Lebanese blogger Nathalie Fanj braves the snow for her fashion fix in Paris

Nathalie Fanj at PFW'19. (Getty Images)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Lebanese blogger Nathalie Fanj braves the snow for her fashion fix in Paris

DUBAI: Lebanese influencer Nathalie Fanj is making quite the statement at Paris Couture Week as she sits on the coveted front row, enjoys the snow and braves the city’s cobbled streets in stilettos.

Although temperatures in Paris are hovering around the zero mark, the style maverick isn’t letting the cold weather stop her from putting on a show of her own.

She stepped out this week wearing an oversized yellow coat over an all-black outfit, paired with knee-high boots and a canary yellow bag.

That wasn’t the only look she has served so far, however, Fanj took to the streets of Paris in an on-trend plaid outfit in a shade of blue, which she matched with white lace-up boots and heavy, cobalt blue eyeshadow for a 1960s-inspired look.

The stylish blogger gave her 377,000 Instagram followers a peek at the glamorous Ralph & Russo show on Monday and then attended a show by Lebanese designer Rami Kadi, held on the sidelines of Paris Couture Week.

The influencer has been sharing picturesque photos of the city and even took to a Parisian garden to share a snapshot of the snow, which she captioned “so magical.”

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So magical

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The world’s leading couturiers have been showcasing their most extravagant designs during the fashion week that wraps up on Jan. 24.

For its part, Chanel showcased 18th century-inspired couture inside a sunlit Italian villa, but the headline-making point of the show was that head designer Karl Lagerfeld didn’t take his usual bow — the house said because the octogenarian designer was “tired.”

Other highlights of the collections on show on Tuesday include Givenchy’s runway lineup and Giorgio Armani’s classic couture, the Associated Press reported.

British designer Waight Keller, who had until 2017 never touched couture, produced a jaw-dropping collection for Givenchy on Tuesday evening that demonstrated a surprising mastery.
To moving operatic arias, diverse designs dipped into fresh creative explorations — all from the base-note of black.

Black latex leggings shimmered like an oil-slick to begin the collection and introduce a textural contrast against an elderberry-colored architectural bar jacket with one single white lapel. It looked like a bolt of lightning.

If a bolt of lightning was meant as a visual metaphor for the 42-piece collection, it was fitting.
Meanwhile, Giorgio Armani’s couture collection showed off the fashion icon’s famed cutting skills through tailored jackets.

The Armani Prive collection threw to the wind any real interest in evoking a spring/summer season, or a trend or any up-to-the-minute fad.

At the second of Tuesday’s double-shows, alongside Chanel, Armani Prive showcased a series of archetypically couture looks in the exclusive Hotel d’Evreux in the Place Vendome that made statements of their own with shimmer and bold color.

Billowing silken Asian-style pants shimmered below tops that contrasted in their color or texture — in checks, sequins or paillettes.

The designs could have featured in any of the designers shows of the last few years without looking out of place.

But as Yves Saint Laurent once said, “fashions come and go, style is eternal.”


Yousra Elsadig brings her modest style to LFW

An image from the show in London. (Frederico Velez)
Updated 21 February 2019
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Yousra Elsadig brings her modest style to LFW

DUBAI: An independent showcase of emerging designers held during London Fashion Week, Fashion Scout once again lived up to its name — scouting out and presenting talented designers from across the globe from Feb. 15-17.

Arab News went along to a showing by a UK-based designer Yousra Elsadig, whose Boutique De Nana collection paid tribute to her former home country, Sudan.

“I am trying to depict the beauty of my homeland. It’s so heart-breaking to see what’s happening in Sudan. I want to dedicate this collection to my country and to put the focus on freedom, justice and peace,” she said.

Elsadig, who was named “Woman of the Year” by Barclays in 2017 and “Designer of The Year 2016 by the Modest Association of London, designs for women who want to dress modestly, but with imagination and style.

“The modest element is very important to me — women can be beautiful, feminine and modest,” she said.

Her designs have a simplicity, charm and quirkiness that comes partly from the use of recycled fabrics, as sustainability is a key message she wants to get across. 

Elsadig is unusual in combining her designer role with a full-time degree in optometry. In fact, the day before her LFW show, she sat an exam and then drove from her home in Wales to London. 

She is also the mother of two young girls, but if that’s a lot to juggle it doesn’t show. She was a bundle of warmth and energy backstage — calmly briefing the models.

Her family left Sudan when she was very young and she grew up in Canada. Her family then left Canada to live in Wales in the UK.

It was in Cardiff that she met her mentor, designer Sarah Valentin, who was teaching community sewing and textile classes with a special focus on recycling and sustainability. Valentin said she is thrilled to see Elsadig achieving such success.

“I saw her potential and creative ideas. It’s incredible that she is showing here at London Fashion Week.  I’m so proud of her,” she said.

As the models moved gracefully through the room, the clothes gave off a sense of confident, graceful and highly individual style — perfect for the modern, modest woman of today.