REVIEW: ‘Stranger Things’ embraces the darkness in season four

REVIEW: ‘Stranger Things’ embraces the darkness in season four
“Stranger Things” is on Netflix. (Supplied)
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Updated 26 May 2022

REVIEW: ‘Stranger Things’ embraces the darkness in season four

REVIEW: ‘Stranger Things’ embraces the darkness in season four
  • The friends face their most dangerous foe so far — and Eleven no longer has her powers

DUBAI: “Stranger Things” is back for its penultimate season. Once again, the sci-fi horror show’s main setting is the fictional town of Hawkins — unremarkable except for a laboratory the Ministry of Defense once used for some deeply unethical scientific experiments. One, involving children, resulted in Eleven — a girl with awesome psychokinetic powers. But they also opened a portal to a dangerous alternate dimension: The Upside-Down — where demonic entities dwell, posing a lethal threat to Hawkins and the wider world.

Last season’s finale laid fertile ground for showrunners the Duffer brothers to explore: Eleven vanquished (with bully-turned-hero Billy’s help) the Mindflayer in the Battle of Starcourt Mall, but at the cost of her superpowers; her adoptive father, Hawkins’ chief of police Jim Hopper, was (we thought) killed while destroying the Russian weapon responsible for reopening the portal to the underworld; and Joyce Byers and her sons Will and Jonathan (and the re-orphaned Eleven) moved to California to start a new life.




The sci-fi horror show’s main setting is the fictional town of Hawkins. (Supplied)

Six months on (but three actual years since the last season), the rest of the gang (El’s boyfriend Mike, his friends Dustin, Lucas, and Max, his sister Nancy, her ex-boyfriend Steve and his friend Robin) remain in Hawkins — a town in mourning following the Mindflayer’s decimation of its population — hopeful that the Upside-Down is now shut forever.

It isn’t. Obviously. And the new danger takes the show further into horror territory than ever before (although its trademark humor remains thankfully intact too). The humanoid demon and main antagonist, Vecna, is terrifying. Not just for his appearance — reminiscent of the undead in “Game of Thrones” — but for what he does to his victims. (No spoilers, so no descriptions, but it’s genuinely horrific.)

The adrenaline-inducing set-pieces are as slickly executed and powerful as ever, but it’s in the quieter moments that season four really excels (at least in the four episodes we’ve seen). There’s a new depth to the characters — Eleven struggling to adapt to her ‘powerless’ reality and getting bullied at her new school; Lucas hanging with the school jocks so he can be ‘cool’; Max dealing (or not) with her step-brother Billy’s death; Steve learning to be actual friends with a girl — that really adds to the show.

The Duffer brothers have ramped up the jeopardy too; every episode has you convinced something terrible is about to happen to one of the beloved main characters. Four seasons in, “Stranger Things” is only getting better.


Arab Men’s Fashion Week kicks off with innovative designs 

Arab Men’s Fashion Week kicks off with innovative designs 
Updated 29 June 2022

Arab Men’s Fashion Week kicks off with innovative designs 

Arab Men’s Fashion Week kicks off with innovative designs 

DUBAI: Arab Men’s Fashion Week kicked off on Tuesday with five designers from around the world presenting their latest drops to fashion lovers in Dubai Design District.

Lebanese brand Maison du Mec, London-based label Permu, Filipino creative Rian Fernandez and Emirati streetwear label KA-1 showcased their Spring/Summer 2023 collections. 

The opening show, a collaboration between Swiss tech accessories brand Ferronato and Maison du Mec, was a mash up between fashion and technology.

Award-winning magicians and mentalists James Harrington and Marina Liani opened the show with a 10-minute mind-reading and magical-effects performance.

The collaboration featured soft leather backpacks, micro smartphone cases, multi-functional clutches and slouchy drawstring bags in shades of blue and burgundy. 

A life size robotic dog, representing Ferronato’s innovative accessories, closed the show.

For Maison du Mec’s solo show, Lebanon-based designer Joseph Achajian presented the traditional pillars of suiting – jackets, crisp white shirts and trousers – with a modern twist.

