Sotheby’s to host a series of talks at Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah 

Sotheby’s to host a series of talks at Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah 
On March 4, Alexandra Roy,  Sotheby’s head of sale for 20th Century Art / Middle East, will host a talk called “A Day in the Life of a Specialist.” (Supplied)
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Updated 01 March 2023

Sotheby’s to host a series of talks at Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah 

Sotheby’s to host a series of talks at Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah 

DUBAI: British auction house Sotheby’s is hosting a series of talks at Diriyah Biennale Foundation’s inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah from March 4-13.  

Sotheby’s, one of the supporting partners of the foundation’s biennale, will host four talks and panel discussions led by the auction house’s experts in the field.  

The topics will span from the myriad influences of Islamic art on the modern jewelry-making industry to the most significant movements in Arab art today. 




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The partnership follows on from Sotheby’s support of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation’s first contemporary art biennale in presenting the first Digital Arts Forum and NFT exhibition in Saudi Arabia in February 2022. 

Edward Gibbs, chairman of Sotheby’s Middle East and India, said in a statement: “Sotheby’s has a strong history of supporting cultural programmes in the Middle East – underpinned by a commitment to educational outreach and diversifying cultural initiatives. 

“We are excited to have partnered with the Diriyah Biennale Foundation for a second time, following our support of the Kingdom’s first contemporary art biennale last year, continuing to share our expertise in this area.” 

On March 4, Alexandra Roy,  Sotheby’s head of sale for 20th Century Art / Middle East, will host a talk called “A Day in the Life of a Specialist,” during which she will present five key moments in her career at the auction house, talking through rare objects that are consigned to auction, the importance of provenance and how these standout pieces go on to achieve record prices.




Sophie Stevens, a jewelry specialist based at Sotheby’s Dubai, will present a talk titled “Indian and Islamic Influences and the rebirth of Egyptomania in 20th Century Jewelry Design.”  (Supplied)

On March 7, Gibbs’s talk “The History of Collecting Islamic Art” will take a look at the trajectory of Islamic art collecting over the decades, touching on the many Western institutions that have important holdings of Islamic art.  
On the same day, Sophie Stevens, a jewelry specialist based at Sotheby’s Dubai, will present a talk titled “Indian and Islamic Influences and the rebirth of Egyptomania in 20th Century Jewelry Design.” 

It will explore the role of Islamic and Mughal art in jewelry design, from the renowned designs of Cartier in the 20th century to the continuation of these motifs in recent high jewellery collections. The talk will also cover pearls from the Middle East. 

Mai Eldib, Sotheby’s Middle East head of sales, will give a historical overview of modern and contemporary Arab art over the course of the 20th century, touching on the key movements and artists across the region in her “An Exploration of Modern & Contemporary Arab Art” talk on March 13.  

A second series of talks will take place in April, although the foundation is yet to release the schedule.  


Dina Shihabi’s latest film to premiere at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival

Dina Shihabi’s latest film to premiere at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival
Updated 12 sec ago

Dina Shihabi’s latest film to premiere at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival

Dina Shihabi’s latest film to premiere at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival

DUBAI: Part-Saudi actress Dina Shihabi took to social media this week to promote her latest film “Catching Dust,” which premieres at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival on June 11.

The 96-minute feature was directed by Stuart Gatt and sees protagonist Geena, an artist and painter ready to dream big, tired of living in the desert with her controlling partner. At her wit's end, Geena is preparing to leave when a new couple shows up at the commune in a trailer from New York, eager to make a new life for themselves away from the city. Things turn dangerous for both couples as tensions boil over and egos come to a head as attempts to connect leave everyone frayed and on the edge of disaster.

Shihabi stars alongside US actress Erin Moriarty, who plays Geena, and Australian stars Jai Courtney and Ryan Corr.

Shihabi has a busy summer ahead of her, with her latest series “Painkiller” set to premiere on Netflix on Aug. 10.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dina Shihabi (@shihabidina)

The Riyadh-born actress recently took to Instagram to share a series of stills from the miniseries, which focuses on the origins and aftermath of America’s opioid epidemic.

“One of the best experiences of my life with a group of the most talented people that I will love forever. Can’t wait for you to watch,” she told fans.

