Hetty Feather Review at DUCTAC

Lately, I’ve been getting an insatiable hankering for a bit of culture.

I had heard rave reviews about the play Hetty Feather and so I spontaneously decided to catch the matinee show on the very LAST day at DUCTAC.

Hetty Feather

Hetty Feather is based on the book by renowned English writer Jacqueline Wilson, whose books are world famous with over 30 million copies being sold in the UK alone.

As soon as the play started, I felt completely engaged in the plot and the creative and highly personal way it was narrated.

Set in the Victorian era, the story centers around feisty headstrong redhead, Hetty Feather who was abandoned by her mother and given up to the Foundling Hospital as a baby. The plot highlights her ongoing quest to find her biological mother as well as her relationships and experiences along the way.

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There was a very small but solid cast, with some actors playing multiple roles. This could have been confusing, but the context was made very obvious due to the fact that the actors were incredibly talented, versatile and highly multi-faceted.

The sets and scenery were simple and improv was highly relied on. This is not a disadvantage and it was still captivating because it encouraged the audience to use the art of pretend, making it even more magical. The circus scenes were particularly entrancing.

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There was an emotional roller-coaster element portrayed throughout. It had the perfect balance of pulling at your heart strings, yet not being too overwhelmingly heavy or depressing.

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Although essentially a children’s story, the content was relatable to everyone.

All humans crave their own idealistic interpretation of “happily ever after.”

Like Hetty, we go from hurdle to hurdle and just when we think we have sussed it, we get smacked unexpectedly with a cold hard dose of reality.
The play deals with this theme this beautifully, but illustrates that despite it all, everything isn’t always doom and gloom. Life has an imperfect beauty and the random nature of it should be embraced, cherished and celebrated.

It also highlights the compassion in human nature and that the pursuit of happiness is an adventure within itself. .

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Exceptional acting with a compelling, charming story.

Needless to say my thirst for culture was, indeed, quenched.

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The Big Picture Opening Night

So imagine that you are in an art gallery featuring an array of local UAE artists.

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You’re nibbling on canapes as you chat with your arty friends. Everything is pretty laid back and chilled out and you’re enjoying looking at all the impressive artwork. You turn to your left and BOOM!

Salvador Dali, The Horse Series,  Swan

Salvador Dali, The Horse Series, Swan

A Dali.

An ORIGINAL, honest-to-goodness Salvador Dali which is so close you can just reach out and touch it!

No need to go all the way to Barcelona to have this experience; it happened right here in Pro Art Gallery, Jumeirah on the opening night of The Big Picture on May the 5th.

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Curated by artist Ram Nath, The Big Picture is now in its second edition and is under the patronage of His Highness Shiekh Khalid Bin Mansour Al Thani.

As well as Dali, other legendary artists that were featured at the exhibition included Banksy, Picasso, Andy Warhol, Roy Liechtenstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol

Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol

Roy Lichtenstein, Cow Going Abstract

Roy Lichtenstein, Cow Going Abstract

All their original works were exhibited side by side with 45 local artists from the UAE. The best part was there were no walls or barriers separating the legends from the contemporaries.

Vahid Danaiefar, untitled 2, Oil on board,

Vahid Danaiefar, untitled 2, Oil on board,

Luis Vazquez, The Path of the Foxes, Acrylic on Canvas

Luis Vazquez, The Path of the Foxes, Acrylic on Canvas

Kevin Badni, Big head, Sculpture

Kevin Badni, Big head, Sculpture

“The idea of including internationally renowned legends and UAE based artists supported the main goals of The Big Picture, which is to demolish any boundaries or categorization that may limit the artists or their thought processes.” Nath explains.

The exhibition has alot of diversity as it explores multifaceted artistic creations featuring painting, photography, sculpture, digital art, performance art, installation as well as sound and video arts, by emerging and established artists.

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The gallery was packed with an assortment of art aficionados soaking up the atmosphere.

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The interesting part about this exhibition was it had a highly personal touch as there was an audio guide available.

It allowed the viewer to wander around at his/her own pace with headphones on and listen to each artist talk about their themes and inspirations behind their pieces.

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The energy was infectious and the talent was indeed awe-inspiring.

