DUBAI: As Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris winds down, we are still daydreaming about the dazzling display designers from the region showcased in the culture capital.
Lebanese designer Rabih Kayrouz put on a vibrant show on Monday, sending models down the catwalk in Dorothy-inspired ginghams and daring pop art-style primary colors. Over exaggerated, frilled sleeves and a devil-may-care attitude toward mixing prints made his Spring 2019 ready-to-wear collection stand out — it was fun and instantly wearable.
Countryman Georges Hobeika took things in precisely the opposite direction, and it was breathtaking to behold. The Beirut-based designer unveiled a Fall/Winter collection that was teeming with feathers, tea-length skirts and frequent visual references to nature’s most elegant bird, the swan. Soft, pale pinks melted into luscious, deep violets and cobalt blues in a line that was feminine and not without its quirks.
Meanwhile, Bollywood favorite Rami Kadi unveiled an Aztec-inspired collection of pastel-hued ballgowns, as well as a wedding dress that twinkled with embedded fairy lights, iridescent ostrich feathers and wispy metallic fronds. Peaches, forget-me-not blues and cream colors, along with holographic sequins and delicate crystal embellishments, marked this collection.
Moroccan-British model Nora Attal turns heads at Dior Cruise 2022 collection
Updated 19 June 2021
DUBAI: French fashion house Dior this week returned to live audience shows with an extravagant presentation of its partly-sports inspired 2022 Cruise collection in Athens’ Panathenaic stadium, the 4th-century site of the first modern Olympic Games, 70-years after an iconic Dior shoot at the Acropolis.
Dior’s Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri enlisted models, including Moroccan-British star Nora Attal, to showcase the sport-infused designs that made up the collection in the presence of celebrities that included film star Catherine Deneuve, model Cara Delevingne and “The Queen’s Gambit” actress Anya Taylor Joy, as well as Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
Dior also broadcasted the event live on social media, television and in public areas in Greece.
For Chiuri’s first focused foray into athleisure, Attal wore a striped, waterproof unitard with an attached hood, paired with matching shorts and futuristic sneakers. A pair of scuba-inspired goggles, studded wristbands and an oversized bowling bag completed the look.
The 22-year-old, who made her runway debut in 2017, is a catwalk fixture at the house of Dior. She has walked in plenty of shows for the Parisian maison, including the most recent Fall 2021 ready-to-wear show in March.
She also turned heads at the French maison’s socially-distanced Spring 2021 ready-to-wear show in Paris, as well as at the brand’s Spring 2019 couture, Spring 2018 ready-to-wear and Fall 2018 couture shows, among others.
The Dior Cruise 2022 collection — which featured a color palette of mostly black, white, grey, gold and blue — also boasted suits inspired by jackets and pants worn by iconic German-American actress Marlene Dietrich.
Peplos, the robe traditionally worn by women in ancient Greece, was also a major source of inspiration for the show’s eveningwear components.
The work of Greek artisans was featured in the collection, including a tailor and embroiderer from Argos in the Peloponnese, a silk factory in the northeastern town of Soufli, and a maker of fisherman’s caps from the port of Piraeus.
Additionally, after receiving the green light from Greece’s top archaeological advisory body to have photoshoots in some of the country’s cherished ancient sites, such as the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the temple of Poseidon at Sounio and the temple of Zeus at Nemea, Dior presented the photographs from the shoot during the runway show.
French fashion house Balmain seeks inspiration from Arab divas for Resort 2022 line
Updated 19 June 2021
DUBAI: Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing grew up not knowing who his birth parents were. He was adopted by a French couple from the region of Bordeaux when he was a baby. It wasn’t until very recently that the young designer discovered his genetic heritage. His mother is from Somalia and his father is Ethiopian. His parentage is set to be explored in a forthcoming Netflix documentary, “Wonder Boy,” launching on June 26. It will follow Rousteing’s 10-year tenure at Balmain, in addition to his search for his biological parents.
Due to the pandemic, Rousteing has been unable to visit Somalia or Ethiopia, though he has been vying to go. Instead, he has taken to researching the Horn of Africa and was particularly moved by a visit to the exhibition “Arab Divas: From Oum Kalthoum to Dalida” currently taking place at the Arab World Institute in Paris for Balmain’s Resort 2022 collection.
The offering comprises 60-looks, and offers both womenswear and menswear in the form of roomy ponchos, silky kaftans and mini dresses for women as well as bomber jackets, loose trousers and sharply-tailored, embellished blazers for their counterparts.
The new collection marked the 75th anniversary of Pierre Balmain’s debut presentation with Balmain’s 2022 Resort Collection.
