Singer Halsey wears emerging Saudi designer in new film

Singer Halsey wears emerging Saudi designer in new film
Halsey is set to make her acting and screenwriting debut this month. Supplied
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Updated 18 August 2021

Singer Halsey wears emerging Saudi designer in new film

Singer Halsey wears emerging Saudi designer in new film

DUBAI: Saudi womenswear designer Noura Sulaiman is about to see one of her creations on the big screen.

Sulaiman, who is one of the very few Saudi designers to have their creations featured in a large-scale Hollywood production, was responsible for creating the white, off-the-shoulder dress worn by award-winning singer Halsey in the movie poster for her first feature film, “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power.” 

The film is set to be shown at select IMAX theaters on Aug. 25 and explores the themes of pregnancy and childbirth.




The film is set to be shown at select IMAX theaters on Aug. 25. Supplied

The dress was selected from Sulaiman’s debut collection and handpicked by Los Angeles-based celebrity stylist Law Roach, who is responsible for the head-turning looks worn by stars such as Zendaya, Rachel Brosnahan and Priyanka Chopra, among others. 

The dress is crafted from ivory moiré fabric and features an off-the-shoulder neckline and cascading tulle sleeves.

The 26-year-old’s decision to wear Sulaiman’s dress while she was pregnant is a “full circle” moment for the emerging Saudi designer as Sulaiman initially designed the look to wear for her own baby’s reception. However, due to popular demand from clients, she decided to include the piece within her debut ready-to-wear collection, which she launched in December 2020.

The dress will feature in the film alongside the designs of international fashion heavyweights such as Vivienne Westwood.

Produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” is described as a “disruptive film and album experience from the mind of Halsey,” according to the poster promoting the movie.

The film will be accompanied by Halsey’s fourth studio album of the same name. 

In an Instagram post, the singer-songwriter shared more details about the album, writing: “This album is a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth. It was very important to me that the cover art conveyed the sentiment of my journey over the past few months.”

“My body has belonged to the world in many different ways the past few years, and this image is my means of reclaiming my autonomy and establishing my pride and strength as a life force for my human being.”

Halsey, born Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, gave birth to her first child, Ender Ridley Aydin, last month.


Muslim comedians tour UK to help people get over the pandemic

Headliner Azeem Muhammad, from St. Louis in Missouri, joined the Penny Appeal tour in 2018 and has been a growing success since. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
Headliner Azeem Muhammad, from St. Louis in Missouri, joined the Penny Appeal tour in 2018 and has been a growing success since. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
Updated 26 October 2021

Muslim comedians tour UK to help people get over the pandemic

Headliner Azeem Muhammad, from St. Louis in Missouri, joined the Penny Appeal tour in 2018 and has been a growing success since. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
  • Starting in London, the Super Muslim Comedy Tour heads north and stops in 10 locations, including Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow
  • This year’s lineup brings back some of the old favorites, along with some new performers, but none of them were interested in centering their jokes around the pandemic

LONDON: After almost two years of lockdowns, restrictions, isolation, and highly contagious variants, could laughter be the best medicine?
The UK Super Muslim Comedy Tour hopes to prove just that, while celebrating the powers of Muslim comedy in aid of charity.
“We weren’t able to do the tour last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and it was difficult for a lot of people because they couldn’t get their entertainment fix that they would normally get — their therapy,” the show’s host, British-Pakistani actor and comedian Abdullah Afzal told Arab News on the sidelines of the tour in Wembley.
“Also for us comedians, because we’re so used to being on stage and performing and suddenly, that was taken away from us, so all the energy that we missed out on last year, we’re bringing it forward into this year, so double the amount of energy, and hopefully we can entertain the crowd double the amount as well.”
Afzal, who is 32 and from Manchester, has hosted the show, which is in its sixth year, but it was canceled in 2020, much like everything else, due to the pandemic. 

(L-R) Comedians Salman Malik, Prince Abdi, Abdullah Afzal, and Fatiha El-Ghorri performed for crowds in east and west London. (Supplied)