Reem Albanna, Hazy Reality, Oil on Canvas

Reem Albanna, Hazy Reality, Oil on Canvas

Zoya Tariq, Imprisoned in a mistaken identity, Photography

Zoya Tariq, Imprisoned in a mistaken identity, Photography

Eduardo Yup, Face the Reality, Acrylic on fiber matt

Eduardo Yup, Face the Reality, Acrylic on fiber matt

Resurger, Liberty 2, Screen print,

Resurger, Liberty 2, Screen print,

Aleksandar Bezinovic, Annunciation, Acrylic on Canvas

Aleksandar Bezinovic, Annunciation, Acrylic on Canvas

Here are a couple of photos of my work at the exhibition …

My work at the gallery

Free as a Bird, acrylic on board,

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Thanks to The Big Picture, someday I can brag to my future grandkids that I was featured in the same exhibition as Picasso!

If you have not seen it yet, you’d best skedaddle as the exhibition continues until the 24th of May!

Tahir Sultan salon show at the Cartel

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I must admit that when I shop for clothes, comfort is very low on my list of priorities!

It’s just that word – “comfort.” It often has a very unglamorous connotation that doesn’t quite appeal to me and I just end up thinking of hoodies and clumpy shoes.

Tahir Sultan’s brand new collection, however, is a game changer and proves that comfort and style CAN go hand in hand successfully!

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The Kuwaiti designer collaborated with urban conceptual boutique The Cartel on the 7th of May to showcase his collection for pre order. Before making a final decision on their orders, clients had a chance to see the outfits on the models in the flesh during an exquisite salon show, which was catered by Okku.

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The Cartel/Desert Fish is known for throwing great events with a terrific vibe. It’s always chic yet unpretentious. That night in particular was boisterous and spirited with an urban, youthful atmosphere. Quintessentially Cartel.

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As well as the fashion, the food was just flawless! Just LOOK at those seductive, delectable canapes. I thoroughly enjoyed giddily scoffing on the beef sushi and crispy sweet duck in the corner.

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I love Tahir’s sporty and sleek silhouettes in understated shades of greys, taupes and ecru.

The ensembles are beautifully draped as well as versatile; you could wear these to a fashion launch OR curled up with a hot chocolate on a rainy afternoon.

Marilyn Monroe once said “A girl’s clothes should be tight enough to show you’re a woman, but loose enough to show you are a lady.”

I can’t help but think that the designer’s new collection really embodies this wise and timeless philosophy. The pieces seem to skim flatteringly over certain areas, yet cinch and highlight the right ones such as the waist.

Tahir Sultan - Runway - Fashion Forward Dubai April 2014

Tahir Sultan - Runway - Fashion Forward Dubai April 2014

It ties mystery and modesty with an avant garde allure.

Comfort. Not so clumpy after all ….

Images courtesy of The Cartel

Alright Mr Demille, I’m ready for my close up.

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I’d just like to say that in terms of being camera shy … I was awkward wayyy before Kirsten Stewart made it cool.

I know you may be skeptical as it may not seem that way with the abundance of photos I take!! It’s different when taking a photo with a camera – I’m totally cool with that! Basically – when in doubt, the secret is to adopt a “Liz Hurley Stance”. You know the drill – your weight on one leg, which comes forward. Hand on hip. Coy, close lipped smile and bada bing, bada boom!!! You just can’t go wrong with that!

Being interviewed, however, is trickier but I found it an amazing experience all the same!

Last week I was approached by Abu Dhabi TV to be featured on their fashion programme, @Fashion.

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They were filming a special episode on the art of fashion and wanted to interview me about my fashion illustrations and talk about my art blog and live drawing. I was so thrilled to oblige and the best part was illustrating live in front of a camera which they would turn into a speed painting for the programme.

One part of the experience I really took to immediately was having my make up and hair done. There’s nothing better than bouncy hair and curled lashes!!! I’m quite picky with make up, but my make up artist did an amazing job creating a slightly more dramatic yet polished look. He used Bassam Fattouh cosmetics to get the desired look. I haven’t ever used these products, but I definitely am hooked and will go back for more! I was particularly impressed with the awesome eyebrow pencil which is the perfect shade of soft brown!!!!

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The interview took place at trendy and spacious A4 Space, situated in Al Serkal Avenue. I just love how open and sophisticated it is, and I particularly adore the inspirational messages on the walls.

