Thursday, October 31, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
Today I was invited to the private viewing of the highly anticipated H&M collection Isabel Marant pour H&M. Honestly when I first heard the news of the collaboration, I wasn't THAT excited about it plus I imagined it to be, dare I say, of poor quality. My visit today to the preview event had completely changed that delusional image in my mind. The quality of the pieces were superb! I tried on some of the knits and jackets on display and their fit was perfect! Isabel Marant managed to recreate one of her strongest pieces of previous collections to be accessible to the masses. Hippie-chic tie-dye tops and denim pants, cropped and colored leather pants with lace-up details, Parisian chic oversized jackets, slouchy and fringed boots, and shabby chic knits. I suddenly had a strong urge to walk away with some of the knits I have tried on, wishful thinking.
The collection also included kids wear, which was news to me, their pieces are really cool especially the shoes shown in the photo below. And of courses it included some really nice pieces for men as well, I'm already eyeing some pieces from the men's section too. I really hate it when i get sucked in a highstreet collaboration! It makes me feel restless and over-buy! I hope this time I'll make smarter choices.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Now that I covered the jewelry section of The Garden exhibition at Fashion Forward Dubai, let's have a quick look at other cool non-jewelry brands that i came across. My first stop was at Aina's booth, a newly-launched concept based on reflecting the many characteristics of one's self, in the form of wearable and displayable art. Their products are inspired by cultural icons of the East. I found their padded iPad/Mini iPad cases with arabic words to be really cool. I noticed one of the founders of Aina wearing this really cool headpiece and it turned out that it was by a brand called Aura, which actually had a booth right next to them. If you're following me on instagram, you'd see that I posted about them a few weeks ago.
let's scroll down for more, shall we?
Aura's booth was displaying an array of boho-chic and hip headpieces, in fact, Anna Dello Russo wore one of Aura's pieces during NYFW last season, how amazing is that? Click here to see the photo.
Funky tee's by Arcadian Apparel, an online T-shirt website that promotes and sells wearable art. The brand allows artists to design their own signature art which can be printed and sold on their online store. The brand currently includes two modern style collections: EmiraTee and Dubai Til I Die. Inspired by Emirati culture, they offer the UAE a unique fashion line with which everyone can identify.
I previously featured The Neon Gifts on my blog before meeting the lovely owner Hessa AlMulla, her stationary is even prettier up-close. You can view more of her lovely and bright designs here.
These Dumyè dolls are not just any doll! For every doll you purchase they gift a doll to an orphan in need and allow them to make it their own through an art workshop. You can also customize the doll to your liking, hair color, hairstyle, the outfit, and even you can monogram the doll by adding a heart with any letter you want, AND get a certificate too. Smart and meaningful!
Mochi is a Dubai-based brand that features one of a kind pieces hand crafted by local artisans from around the world. I remember featuring the brand previously on my blog but I can't seem to find it. I fell in love with the full embroidered skirt worn by the lovely owner. It's part of her new Thailand-inspired collection. This season the designer is introducing embroidered shoes too, they do look so comfortable. You can shop Mochi's selection of bags here.
Beirut-based brand Sarah's Bag of course needs no introduction, I am head over heels in love with her arabesque-inspired clutches, especially the blue range which I instagrammed here. The below clutch with dipped gold detail is just divine!
LalaQueen is a Beirut-based brand of limited handmade handbags and accessories. They look like vintage pieces with their doctor's shaped-bags and distressed leather.
Farah Asmar is a handbags brand based in Dubai, where you will find a selection of fun colored day to night carry-ons, leather clutches, and accessorised totes, all designed by the super friendly Farah Asmar. I love how she displayed the candy-colored ones all next to each other.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
During my stay in Jebel Ali in UAE, I managed to squeeze in some time to check out The Garden, a new exhibition space within Fashion Forward Dubai, an initiative that aims to be the definitive fashion platform for the Middle East. The Garden is designed to basically harvest and nurture Middle Eastern accessory design talents.
The exhibition hall where The Garden was set-up was quite spacious, well organized, and the walkways were huge compared to some exhibitions held here in Kuwait. I walked around comfortably checking out the booths, stocked full of unique (and not-so-unique) quirky cool stuff, fashion accessories and jewelry. Some booths were already established names and quite known in the region, so I tried to focus on spotting unique and new brands. I have to say that over the recent years I have grown a strong passion for jewelry, my poor savings. Maybe it's something that comes with age? Besides, love of jewelry runs deep in my family. My grandmother collected it, my mother collects it, and I
stole took the vast majority of it, or at least tried to.
One of the brands that I really admired was Vik Jethwani, a boutique Jewellery house in Dubai, specializing in bespoke and custom made fine Jewellery. The earrings were simply divine, I especially fell in love with the ones shown in the first photo here, I think it's jade surrounded with diamonds. In some of their pieces they use raw diamonds which gives that beautiful unclean effect. I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely (and super stylish if I may add) Natasha Jethwani, whose's the Creative Director of the brand and the one who introduced hip and young designs to the Vik Jethwani. In the 2nd photo shown below you'll see Natasha's arm party and her beautiful rings.
Scroll down to find out more beautiful and fun accessories brands placed throughout the exhibition. Many one-of-a-kind finds that will add a definite pop to any wardrobe/fashion retail business.
I spotted the booth of a Beirut-based accessories brand Madame rêve, which I have discovered almost 6 years ago in one of Beirut's flea markets. The brand uses vintage charms and details from the late 19th century to the 1970's and introduce them in contemporary designs. What do you think of the stacked bracelets? They look so cool. I also liked they layered chain necklace shown below, something that I can see myself wearing for years to come.
Another jewelry brand that I really loved was by young Jordanian jewelry designer Lama Hourani. Her pieces are whimsical, fun, and full of character.
Another new and breathtaking designs were by Dima Jewelry. Headquartered Cairo, the brand offers really gorgous selection of fine jewelry and everyday pieces.
Nounzein, a Beirut-based brand by Nada Zeineh which presents jewelry, small sculptures and mobiles. According to her websites, greco-roman culture, Islamic civilizations, fauna and flora, ethnic jewelry inspire her creations.
Cease-fire by Vanina, is a jewelry lined envisioned as a message of peace in these times of intense violence. Made from match-sticks intentionally deprived of their ignition power (individually handmade using wood and plaster). The line invites to question the accessibility to arms and methods of igniting violence, in an attempt to call for a spiritual and physical cease-fire.
And last but not least, I came across the booth of Italian Dubai-based designer Mario Uboldi. I was instantly attracted to the patterns of his designs. They look like islamic designs but they're not. The geometric arrangements evoke associations with cubism and traditional patterns yet clearly distinguish themselves from any of these references.