Shihabi stars alongside US actors Matthew Broderick and Uzo Aduba, as well as Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch.

“Painkiller” is based on the book “Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic,” by Barry Meier, and a New Yorker article, “The Family That Built an Empire of Pain,” written by Patrick Radden Keefe.

The series was created by US screenwriter Micah Fitzerman-Blue and actor and writer Noah Harpster, with US filmmakers Eric Newman, Peter Berg and Alex Gibney as executive producers.

Shihabi spent part of her childhood in Dubai. Her father is Saudi Norwegian journalist Ali Shihabi, and her mother Nadia is half-Palestinian and half-German Haitian.

She moved to the US in 2007 and was the first Middle Eastern-born woman to be accepted to the Juilliard School and New York University graduate acting program. She began appearing in short films in 2010, but her big break came in 2017 with the role of Hanin in the series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.”

Shihabi previously spoke to Arab News to share her advice for up-and-coming actors.

“Look around to the people that are around you right now and start making things. And focus, hard work, determination, passion (are important). Those are real things,” she said.

“I’m still working really hard to make the things I want happen and I don’t think it’s ever going to end. If you choose this life, you are choosing a life where you have to really work hard.”


Tom Cruise to attend Middle East premiere of ‘Mission Impossible’ in Abu Dhabi

Tom Cruise to attend Middle East premiere of ‘Mission Impossible’ in Abu Dhabi
Updated 06 June 2023

Tom Cruise to attend Middle East premiere of ‘Mission Impossible’ in Abu Dhabi

Tom Cruise to attend Middle East premiere of ‘Mission Impossible’ in Abu Dhabi

DUBAI: The UAE is set to host the Middle East premiere of the eagerly awaited “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” at a red-carpet event at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace on June 26.

The film’s screening will be attended by Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie.

Some of the movie’s scenes were shot in the Liwa desert and the Midfield Terminal in the UAE capital’s airport.

McQuarrie, Cruise, and the cast and crew shot in the emirate for almost two weeks in 2021 with the support of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission and other local production partners, including twofour54 Abu Dhabi.

It marks the second time the Paramount Pictures’ franchise has filmed in Abu Dhabi following the HALO jump sequence for “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” in 2018.

Khalfan Al-Mazrouei, acting director general of Creative Media Authority, said: “Hosting the premiere of ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’ is an honor for Abu Dhabi and is also a reflection of the position the emirate holds as one of the Middle East and North Africa region’s top film and TV locations.

“We are proud to have worked with such a genre-defining franchise once again and it demonstrates how Abu Dhabi has everything filmmakers need to successfully complete such large, complex productions.”


US First Lady Jill Biden steps out in Reem Acra gown in Marrakesh

US First Lady Jill Biden steps out in Reem Acra gown in Marrakesh
Jill Biden and Princess Lalla Hasna. (Instagram)
Updated 06 June 2023

US First Lady Jill Biden steps out in Reem Acra gown in Marrakesh

US First Lady Jill Biden steps out in Reem Acra gown in Marrakesh

DUBAI: US First Lady Jill Biden continued her longstanding relationship with Lebanese fashion designer Reem Acra by wearing a purple ensemble from the designer’s eponymous brand at a meeting with Princess Lalla Hasna of Morocco this week.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by REEM ACRA (@reemacra)

“First Lady Dr. Jill Biden radiated elegance and poise as she met with Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasna of Morocco in Marrakesh wearing a regal Reem Acra purple dress,” the label posted on Instagram. 

The fashion move comes mere days after Biden showed off another gown by Reem Acra at the wedding of Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II and Rajwa Al-Hussein, nee Al-Saif, in Amman on Thursday.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by REEM ACRA (@reemacra)

It was the same gown she previously stepped out in for a state dinner at the White House in honor of the South Korean president. 


Saudi label Ashi Studio to show at Paris Haute Couture Week   

Saudi label Ashi Studio to show at Paris Haute Couture Week   
Updated 06 June 2023

Saudi label Ashi Studio to show at Paris Haute Couture Week   

Saudi label Ashi Studio to show at Paris Haute Couture Week   

DUBAI: Saudi designer Mohammed Ashi, founder of Paris-based label Ashi Studio, is set to join the Fédération de la Haute Couture as a guest member and will showcase his latest line on the official Haute Couture calendar in Paris on July 6. 

