Moroccan director Maryam Touzani joins Cannes Film Festival jury 

Moroccan director Maryam Touzani joins Cannes Film Festival jury 
Maryam Touzani is the director of the highly acclaimed film “The Blue Caftan.” (AFP)
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Updated 04 May 2023
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Moroccan director Maryam Touzani joins Cannes Film Festival jury 

Moroccan director Maryam Touzani joins Cannes Film Festival jury 

DUBAI: The Cannes Film Festival announced this week that Moroccan director and screenwriter Maryam Touzani will be part of the jury at the 76th event to take place from May 16 to 27. 

Touzani, director of the highly acclaimed film “The Blue Caftan,” will be joined by Swedish director Ruben Ostlund, French actor Denis Menochet, British-Zambian screenwriter Rungano Nyoni, US actress Brie Larson, US filmmaker Paul Dano, Afghani director Atiq Rahimi, Argentinian writer Damian Szifron and French filmmaker Julia Ducournau.

Touzani began her career as a film critic but soon wanted to express her vision in a different way and stepped behind the camera to direct two noteworthy short films, “Quand ils dorment” and “Aya va a la plage.” 




Touzani poses with the Jury Prize during the closing ceremony of the 19th Marrakech International Film Festival. (AFP)

She then collaborated with French-Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch on his film “Much Loved.” 

In 2019, she directed her first feature film, “Adam,” selected for the Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival. It was also shortlisted for the Oscars. 

She then collaborated once again with Ayouch, with whom she co-wrote “Razzia,” a film in which she also starred, and “Casablanca Beats,” which also competed at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021. 




(From L) Belgian actress Lubna Azabal, Moroccan actor Ayoub Missioui, Moroccan film director Maryam Touzani and Moroccan producer Nabil Ayouch attend a photocall for the film “The Blue Caftan,” during the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. (AFP)

In 2022, she returned to the festival as a director with “The Blue Caftan,” which was selected for the Un Certain Regard award and was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film. 

The film follows a husband and wife duo who run a handmade caftan shop in one of Morocco’s oldest medinas while their marriage hides a secret that neither wants to confront. 

Touzani is currently working on her first novel and her next feature film.


Elie Saab unveils Fall/Winter 2024 line at Paris Fashion Week

Elie Saab unveils Fall/Winter 2024 line at Paris Fashion Week
Updated 58 min 37 sec ago
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Elie Saab unveils Fall/Winter 2024 line at Paris Fashion Week

Elie Saab unveils Fall/Winter 2024 line at Paris Fashion Week

DUBAI/PARIS: Lebanese designer Elie Saab unveiled his Fall/Winter ready-to-wear 2024-25 collection at Paris Fashion Week on Saturday, with a showcase of darker colors in a suitably wintery palette.

Figure-hugging olive green gowns were shown off on the runway, with deep purple and a muted dark blue also punctuating the new offering.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ELIE SAAB (@eliesaabworld)

“The Elie Saab ready-to-wear Fall/ Winter 2024-25 collection is a never-ending song where the melodies of Graceland resound beyond Elvis (Presley),” the fashion house declared on Instagram.

Besides gowns, the designer also offered a variety of chic tailored separates, with a glittering coat with razor-sharp lapels contrasting well against the soft curves and floral elements of another all-white overcoat.

Guests included influencers such as Olivia Palermo, Nathalie Fanj and Tamara Kalinic.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ELIE SAAB (@eliesaabworld)

Elsewhere at a rainy Paris Fashion Week on Saturday, luxury label Hermes explored the meaning of “quiet luxury.” This season the narrative took a darker, more introspective turn as creative head Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski offered brooding black leathers that evoked the deep, reflective tones of the late French painter Soulages.

Nipped buckles and gentle ribbing on skin-tight pants demonstrated Vanhee-Cybulski’s adeptness at blending Hermes’ storied craftsmanship with innovative design. Amidst this darker palette, muted flashes emerged, weaving poetically through the collection, The Associated Press reported.

Braving the persistent Parisian drizzle, K-Pop star Sandara Park led the pack at Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood, captivating the audience in a punk-tinged corset adorned with pearls. The opening ensembles transported the audience back in time amid contemporary fusions, channeling the essence of a serf, the medieval agricultural laborer. The designs incorporated leggings, jockstraps resembling codpieces, mystical talismanic pendants, and tear-shaped cutouts on thick knit sweaters.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ELIE SAAB (@eliesaabworld)

Meanwhile, elegant sophistication, minimalism, and a hint of nonchalance continued to define Carven. The storied house, originally founded by Marie Louise Carven in 1945, evolved under the guidance of various male creative directors since its reboot 2009 and 2018. Stepping into this lineage as the first female leader since its reboot, Louise Trotter presented her second collection Saturday, skillfully weaving together the brand’s 1950s origins with a minimalist aesthetic reminiscent of the 1990s.

The show opened with a statement piece: A brown round-shouldered coat that was both loose and indicative of the new direction Trotter is steering Carven towards.

This piece set the stage for a collection with dimensions and perceptions — for example, a striking dress featured a trompe l’oeil effect, cleverly designed to appear two-dimensional.