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I always thought on TV, the crew do quite a few takes before deciding on the final cut. The surprising thing about this interview was it was done in only one take! The producer, Georges Estephan, wanted a really natural and spontaneous dialogue with the gorgeous TV presenter, Rulan Omari. It was completely unrehearsed, candid and really nice and raw!!!

The interview itself was really breezy, but I had to do a brief solo introduction so if I seem terrified, that is because…er…I WAS!!! haha!!!

A truly wonderful day and I am really looking forward to watching it live on Abu Dhabi TV in approximately one week!!! I can’t wait to see how the final segment turned out all put together with all the other artists/designers. Yayy!! 🙂 Here’s some photos from that day!

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Interview with couture designer Rami Kadi

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Continuing from my last blog post, here is my exclusive interview with Lebanese couture designer Rami Kadi.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

The woman I design for is a woman living a normal life in today’s world, but who stands out with her elegance and grace. She has something about her that turns head wherever she goes, leaving a trail of seduction and mystery behind. she’s a woman who blows life into the garment she is wearing.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

What are your favorite fabrics to work with and where are they sourced from?

My choice of materials/fabrics depends on both the trend and my mood, and is not specifically limited to one type of material.


The silhouettes of your couture pieces are to be marveled at. Are the constructions of such a great challenge?

Of course it is a challenge. If I don’t challenge myself I will never evolve. In fact, it is essential for my pieces to have great cuts, it is a part of my signature.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

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How do you decide on your theme for each collection? Do they all have a story to tell?

In terms of creativity and inspiration, the world around me has always been a rich source of inspiration; it provides me with flashes of creativity all day long, from the moment I wake until I go to bed, and sometimes even in my dreams.

Anything can be inspiring, the music I listen to while I’m driving, interaction with people, when I’m relaxing at the beach, or reading magazines, watching other designers fashion shows, etc.

Another major source of inspiration is obtained while traveling, visiting new countries and getting acquainted with new cultures and fashion salons…

Inspiration is not only limited to my day-to-day activities, it can also be found in my dreams! I always dream about dresses or shapes and I wake up in the middle of night to draw them, and go back to sleep.
Each of my collection has a specific story and it is from that story that emerges the whole collection.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

As an example my latest collection tells the story of a sleeping beauty who wakes up from an ever long sleep and finds her self within the confines of a sumptuous castle. It is with mixed feelings of surprise, and astonishment that the gracious princess walks through the aisles of the palace, and discovers a place glowing with royal opulence and yet holding an air of modernity.

How are your feelings towards exhibiting at Dubai’s Fashion Forward this year?

I am really excited to present my new collection there, especially that it is taking place in the big hall that seats about 1000 people. It is always an accomplishment when I get to the point of the runway show.

Your collections often have some very strong fairytale elements to it. What intrigues you about fairytales in particular?

I have always loved fairytales. They leave so much place for imagination and creativity. There are so many fabrics that can be used around the theme to express the romance, the magic and most of all the royal feel.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

If you could choose any historical figure, factual or legend, from the likes of Cleopatra to Lady Godiva, to be the face of your new collection who would it be and why?

I would go for The queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese, an artist who masters the art of seduction and whose fashionism and attitude captivated me long ago. There’s something about Dita that glows with elegance and captivates everyone around her. She is the kind of women who turns heads wherever she goes.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Rami Kadi - Runway - Fashion Forward Dubai April 2014

Rami Kadi - Runway - Fashion Forward Dubai April 2014

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

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Fashion Forward Frolics – Part 1

Fashion is the art
Designers are the gods
Models play the part of angels in the dark
Which one of you would ever dare to go against
That beauty is a trade and everyone is paid

Season 3 of Fashion Forward finally kicked off today at Madinat Jumeirah for press and public.

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Outfit of the day - Dee by Dalia skirt paired with a Versace belt and quirky telephone bag

Outfit of the day – Dee by Dalia skirt paired with a Versace belt and quirky telephone bag

It was all very rock n’ roll chic at the Kage show with wild teased hair, dark lips, Bardot necklines and the odd flash of metallic. It definitely had a young, vibrant and vivacious feel.

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Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Kage - Runway - Fashion Forward Dubai April 2014

Intriguingly, the collection took inspiration from a specific time and event – New Years Eve, 1983 to be exact! What I really loved was the general grungy-ness broken up with baby blues, gorgeous geometric details and metallic accents.

