Rihanna graces Dior show in Amina Muaddi heels 

Rihanna graces Dior show in Amina Muaddi heels 
Rihanna attended the Dior show in Paris wearing a pair of Amina Muaddi heels. (Getty Images)
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Updated 23 January 2024
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Rihanna graces Dior show in Amina Muaddi heels 

Rihanna graces Dior show in Amina Muaddi heels 

DUBAI: Dior’s couture show at Paris’s Musee Rodin wove an intricate Ottoman tapestry for spring and attracted a legion of stars this week. Rihanna was among the VIP guests on hand to admire Maria Grazia Chiuri’s latest fusion of art and fashion.  

The global icon showcased her favored footwear designer, Romanian Jordanian Amina Muaddi, and wore the white Kim pumps from Muaddi’s eponymous brand. They are crafted in Italy from white patent-leather and have slim ankle straps punctuated with silver-tone buckles. 

Rihanna added a touch of glamour by adorning the shoes with sparkling embellishments and showcasing two diamond anklets positioned right above the straps. 

The Grammy-winning singer and entrepreneur paired her heels with a full black set from Dior.  

She opted for a jacquard print puffy wrap jacket with exaggerated lapels, which was cinched at the waist by a narrow black leather belt, and a matching figure-hugging midi skirt.  

Her ensemble was effortlessly chic, featuring a floppy newsboy cap, scrunched leather gloves, and a quilted Lady Dior bag. 

The Dior show began with an understated yet powerful beige trench, worn with the large collar draping over a bare torso and complemented by a raw pearl double choker reminiscent of teeth that added a subtle bite. 




Models hit the runway at the Dior couture show on Tuesday. (AFP)

Chiuri’s interplays of architectural silhouettes and innovative materials were out in force for a diverse collection that had a lot to say, seamlessly intertwining the historical richness of Ottoman styles with the contemporary. 

The brand’s artistry was vividly showcased in pieces like a crocheted field flower twine top, a teeming tapestry of intricate blooms that had guests reaching for their cameras. It was the piece de resistance. 

Further delving into Dior’s rich history, the La Cigale dress, an iconic piece from Christian Dior’s Autumn/Winter 1952 collection, was revisited. It was reimagined for the modern era, standing out with its sculptural construction and luxurious moiré fabric. 

Barbados-born Rihanna is one of Muaddi’s most loyal fans. 

She has championed her creations to lavish red-carpet events, fundraising galas, taking an off-duty stroll or stepping out to dinner. 

In 2020, Muaddi helped design the shoes for Rihanna’s Fenty collection. The collaboration was so successful that it received the Collaborator of the Year award at the 34th edition of the FN Achievement Awards.  


Malak Mattar aims to raise Gaza awareness with Venice exhibition

Malak Mattar aims to raise Gaza awareness with Venice exhibition
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Malak Mattar aims to raise Gaza awareness with Venice exhibition

Malak Mattar aims to raise Gaza awareness with Venice exhibition
  • The Palestinian artist hopes her show in Venice, coinciding with the biennale, will further raise awareness of the horrors being perpetrated in Gaza 

DUBAI: In the art world this week, all eyes will be on Venice. The Italian city will inaugurate the 60th edition of its namesake biennale, arguably the world’s most prestigious art event, on Apr. 20. Coinciding with the biennale is the opening of an intimate exhibition by the Palestinian painter Malak Mattar, who hopes to shed light on the atrocities unfolding in her native city of Gaza on an international stage.  

Mattar’s parents and two younger siblings were recently safely evacuated from Gaza to Egypt. “A burden has been lifted but I still have family members there,” she tells Arab News from Alexandria, where she has been reunited with her family. “The past six months have been a nightmare, to be honest. The situation has been going on for this long because people have become numb and desensitized.”  

This won’t be the first time that 24-year-old Mattar has shown her work in Italy, but her exhibition at Venice’s Ferruzzi Gallery during the biennale opening is a significant milestone in her career, which is going from strength to strength.  

“Prematurely Stolen,” 2023. (Supplied)

“This might be the most important exhibition that I’ve ever done in my life,” she says. It all began with a chance encounter at her previous exhibition in London. 

Dyala Nusseibeh, director of Abu Dhabi Art, and a prominent figure in the regional art scene, was in attendance and later approached the young artist with a proposal of setting up an exhibition in Venice. “I told her, ‘Of course, let’s do it.’ I was so happy,” she recalls. “I’m grateful to Dyala for making this happen in a short period of time.” 

Her exhibition, which runs until June 14, is called “The Horse Fell off the Poem.” It features one large-scale painting and seven smaller charcoal drawings, showing harrowing images of victims. The show’s title is based on one of the late Palestinian poet and resistance writer Mahmoud Darwish’s works.  

