Arab social media stars ring in 2019 in style

Arab social media stars ring in 2019 in style. (Shutterstock)
Updated 01 January 2019
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Arab social media stars ring in 2019 in style

DUBAI: From camping trips to gatherings in Beirut, the Middle East’s favorite influencers celebrated New Year’s Eve in style last night and spoke to Arab News about their resolutions for 2019.

Dubai-based fashion and fitness influencer Tala Samman — whose Instagram account @myfashdiary features a carefully curated mix of party snaps, workout videos and slick sportswear — celebrated the end of a successful year in Oman.

The US-Syrian DJ, who opened up for such big-name acts as Dua Lipa in Abu Dhabi in February, decided to change things up this year and head out to the desert for a more peaceful celebration with friends.

“New Year’s Eve is so overrated, I always end up doing a party and spend the night worrying about traffic,” she told Arab News.

Her resolutions for the new year are all about mental health and wellbeing.

“(At the) end of 2016, I made the decision to focus on mental health, focus on myself and my wellbeing. My focus for 2019 is to be cautious about where and what I (invest) my energy in, appreciate every moment and continue to challenge myself.”

Lebanese-Australian model, influencer and humanitarian Jessica Kahawaty echoed Samman’s focus on personal wellbeing.

Kahawaty, who celebrated New Year’s Eve Down Under, told Arab News that her hopes for 2019 were two-fold.

“On a personal front, I wish for health for my family and friends, as well as to continue doing what I love,” she said.

“I also wish for a more tolerant region and (am) praying for the safety and rebuilding of neighboring countries like Iraq, Syria and Yemen.”

Kuwaiti influencer Rawan bin Hussain, who has 3.2 million followers on Instagram and launched her own beauty brand this year, celebrated not one but two occasions last night — her 22nd birthday and New Year’s Eve.

Although her birthday was on Dec. 30, the style star hosted a celebration in Beirut with her “loved ones and close friends. This is the first time hosting there and I am having so much fun planning,” she told Arab News before the day.

She expressed her excitement about the year to come.

“I think every year is beautiful and 2018 was in its own (way) — I collaborated with lots of amazing brands, launched my makeup brand, House of Rawan, and visited so many stunning places. I am grateful, forever. But I can’t help but be more excited for what’s to come.”

Meanwhile, Dubai-based Syrian influencer Dounia Sheikh El-Ard rang in the new year at a party in Beirut and told Arab News that she hopes to “travel to niche destinations and explore my adventurous side” in 2019.

Pushing boundaries seems to be a common theme as up-and-coming Jordanian influencer Zeena Zaid added that she hopes to “liven up my lifestyle and face fears and insecurities” in what promises to be an exciting new year.

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Georges Hobeika steals the show at Paris Couture Week

Updated 9 min 45 sec ago
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Georges Hobeika steals the show at Paris Couture Week

Dubai: Lebanese fashion house Georges Hobeika sent models down the runway in a dreamy collection of gowns on Monday as part of Paris Couture Week.

The elite fashion week, which kicked off on Jan. 21, features four designers from the Arab world — Maison Rabih Kayrouz, Georges Hobeika, Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad — who are showing off their latest couture collections alongside the fashion industry’s most sought-after labels. 

The Lebanese labels are joined on the fashion week schedule by the likes of Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Ralph & Russo in the four-day showcase that will wrap up on Jan. 24.

Hobeika’s spring/summer haute couture collection went on show at Paris’s National Theater of Chaillot and saw models, including French star Cindy Bruna and Angolan Maria Borge, strut down the catwalk in a line-up of regal evening wear.

Pastel shades, sequins and feathers were interspersed with dramatic dark gowns, with A-line skirts and bare shoulders on show.

Highlights included a lilac, 1950s-style dress with a tea-length skirt and boxy jacket with a square neckline. The look was completed with fingerless gloves, which looked more chic than punk due to the fine embellishment on show.

A galactic gown dazzled onlookers with its rainbow-toned palette and glinting sequin work that created the overall effect of a multi-hued milky way drifting down the runway.

The couturier employed a range of rich fabrics in the collection, such as silk, duchesse satin and chiffon and even presented a bridal gown that was encrusted in crystal work with a semi-sheer bodice and wide, train-heavy skirt.

Lebanese designers Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad will round out the Arab offerings at Paris Couture Week with their shows, both of which will be held on Wednesday.