What We Are Doing Today: Flower LEGO Bouquet

Photos by Jasmine Bager
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Photos by Jasmine Bager
What We Are Doing Today: Flower LEGO Bouquet
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Photos by Jasmine Bager
What We Are Doing Today: Flower LEGO Bouquet
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Photos by Jasmine Bager
What We Are Doing Today: Flower LEGO Bouquet
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Photos by Jasmine Bager
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Updated 14 August 2022

What We Are Doing Today: Flower LEGO Bouquet

Photos by Jasmine Bager
  • This booklet mentions the story of how the Flower Bouquet came to be: American designer Anderson Grubb used to visit his grandmother’s blossom-filled garden in West Virginia as a child

Get yourself a bouquet of flowers that you never have to water and that will never wilt. Today, we are arranging our very own bouquet with LEGO bricks from the Botanical Collection.

Made from plant-based plastic, this kit was created from sustainably-sourced sugarcane and elements from nature, including trees, leaves and bushes.

You can feel good about making an eco-friendly bouquet that will live in your home forever and that is mindful of the environment. Add them into your favorite vase and these can make for a vibrant statement piece for your office or living room. They also make for great gifts, bringing flowers to friends and family without the worry of watering and maintenance.

Putting together your very own bouquet doesn’t take much skill — only patience and perhaps short nails (long acrylic nails will probably get in the way). The Internet is full of video tutorials for the kit if you prefer to watch someone put it together before you start. The kit comes with 756 pieces in individually-sealed bags with numbers printed at the front. Each flower has illustrated instructions in the booklet that it comes with.

This booklet mentions the story of how the Flower Bouquet came to be: American designer Anderson Grubb used to visit his grandmother’s blossom-filled garden in West Virginia as a child and spent hours reflecting on which flowers might one day translate into a LEGO shape.

Fast-forward to when he became a designer at LEGO, he collaborated with Denmark-based designer, Astrid Sundorf Christensen, and together they finalized the set. In this kit, you can make three cream-colored roses, two pink snapdragons, one lavender-colored lavender, one purple-hued aster, two white with yellow common daisies and one orange California Poppy.

You can choose which flower to begin with and do it at your own pace without getting your hands dirty.

Initially created to help LEGO employees play in a garden of their imagination to assist them into getting back on track after what the booklet calls “a physical or psychological setback,” this set can help any adult or disciplined child pass the time and de-stress.

The box suggests that it is suitable for adults, with it retailing for around SR299 ($79). It is available at LEGO stores throughout the Kingdom. For more information, visit @LegoMiddleEast.

 


Dress to impress: The Saudi designer on a mission to make fashion sustainable

Dress to impress: The Saudi designer on a mission to make fashion sustainable
Updated 29 min 43 sec ago

Dress to impress: The Saudi designer on a mission to make fashion sustainable

Dress to impress: The Saudi designer on a mission to make fashion sustainable
  • Raneem Shaban, 27, aims to encourage change in the Kingdom’s fashion industry through creations that transform used clothing into something new
  • ‘I was worried people wouldn’t accept the idea of wearing something created mainly from used fabric or material but the mentality has changed,’ she said.

JEDDAH: A recent trend in global fashion has been an attempt to make the industry more environmentally friendly and sustainable. As a result, some designers have been inspired to create ready-to-wear clothing from recycled materials.

One of them is Saudi fashion designer Raneem Shaban from Jeddah. The 27-year-old launched her own custom-clothing label R*3 in 2021 with the aim of reducing “fashion waste” in the Kingdom’s fashion industry through upcycled and reconstructed creations that transform used or vintage clothing into something new.

“At first, I was worried that people wouldn’t accept the idea of wearing something that has been created mainly from used fabric or material but the mentality has changed and people are more adaptable,” she said.

Shaban, who graduated from Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah with a bachelor’s degree in fashion design, said she developed a fascination with creating clothes in early childhood.

“From a very young age, I had a passion to design clothes from the used materials that I found in my basement and one of my biggest joys was going through my mother’s wardrobe, which influenced me immensely toward a classic sense of style,” she said.

