Georges Hobeika proves his gowns are coveted the world over

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Updated 18 October 2020

Georges Hobeika proves his gowns are coveted the world over

DUBAI: Lebanese couturier Georges Hobeika has proven yet again that his designs are coveted the world over, with leading ladies from the US, to Paris and China’s Hunan region showing off his gowns in recent days.

First up was US singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, who was photographed in Los Angeles for Entertainment Weekly wearing a pastel number from Hobeika’s Spring/Summer 2020 couture collection.

The gown featured a lilac tulle skirt, topped with a mint green neckline and flowing tulle cape in the same fresh shade.

Over in Paris, German influencer Leonie Hanne treated her 2.7 million followers to a video in which she can be spotted wearing one of Hobeika’s glamorous creations, also from his Spring/Summer 2020 couture collection.

The trend-setter filmed herself posing in a Parisian hotel room in an array of spots — from standing on the bed, heels and all, to draped in a bathtub — all while wearing a sunshine yellow ballgown.

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That feeling when wearing a stunning dress...

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“That feeling when wearing a stunning dress,” she captioned the video.  

The ruffled, tiered skirt and oversized, asymmetrical frill on the neckline make this dress worthy of even the most glittering red carpet, but the influencer had to settle for her luxurious hotel suite given the international lull in fashion events.

That wasn’t the case in China over the weekend, however. Actress Guan Xiaotong managed to hit the red carpet at the opening ceremony of the China Golden Eagle TV Art Festival on Oct. 16 in Hunan Province wearing an ice blue gown by the Lebanese fashion house.

Sparkling embroidered flowers adorn the pleated tulle skirt, topped by a nude bodice in the show-stopping gown that also hails from the same collection.

Hobeika’s Spring/Summer 2020 couture collection was unveiled in Paris in January and is a reflection of the designer’s favorite inspirations — “the force of nature,” “the ecstasy of freedom” and the “philosophy of entertainment” — according to the show notes.

The collection also came with exquisite, well-placed embroidery in a rich palette of neutrals and playful tones, as well as luxurious materials such as satin duchesse and silk chiffon — elements that have made the Baskinta-born designer revered by the royals and red carpet stars that make up his loyal clientele.

Indeed, celebrities constantly turn to Hobeika to dress them in his creations for some of their most important events. Case in point: Singer-turned-actress Jennifer Lopez who chose an elegant off-the-shoulder black gown for the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards and before that, a cream-colored, backless gown encrusted with gems at the 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Tom Hanks talks ‘News of the World’ and the comeback of Westerns

Tom Hanks stars in ‘News of the World.’ (File/AFP)
Updated 29 November 2020

Tom Hanks talks ‘News of the World’ and the comeback of Westerns

LOS ANGELES: Depending on who you ask, Westerns are either on their way out, gone for good, or making a slow comeback in Hollywood. At one point a staple genre of the film industry, the classic Western rarely makes it onto the movie theater marquee these days. Big-budget flops such as 2013’s “The Lone Ranger” have served to usher the genre out of popularity, but critical successes such as Quinten Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” “The Hateful 8” and the Coen Brothers’ “True Grit” are doing their part to keep Westerns from dying off completely. 

On Christmas Day, “News of the World” will be doing its part to keep the Western genre alive, and hopefully bag Universal Pictures a few Oscar nominations. Arab News heard more from the film’s star Tom Hanks.

“I love listening to a great story as much as I like telling one, and that’s why I was so excited about playing Kidd,” Hanks said, giving audiences a taste of what his performance has in store. “He is a storyteller. He is driven, emotional. He is noble. He is moved by a pursuit of the truth.”

Hanks plays Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a former army officer who, after the death of his family, makes his living traveling around Texas reading the news to illiterate townsfolk and entertaining with true tales from across the world.

“'News of the World' takes place in the shadow of the Civil War’s end. There is defeat. There is strife and anger. Because of the war, Kidd came back to having nothing left,” he told us. “Reading the news gave him a purpose. He got up. He collected the stories. He delivered a reading and then he moved onto the next town.”

 As he continues in his travels, Kidd comes across Johanna, a young girl who had been taken from her pioneer family and raised by the Kiowa Native Americans. 

“She has no idea who her family is,” Hanks shared. “Burdened by his own decency, Kidd is going to have to return her to her family and this coming from a man who has lost any semblance of what a family is.”

The movie is adapted from the novel of the same name by author Paulette Jiles, and while it is not based on a true story, its main characters are inspired by real people. Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is based on the ancestor of a friend of Jiles’ — the similarly named historical figure Captain Adolphus Caesar Kydd — who performed readings of newspapers in the 1870s. Johanna is inspired by the more well-known historical tale of Cynthia Ann Parker, who was kidnapped and raised by the Comanche Native Americans.

Interestingly, there seems to be a disagreement between Jiles and film director Paul Greengrass about their goals in portraying the story of “News of the World.” In a 2016 interview with Texas Monthly, Jiles stated that she had no intention of making a commentary on contemporary politics with the original book, preferring to “move people into the world of imagination.”

Greengrass, on the other hand, told reporters at Vanity Fair that he saw the film, which features families and communities in conflict with each other, as representative of the societal divide in the modern-day US. With these opposing ideas woven into the fabric of the story, it will be interesting to see what audiences take away after watching.

It is clear what Universal is hoping to take away, and that is an Oscar. “News of the World” sees Hanks and Greengrass working together again after their previous collaboration, 2013’s “Captain Phillips.” While not an Oscar-winner, “Captain Phillips” received six nominations as well as attention at the Golden Globes and other award shows. With the film releasing at the tail end of the Oscar season, and a road-tested team of director and star, “News of the World” could be Universal’s best shot at an award for the 2020 film year.

Between award season dreams and the hopeful continuation of the Western genre, there is a lot riding on “News of the World.” At its core, however, the movie promises A-list performances and a compelling story full of action and heart.

“Kidd goes through something that saves him as much as he saves Johanna. She gave him a true purpose,” Hanks told us. “His real message is ‘when you have love in your life you will be alright.’ That’s what all great stories are. It’s just pure love for another human being.”