Starting in London, the tour heads north and stops in 10 locations, including Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow — with all tickets sold out.
“We really hope people come out and really celebrate the diversity in our routine, in our stand up, and the people that come on the stage as well,” said Afzal, who features heavy audience participation in his sets and uses his origin to blend jokes about conventional marriage and modern romance.
This year’s lineup brings back some of the old favorites, along with some new performers, but none of them were interested in centering their jokes around the pandemic.
British-born Fatiha El-Ghorri, originally from Morocco, was back for the second time. Her career has taken off since 2019. She has performed on the Jonathan Ross show “Comedy Club” and on Comedy Central at the Edinburgh Fringe. And then, when the pandemic hit, she took on Zoom.
“The pandemic has been really difficult, but during that time, I was doing a lot of Zoom and online gigs,” she said. “It’s a completely different format, the stage is different, the audience is not in front of you, so it’s really odd when you first do it.”
Relieved and excited to be back to performing physical shows, the 40 year-old from east London is known for pushing the boundaries with her comedy and jokes about her experiences and observations of marriage, relationships, dating, and wearing the hijab.
“I do like to challenge people in my comedy and I like to break stereotypes, but obviously they’re halal jokes because it’s a Muslim tour,” she said, adding that she decided she was not going to use coronavirus as a basis for her jokes during the tour “because it was quite a difficult time for everybody, so I couldn’t see any humor in anything that was happening and I’m just glad it’s starting to get better.”
However, she admitted it was really nerve-wracking because they had not been performing live for a long time.
“You’ll always have nerves because we care about what we do so I’m always nervous on stage, but now I feel like we are all quite nervous being back on stage, but it’s nice to see that it’s packed out, lots of people are here, people have come to laugh.” 
Salman Malik, from south London, was relieved that Zoom shows were now reverting back to live ones, and he was happy to see audiences come out in “great numbers.”
In his first time participating in the tour, the 35 year-old Bahraini-Pakistani, who moved to the UK in 2004, uses his Arab-Asian background as a base for most of his material, along with his immigration experience, interracial marriage, and fathering three children.
“I perform comedy in four languages. I do Urdu, English, Punjabi, Hindi and it’s really nice to see that the opportunities are endless and working on my craft, (so) my comedy is basically about my journey coming into the UK, legally.” 

This is the first time that Bahraini-Pakistani comedian Salman Malik, from south London, joined the Super Muslim Comedy Tour. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
 

Organized by the UK-based Penny Appeal, this year’s proceeds and funds raised will go toward the international humanitarian charity’s Thirst Relief campaign, which helps to provide safe and clean drinking water for deprived communities around the world.
Comedian Prince Abdi, 32, who is known for working with some of the biggest names in the game including Dave Chappelle, Trevor Noah and Chris Rock, wowed the crowd with his impressions and anecdotes of his pranks and antics.
“I’m Somali-British, so I talk about growing up in the ghetto of south London, which is not really a ghetto because I’m from Somalia, you know,” he said.
Abdi came into comedy as part of a bet with friends and, after several failed attempts at the same brutal comedy club, he finally got his first laugh and then “never looked back.”
He has toured Africa, including Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, and has also performed in the UAE, and said he would love to go all around the Middle East and tell some Arab jokes one day.
“Nothing is easy in life, you have got to work for it, and even now, comedy is still hard and you’re only as good as your last show,” he said.
Abdi joked about his experience of being bored during the pandemic and playing pranks on people to test their racial and cultural curiosity, including walking around town with a picture of himself and asking white people if “they had seen this man?”

Headliner Azeem Muhammad, from St. Louis in Missouri, joined the Penny Appeal tour in 2018 and has been a growing success since. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)

“Everyone’s coming together, which is good because laughter is the best medicine. We all need to laugh, especially with all that’s going on around the world.”
Headliner Azeem Muhammad, from St. Louis in Missouri, joined the Penny Appeal tour in 2018 to see if his comedy would “transcend” from the US to Britain, and he has been a growing success ever since.
The fast-talking father-of-seven had the audience in stitches with his family-orientated jokes and audience interactions — and those “who could not keep up (it) was their own fault as they should have gone to university.”
Muhammad, 48, converted to Islam at the age of 17 and, nine years, later embarked on his comedic career. 
In 2004, he became one of the founding members of the very first Muslim comedy tour in the world called “Allah Made Me Funny,” which also featured Preacher Bryant Moss and Azhar Usman.
He said that, throughout the years with the tour, he had developed nuances to better translate to the UK’s predominantly Muslim audiences about what it’s like to be a Muslim from the US.
“And then to realize that no matter where we are from, the things that I talk about, which are marriage, divorce, children, jobs, health, the Sunnah (traditions and practices of Prophet Muhammad), those particular things are relatable, they’re universal, and so what normally would separate us now brings us that much closer together.”

Organized by the UK-based Penny Appeal, this year’s proceeds and funds raised will go toward the international humanitarian charity’s Thirst Relief campaign. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)

Keyaan Hussain, who is 13 and from London, said he found the show really enjoyable, very funny, and quite entertaining, adding his favorite was Muhammad “because of how he interacted more with the audience.”
Ifrah Quraishi, also from London, said it was the first comedy show she had ever been to and was already inquiring about next year’s tour.
“I thought it was amazing, genuinely, my cheeks are hurting (because) I couldn’t stop laughing,” Quraishi, 26, said. “For sure I am definitely up for going to more comedy events like this (and) definitely hoping to come to the next one.”