My favorite were these two outfits. I just love the rich, opulent, oriental print and how the fabric is repeated in the peter pan collars – great sense of continuity! I like how they are edgy yet pulled together!

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

The Emperor 1688 featured a tasteful and sophisticated collection. I loved their interpretation of classic English tailoring and contemporary take on Scottish tweed, wool and tartan.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

I was particularly captivated by the fur capes and the belted trench coats in this unique, rich buttery shade.

The Emperor 1688 - Runway - Fashion Forward Dubai April 2014

I also liked the idea of leather harnesses over floaty ethereal dresses. It’s the perfect balance of androgynous yet feminine.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

The combination of prim bow ties, textures and their very British/Burberry-esque aesthetic – it kind of had a sexy Sherlock Holmes vibe goin’ on! Don’t you agree?

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Fictional ice queen Miranda Priestly was famously quoted for her bitchy dig in “Devils Wears Prada” where she says sarcastically says “Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking (!)”

Well, I’m certain Jean Louis Sabaji’s innovative treatment of florals would make even Miranda Priestly sit up and take notice, for their collection proved that flowers CAN be inventive as well as fresh.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Bursting with skill, handcrafted techniques were used to mimic foilage, organic textures and petals in bloom.

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Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Very magical. Very mythical. Very “Midsummer Nights Dream.”

I liked the ombre effects on the gowns in particular and the voluminous blush-pink rose gown was definitely a favorite of mine.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

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Finally, day one closed with the Ezra Couture show. His designs are known for their buoyant, diaphanous and exquisite edge. The designer is even getting popular in Hollywood, with celebrities frequently wearing his stunning designs on the red carpet.

Starting off with soft alluring pastel hues, his collection gradually got bolder, featuring shades of sapphire with statement armour inspired pieces that sparkled in the light.

Courtesy of Getty images

Courtesy of Getty images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty images

Courtesy of Getty images

The chiffon had such an amazing drape and the fabric was so light and airy that it almost seemed to DANCE behind the models mischievously and seductively like the flicker of a flame.

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Everyone was totally spellbound, enjoying the show – and JUST when we thought it couldn’t get any more spectacular …

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It snowed.

It was SO magnificent and the bridal wear looked so poetic and pure. We found ourselves in a winter wonderland in the middle of April.

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I watched, amazed and astounded … like a dreamer in a dream.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

What to Wear to Comic Con

Part II of a fun creative collaboration between bloggers Sara Japanwalla (me!) and Danna Lorch!

When we were little it was perfectly normal to play dress up and loose ourselves in the Once Upon A Time world of make believe. Cartoons and Comic book heroes were as real to us as the neighbourhood kids we played with after school. Fast forward to The Land of Grownup where it’s depressingly inappropriate to rock a super hero cape to the office (except maybe on Halloween if your boss is cool like that). Middle East Film and Comic Con changes all the rules. We live for the three days each year when it’s completely normal to rock up to Dubai’s Trade Centre in full costume. This coming weekend (3-5 April), we’re excited to people watch, splurge on comic books and graphic novels, and screen animated films like crazy.

News Flash: You can still dress up even after Comic Con ends! Here are four looks inspired by Comic Con characters which we’ve put together using Spring/Summer 2014 collections. Everything we chose is available in the UAE and many of the pieces are from regional designers. The looks are subtle reinterpretations, but wear one to the office or an event and you’ll be secretly smiling to yourself all day:

Jem

Jem

Jem: We’ve gone retro! We’re children of the 80’s and remember sitting on our couches drinking Capri Sun punch, watching Jem and the Holigrams performing it up on stage, cooler than life. The girl could really sing, her mom let her pierce her ears, and she had pink hair that fit right in with her all-girl punk band. We can’t lie—we still kind of want to be Jem. We gave her look a regional spin by changing out her star studs for an Azza Bijou necklace inspired by the star pattern found so often in Islamic geometry. Are you brave enough to add a streak or two of pink to your hair?

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Superman: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a casually heroic look you could actually get away with for brunch with friends. You don’t have to change in the phone booth to be Clark Kent—In fact, we wonder where Superman does change these days? We haven’t spied a phone booth in years! The Superman inspired tee was designed by local pop artist Mubarik Jafery, who sees a lot of super heroes saving the day in the Arab world and created a line called BRAVE to remind us of that.