UK beauty brand explains Bella Hadid contract termination

UK beauty brand explains Bella Hadid contract termination
Updated 02 March 2024
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UK beauty brand explains Bella Hadid contract termination

UK beauty brand explains Bella Hadid contract termination

DUBAI: British beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury this week responded to claims surrounding the termination of its contract with Bella Hadid, saying that the decision was not based on the US Dutch Palestinian model’s “personal views,” but because she is launching her own beauty brand.

A statement from the company, published in The Independent, said: “Bella Hadid and Charlotte Tilbury Beauty’s professional relationship has come to its end as Bella prepares to launch her own beauty brand.

“It is absolutely not the case that any personal views held by Bella impacted our contract or relationship with her.

“As a female-led business, Charlotte Tilbury Beauty continues to support Bella and looks forward to the exciting launch of Orebella later this year,” the statement added.

Last month, Hadid announced on Instagram that she is launching a brand called Orebella on May 2. 

While details about the brand and its offerings remain under wraps, WWD Magazine reported that Hadid’s trademark filing, dating back to 2022, hints at Orebella’s focus on scent-related products. These may include fragrances, incense, body lotions, oils, shampoo, conditioner and candles. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bella (@bellahadid)

The model shared a 10-second teaser on Instagram showing a close-up of her face and culminating with the brand’s logo.

Hadid was named the face of Charlotte Tilbury in March 2023. 

Her debut campaign in June promoted the new Airbrush Flawless Lip Blur, a hydrating matte liquid lipstick formulated with hyaluronic acid to boost hydration. She joined a glittering roster that included actress Lily James, and models Jourdan Dunn and Kate Moss. 


Art Dubai’s 17th fair: A showcase of global talent and cultural commentary

Art Dubai’s 17th fair: A showcase of global talent and cultural commentary
Updated 02 March 2024
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Art Dubai’s 17th fair: A showcase of global talent and cultural commentary

Art Dubai’s 17th fair: A showcase of global talent and cultural commentary

DUBAI: The 17th Art Dubai fair, where more than 100 galleries from around the world put on their best presentations of contemporary, modern and digital art, is open for business.

Non-commercial activities, such as artist talks and children’s programming, have also been organized for the event, which runs from March 1 until March 3.

Art Dubai 2024, Installation view. (Supplied)

Event organizers have reinforced their longtime commitment to shining a light on talent emerging from the Global South, from Latin America to North Africa and the Far East.

“We have our own way of reading what contemporary art is,” the fair’s Spanish artistic director Pablo del Val said. “We exhibit and try to push proposals that are coming from geographies that aren’t the focus in any major art fair in the West.”

Art Dubai 2024, Installation view. (Supplied)

The concept of healing is the theme of the fair’s contemporary section, featuring paintings, installations, sculptures, textile works, among other artistic mediums. Meanwhile, the modern section pays tribute to regional masters who were active in the 20th century. This year, the focus is on ties between Arab artists and the Soviet Union, where some received their formal education.

An interesting booth at Art Dubai Digital comes courtesy of a London-based design practice, Looty, which is implementing technological means to “digitally take back” stolen African artifacts stored in Western museums. “We were inspired by a fact that comes from the UN: 95 percent of African culture and heritage is held outside of Africa. Hearing that shocked us and also inspired us,” Looty’s co-founder, Ahmed Abokor, told Arab News.

With their faces covered in masks, Abokor and his gallery partner Chidirim Nwaubani went inside London’s British Museum, committing a “digital heist,” in which they 3D-scanned African artifacts with their phones and iPads. “It’s symbolic,” said Abokor. “We incited a bit of worry, probably, but we didn’t actually take anything. We actually did our due diligence, speaking to lawyers three months before we went in there. We didn’t want to do anything illegal.” At the fair, a handful of Benin statues are displayed in eye-catching 3D hologram presentations.

Art Dubai 2024, Installation view. (Supplied)

Meanwhile, in the contemporary section, Dubai’s Tabari Art Space is returning to the fair with an all-women booth, showcasing colorful works on paper, paintings and stitched pieces, exploring themes of the land and the body, by Levant and Gulf artists Tagreed Darghouth, Maitha Abdalla, Chafa Ghaddar, Hana Almilli, Miramar Al-Nayyar and Aya Haidar. “Corporeal: Lands Through The Female Gaze” is the title of the overall exhibit, envisioned by the gallery’s founder, Maliha Tabari, who, in her own words, “wanted to do something different.

“We’re female-led as a gallery,” Tabari told Arab News. “In these past three years, we naturally picked up many female artists from this part of the world because we want to represent them ... The woman in our region is strong and we wanted to show her strength.”