Three-Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton to open fine dining restaurant in Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

Three-Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton to open fine dining restaurant in Saudi Arabia’s AlUla
The restaurant is located inside the Maraya Hall. Supplied
Updated 26 October 2021

Three-Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton to open fine dining restaurant in Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

Three-Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton to open fine dining restaurant in Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

RIYADH: AlUla is set to get its first-ever permanent fine-dining restaurant. Maraya Social, helmed by three-michelin star English chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton, will cut the ribbon on its newest location at Saudi Arabia’s UNESCO World Heritage Site on Oct. 27, 2021.

Atherton said in a statement that he “jumped at the chance to be one of the first permanent fine-dining venues in AlUla.”

He added: “My team and I are so impressed by the natural beauty, history and culture of AlUla. I jumped at the chance to be one of the first permanent fine-dining venues in AlUla. The beauty of the Ashar Valley, the native produce and the iconic Maraya architecture are all the ingredients we need for what is sure to be a sought-after destination dining experience.”

Maraya Social outdoor view. Supplied

Echoing his statement,  Phillip Jones, chief destination management and marketing offices, royal commission for AlUla  adds: “Maraya Social is set to be a destination restaurant for Middle East and the world. We are delighted for AlUla to be the home of Chef’s first restaurant in Saudi Arabia. AlUla presents a unique opportunity both in terms of the historical setting as well as the untapped pantry of produce and flavors.”

The venue will be located on the rooftop of the mirrored Maraya Hall, offering diners unparalleled 360-degree views of the stunning rock-strewn valleys and canyons of the Ashar Valley as they enjoy a hearty menu featuring seasonal fruits, vegetables and locally-produced ingredients.

The interior of Maraya Social. Supplied

 “AlUla has an amazing diversity of produce unique to the region and an incredible history and culture which I am excited to explore both in the landscape and in the menu,” said Chef Atherton.

 The not-yet-opened restaurant will feature an open-plan design with bespoke furniture made out of luxe fabrics and materials such as silk and cotton in a harmonic color palette, selected to reflect its environment.

Maraya Social will be the newest addition to the Michelin-starred chef’s portfolio of international restaurants as well as his first foray into the Kingdom.

Those who wish to dine at the new venue will be able to make reservations online.


Highlights from Arab Fashion Week so far: From evening gowns to celebrity appearances

Highlights from Arab Fashion Week so far: From evening gowns to celebrity appearances
Ihab Jiryis during Arab Fashion Week in Dubai. Getty Images
Updated 26 October 2021

Highlights from Arab Fashion Week so far: From evening gowns to celebrity appearances

Highlights from Arab Fashion Week so far: From evening gowns to celebrity appearances

Arab Fashion Week returned to a physical format this week in Dubai Design District. Read on for everything you may have missed from the first day of the five-day event.

Amato opens the season

Supplied


The latest iteration of Arab Fashion Week started with a bang, with Dubai-based Filipino designer Furne One of Amato opening the season with a glamorous fashion show punctuated with dramatic evening gowns and heavily-embellished jumpsuits.

Emirati label Euphoria steals the show

Supplied

 

Red carpet silhouettes, a harmonious pastel color palette and sparkling sequins made up Emirati label Euphoria’s latest offering, which stole the show on Monday evening.

Ihab Jiryis’s first IRL show

Supplied

Palestinian designer Ihab Jiryis debuted his first show on calendar last month during the digital edition of Arab Fashion Week. Yesterday, the couturier presented his eponymous eveningwear brand’s first physical fashion show.

Barbie is the new Fashion Icon

Maya Diab was last year’s recipient of the Fashion Icon accolade. Instagram

Lebanese singer Maya Diab presented the Fashion Icon award to Kim Culmone, Mattel's Vice President of Barbie Design. Diab, who performed on Sunday night, was last year’s recipient of the accolade.

American designer Jeremy Scott receives honor

Barbie x Moschino archival collection at Arab Fashion Week. Instagram

Moschino designer Jeremy Scott scooped up the Council’s Medal of Honor for Lifetime achievement followed by a fashion show presenting Moschino’s Barbie Spring 2015 ready-to-wear archive collection on Sunday.  

Jordanian-American soprano Emanne Beasha gives stunning performance

Emanne Beasha. Supplied


The 13-year-old Soprano, who is the winner of the fifth season of Arab Got Talent and finalist of the fourteenth season of America’s Got Talent, took to the stage, wowing audiences with a performance of two Opera songs on Sunday.

