Spotted at MFW: Kuwaiti influencer Rawan bin Hussain takes us behind the scenes at fashion week

Rawan bin Hussain is a regular at fashion week. (Images supplied)
Updated 23 February 2019
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Spotted at MFW: Kuwaiti influencer Rawan bin Hussain takes us behind the scenes at fashion week

MILAN: Besides studying law and learning how to fly a plane, Kuwaiti fashion blogger Rawan bin Hussain has somehow found the time to make it to Milan as the city’s edition of fashion week shifts into high gear.

Arab News is in Italy’s fashion capital and caught up with the influencer, who has a stellar 3.4 million followers to her name, to learn more about what it takes to handle the frenzy that is fashion week — and look effortlessly chic while doing it.

Hussain revealed that she prefers Italian designers and was excited about one show in particular.

“I am very excited to be in Milan because I prefer Italian designers and most of my wardrobe consists of pieces by many Italian designers. I am very excited to see Cavalli, it is very colorful and playful,” the blogger, who released a colorful line of lipsticks late last year, said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rawan Bin Hussain (@rawan) on

“Last season, their designers were so unique, such timeless pieces. I am looking forward to seeing their new collection this year and the show is just a few hours from now.  I would say (it’s going to be) a lovely Saturday ahead!”

For those who follow the 22-year-old fashionista on Instagram, it’s clear that she is never in the same place for long and pulling together a well-curated set of looks can be difficult even without the constant jetting around — so how does she do it?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rawan Bin Hussain (@rawan) on

“It took me about two months to prepare my closet for London and Milan Fashion Weeks. I went shopping around the world, when I was off travelling for my birthday and New Year’s Eve. I used that time to shop from small boutiques, or well-known designers and emerging designers — whatever I thought was suitable and that would pop during fashion weeks,” she said, revealing just how long it really takes the style stars of social media to look their best.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ciao bella

A post shared by Rawan Bin Hussain (@rawan) on

While many choose to work with experts, Hussain states that she prefers a more personal, if not labor-intensive approach.

 “I don’t have any stylists, I style myself. I think style is a very personal thing and having a stylist is like wearing someone else’s style rather than your own. You can have a stylist to teach you what cuts and colors are suitable for your body shape and your skin tone, but not a stylist to tell you what to wear.”

As for her favorite recent looks, she didn’t hesitate and opted for an ensemble she showed off in London last week, with one of three snaps of the outfit garnering more than 41,000 likes on Instagram.

“My favorite look was the first day of London Fashion Week. I wore a white skirt and a pink top because I love the color combination! I have a couple of looks coming soon that I believe the followers and audience will love even more than my looks so far.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rawan Bin Hussain (@rawan) on

As she races off to take in the Cavalli show, the entrepreneur shed light on the reality of attending fashion week, including a lack of sleep and a packed schedule that would leave even the most battle hardened with raised eyebrows.  

“A typical day during fashion week is waking up at 7:00 am and starting the day with a nice, hot shower. Of course, having a large, heavy breakfast to keep me up all day (is important). I always have a pair of sneakers with me in the driver’s car and then I will head to the first presentation.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Roro loves her #RODO

A post shared by Rawan Bin Hussain (@rawan) on

“Then, (before) the evening show, or the evening events, I will go home, change and freshen up my makeup and get going again. Of course, we always have nice big dinners with my fellow bloggers and designers, so it is a long day and a long night — I get like five hours of sleep a night!”


Film fans get cutting-edge view of Middle East life at Arab movie fest in Michigan

Tunisian movie ‘Weldi’ was shown at the film festival. Supplied
Updated 33 min 29 sec ago
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Film fans get cutting-edge view of Middle East life at Arab movie fest in Michigan

MICHIGAN: Movie fans were given a cutting-edge view of life in the Middle East at the 14th annual Arab Film Festival (AFF) in the US.

Held in Detroit, the event introduced a series of films, movie shorts and documentaries focusing on marginalized voices in communities, including gender, identity, social justice, activism and community building.

Showcasing movies from Arab countries in North Africa and the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, the festival ran for nine days, from June 7 to 16, and featured Michigan premieres and prizewinners from several film festivals, including Sundance and Cannes.

This year’s festival offered more than 15 premieres, four programs of short films, free workshops, an opening reception and a curated selection of the best Arab and Arab-American films of various genres.

Movies spanned various subjects, including stories about a Tunisian son running away from his parents, a man in an Israeli prison who must deal with his ordeal, and a 17-year old Arab and Muslim girl in Arkansas who deals with being an outsider.

The AFF showed a block of seven shorts from the Arab World, including the comedy “Dunya’s Day,” which is a 2018 Saudi movie about Dunya who, on the day of her college soiree, is abandoned by her domestic help but must still throw the perfect party.

Rita Khalifah, from the US city of Melvindale, attended the festival and saw the block of Arab World shorts. She feels that the festival was important for “everyone, not just metro-Detroit,” and gave “a different outlook and perspective on what’s really happening” and “a more personal understanding of people as individuals and what they are going through. I look forward to (the festival) every year and enjoying the creative side of it all.”

The festival ended by showcasing seven shorts that involved Arab-American producers, directors, and/or actors. The films portrayed a broad array of images and messages and were specially selected for screening as they were unlikely to be seen in larger or commercial theaters.

“Generation One” told the tale of Arab-Americans attempting to gain independence while living in the heavily Arab and Muslim community of Bridgeview, Illinois.

 “Yallah Habibi” seemed like an Arab version of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” telling a humorous story of an Arab-American family which owned a restaurant specializing in falafel.

One of the most moving shorts was “Bodega,” which centered on a lovable Arab- and Muslim-American grocery store owner whose daughter was getting married.

All AFF films were subtitled in English and screened in three venues: the Aliya Hassan Auditorium at the Arab American National Museum, in Dearborn; the Michigan Theater, in Ann Arbor; and the State Theater, also Ann Arbor.

Throughout the film festival, the art and paintings of Mayssa Fakih, a local teenage artist whose works touch on some of the topics, were on display for attendees.