For Permu, designers Heyun Pan and Jing Qian presented daily ensembles and occasion wear that featured skin-tight tops, bucket hats, backwards-facing blazers and jackets with cut slits, puffed sleeves and exaggerated shoulder pads. 

Filipino designer Fernandez is known for his couture looks that are driven by his love for traditional artisanal craft. He constructed thae wardrobe full of crystals and elaborate beading made by local craftspeople. 

KA-1’s show featured streetwear with multifunctional pockets, quirky straps and elastic tapering on trousers in desert tones of ecru, khaki and olive green. 


Model Bella Hadid supports Arab creatives on social media

Bella Hadid took to Instagram to spotlight Arab talent. (File/ AFP)
Bella Hadid took to Instagram to spotlight Arab talent. (File/ AFP)
Updated 29 June 2022

Model Bella Hadid supports Arab creatives on social media

Bella Hadid took to Instagram to spotlight Arab talent. (File/ AFP)

DUBAI: US Dutch Palestinian supermodel Bella Hadid this week took to Instagram Stories to spotlight some of the Arab world’s on-screen talents. 

The catwalk star republished a post shared on the non-profit advocacy organization Institute for Middle East Understanding’s account that shines light on Palestinian creatives that have been making headlines internationally, including Josie Totah, Michael Karim Malarkey and May Calamawy. 

Totah, a Palestinian Lebanese talent who has been nominated for the Critics Choice Awards in the past, is taking a lead role in Apple TV+’s upcoming drama series “The Buccaneers.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by josie totah (@josietotah)

It is an eight-episode series inspired by the unfinished novel “The Buccaneers” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton. 

Hadid’s post also paid tribute to Malarkey, who plays Enzo in the hit series “The Vampire Diaries.” 

Born in Beirut, the Palestinian actor and musician also stars in season 4 of HBO’s “Westworld” that premiered this week. He features alongside a star-studded, award-winning cast including Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton and Jeffrey Wright. 

Among the stars that Hadid told fans to look out for are Palestinian actresses Leem Lubany and Hiam Abbass. 

Lubany is famous for her role in the 2013 film “Omar,” and Abbass, a European Film Award nominee, stars in Hulu’s thriller “The Old Man” that premiered on June 16. 

The series, in its second season, is based on the award-winning novel with the same name by US novelist Thomas Perry. 

Another leading Arab star lauded by Hadid is Calamawy, the Egyptian-Palestinian actress who recently starred alongside Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke in Marvel’s miniseries “Moon Knight.” 

Calamawy, who is best known for her role in the Golden Globe-winning sitcom “Ramy,” is one of the show’s leads, Layla El-Faouly.

Hadid has always been vocal about her support for Palestine and its creatives. 

She uses her social media accounts to show her support for the diaspora and to raise awareness about military violence toward Palestinians. 

Last year, she joined demonstrations in New York to protest Israeli attacks on Palestinians living in Gaza.

She frequently calls out Instagram for “shadow banning” her Palestine-related posts. “Are we not allowed to be Palestinian on Instagram? This, to me, is bullying,” she previously wrote on Instagram. “I am proud to be Palestinian.” 


Louvre Abu Dhabi displays Filipino artifacts for first time

The second artifact is a funerary mask from the city of Butuan in the Philippines. (Supplied)
The second artifact is a funerary mask from the city of Butuan in the Philippines. (Supplied)
Updated 29 June 2022

Louvre Abu Dhabi displays Filipino artifacts for first time

The second artifact is a funerary mask from the city of Butuan in the Philippines. (Supplied)

DUBAI: The UAE’s Louvre Abu Dhabi unveiled on Wednesday two loans from the Philippines’ Ayala Museum in the first-ever showcase of artifacts from the country.  

In celebration of the touristic attraction’s fifth anniversary, these Filipino artifacts are on display until June 2023. 

The historical items date back to the 10th-13th century. 

The first loan is a gold cup that was recovered from Nabua in the Camarines Sur province of the Philippines. It highlights the striking similarity of Filipino works to the Chinese gold and silverware acquired by Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2019.

