Priyanka Chopra flaunts Dubai-based brand on date night in LA

Priyanka Chopra was spotted in Los Angeles last week wearing a mustard yellow trench coat by Dubai-based modest wear brand Bouguessa. (File photo: Getty Images)
Updated 27 January 2019

Priyanka Chopra flaunts Dubai-based brand on date night in LA

DUBAI: Priyanka Chopra was spotted in Los Angeles last week wearing a mustard yellow trench coat by Dubai-based modest wear brand Bouguessa.
The new bride, who made headlines for her marriage to US pop singer Nick Jonas in December, was not the fist A-lister to show off the cutting edge coat, however.
She was beaten to it by actress Sophia Bush, who donned the label’s Asymmetrical Long Kimono Trench in November.

For her part, Chopra wore the coat to Craig’s restaurant in Los Angeles while out and about with Jonas.
“The perfect date night look,” the fashion house captioned a photograph of Chopra on Instagram.
The stylish Hollywood star, who kicked off her career with high profile roles in Bollywood films, wore the coat with a simple white blouse, distressed jeans and white lace-up boots.
The ready-to-wear label has also been sported by the likes of Beyoncé and the Kardashian’s oft-photographed family friend, Stephanie Shepherd.
Known for its straight-edged, minimalist designs, the label was founded by French-Algerian designer Faiza Bouguessa.
This coat hails from Bouguessa’s Resort 2019 collection, which is described on its website as being full of “monochromatic hues and elegantly-exaggerated silhouettes (with) a deep sense of the avant-garde.
“The collection serves as an elevated medium of Faiza Bouguessa’s expression; a bridge between the flamboyance of art and the beauty of classicism,” the brand adds on its website.
It isn’t the first time the actress has worn a label from the Middle East — she took her international bachelorette festivities to the streets of Amsterdam in November, after a much-reported-on bridal shower in New York, and wore a feathered minidress by Lebanese designer Georges Chakra, straight from his Spring 2018 haute couture collection.
The delicate dress was encrusted with crystals and sequins and featured a feathered cape.
Chopra took to Instagram and posted a series of photos in which she posed in the ethereal dress, which she paired with white Christian Louboutin heels and a white faux fur coat.
Besides keeping an eye on designers from the Middle East, Chopra has also made headlines for enjoying a mini-honeymoon on the sunny shores of Oman after tying the knot in an extravagant wedding ceremony in the Indian city of Jodhpur in early December.
The couple shared snaps from their Oman holiday on Instagram, including one photo the bride captioned, “Marital bliss they say.”
The newlyweds seem to have enjoyed the short honeymoon before flying back to India for their Dec. 20 wedding reception in Mumbai.

The MENA fashion designers dressing up social causes

Updated 24 August 2019

The MENA fashion designers dressing up social causes

  • How designers in the MENA region are making a different kind of fashion statement
  • The ethical fashion movement is spreading to the Middle East and North Africa

CAIRO: Fashion is about far more than just trendy outfits. The growing demand for ethical clothing is one example of how designers are seeking to leave a legacy beyond the runway.

The ethical fashion movement is spreading to the Middle East and North Africa. Recent initiatives include Talahum by UAE-based designer Aiisha Ramadan, who created coats that transform into sleeping bags for disadvantaged and refugee communities living without proper shelter.

In 2016, Cairo hosted ICanSurvive, an event to commemorate World Cancer Day. As part of the project, 32 cancer survivors were paired with fashion designers to help them create the outfit of
a lifetime.

“I consider this to be one of my biggest achievements,” said Egyptian couturier Ahmed Nabil, 28, one of the volunteers at ICanSurvive. “I still can’t let go of the moment I saw her crying from happiness when she got to wear her outfit at the event.”

Though a transformational experience for Nabil, this was not his first attempt at thought-provoking designs. He was only 23 when he launched his company, Nob Designs, in 2014 to begin a journey of exploration by designing clothes for unconventional causes and experimental concepts.

The company sells a diverse set of fashion pieces with designs that aim to inspire conversation. Nabil’s creations are much like art pieces at a gallery, but instead of being displayed on canvas, they are exhibited on t-shirts, tops, dresses and abayas.

His latest collection combines street fashion inspired by underground culture with Arabic calligraphy. The Halal Project endeavors to blur the lines between conservative and edgy to demonstrate that fashion designs can be accessible to anyone.

“It’s all about the idea of accepting one another regardless of differences,” Nabil said. “My main aim for this project is a call for all people to peacefully coexist.”

Nabil added that the shift towards tolerance is not something that just the general public needs to work on. Fashion designers themselves are sometimes biased in their perceptions.

Many millennial designers, particularly in Egypt, remain wary of exploring modest fashion, despite the trend’s rising popularity. Sometimes it is because they want to avoid defining themselves as conservative instead of being considered modern and trendy.

Fellow Egyptian designer Sara Elemary, who has been running her Sara Elemary Designs label for nearly a decade, agrees.

“Modesty is a big thing in Egypt. I can’t understand why they are neglecting it,” she said. “A woman doesn’t have to be in a headscarf to wear modest clothing. There are so many famous designers for whom modesty plays a big role in
their work.”

Meanwhile, events such as Dubai Modest Fashion Week have been promoting the concept and encouraging budding designers in the region to consider this trending domain.

“I believe that there’s a problem with modest fashion, but over the past two years, that issue has started to diminish as designers have incorporated more modest designs in their collections,” Nabil said.

The next step for him is getting into the couture domain with his long-awaited project, Nob Couture. The look of the new collection is still a mystery, but he seems determined to continue sending messages and starting discussions through his designs, which he said are inspired by his life experiences.

As for designers in the region, the time is ripe for them to start supporting the causes they believe in through their work. Whatever topic or fashion style they decide to pursue, they need to be fearless in triggering conversation in the Arab world with their creations.