At a time of continuing violence in Gaza, some fairgoers expressed their solidarity by wearing Palestinian-inspired garments, such as the black-and-white “keffiyeh” headscarf. Based between Dubai and Ramallah, Zawyeh Gallery, specializing in showcasing emerging and established Palestinian artists, is represented at the fair. At its multi-artist booth, the Palestinian painter Khaled Hourani is showing a series of watermelon images (many of which have been sold). The fruit, bearing the same colors as the Palestinian flag, has become a symbol of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

Art Dubai 2024, Installation view. (Supplied)

From Marrakech, Comptoir des Mines Galerie is presenting a selection of works by Moroccan artists who use natural materials, such as soil and metal, in their creations. In particular, a standout work comes from French-Moroccan artist Sara Ouhaddou, who juxtaposed geometrical pieces of tinted Iraqi glass into a large circular form made of wood. The work, entitled “Time is still long — beyond our perception” is partially about regional artisans and how the cultural legacy of hand craftsmanship is being lost.

A number of the older generation of artists are also represented at Art Dubai by nine galleries, hailing from Beirut, Dubai, Kampala, London, among other cities. Jeddah’s Hafez Gallery is showcasing one large, vibrant painting by the Yemeni artist Hakim Al-Akel, who was born in 1965. Entitled “Dialogue in the Market,” the highly patterned painting was created in 1991, portraying a leafy scene populated by a few workers and sellers.

Art Dubai 2024, Installation view. (Supplied)

There are also monochromatic works by the Saudi artist Abdulsattar Al-Mussa, who formerly lived in Russia and Ukraine. Being away from his homeland inspired him to make images that were based on his memories.

“I think it’s important to show Abdulsattar at Art Dubai because he has had a lot of success abroad,” Hafez Gallery’s curatorial director, Alexandra Stock, told Arab News, “but it’s very nice that he is having another upwind, a push in the region, that he’s being acknowledged back home.”


The Real Housewives of Dubai season 2 teaser drops

The Real Housewives of Dubai season 2 teaser drops
Updated 02 March 2024
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The Real Housewives of Dubai season 2 teaser drops

The Real Housewives of Dubai season 2 teaser drops

DUBAI: Bravo dropped a brief teaser on Instagram this week for the second season of “The Real Housewives of Dubai,” announcing that the season premiere will air on June 2.

“The drama in this desert is just getting started,” bravo tweeted with the video. “Here’s your first look at Season 2 of #RHODubai.”

The show will once again star season one’s Chanel Ayan, Caroline Brooks, Sara Al-Madani, Lesa Milan and Caroline Stanbury, who will be joined by new housewife Taleen Marie.

Marie announced in November that she will be part of season two, saying: “I feel so blessed and excited to be a part of the @nbcuniversal and Bravo franchise.”

The 30-second teaser showcased snippets from the series, featuring the housewives raising their glasses in a toast to “new beginnings.” However, the celebratory atmosphere quickly gives way to conflict as tensions escalate within the group.

The full trailer is yet to be released.


Georgina Rodriguez walks for Vetements during Paris Fashion Week

Georgina Rodriguez walks for Vetements during Paris Fashion Week
Updated 02 March 2024
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Georgina Rodriguez walks for Vetements during Paris Fashion Week

Georgina Rodriguez walks for Vetements during Paris Fashion Week

DUBAI: Argentine model Georgina Rodriguez, who is based in Saudi Arabia, experienced an eventful week. She graced the runway for the Swiss fashion label Vetements during Paris Fashion Week and also featured in a campaign for the Arab brand Amara Lenses.

In a striking ensemble, the Netflix star donned a sizzling red dress adorned with the name of her long-time partner, Portugese football star Cristiano Ronaldo.

The top of the dress resembled a football jersey, while the flowing skirt boasted a lengthy pleated train.

The back of her dress bore Ronaldo’s signature, the renowned footballer who currently showcases his skills with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr FC.

Georgina Rodriguez donned a sizzling red dress. (Getty Images)

In a heartfelt dedication, Ronaldo penned: “For the love of my life Gio x Vetements, Cristiano Ronaldo,” adding a personal touch to the ensemble.

The brand’s designer Guram Gvasalia drew out the proportions of clothing for the label’s 10th anniversary catwalk presentation, which brought crowds of celebrities, including Cher.

Russian model Natalia Vodianova opened the show, walking briskly down the red-carpeted runway in a thick, tailored suit with heightened shoulders and bulky trousers, and a fitted, low-cut bustier.

The back of her dress bore Ronaldo’s signature. (Getty Images)

A series of oversize looks followed, including suits in crinkly materials, a long T-shirt with sleeves that splayed out to the side, a hulking camouflage ensemble and jeans with extra fabric that trailed behind.

“The most Vetements show ever,” the label posted on Instagram in the run-up to show. “You’ve been waiting for it for ten years.”

Amara Lenses, whose products are available in the Gulf region, dropped a new campaign featuring Rodriguez.

In the short clip, posted on the brand’s Instagram page on Thursday, the Netflix star was spotted sporting the company’s brown and grey lenses.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Amara Lenses (@amaralenses)

In one shot, she was seen wearing face accessories inspired by the Gulf region’s burqa.

“Introducing our latest collection in collaboration with Georgina Rodriguez,” the brand captioned the post on Instagram.

Rodriguez was named the brand ambassador in March 2023.

“I’m so happy to be the face of Amara Lenses and it’s been wonderful to work with you,” she said in a video shared on the brand’s Instagram page at the time.