Shaban’s bold and daring designs are designed to be unique, challenging for the masses, and attention grabbing.

“As a designer, I believe it’s very essential to get out of your comfort zone and make a statement, for which I worked hard to reach out to people and make them understand the fashion-forward trend,” she said.

I was worried people wouldn’t accept the idea of wearing something created mainly from used fabric or material but the mentality has changed.

Raneem Shaban, Saudi fashion designer

Shaban has been involved in a number of projects, including collaborations on runway styling projects and editorial fashion shoots with Harpers Bazaar Arabia and Vogue Fashion Experience by Rubaiyat, and styling Nasibah Hafiz’s spring/summer 2022 collection, powered by La Macarena, among others.

She also participated in Fashion Star Arabia, a fashion-design competitive reality series broadcast on Dubai One. She recently showcased her collection at the Light Exhibition in Riyadh alongside other young, fashion designers.

“A fashion designer has the possibility to influence people and the way they dress; it’s a big responsibility to take the role seriously and be driven,” Shaban said.

“My work journey has been very rewarding. I have had the opportunity to meet distinguished fashion personalities and clients that acknowledged and appreciated my ready-to-wear collection. It feels great when people relate to my collection on a deeper and personal level.”

As part of her design process, Shaban creates fashion “mood boards” from images in old magazines that help to inspire her to create interesting new looks and styling options.

“I didn’t aim to adopt a sustainable approach because it’s ‘on-trend,’” she said. “Instead, I always had a passion for creating styles using recycled fabric or materials and converting it into a brand new, wearable outfit.”

In her role as a sustainable fashion designer, Shaban said she strives to always be mindful of the resources her label consumes and wastes, while at the same time ensuring her designs meet the demands of the marketplace. Feedback from her customers also helps her understand the needs of the market on a range of issues, including the materials and textures of fabric people prefer.

Shaban said she continually learns new things and tries to further explore sustainable materials and fashion trends. She plans to launch a line of accessories alongside her custom-made clothing in the near future.

“It’s important for me to be consistent in designing new collections from used fabrics, while making sure it matches the current fashion trends,” she explained. “The market in Saudi Arabia has changed dramatically and people are more open to bold and narrative style.

“It’s a lot to manage but when you aim to build a unique concept fashion style and receive encouragement for the work. It really makes you feel alive.

“The response to my custom-made designs has always been positive. It pumps the energy and pushes me to work hard and ignore the demands and challenges.”

Shaban said she finds it interesting that people who wear her brand are so aware of the benefits of eco-friendly fashion, and so she considers it her responsibility to help initiate a shift toward a more sustainable industry in the region.

“Under Saudi Vision 2030, I aim to bring more awareness and longevity toward sustainable fashion in the Saudi Arabia marketplace,” she added.

Asked what advice she could offer to aspiring young designers, she said she would encourage them to take time to figure out what it is that they really love and are good at, follow their passion, take risks and enjoy the challenges along the way.

 


Qatar Creates, CR Runway announce fashion show at FIFA World Cup

Qatar Creates, CR Runway announce fashion show at FIFA World Cup
Updated 28 November 2022

Qatar Creates, CR Runway announce fashion show at FIFA World Cup

Qatar Creates, CR Runway announce fashion show at FIFA World Cup

DUBAI: Qatar Creates and CR Runway announced a fashion show, featuring more than 150 designers from 50 countries, set to take place on Dec. 16 at the FIFA World Cup.

The event will feature performances by the likes of DJ Snake, Kadim Al-Sahir, Khaled, Nancy Ajram, Ozuna, Zakes Bantwini and more with the proceeds going to Education Above All, a Qatari charity that aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for vulnerable and marginalized people, with a focus on the developing world.

A poster for the event. (Supplied)

Twenty-one Qatari brands will take part in the show, which will be made up of four choreographed runway presentations.

The show will feature an opening act with national ambassadors representing the 32 countries in the World Cup, all sporting customized jerseys. Then, two local Qatari brands — Aliya Al-Obaidly and Harlienz — will put on a performance entitled “Where the Sand Touches the Sea,” inspired by Qatar’s traditional practices of pearl diving.

