Fall features: The top films coming your way this autumn

Fall features: The top films coming your way this autumn
‘See How They Run’ will be out on Sept. 8. (Supplied)
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Updated 01 September 2022

Fall features: The top films coming your way this autumn

Fall features: The top films coming your way this autumn
  • Netflix gives us an inspiring Syrian refugee story this autumn, while cinema fans can expect a return to Wakanda

DUBAI: George Clooney and Julia Roberts reunite for a rom-com, Netflix gives us an inspiring Syrian refugee story, and we return to Wakanda as Arab audiences gear up for an autumn of surefire hits. 

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

Director: Ryan Coogler

Starring: Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira

Due out: Nov. 10

The follow-up to what is widely regarded as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s finest film to date, 2018’s “Black Panther,” will surely be among the year’s biggest box-office blockbusters, even allowing for the fact that the late Chadwick Boseman cannot reprise his acclaimed performance as T’Challa/Black Panther. Marvel wisely chose not to recast the role, and the character’s demise serves as the jumping-off point for the sequel. With the resource-rich nation of Wakanda (the only source of the fictional metal vibranium) now perceived as weak following its king’s death, its leaders must fight off invading forces from a number of parties aiming to exploit its wealth of energy reserves.

‘The Swimmers’

Director: Sally El-Hosaini

Starring: Nathalie Issa, Manal Issa, Ahmed Malek

Due out: TBC

This Netflix movie, which will open the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, is based on the real-life story of Sara and Yusra Mardini, the Syrian refugees and competitive swimmers who dived into the water to drag a dinghy of fellow refugees across the Aegean Sea for hours to reach safety. Yusra went on to compete in the Olympics as a member of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team. The film was written by BAFTA-winner Jack Thorne and directed by Egyptian filmmaker Sally El-Hosaini. Kinda Alloush, who plays the sister’s mother, Mervat, told Arab News earlier this year: “‘The Swimmers’ is so interesting, because every bit of it is true to life, with all the characters still living, including these two famous swimmers. Working with German actor Matthias Schweighöfer, Ali Suliman from Palestine, and Ahmed Malek from Egypt also brought a real multicultural spirit to the project.”

‘See How They Run’

Director: Tom George

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody

Due out: Sept. 8

There’s some serious talent in the ensemble cast of this joint US-British whodunnit set in the 1950s in London’s famed West End theater district, where a famed Hollywood director is murdered as he prepares to adapt a hit play for the silver screen. Much will depend on the chemistry between the film’s central double-act — jaded veteran cop Inspector Stoppard (Rockwell) and idealistic rookie Constable Stalker (Ronan) — as they investigate the seedy glamor of London’s theatrical district.

The Woman King

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Starring: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, John Boyega

Due out: Sept. 15

This historical epic focuses on the Agojie — an all-female unit of warriors who were protectors of the former West African kingdom Dahoney in the 1800s. The excellent Davis plays the veteran General Nanisca, who is responsible for training the next generation of warriors to fight for their way of life against would-be colonizers, aggressive neighbors, and the slave trade.

‘Don’t Worry Darling’

Director: Olivia Wilde

Starring: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine

Due out: Sept. 22

Styles makes his debut as a leading man in this psychological thriller about a young couple — Alice and Jack Chambers — living in a surface-perfect company town in California called Victory. The town was created Jack’s employers, a mysterious company running the secret “Victory Project.” Jack is a workaholic, and Alice becomes consumed by a desire to find out more about what exactly he’s working on. Her investigation does not go down well in the community.


Director: Parker Finn

Starring: Sosie Bacon, Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner

Due out: Sept 29

The super-creepy trailer suggests this will be a genuinely frightening psychological horror. Traumatized by an incident with one of her patients, Dr. Rose Cotter starts to witness a stream of horrific incidents all preceded by seeing someone with a rictus grin across their face. As her present becomes more and more bizarre, the doctor is forced to delve into her dark past to try and find a way out of the nightmare.


Director: David O. Russell

Starring: Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington

Due out: Oct. 7

With a cast that also boasts Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldaña, Mike Myers, Robert De Niro, Rami Malek and Taylor Swift, hopes are high for the acclaimed filmmaker’s latest release. It’s set in the Dutch capital in the 1930s and follows a trio of close friends who become the prime suspects in a homicide case which turns out to be part of a shocking secret US plot. “A lot of this actually happened,” the film’s trailer claims.

‘Black Adam’

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Pierce Brosnan

Due out: Oct 20

DC is pinning its hopes on Dwayne Johnson to outperform Marvel at the box-office this fall. Johnson stars as the titular antihero who’s just escaped after almost 5,000 years of incarceration. His (very) old-school approach to justice and punishment sees the Justice Society of America (who include Hawkman, Atom Smasher, Cyclone and Doctor Fate) get involved. They attempt to modernize Adam’s approach and persuade him to join them in their battle against the sinister Sabbac, who is possessed by a powerful demon.