(Supplied)

The second artifact is a funerary mask from the city of Butuan in the Philippines. It places emphasis on immortality being the universal hope of mankind when faced with death, according to a released statement. This artifact is currently showcased alongside other historical items from the Levant and South America that exemplify this shared tradition.


Gigi, Bella Hadid step out in bold looks for Marc Jacobs’ NYC show  

Gigi, Bella Hadid step out in bold looks for Marc Jacobs’ NYC show  
Updated 28 June 2022

Gigi, Bella Hadid step out in bold looks for Marc Jacobs’ NYC show  

Gigi, Bella Hadid step out in bold looks for Marc Jacobs’ NYC show  

DUBAI: From French Algerian model Loli Bahia to US Dutch Palestinian sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid, Arab models are turning heads on the runway this week. 

The Hadid sisters on Monday walked the runway for US fashion label Marc Jacobs in New York.

The show, which took place in the lobby of the New York Public Library, presented the New York-born designer’s fall 2022 collection. 

Instagram/@gigihadid

Oversized is the key word that represents the show. The models wore colorful large knitwear pieces tied around their heads and waists, voluminous gowns, puffy coats, huge jackets and high platform boots. 

Gigi and Bella stepped out with bleached eyebrows, dark hair and blunt micro bangs. 

On Instagram, Gigi shared a video of her turn around the catwalk as she showed off two oversized knit sweaters with a grey skirt and white platform heels. 

Meanwhile, Bella wore a sheen-heavy black dress that was voluminous and multi-layered. Her look was accessorized with white gloves and chunky heels. 

For her part, Bahia walked the runway for French fashion label Jacquemus that took place in Southern France’s Camargue Park during Paris Men’s Fashion Week. 

The models, including Bahia, presented the brand’s fall 2022 collection on large mounds of salt. 


Part-Algerian model Loli Bahia walks the runway for Jacquemus in France 

Part-Algerian model Loli Bahia walks the runway for Jacquemus in France 
Updated 28 June 2022

Part-Algerian model Loli Bahia walks the runway for Jacquemus in France 

Part-Algerian model Loli Bahia walks the runway for Jacquemus in France 

DUBAI: French-Algerian model Loli Bahia walked the runway for French fashion label Jacquemus in Camargue Park, on France's Mediterranean coast, during Paris Men’s Fashion Week. 

The models, including Bahia, presented the brand’s fall 2022 collection on large mounds of salt set against a breathtaking natural backdrop.

The event was attended by a veritable who’s who of the fashion world, including  Jordanian Romanian footwear designer Amina Muaddi, British designer Victoria Beckham, French actor Vincent Cassel and his wife Tina Kunakey, Nigerian singer BurnaBoy, British actress Simone Ashley, Cristiano Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodríguez and British singer Jorja Smith.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by hadigi (@_hadigi_)

The A-list guests sat on a front row bench that was made out of salt crystal as they watched the models show off a collection marked by monochrome tones and neutral hues.  

Nineteen-year-old Bahia, who is taking the industry by storm, wore a set of bulky beige overalls with large pockets at the waist as she, and the other models, descended from the top of a salt mountain. A white, floor-length tulle was attached to her suit from the back.

“Walking on the moon,” the model wrote on Instagram Stories after the show, referring to the extraterrestrial feel of the unexpected runway with its salt structures, clear pools of water and bright sky.

The show, titled “Le Papier,” featured fluffy coats, puffer vests and cargo pants along with feminine and innovative bridal looks using voluminous tulle, asymmetric cuts and sheer dresses. 

Bahia is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand models in the industry having become a runway fixture in just a couple of months after a breakthrough spring 2022 fashion month, where she walked in 65 shows.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @lolibahiaa

The teenager has taken to the catwalk for a multitude of prestigious fashion houses, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Valentino.

Signed to Women Management Paris, she made her runway debut in 2020 at the Louis Vuitton fall 2021 show and went on to star in the Parisian fashion luxury house’s fall campaign last year.

She has also featured in numerous campaigns for high-end fashion labels, including Saint Laurent, and Max Mara, and has appeared in prestigious fashion publications such as Vogue Italia.