In celebration of the milestone, the designer chose to revive the archival labyrinth print, invented by Pierre Balmain and reintroduced by Rousteing, splashing it on oversized hobo bags, floor-length coats, palazzo pants, wrap skirts and crop tops. “The clients really like it, so we played with it even more,” he said.
Another highlight of the collection is a pair of fur shoes that are notably cruelty free– the footwear consists of a mix of faux fur and long-haired goat fur sourced from the goat-milk industry.
Lebanese label Azzi & Osta dedicates its Fall 2022 couture collection to perfume
Updated 19 June 2021
DUBAI: Perfume has the special ability to conjure up cherished memories, stimulate emotions and transport you to faraway locations. So powerful is scent, that Lebanese design duo Assaad Osta and George Azzi decided to pay homage to the art of perfumery for their joint label Azzi & Osta’s Fall 2022 couture collection.
It all started with a visit to France. The couturiers took a trip to a perfume museum in the French town of Grasse, known for its long-established perfume industry. There, they discovered a vast universe of essences, that included everything from Osmanthus flowering plants from Japan, pine needles from Canada and sandalwood from India.
The design duo were especially struck by all of the different territories, civilizations, talents and cultures that can intersect in a single bottle of perfume. Thus, they decided that their next collection would be dedicated to fragrance.
The idea was to utilize different materials and shapes in order to evoke the lightness and volatility of perfume.
They embroidered precious ingredients including orange blossom, peach bud, patchouli, magnolia, fig, neroli and myrtle, that compose a typical fragrance, with subtle petals of fabric molded and colored by hand, accompanied by ribbons of tulle stitched together edge-to-edge in frills.
The 23-piece offering also boasts custom-made floral fabric, printed in 3D with verbena and patchouli; a corset inspired by the 1950s from which the embroidered flowers of a dress pour out and dresses cut in the shape of a vase.
In an effort to incorporate eco-conscious practices into their designs, the couturiers opted for faux fur and feathers in the collection. Adding to this conscious practice, the couturiers also utilized raffia, a natural and renewable woven fiber, in the looks.
The collection culminates with three striking wedding gowns.
One is made of tightened velvet ribbons and tulle and features a skirt embroidered with myrtle flowers.
Another is embroidered with tuberose on Chantilly silk, under a layer of lace dotted with organza flowers and spangled with crystals, while the third wedding gown boasts a sprinkling of sequins and organza feathers on the shoulders that would make any bride say “I do.”
International Sushi Day: Delicious spots to try in Saudi Arabia
Updated 18 June 2021
In honor of International Sushi Day celebrated on June 18, here are six sushi spots to try in Saudi Arabia, rounded up by Arab News Japan.
This modern and casual restaurant on Prince Saud Al-Faisal Road in Jeddah feature custom dishes such as a Japanese burrito and attractive lunch offers.
Owner Khulood Olaqi turned this home-based online store into a fully-fledged restaurant where she is both a chef and manager. Cozy, warm and welcoming, Oishii Sushi is located in Riyadh.
Promising sushi that is “rolled to perfection,” the restaurant also provides traditional Japanese food that is rich in flavor and flair. Sushi Centro has two branches in Saudi Arabia, one in Jeddah in Centro Shaheen Hotel, and the other in Riyadh’s Centro Waha Hotel.
Nozomi’s menu is internationally renowned and award-winning, offering an unrivaled fine-dining experience on Riyadh’s Dabab Street.
A hip restaurant that plays host to business meetings, gossip and fast-paced service at a dimly lit sushi bar, Wakame has three branches in Jeddah: In Ar Rawdah district, in Obhur and on Al-Malik Road.
A franchise with branches in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar where guests can enjoy anime with their sushi.
Arab filmmakers Kaouther Ben Hania, Sameh Alaa join Cannes’ short film jury
Updated 18 June 2021
DUBAI: The Cannes Film Festival announced this week that Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania and Egyptian director Sameh Alaa will be part of the short film jury at the 74th edition of the event next month.
Other jury members include filmmakers Tuva Novotny from Sweden, Spain’s Carlos Muguiro, screenwriter Alice Winocour, and actor Nicolas Pariser, both from France.
For this year’s festival, which runs from July 16 to 17, the selection committee has viewed 3,739 short films. The jury will be awarding one of the 10 movies selected for the competition, including flicks from Brazil, Denmark, China, France, Hong Kong, and Portugal.
Ben Hania has been making headlines in the film industry after her critically acclaimed movie, “The Man Who Sold His Skin,” was shortlisted for the Oscar’s international feature film award in February.
Meanwhile, Alaa’s movie, “I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face,” won the coveted Palme d’Or in the Cannes Film Festival’s short-film competition in October.