Superman!

Superman!

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The Hulk: Anger management issues? Just kidding! The Hulk might be known for his horrible temper and bulging neck veins, but he’s actually downright trendy this season! According to Vogue, Green is the color for Spring. It’s possible to draw inspiration from the strongest comic book character around. This Ralph Lauren bag is the perfect statement piece but also adds a playful comic book element in Hulkish green.

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The Hulk

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Snow White: Even though we’re independent princesses, we have a soft spot for damsel in distress Snow White. This hi-lo frock by Dubai designer Dima Ayad makes us feel like the fairest of them all. Everyone from RED Valentino to Charlotte Olympia is drawing inspiration from the Disney heroine this season. Channel your inner princess for a dinner date or gallery opening.

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Snow White

Snow White

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Stockist Deets Featuring a Number of Our Favorite Designers and Boutiques:

Our Jem inspired mood board

Our Jem inspired look

Our Superman inspired mood board

Our Superman inspired look

Our Hulk inspired look

Our Hulk inspired look

Our Snow White inspired look

Our Snow White inspired look

Good Ideas: We hope to see you (in costume) at Comic Con! Check out the event’s website for tickets and other info.

http://www.mefcc.com

Illustrations: Sara Japanwalla

Text: Danna Lorch from Danna Writes – A fellow art blogger, writer and poet!!!

http://www.dannawrites.com

Harvey Nichols presents Monique Lhuillier fashion show

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Coral is my new colour crush.

Since I have an absolute revulsion to peach (I think it’s namby-pamby, overwhelming and sickly) I always thought of coral as its relative and so I always dismissed and disregarded it.

How wrong I was!!! I’ve come to realise that coral is glorious.

For starters, it’s cheerful and bold yet feminine. It’s a lot more modern and sophisticated than hot pink which can appear juvenile. Moreover, it works SO well with tanned Arab/Spanish like skin tones.

Yessiree!!!! Whether it’s in the form of matte lipsticks or layered chiffon tulle dresses, I’m LOVING coral these days.

So you can imagine how delighted I was by the sweet coral/sorbet colour palette Monique Lhuillier presented at her exclusive fashion show held at the Kempinski hotel, Palm Jumeirah. The event was held by Harvey Nichols Dubai.

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I arrived at the hotel and was guided to a lovely garden with foilage archways crammed with orange roses – Such a pretty picture! I felt like I just stepped into the Queen of Heart’s garden, from Alice in Wonderland.

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There, amongst the fairytale greenery, a seated runway was set up. The venue was filled with simple chic rose arrangements in square glass vases which were against neat, pristine white outdoor furniture.

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Featuring plenty of soft coral complemented with sharper tangerine, crimson, purples, fuschias and understated nude, the colours just seemed to sing – especially against the lush green garden venue.

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The collection featured some stunning silhouettes – tonnes of billowing floral chiffon and dreamy ethereal sheer dresses.

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I loved the painted and dyed ombre effects on the fabric. There was also delicate , intricate, cut-out applique that resembled glistening beaded “webs” laid on top of the gowns.

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The way the light made all the embellishments shimmer in the sun was just all kinds of awesome.

After the show the statuesque models, dressed in all their finery, joined us for tea and looked divine sauntering around casually on the lawn in their beautiful gowns which floated in the breeze.

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After that, it was time for tea.

We had some of this …

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followed by a bit of that …

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Here’s some of the models in all their glory.

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And lastly, the designer herself!!!

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Last “Fling With Fashion” before Art Week

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Everyone in the art industry knows that the next week will be filled to the brim with art, art and MORE art with Art Dubai just looming around the corner.

It’s been dominating my mind! Art Dubai, Design Days Dubai, Art Nights…and pasta. (Pasta is just ALWAYS on my mind. That’s just a standard thing.)

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Anyhoo… I recently got an invite to “Fashion Up” – a Mall of Emirates’ catwalk show held on Thursday. It was to promote the opening of Mall Emirates’ contemporary new Fashion District. The aim of the show was to showcase all the new designer stores which were opening up in the new corner of the mall.

The exciting line up for the show included the following brands: C Wonder, Karen Millen, Ted Baker, Braccialini, Paule Ke,St. John,Landmark, BCBG, Halston Heritage, Cocoon, Ellie Tahari.