‘Ticket to Paradise’

Director: Ol Parker

Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts

Due out: Oct. 20

Two of the world’s biggest living movie stars team up in this rom-com about a divorced couple who travel to Bali in an attempt to dissuade their daughter Lily from marrying a local man she has just met. The pair work together to sabotage Lily’s wedding — believing that they are preventing her from making the same mistakes they themselves made by getting married in the first place. Expect top-class snark from the two stars, who are working together for the fifth time.

‘The Menu’

Director: Mark Mylod

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Ralph Fiennes

Due out: Nov 17

The intriguing trailer for this horror/black comedy had us hooked immediately. Fiennes plays celebrity chef Slowik, who runs an exclusive restaurant called Hawthorne on a remote island where he practices molecular gastronomy to create meals that are acclaimed as conceptual art. When young couple Margot and Tyler visit Hawthorne, however, they quickly begin to realize that something is very wrong with their host and his food.

Arab style stars tapped to show off Italian brand Etro’s latest accessory

Arab style stars tapped to show off Italian brand Etro’s latest accessory
Updated 29 March 2023

Arab style stars tapped to show off Italian brand Etro’s latest accessory

Arab style stars tapped to show off Italian brand Etro’s latest accessory

DUBAI: Iconic Italian luxury brand Etro, known for its ready-to-wear looks with luxurious fabrics and paisley prints, has added a new bag to its roster and collaborated with fashion-forward influencers from the Middle East to show it off.    

The brand has tapped names from the region — including Karen Wazen, Ola Farahat and Rym Saidi — to advertise its first-ever bag designed by Creative Director Marco de Vincenzo. 

Other popular faces in the campaign include Saudi beauty influencer Yara Al-Namlah, Iraqi blogger Deema Al-Asadi and Palestinian social media star Julia Hussein.  

Saudi Arabian fashion influencer Yara Al-Namlah with the Etro bag. (Supplied)

“XOXO gossip girls… There were rumors of a new #EtroVelaBag. Paparazzi say it’s the new age of ‘functionality’ in hand,” posted Al-Namlah on Instagram, along with a few shots of her carrying the bag.   

“Makin’ my way downtown— in @etro,” posted Wazen, the Lebanese fashion entrepreneur and social media influencer based out of Dubai.  


The classic bag draws inspiration from the nautical world as “its sharp silhouette and dynamic contours seem to ‘cut through’ the wind like a sail,” according to a press release. 

The V-shaped closure features a flexible zipper and a chain with a medal engraved with the Etro logo on one side and a Pegasus on the other, made with the same technique used to mint coins.  

The handbag comes in black, ivory, gianduja chocolate, and seasonal colors. A double detachable shoulder strap allows the bag to be worn on the shoulder or cross-body.  

Tunisian model Saidi, who turned heads at the recent Dubai World Cup, also took to Instagram to show off the bag.  

At the Dubai World Cup, the Tunisian model wore a red ensemble by Fendi, which celebrity stylist Cedric Haddad paired with a Virginie.O headpiece.  


A post shared by Ola (@olafarahat)

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with the New York Times, new Etro Creative Director de Vincenzo talked about being the first non-family member to lead the Italian luxury label.  

The previous co-creative directors were second-generation siblings Kean and Veronica.  

“It was an opportunity to be part of a story,” said de Vincenzo.   

US rapper Ice Spice champions Romanian Jordanian designer Amina Muaddi at awards show

US rapper Ice Spice champions Romanian Jordanian designer Amina Muaddi at awards show
Updated 29 March 2023

US rapper Ice Spice champions Romanian Jordanian designer Amina Muaddi at awards show

US rapper Ice Spice champions Romanian Jordanian designer Amina Muaddi at awards show

DUBAI: US rapper Ice Spice attended the iHeartRadio Music Awards this week wearing a small purse by Romanian Jordanian designer-to-the-stars Amina Muaddi. 

The “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2” singer chose the Superamini Baby Girl bag in black satin. The bag has leather lining, along with a crystal-embellished logo and “Baby Girl” text. 

The bag has leather lining, along with a crystal-embellished logo and “Baby Girl” text. (AFP)

She matched the purse with a black-and-white dress by French fashion label Jean Paul Gaultier and black platforms by Saint Laurent. 

At the star-studded event in Los Angeles, Ice Spice – along with British rapper Pink Pantheress – presented the Song of the Year award to superstar Taylor Swift who won the award for her hit “Anti-Hero.”  

