Halima Aden, Imaan Hammam hit the red carpet at the British Fashion Awards

Moroccan-Egyptian model Imaan Hammam attends the 2019 British Fashion Awards. Photo: Getty
Updated 03 December 2019

Halima Aden, Imaan Hammam hit the red carpet at the British Fashion Awards

  • Models, singers, actresses and industry insiders gathered at the Royal Albert Hall in London wearing their glittering best for the annual British Fashion Awards
  • Among the A-list guests at the ceremony were Imaan Hammam, Halima Aden, Shanina Shaik and Mariah Idrissi

DUBAI: On Monday night, models, singers, actresses and industry insiders gathered at the Royal Albert Hall in London wearing their glittering best for the annual British Fashion Awards. Among the A-list guests at the ceremony were trailblazing hijab-wearing models Mariah Idrissi and Halima Aden.

The two boundary-breaking models can both be credited for cracking open the industry for other hijab-wearing models like Kadija Diawara, Ugbad Abdi and Ikram Abdi Omar— also in attendance on Monday night—, who have all walked on international runways, so it’s fitting that Idrissi and Aden were present at the 2019 edition of one of fashion’s most acclaimed awards ceremonies.

When it came to their ensembles, Idrissi, who is of Moroccan and Pakistani descent, opted for a flowy, kaftan-like gown by Vivienne Westwood, which she paired with an intricately-tied, beige turban.




Somali-American Halima Aden wore a blush pink, ruffled dress from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. Photo: Getty

For her part, Somali-American Aden wore a blush pink, ruffled dress from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi as she mingled and snapped pictures with the other star guests in attendance, including Rihanna, Lewis Hamilton, Tyler the Creator and ASAP Rocky.

Also in attendance was part-Saudi-Pakistani model Shanina Shaik who demanded a double take wearing a form-fitting, sequined, leopard-print Ralph & Russo look that boasted long sleeves and a high-neck, as well as Moroccan-Egyptian model Imaan Hammam who wore a sleek Fenty pantsuit with an open back.




Part-Saudi-Pakistani model Shanina Shaik demanded a double take wearing a form-fitting, sequined, leopard-print Ralph & Russo look. Photo: AFP

Other highlights from the night included Bottega Veneta and its young artistic director Daniel Lee taking home four awards, including brand of the year and designer of the year at the star-studded ceremony, AFP reported.

Meanwhile, Barbadian superstar Rihanna received the “urban luxe” award from fellow singer Janet Jackson for her young label Fenty, part of the LVMH galaxy.

Adut Akech, 19 and originally from South Sudan, was named model of the year.

Alexander McQueen's artistic director Sarah Burton, who joined the house in 1996, was also recognized for her visionary spirit with the trailblazer award.

The evening also honored stars such as supermodel Naomi Campbell, who was named a fashion icon, while industry legend Giorgio Armani received the outstanding achievement award from Hollywood star Julia Roberts.

Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour paid a special tribute to her friend Karl Lagerfeld, who died in February.

British hairdresser Sam McKnight — who styled Princess Diana and worked for Chanel, Balmain, Burberry and Tom Ford — took home the Isabella Blow award for fashion creators, presented by “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke.

Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane nabbed the designers’ designer award, handed out by pop superstar Kylie Minogue.


A hairy situation: Facial hair proves a hot topic as coronavirus worries grow

According to the CDC, beards can interfere with the correct usage of masks and respirators. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 31 March 2020

A hairy situation: Facial hair proves a hot topic as coronavirus worries grow

  • We take a look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advice on mustaches, mutton chops and suave soul patches

DUBAI: With conflicting news reports from media outlets around the world stating that men should — or don’t need to — shave off their prized facial hair in order to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus, we take a look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advice on mustaches, mutton chops and suave soul patches.

Earlier this month, the Welsh Ambulance service advised that medical personnel should “reach for the razor (as) facial hair can disrupt the effectiveness of personal protective equipment” in a tweet and the head of France's ER doctors association advised medical staff to shave off their beards for hygiene reasons. However, these measures are mainly aimed at medical staff who rely on masks and respirators, while advice for the general public has not yet touched upon facial hair as a potential danger in the spread of coronavirus.

What’s clear, however, is the fact that beards can interfere with the correct usage of masks and respirators.

Masks and respirators are being utilized all around the world in a bid to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. But according to a recently resurfaced 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infographic, one’s facial hair can interfere with how effective these filtering items are.

The infographic shows 36 different facial hair styles and provides names for each of them — some of which could be unknown to even the savviest barbers. It also tells you which facial hair styles would and would not work well with a “filtering facepiece respirator” like the P2/N95 respirator, that may protect you against small airborne microbes if worn properly.

While handlebars, lampshades and soul patches are deemed good to go, other facial hair styles, such as mutton chops and a full beard are advised against.

According to the infographic, facial hair can pose a risk to the effectiveness of masks because it may interfere with respirators that rely on a tight facepiece seal to achieve maximum protection.

In short, making sure there’s a good seal between the mask and the wearer’s face is a vital part of respiratory protection, however facial hair can compromise that seal.

The CDC recommends that any facial hair that can fit entirely under a close-fitting respirator should be fine. Where it looks like you might have some problems is if your facial hair is long enough or covers enough of your face that it pushes against the seal of the respirator, thereby allowing airborne particles to leak through.

However, it’s important to note that the CDC only recommends facial masks and facepiece respirators for those who work in the healthcare industry and those who are coming into contact with people who could be potentially infected with the disease, as well as individuals with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.