“Death Road,” 2023. (Supplied)

“(Darwish) is part of our individual and collective identity,” says Mattar. “We grew up with his poems, his voice and his story. He was so close to us, like a family member. I still remember his death (in 2008) and it was really hard. His poems are timeless and you can always relate to them, especially now.”  

Previously called “Last Breath”, the large-scale painting has been retitled “No Words.” The black-and-white image depicts hellish and disturbing scenes of loss, chaos, deterioration and death. Mattar doesn’t hold back.  

“The horse has a symbolism and a place in the current time of war,” Mattar previously told Arab News. “Its role has changed from carrying fruits and vegetables to being an ambulance. There’s a strength and hardness to a horse, which is how I also see Gaza; I don’t see it as a weak place. In my memory, I think of it as a place that loves life. It always gets back on its feet after every war.”  

“I see Birds,” 2024. (Supplied)

She is aware that her works could stir controversy. That tends to be the case at the biennale, which is renowned for addressing socio-political issues. This year’s theme is “Foreigners Everywhere.” 

“Any reaction is good, whether negative or positive,” Mattar says. “If the work doesn’t elicit any reaction, then the work is not effective.”  

Mattar believes that her works are being shown at a time when freedom of expression about Palestine is limited. This has affected the art world too. In recent months, a US university exhibition of works by the veteran Palestinian artist Samia Halaby was cancelled, the auction house Christie’s withdrew a couple of paintings by Lebanese painter Ayman Baalbaki from a sale (one of them depicted a man in a red and white keffiyeh), and there were calls from the general public to cancel the Israeli national pavilion at the Venice Biennale.  

“The art world is so black and white,” says Mattar. “There is no freedom to express yourself. There are always restraints. So, for “No Words” to be (shown in the same place and at the same time) of the biennale is important. The genocide is still happening. It’s not ending. (These works) are not a reflection of a time that already happened — it’s happening at the moment. The best time to show them is now.”  


Kesha champions Lebanese eyewear brand By Karen Wazen

Kesha champions Lebanese eyewear brand By Karen Wazen
Updated 17 April 2024
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Kesha champions Lebanese eyewear brand By Karen Wazen

Kesha champions Lebanese eyewear brand By Karen Wazen

DUBAI: US singer and songwriter Kesha was spotted this week wearing black sunglasses from Lebanese eyewear label By Karen Wazen.

Kesha sported the Blaze shades, which boast a cat-eye shape with flat lenses at the bottom. The side temples are notably thick, adorned with the brand’s golden logo.

Kesha shared a brief video on her social media platform, playfully lip-syncing to her hit song "Your Love Is My Drug” while enjoying her time at Coachella, the renowned annual music festival held in California. She took a helicopter ride, dressed in a chic grey printed T-shirt and black jeans.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kesha (@kesha)

Karen Wazen, the founder of the Dubai-based brand, shared Kesha’s clip on her stories with her 8.2 million followers. In a tribute to the moment, she recorded herself lip-syncing to another verse from the music sensation’s song, donning the Blaze shades in brown.

Wazen launched her debut collection of eyewear in December 2018. The first line of five styles came in acetate and stainless steel and in an array of colors, from neon to tortoiseshell.

Less than a year after the official launch of her brand, her designs were picked up by major e-tailer Farfetch, which became the first online platform to offer her eponymous eyewear collection.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kesha (@kesha)

With an array of stylish shades to its name, Wazen’s label has gained the nod of approval from international celebrities including superstar Beyonce, British-Albanian singer Dua Lipa, reality television star Kourtney Kardashian and her mother Kris Jenner, French model Cindy Bruna, singer Becky G, actresses Lucy Hale, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts, and socialite Paris Hilton, to name a few.

In February, the entrepreneur broadened her brand’s horizons by unveiling her inaugural jewelry collection. She introduced earrings and bangles fashioned after her brand’s logo, featuring a zigzag-like infinity sign, available in both silver and gold.

Wazen is one of the most influential figures in the region.

In addition to being a business owner, the mother-of-three has also starred in plenty of regional advertorials for prestigious brands, including Prada, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton and Cartier.

In 2020, the social media influencer was also named a high-profile supporter of UNHCR.


Israeli artist shuts Venice Biennale exhibit until ‘ceasefire agreement happens’

Israeli artist shuts Venice Biennale exhibit until ‘ceasefire agreement happens’
Updated 16 April 2024
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Israeli artist shuts Venice Biennale exhibit until ‘ceasefire agreement happens’

Israeli artist shuts Venice Biennale exhibit until ‘ceasefire agreement happens’

DUBAI: Israeli artist Ruth Patir has shut down her national pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale, saying that she will only reopen it when a “ceasefire agreement happens” between Israel and Hamas.  

Patir said in a statement on Instagram: “I feel that the time for art is lost and I need to believe it will return. We (Tamar, Mira and I) have become the news, not the art. And so, if I am given such a remarkable stage, I want to make it count.