Ashi, who launched his label his eponymous house 17 years ago, is the first couturier from the Gulf region to be invited to show a collection on the federation’s official fashion week calendar.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ashi Studio (@ashistudio)

Ashi and his atelier have been established in Paris since 2018. His designs have been worn by A-list celebrities such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Hudson, Kylie Minogue, Penélope Cruz, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Queen Rania of Jordan and more.  

“This appointment is the highlight of my career,” Ashi said in a released statement posted on Instagram. “I will honor it in the memory of the great couturiers who came before me and whom I now join in the pursuit of this grand tradition of excellence in creativity and savoir-faire. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ashi Studio (@ashistudio)

“Today, I am reminded of days escaping to the garden to dream, and, of that first day, when I hired one seamstress to bring to life the images in my head. Challenging and joyous, couture has and continues to lay bare my inner energy, so that I may give the best of myself to serve its high art,” he added.  

“This recognition brings me the greatest emotion; it offers me the opportunity to share with you who I am. As this new chapter unfolds, I recognize that today would not be possible without the exceptional talent and dedication of my atelier. I wish to thank everyone who has worked to bring my dreams to life,” Ashi wrote on Instagram.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ashi Studio (@ashistudio)

Ashi previously told Arab News: “I incredibly proud of my Saudi roots … my designs are often influenced by Saudi heritage.”  

In February, the designer opened his first-ever flagship store in Riyadh. “I look forward to bring the opulence and fantasy of couture to my home country,” he told Arab News ahead of the opening.  

“Saudi has a thriving fashion scene, and the Fashion Commission is doing a great job at supporting emerging Saudi talent,” Ashi added.  


British Moroccan model Nora Attal poses for Chanel Beauty

British Moroccan model Nora Attal poses for Chanel Beauty
Updated 05 June 2023

British Moroccan model Nora Attal poses for Chanel Beauty

British Moroccan model Nora Attal poses for Chanel Beauty

DUBAI: British Moroccan model Nora Attal took to Instagram this week to share photographs of herself posing for Chanel Beauty.

The photographs, shot by Belgian photographer Quentin De Briey, show Attal posing with a pair of Chanel sunglasses. The model is also seen holding a pocket-sized capsule of Chanel hand cream and lying in long green grass with her oversized branded shades.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nora Attal (@noraattal)

Attal has starred in a number of campaign shoots for the French fashion and beauty house in the past, including its most recent festive season campaign in December.

The luxury label released an outer space-themed festive campaign, in which a bevy of models were depicted jetting off to the moon in style.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nora Attal (@noraattal)

In the short clip, a group of models fly to the moon on the glittering Eiffel Tower. Once they land, Attal can be seen exploring the lunar landscape while a robot etches the maison’s famous logo onto the surface of the moon.

“Went to the Moon with @chanel,” Attal captioned a carousel of campaign images.

Attal is a Chanel fixture and has walked the runway for the storied brand a number of times over the years.

She hit the runway for Chanel in October at Paris Fashion Week, where she showed off a number of looks as part of the label’s Spring-Summer 2023 showcase. The ensembles were part of a 71-piece collection designed by the fashion house’s creative director Virginie Viard.

The model had a 2022 to remember. Last June, she treated her Instagram fans to a snapshot of her 23rd birthday celebrations, including attending a concert by US rapper Megan Thee Stallion at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain.

Her birthday celebrations came hot on the heels of a sentimental moment for Attal, as the catwalk star tied the knot with her partner, UK-based photographer Victor Bastidas. The wedding took place against the backdrop of orange and palm trees in the presence of their loved ones in Ibiza, Spain.

Attal was first discovered by Jonathan Anderson, the founder of fashion label JW Anderson label, and shot a campaign for the British fashion house in 2014 before she had even taken her first steps down a catwalk.

She would go on to become a runway fixture. Based in London and signed to Viva Model Management, Attal has worked with a number of renowned designers and stylists. She has walked the runway for major fashion houses, including Tom Ford, Tory Burch, Tiffany & Co., Fendi, Burberry and Valentino, to name a few.