Trailblazers: Safia Farhat — Tunisian artist, educator and activist now gaining global renown 

Trailblazers: Safia Farhat — Tunisian artist, educator and activist now gaining global renown 
Updated 29 March 2023

Trailblazers: Safia Farhat — Tunisian artist, educator and activist now gaining global renown 

Trailblazers: Safia Farhat — Tunisian artist, educator and activist now gaining global renown 
  • In this series, we highlight pioneering female artists from the Arab world in honor of Women’s History Month

DUBAI: Tunisian artist Safia Farhat was not only a dynamic tapestry creator, but had an impressive resumé including ceramicist, educator, women’s rights activist, and publishing pioneer. She was a woman who accumulated a list of historic firsts in her lifetime. 

She contributed to the growth of visual culture in independent Tunisia under the progressive leadership of President Habib Bourguiba. Farhat designed national stamps, had her fiber art displayed in the country’s banks, hotels, and schools, and worked with expert weavers and artisans in her studio.  

Safia Farhat pictured in 'L'Action' in 1956. (Supplied)

Farhat was born in the harbor city of Rades in 1924 and raised in a well-to-do family. It was her maternal aunt, who was skilled in knitting and crochet, who cultivated Farhat’s love of art. She went on to study at the Tunis Institute of Fine Arts and was reportedly just the third Tunisian woman to enroll there.  

She later became the institute’s first female director in 1966 — remaining in the role for more than a decade. She encouraged female students to take part in the institute’s programming. Farhat also founded Tunisia’s first magazine for women, “Faiza,” delving into feminism and decolonization, among other social issues.  

Her colorful, thickly lined tapestries depict animals, plants, and men and women wearing traditional clothing. “When I saw her work, I was really fascinated by its sculptural elements, the color, the various techniques that were embedded in it — and by their stories,” Jessica Gerschultz, a professor of African studies at the University of Kansas, told Arab News.  

Safia Farhat's tapestry 'Mother and Children,' created around 1960 - Image courtesy of Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah. (Supplied)

“She seems to really play on self-referentiality,” she continued. “Her works are referring to her other works, so there are many symbols — lots of triangles and zigzags — integrated into her weavings and other works that she did in ceramics and iron.”     

Farhat, who died in 2004, is a name still recognized by some older people in her homeland, but she has been generally overlooked, ironically, by young art students in Tunisia. “At the institute, maybe students know her name, but they’re not very familiar with her,” noted Gerschultz. “Maybe they don’t know her at all.” 

International interest in Farhat, however, was boosted last year as a result of her works being showcased at the Venice Biennale. “It’s wonderful to see her contributions now being viewed more widely,” said Gerschultz.  

Celebrity-loved Roksanda Ilincic talks dressing Rajwa Al-Saif and design inspiration

Celebrity-loved Roksanda Ilincic talks dressing Rajwa Al-Saif and design inspiration
Updated 28 March 2023

Celebrity-loved Roksanda Ilincic talks dressing Rajwa Al-Saif and design inspiration

Celebrity-loved Roksanda Ilincic talks dressing Rajwa Al-Saif and design inspiration
  • Roksanda Ilincic’s designs have been worn by the likes of Kate Middleton, Anne Hathaway and Michelle Obama
  • Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan’s Saudi fiancee Rajwa Al-Saif wore a Roksanda creation to Princess Iman’s recent wedding in Amman

DUBAI: London-based designer Roksanda Ilincic has quite the clientele. From British royalty like the princess of Wales to Hollywood A-listers Anne Hathaway and Blake Lively, her technicolored dresses are a go-to for many celebrities. 

Closer to home, the Saudi national and the fiancee of Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan, Rajwa Al-Saif, was in the news for the elegant bright yellow cape dress by Ilincic that she wore to Princess Iman of Jordan’s recent wedding.


A post shared by Roksanda (@roksandailincic)

Arab News caught up with the designer to learn more.

Al-Saif wearing her Neolitsea dress to the royal wedding came as a big surprise to the designer. “It was an absolute joy and such a privilege to see! I love the dress for its cape and the drama happening at the back,” said Ilincic.


A post shared by Roksanda (@roksandailincic)

Royalty aside, the designer is also very popular with the regional style set in the Middle East. Last year, she spoke at Riyadh’s Fashion Futures and visited Kuwait for a lunch hosted by Harvey Nichols. “Riyadh was a wonderful experience — I love meeting my customers in person and discovering new ways of wearing my designs. Arab women are very educated in fashion — they know what luxury fabrics are and are open to experimenting,” said Ilincic. 

In addition, she believes women in the region love and understand her aesthetic, featuring bright colors and unusual shapes.


