’re most excited for.”

In preparation for the marvelous cinematic conclusion, “Endgame” directors Joe and Anthony Russo took to Twitter to post a letter to “the greatest fans in the world.”

“This is it,” they wrote. “This is the end. The end of an unprecedented narrative mosaic spanning eleven years and eleven franchises.”