Arwa Al-Banawi’s edgy take on Ramadan style

Updated 07 May 2019
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Arwa Al-Banawi’s edgy take on Ramadan style

DUBAI: Saudi designer Arwa Al-Banawi recently released her 2019 Ramadan collection and it’s refreshingly edgy and urban — the ideal choice for a hipster-inspired iftar.

Having grown up between Jeddah and Switzerland, and now based in Dubai, the designer’s jet set upbringing is evident in her eclectic style.

Al-Banawi began her journey into fashion as a fashion and lifestyle blogger from her hometown of Jeddah. On moving to Dubai in 2012 she took up a career in banking while studying fashion design with the London College of Fashion. On realizing her true passion lay in design, she decided to launch her debut collection of ready-to-wear suits and shirts in 2015.

Fast-forward to 2019 and her Ramadan collection is one for the books, with roughly woven textures and sportswear-inspired stripes.

From oversized, hooded coats with heavy streetwear influence, to minimalist kaftans in washed-out ruby red and Princess Jasmine blue with gold borders, the collection is young and fresh — exactly what Al-Banawai has become famous for.

Al-Banawi’s Ramadan collection is offered up as the antithesis to the traditional, exaggeratedly feminine attire spotted in boutiques throughout the Holy Month.

Her models show off the uber cool looks while wearing white trainers, marrying comfort with urban style.  

The Dubai-based designer, who welcomed Will Smith to her showroom earlier this year, was named as the best regional designer at the 12th annual Grazia Style Awards in Dubai last week.

She took to social media to thank people “for believing in me.”

“Four years ago, I launched a ready-to-wear brand that will give a voice to strong women who inspire me, women I want to dress and I aspire to, celebrating my heritage and my love for sharp dressing. I’m extremely humbled and honored by this moment,” she wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of her receiving the award.

She also gave a shout out to her mother: “(To) my mom, I wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you for being my rock all of those years and for your fashionable, stylish genes.”


Bong d’Or: Korean director wins Cannes’ top prize

Updated 40 min 8 sec ago
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Bong d’Or: Korean director wins Cannes’ top prize

  • French-Senegalese director Mati Diop’s “Atlantics" wins festival’s second place award, the Grand Prize
  • Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne shared the best director for “Young Ahmed”

CANNES, France: South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s social satire “Parasite,” about a poor family of hustlers who find jobs with a wealthy family, won the Cannes Film Festival’s top award, the Palme d’Or, on Saturday.
The win for “Parasite” marks the first Korean film to ever win the Palme. In the festival’s closing ceremony, jury president Alejandro Inarritu said the choice had been “unanimous” for the nine-person jury.
The genre-mixing film had been celebrated as arguably the most critically acclaimed film at Cannes this year and the best yet from the 49-year-old director of “Snowpiercer” and “Okja.”
It was the second straight Palme victory for an Asian director. Last year, the award went to Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters.”
Two years ago, Bong was in Cannes’ competition with “Okja,” a movie distributed in North America by Netflix. After it and Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories” — another Netflix release — premiered in Cannes, the festival ruled that all films in competition needed French theatrical distribution. Netflix has since withdrawn from the festival on the French Riveira.
The festival’s second place award, the Grand Prize, went to French-Senegalese director Mati Diop’s “Atlantics.” Diop was the first black female director in competition at Cannes.
Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne shared the best director for “Young Ahmed.”
Best actor went to Antonio Banderas for Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain and Glory,” while best actress was won by British actress Emily Beecham for “Little Joe.”
Although few quibbled with the choice of Bong, some had expected Cannes to make history by giving the Palme to a female filmmaker for just the second time.
Celine Sciamma’s period romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” was the Palme pick for many critics this year, but it ended up with best screenplay.
In the festival’s 72-year history, only Jane Champion has won the prize in 1993, and she tied with Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine.”