Natalie Portman well-suited to Hedi Slimane’s Celine collection

Natalie Portman at the IndieWire Honors 2018 in Los Angeles. (Getty Images)
Updated 05 November 2018
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Natalie Portman well-suited to Hedi Slimane’s Celine collection

DUBAI: Natalie Portman, who was one of eight artists “celebrated for their achievement in creative independence” at Thursday’s IndieWire Honors ceremony in Los Angeles, arrived sporting a daring wardrobe choice: A sharp black suit with a sheer cream blouse by French-Tunisian designer Hedi Slimane from his first collection as creative director for Celine.
How is a black suit daring? Well, other than flying in the face of the Hollywood convention of wearing glittery gowns to award shows, there is the whole issue of Slimane’s controversial collection for Celine.
Slimane, whose father is Tunisian, is known for his skinny suit silhouettes for Saint Laurent and Dior Homme. (The French designer is also known for ruffling the feathers of fashion conventionistas by meddling with the names of fashion houses: he dropped the “Yves” from Saint Laurent and the accented “e” from Celine.)
Carrying his signature look over to Celine, Slimane’s Spring 2019 collection for the label was met with a largely negative reception on the runway at September’s Paris Fashion Week. Some reviewers accused him of being a “one-trick pony,” while others lamented that he overrode the feminine legacy of its previous artistic director, the well-loved Phoebe Philo, with nary a trace of the brand’s DNA to be found.
So the fashion world has been watching and waiting for that all-important celebrity embrace. First up was Dakota Johnson, in a short sequinned red dress at the LA premiere of her movie “Suspiria” about a week ago. And now comes Portman’s endorsement.
Think what you want of Slimane’s Celine, Portman’s rock & roll tuxedo was a fitting choice. After all, she plays a pop star in “Vox Lux,” which has received positive reviews ahead of its general release next month.
“I’ve never worked with someone more prepared or daring,” Brady Corbet, her “Vox Lux” director, wrote for IndieWire ahead of the ceremony. “That commitment and daring is represented in the other equally significant aspects of her life, such as her outspoken political activism, as well as her own work as a filmmaker.”
As for her activism, in April this year Portman, who is an American-Israeli citizen, backed out of receiving the Genesis Prize in Israel, which was using deadly force against protesters on the Gaza border. “I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony,” she wrote on her Instagram account. “Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality and abuse of power.”
Portman chose a more conventionally feminine look for her December cover shoot for “Vanity Fair,” appearing in a metallic gown by Dior.


Arab stars take the viral #10YearChallenge on Instagram

Jessica Kahawaty at an event in 2018. (AFP)
Updated 16 January 2019
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Arab stars take the viral #10YearChallenge on Instagram

DUBAI: Celebrities around the world have taken on a new social media challenge that has seen them sharing photos taken 10 years apart to show off just how much (or in some cases, how little) they have changed.

A clutch of Arab influencers also jumped on the bandwagon and shared snaps taken a decade apart, including the likes of Lebanese star Karen Wazen and Saudi designer and blogger Tamara Al-Gabbani.

Al-Gabbani took to Instagram with two posts, both of which she claims show her 10 years apart.

“No edits! No filters! Just braces, fuller brows and no more highlights!” she captioned the first post.

Ten years ago, she sported blonde locks and thinner eyebrows. Fast forward to 2019, and Al-Gabbani looks almost the same, besides her jet-black hair and braces.

Wazen shared two side-by-side snaps — the first of which was a photo of her posing with her husband, Elias Bakhazi.

“It started when we were young,” she captioned the photographs.

For her part, Lebanese-Australian model and influencer Jessica Kahawaty shared a composite photograph in which she looks almost identical in the two snaps.

“20-year-old me and 30-year-old me #10yearchallenge,” she captioned the post, adding “I love this little challenge. Shows how much we have all evolved and a good excuse to dig up memorable pictures — with memorable eyebrows lol (sic).”

Although her hair is slightly shorter in 2019 and her eyebrows are fuller, the humanitarian and event host looks largely unchanged.

Saudi-Lebanese style star Alanoud Badr also took part in the challenge and shared a side-by-side composite photograph.

It seems that fuller eyebrows are a 2019 trend as she too sported a thinner set in her older photograph.

Based in Dubai, Badr is a regular fixture on the UAE’s fashion scene and even has her own brand called Lady Fozaza, which she launched in 2011.

The viral craze has seen a hoard of celebrities take to Instagram to share their photographs, including the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks and Tyra Banks.

Lopez shared a throwback photo of herself while pregnant and then, in 2019, wearing a canary yellow swimsuit with a taught tummy and toned muscles — she may have won the challenge for seeming to age backwards and it’s enough to make us want to hit the gym.