 


Jeddah arts hub Hayy Jameel announces 5-month opening season

Jeddah’s new arts hub Hayy Jameel is set to open with a five-month opening season on Dec. 6, 2021. (Supplied)
Jeddah’s new arts hub Hayy Jameel is set to open with a five-month opening season on Dec. 6, 2021. (Supplied)
Updated 26 October 2021

Jeddah arts hub Hayy Jameel announces 5-month opening season

Jeddah’s new arts hub Hayy Jameel is set to open with a five-month opening season on Dec. 6, 2021. (Supplied)

DUBAI: Jeddah’s new arts hub Hayy Jameel is set to open with a five-month opening season on Dec. 6, 2021, the Art Jameel foundation announced on Tuesday.

The opening season will run from Dec. 6 to April 30, 2022, and will feature a roster of exhibitions and art programs, including “Staple: What’s on your plate?” co-curated by Art Jameel and Delfina Foundation; “Illuminate: a Noor Riyadh Capsule,” featuring major light works by 11 Saudi artists; “Paused Mirror,” a newly-commissioned collection of portraits of Saudi artists by Osama Esid; and the inaugural Hayy Jamel Façade Commission, awarded to Nasser Almulhim.

Workshops, tours and talks will also take place throughout the five-month season.

The opening season includes more than 45 artists and researchers from around 20 countries and features existing and newly-commissioned works by 19 Saudi artists.

Hayy Jameel, a 17,000-square-meter cultural complex, is designed by waiwai, an award-winning multidisciplinary architecture studio with offices in Dubai and Tokyo. Hayy Jameel’s building design has received multiple architectural accolades, including Gold in the Hong Kong Design Awards and Silver in the New York Design Awards.

Fady Jameel, Chairman and Founder of Art Jameel, commented: “Hayy Jameel’s opening has been 20 years in the making and marks the celebration of over three-quarters of a century of Jameel philanthropic and community activities – manifesting at a dynamic moment and exceptionally exciting time for cultural life in Saudi Arabia.”

Director of Art Jameel Antonia Carver added: “Hayy Jameel opens in concert with a robust cultural calendar in Saudi, from coast to coast, including the launch of the first Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, Red Sea International Film Festival, Misk Art Week, Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium and many more. Since its early days, Art Jameel’s working model has always been collaborative, dynamic and cross-disciplinary, complementing existing infrastructures while creating opportunities for alignment and expansion. Hayy Jameel has come at the right time, in the right city where contemporary art meets a history shaped by trade and tradition.”


Swiss-Arab label Mouawad unveiled as official jeweler for Kristen Stewart-starring ‘Spencer’

Swiss-Arab label Mouawad unveiled as official jeweler for Kristen Stewart-starring ‘Spencer’
Kristen Stewart at the premiere of ‘Spencer’ in London. Getty Images
Updated 26 October 2021

Swiss-Arab label Mouawad unveiled as official jeweler for Kristen Stewart-starring ‘Spencer’

Swiss-Arab label Mouawad unveiled as official jeweler for Kristen Stewart-starring ‘Spencer’

DUBAI: Mouawad has been fashioning spectacular jewelry for its devoted royal clientele for decades, so it is only fitting that the Swiss-Emirati jewelry company was selected to provide the jewels for the acclaimed Princess Diana biopic “Spencer.”

US actress Kristen Stewart, who portrays the late people’s princess in the Pablo Larrain-directed movie, dazzles throughout the film wearing a lineup of sparkling pieces from Mouawad, including a blue sapphire and diamond engagement ring, featuring 1.82 carat of diamonds and 7.25 carat of sapphires, reminiscent of Princess Diana’s own iconic blue bauble.

Kristen Stewart portrays the late people’s princess in the Pablo Larrain-directed movie. Supplied

“It has been a pleasure to work on ‘Spencer,’ providing the jewelry for the role of an iconic princess known for her style as well as her powerful impact on the world,” said fourth generation Mouawad co-guardians, Fred, Alain and Pascal Mouawad, in a statement.

“Mouawad has an illustrious heritage in jewelry and watchmaking, and over the decades has been the choice for royalty and celebrities when seeking a unique statement piece or set of jewelry, as well as often being called on by royal protocol offices to create notable gifts to be presented to heads of state, presidents and prime ministers,” the jewelry house added in a statement.

The brand was founded 131-years-ago in Beirut, Lebanon, by David Mouawad.

Today, the company is headquartered in Dubai and Geneva.

“Spencer” had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September. Getty Images

Meanwhile, “Spencer” had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last month.

The film, written by Steven Knight, is set over a three-day holiday at the British Royal family’s vacation home in the early 1990s, before Princess Diana split from Prince Charles.

Stewart, who received wide acclaim from critics for her portrayal of the highly-scrutinized royal, admitted she did a lot of research prior to emulating Diana onscreen.  

“I read everything, I wanted every photo... watched all the interviews that I could get my hands on,” she told the BBC.

“I watched ‘The Crown,’ I watched every iteration of interpretation. I just tried to absorb her in an emotional and general way, and then trust the process, and expect her to show up,” she added.