“I have therefore decided that the pavilion will only open when the release of hostages and ceasefire agreement happens,” she added. “This has been our decision and we stand by it. I am an artist and educator, I firmly object to cultural boycott, but since I feel there are answers, and I can only do what I can with the space I have, I prefer to raise my voice with those I stand with in their scream, ceasefire now, bring the people back from captivity. We can’t take it anymore.”

In February, thousands of people, including artists, curators and museum directors, signed an online appeal calling for Israel to be excluded from this year’s art fair and accusing the country of “genocide” in Gaza.

“Any official representation of Israel on the international cultural stage is an endorsement of its policies and of the genocide in Gaza,” said the online statement by the Art Not Genocide Alliance (ANGA) collective.

ANGA said the Venice Biennale had previously banned South Africa over its apartheid policy of white minority rule and excluded Russia after its 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said the appeal was an “unacceptable, as well as shameful ... diktat of those who believe they are the custodians of truth, and with arrogance and hatred, think they can threaten freedom of thought and creative expression.”

Dubbed the “Olympics of the art world,” the Biennale is one of the main events in the international arts calendar. This year’s edition, “Foreigners Everywhere,” is due to host pavilions from 90 countries between April 20 and Nov. 24.


Eiza Gonzalez stuns at premiere of Saudi-backed film ‘The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’

Eiza Gonzalez stuns at premiere of Saudi-backed film ‘The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’
Updated 16 April 2024
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Eiza Gonzalez stuns at premiere of Saudi-backed film ‘The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’

Eiza Gonzalez stuns at premiere of Saudi-backed film ‘The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’

DUBAI: Mexican actress and singer Eiza Gonzalez this week turned heads at the premiere of the Saudi-backed action movie “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” in New York City. 

The star dazzled in a metallic gold strapless gown by New York-based label Jason Wu. The dress boasted intricate three-dimensional designs accentuating the waist and chest. 

Complementing the ensemble, she showed off matching gold heels from Maison Ernest and Cartier jewelry. Her brunette bob was styled in a voluminous blowout. 

Complementing the ensemble, she showed off matching gold heels from Maison Ernest and Cartier jewelry. (Getty)

She posed on the red carpet alongside her co-stars Henry Cavill, Henry Golding, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Cary Elwes, Babs Olusanmokun, Henrique Zaga and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. 

The premiere was attended by Mohammed Al-Turki, film producer and CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Foundation. 

The Saudi foundation, which backed the movie, took to Instagram to share pictures of the premiere captioning the post: “Live from New York, the premiere for ‘The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,’ Red Sea Film Foundation is proud to have supported through its Red Sea International Film Financing initiative.”

 

 

Based on recently declassified files of the British War Department and inspired by true events, the movie is an action-comedy that tells the story of the first-ever special forces organization formed during WWII by UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill and a small group of military officials, including James Bond author Ian Fleming. 

The top-secret combat unit, composed of a motley crew of rogues and mavericks, goes on a daring mission against the Nazis using entirely unconventional and utterly “ungentlemanly” fighting techniques. Ultimately, their audacious approach changed the course of the war and laid the foundation for the British SAS and modern Black Ops warfare.

The film is directed and co-written for the screen by Guy Ritchie (“Sherlock Holmes,” “The Gentlemen” and “Wrath of Man”) and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “National Treasure”).

“The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” will be released in cinemas in the Middle East on April 18 and internationally on April 19.


Amir El-Masry, Pierce Brosnan to dramatize British Yemeni boxing legend’s story

Amir El-Masry, Pierce Brosnan to dramatize British Yemeni boxing legend’s story
Updated 16 April 2024
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Amir El-Masry, Pierce Brosnan to dramatize British Yemeni boxing legend’s story

Amir El-Masry, Pierce Brosnan to dramatize British Yemeni boxing legend’s story

DUBAI: British Egyptian actor Amir El-Masry will star alongside Pierce Brosnan in the sports drama “Giant,” based on the story of British Yemeni boxer Naseem “Naz” Hamed.

El-Masry will play Hamed, who competed from 1992 to 2002, and Brosnan is set to portray his Irish-born boxing trainer Brendan Ingle. The film will be written and directed by Rowan Athale (“The Rise,” “Gangs of London,” “Strange But True”) and Sylvester Stallone is on board to executive produce, alongside other Hollywood executives.

“Giant” tells the story of the boxer’s humble beginnings in a working class area of Sheffield and his discovery by Ingle. Hamed shot to fame amid rampant Islamophobia and racism in 1980s and 1990s Britain.

El-Masry won a Scottish BAFTA for his performance in the film “Limbo” in 2021 and was cast in the fifth season of Netflix’s historical drama “The Crown” as the young Egyptian billionaire Mohamed El-Fayed, among other acting credits.