The second act, titled “The Fashion World Tour,” will showcase works from designers from six continents. The third and final act, “One Night in Qatar,” will showcase haute couture and eveningwear created exclusively by international designers and brands for Qatar Fashion United by CR Runway.

The Qatar-based brands participating in the event are 1309, Al-Dukan, Aliya Al-Obaidly, Tamader Al-Sultan, Drizzle, Ghada Al-Buainain, Hairaat, Hamadis, Harlienz, Kaltham’s Pavilion, Lorenaa Michelle, Maryam Al-Darwish, Mhefhef, Muna Saad, Naila Al-Thani, Trzi, TIIYA, WAAD Designs, WADHA, Wit Noiz and Yasmin Mansour.


The Bicester Collection launches MENA edition of Unlock Her Future entrepreneurship prize

The Bicester Collection launches MENA edition of Unlock Her Future entrepreneurship prize
Desiree Bollier in the Chair and Global Chief Merchant of The Bicester Collection. (Getty Images)
Updated 28 November 2022

The Bicester Collection launches MENA edition of Unlock Her Future entrepreneurship prize

The Bicester Collection launches MENA edition of Unlock Her Future entrepreneurship prize

DUBAI: An international retail firm has launched the MENA edition of a prize for first-time women entrepreneurs that would allow them to set up or develop their startup businesses.

The Middle East and North Africa edition of The Bicester Collection’s “Unlock her Future Prize” was announced for enterprises that drive positive environmental, social and economic change, according to the company.

The Bicester Collection is a group of 11 open-air shopping destinations across Europe and China, which includes the Bicester Village outlet mall in Oxfordshire, UK. They launched the initiative in 2021 as part of their DO GOOD platform and have now expanded to the Middle East. 

“We’re delighted that in its inaugural year, the Unlock Her Future Prize will launch in MENA with the support of our partner Ashoka Arab World,” Chantal Khoueiry, chief culture officer for The Bicester Village, told Arab News.

“As an Arab woman, I believe I can speak for all when I say how committed we are to driving women’s empowerment and cultural progress. We recognize that if you have diverse voices, you can transcend anything. This is the essence of what we hope the Unlock Her Future Prize MENA edition 2023 will provide on behalf of Arab Women — the voice and support to build a progressive and sustainable future for people and the planet.”

Khoueiry added that applicants with an innovative idea, and those who have been operating for under five years, are invited to apply between Dec. 5 and Jan. 31, 2023.

An international committee of experts will review the applications and shortlist eight finalists who will be invited to pitch their ideas in Bicester Village, UK, to a panel of judges from the MENA region. Three winners will be announced on International Women’s Day next year.

“The winners will each receive a financial grant of up to $100,000 plus human capital support from a fantastic assembly of global experts.” They will also have access to an education and knowledge program with the prize’s regional academic partner, New York University Abu Dhabi, said Khoueiry.

  


French Tunisian actress Sonia Ben Ammar to star in ‘The Equalizer 3’ 

French Tunisian actress Sonia Ben Ammar to star in ‘The Equalizer 3’ 
Updated 27 November 2022

French Tunisian actress Sonia Ben Ammar to star in ‘The Equalizer 3’ 

French Tunisian actress Sonia Ben Ammar to star in ‘The Equalizer 3’ 

DUBAI: French Tunisian actress Sonia Ben Ammar is set to star in “The Equalizer 3” alongside lead stars Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning. 

The film’s plot is being kept under wraps, but it is the third in an action series centered on Washington’s vigilante character Robert McCall. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the first film in the series was released in 2014 and earned more than $194 million worldwide, spurring a 2018 sequel that grossed over $190 million worldwide. 

On Saturday, Deadline reported that Ben Ammar was among six new stars set to join the ensemble cast, including Eugenio Mastrandrea (“From Scratch”), Remo Girone (“Ford v. Ferrari”), Daniele Perrone (“Baaria”), Andrea Scarduzio (“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One”) and Andrea Dodero (“Blocco 181”). Italian actress Gaia Scodellaro will also star in the film, as previously announced.  