A post shared by Roksanda (@roksandailincic)

The Serbian-born designer studied architecture and applied arts at the University of Belgrade before moving to London for further studies. Ilincic graduated with her master’s degree in womenswear from Central Saint Martins in 1999, where she trained under the late professor Louise Wilson OBE. “When I interviewed at the institute, Louise Wilson asked me, ‘what do you want to do with your life once you graduate?’ So I said I want to start my own label, and I remember she was laughing at the time and thinking, ‘wow, those are very ambitious plans,’” she recalled.

For Ilincic, expressing herself and communicating through clothing was always an inner calling, and in 2005, she presented her first collection at London Fashion Week. Then, in 2014, she took the plunge and opened her flagship store on London’s Mount Street, designed by legendary architect Sir David Adjaye. 


A post shared by Roksanda (@roksandailincic)

Ilincic’s designs have become a celebrity staple through her eclectic color combinations and architectural silhouettes. Her inclination towards bold colors stems from her home country and is also reminiscent of the past works of the remarkable Christian Lacroix, who she considers an icon. 

“He’s definitely an inspiration, and so is home where there’s lots of sun, and everything surrounding me was in color. Even a trip to the food market would result in incredible color combinations,” she explained.

Her love for fluid architecture, too, lends itself to her designs. For example, she tries to avoid corsets as much as possible — for ease of movement and comfort for the wearer. “I use corsets when necessary, but I experiment to find alternatives. Sometimes I’ll use grosgrain ribbons or dresses with support on side seams. That element of comfort is really important and something that I never take for granted,” she said.


A post shared by Roksanda (@roksandailincic)

Elsewhere, it is art that often inspires her. Case in point: Her Fall/Winter 2023 collection that referenced the works of Japanese artist Atsuko Tanaka. The grandiose closing gowns consisted of dresses reminiscent of Tanaka’s “Electric Dress” — a creation made from colorful lights and electrical cords. “I took elements of the electric tubes from her art piece, and transformed them into soft, curvilinear tubes and draped them like curves around the body,” Ilincic noted. Despite their sculptural appeal, she believes they are dresses that women can still wear on the red carpet or on stage while performing.


A post shared by Roksanda (@roksandailincic)

So how does a bonafide dressmaker dressing royalty end up collaborating with athletic wear brands like Lululemon and Fila? “I wanted to challenge myself — what I do is so radically different from what was becoming a norm — leggings worn as trousers or puffer jackets alongside red carpet skirts. I was lucky enough to partner with Lululemon and Fila to create sporty, couture-like pieces, and both collaborations have proved to be very successful,” she explained.

Last December, Michelle Obama wore a Roksanda X Fila jacket on her book tour. Couture-esque pieces or glamorous sportswear – it is clear Ilincic has mastered both — and that explains her ever-expanding celebrity fanbase.

Winnie Harlow’s Arab street style turns heads in Los Angeles

Winnie Harlow’s Arab street style turns heads in Los Angeles
Updated 28 March 2023

Winnie Harlow’s Arab street style turns heads in Los Angeles

Winnie Harlow’s Arab street style turns heads in Los Angeles

DUBAI: Canadian model Winnie Harlow was spotted championing Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran on the streets of Los Angeles. 

She donned a long textured green trench coat from the designer’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection that she wore over a brown turtleneck bodysuit.  

Harlow finished off her look with brown leather boots that extended up to her knees, a khaki structured purse and cat eye sunglasses that she tucked into the coat’s belt at her waist.  

The model wore the outfit for an eventful day. She attended a talk in Los Angeles where she spoke to business founders about her experience creating her beauty brand Cay Skin, she wrote in her Instagram caption as she shared pictures of her look.  

Harlow, who has over 10 million followers on Instagram, then went to celebrate one of her friend’s birthdays. “Long day, Work and Play. Speaking to new business founders about my experience my first year creating @cayskin then straight to the celebrations @mannyuk," she shared with her fans. 

The catwalk star is a regular visitor in the Middle East.  

She recently attended Saudi Arabia’s Formula E Diriyah E-Prix. 

“The experience at Formula E is unmatched and I’ve really enjoyed the vibe, people, atmosphere, and racing. I’ve been to Saudi Arabia a few times and always have a great experience, so I love that Formula E is in Diriyah,” Harlow said in a released statement in January. 

“Living in a more sustainable world and being able to enjoy motorsports at the same time is incredible,” she added.  

In November, she was spotted in Abu Dhabi. She attended the UAE’s Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and posed for pictures in front of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.  

To watch the race, Harlow wore a black sports jersey with green Swarovski crystals and black leggings with larger colorful crystals. She accessorized her look with a green bag and glasses.   

For her shoot, she wore a black form-fitting velvet dress with a matching turban by Omani label Atelier Zuhra, which was founded by designer Mouza Al-Awfi in 2015.   

She completed the look by layering chunky gold jewelry on her neck and wrists.