Ben Ammar has joined the ever-growing list of rising Arab stars working their way up the ladder in Hollywood. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sonia Ammar (@itsnotsonia)

The 23-year-old recently made her Hollywood debut in the fifth instalment of the “Scream” franchise, which hit theaters on Jan. 14 this year. 

With French Tunisian heritage, Ben Ammar was the first Arab main character in a “Scream” film. 

“I’m just really happy to be a part of it and represent my roots and I’m excited for people to watch it,” Ben Ammar previously told Arab News. 

“I’m really looking forward to films representing more of real life and the people and the places we live in so I am really stoked (about) that,” she added. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sonia Ammar (@itsnotsonia)

She said that “Scream” was a new experience for her because, unlike the film’s loyal fanbase, she does not like scary movies. 

“Doing something that scares me and being a part of that was interesting,” she said, adding “But I think being part of the behind-the-scenes process of being in it really takes a lot of the scary elements out of it. When I saw the movie (at) the screening for the first time, I was jumping up from my seat.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sonia Ammar (@itsnotsonia)

Although “Scream” marked Ben Ammar’s first high-profile Hollywood gig as an actress, it is not the Paris-born actress’s first foray into the film industry. 

Ben Ammar, who is the daughter of Tunisian film director Tarek Ben Ammar and Polish-born actress Beata, previously starred in Guillaume Canet’s French-language film “Jappeloup,” as well as the stage musical “1789: Les Amants de la Bastille.” 

Before following in the footsteps of her parents, the multi-hyphenate made headway in the fashion world as a model, fronting campaigns for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Miu Miu and Chanel. 


Dutch Moroccan model Imaan Hammam stars in charitable zine

Dutch Moroccan model Imaan Hammam stars in charitable zine
Updated 27 November 2022

Dutch Moroccan model Imaan Hammam stars in charitable zine

Dutch Moroccan model Imaan Hammam stars in charitable zine

DUBAI: Dutch Moroccan Egyptian model Imaan Hammam was photographed for a 36-page zine by Australian photographer Max Papendieck, with all proceeds from the sale of the self-published work going to the She’s The First (STF) organization.  

Hammam is an ambassador for the grassroots organization that helps empower young women through education around the world. 

She was photographed by New York-based Papendieck for an image-based zine that comes with a displayable plexiglass case. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Imaan Hammam (@imaanhammam)

 

Hammam first teamed up with STF in 2019, when she brought her Instagram followers along on a learning trip to visit young girls in The Gambia.  

“The girls and boys were getting ready for the talent show that was taking place that day. I was so excited to see what they were working on, from dancing to poetry to singing. My role for the day was to accompany them and offer any advice that I might have,” she later explained of the “life changing trip” on Instagram. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Imaan Hammam (@imaanhammam)

 

The 26-year-old model previously opened up about her involvement with the non-profit organization and how she hopes to champion young women in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar US. 

“Being a woman and having this type of career and this job, I just felt like at some point I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I have to help women like me, or girls like me, to tell them and show them that you’re able to dream big and be able to pursue any kind of dream you have,’ she said of her partnership with She’s the First.  

 

 

During the conversation, the model also revealed that her mother, who immigrated to the Netherlands aged 19, is a huge source of inspiration for her.  

“I just have so much respect for her and for her journey that she had,” she said. “My mom didn't always have it very easy, and I feel like I did. And that's why I think I'm so strong about helping women like my mom, or some girls like me that have always had a dream.” 

Hammam is one of the most in-demand models in the industry. She was scouted in Amsterdam’s Centraal Station before making her catwalk debut in 2013 by walking in Jean Paul Gaultier’s couture show. 

Since then, she has appeared on the runway for major fashion houses, such as Burberry, Fendi, Prada, Marc Jacobs, Moschino, Balenciaga and Carolina Herrera, to name a few. 

Hammam, who has been featured in leading fashion publications, such as Vogue and V Magazine, also starred in international campaigns for DKNY, Celine, Chanel, Versace, Givenchy, Giorgio Armani and many more.