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Prior to attending the show, BCBG Maxazria had a little launch party. I stopped by to check out the clothes (and nibbles of course!). Great food! No idea what was in it … BUT… as Forrest Gump quite rightly says, “life is like a box of chocolate” and all that jazz. So I got stuck in.

While I was there noshing on the mysterious canapes of which I did not know the contents of, I fell in LOVE with this GORGEOUS cropped leather jacket. Unlike other ones which can be too boxy and stiff, this one had jersey at the back ensuring a gloriously sexy sleek and feminine fit. If you’re at BCBG, and you are a fan of leather jackets, check it out! It’s to die for!

Jacob leather jacket by BCBG Maxazria

Jacob leather jacket by BCBG Maxazria

The show was presented with plenty of panache, complete with a red carpet and the women were very chic, dressed in glamorous tangerine tailored dresses.

As for the ensembles, they were amazing with a vast variety of styles and themes from the designers. I really liked C Wonder, in particular. Their clothes have great tailoring with some wearable and eye catching prints, which kind of remind me of Kate Spade. I love their accessories too – especially their chunky filigree clover necklace, which is a lot like Van Cleef’s, but more intricate and without the HEAVY price tag.

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Here’s some photos of the other designers at the show.

This was my favorite! Gorgeous opulent purple one shoulder pleated dress!

This was my favorite! Gorgeous opulent purple one shoulder pleated dress!

Bag from Braccialini

Bag from Braccialini

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close up of embroidery

close up of embroidery

What REALLY stuck out as unique about this event, that I found HILARIOUS was a group of male photographers dressed in a typical 1920’s paparazzi get-up, complete with draper hats and vintage outfits.

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Whenever anyone would pass by them they would exclaim and shout over dramatically and swarm around their unsuspecting “victim” like a group of reporters and immediately start papping away with their cameras shouting out questions like “WHO ARE YOU WEARING?!?!?!?” and “WHO ARE YOU DATING?!” making the person feel like a real life celebrity for a day (whether they liked it or not!!!) It was such a comical scene to see! Even if their victim didn’t have a particularly good sense of humour and would try to scurry off, they would still persist and run after them! Genius!!!! It set such a great mood, and I loved the idea!

Having a great time pretending I'm a celeb in sunnies running away from the paparazzi

Having a great time pretending I’m a celeb in sunnies running away from the paparazzi

I asked if I could take a photo with them. This is how they responded.
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Eventually they agreed. It felt fabulous to squeeze in ONE last fashion event before Art Week!

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(P.S…I don’t know WHO the dude in the front is but …”YOLO!”)

Harvey Nichols vs Bloomingdales – Battle of the Boutiques

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After Valentine’s day, many people feel a bit of a slump and experience a withdrawal in festivities.

After all, the glow of Christmas has passed, as has New Years and NOW all the romance of Valentine’s day has gone too. What IS there to look forward to now?

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Catwalk shows, that’s what!!!!!

The Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdales show just couldn’t have been timed better. Both scheduled at an otherwise rather uneventful tail end of February.

First up was Harvey Nichols, which was on the 17th and held at Medinat Jumeirah. The theme intrigued me as it was called “Light Up the Runway.”

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I wondered what this meant…for isn’t a runway always lit up? I was curious about it, until I saw their gorgeous concept come to life.

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Rather than the models just walking up and down a traditional runway, it was set up like just like a square and the models would walk from corner to corner and pose at different parts of the square– It looked like some kind of chic chessboard game that had come to life.

Then came the lights.

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Light bulbs on invisible wire were slowly lowered down on the catwalk and the lights dimmed on and off throughout the show, giving the stage an ethereal otherworldly glow.

What I liked was how the lights always GRADUALLY dimmed and all at different times –it reminded me of the dancing lights of Aurora Borealis. Truly magical.

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Check out the amazing couture and see for yourself!!!!

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After the show, the staff cleared the stage, added tables and voila!!!! The catwalk had transformed into a party there! Within seconds, butlers were circulating the area passing around canapés and other delectable treats.

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The Bloomingdales show was held on the 25th at DIFC, Gate Village.

It was held outdoors, making use of Dubai’s gloriously breezy weather we are having right now. As soon as we arrived, we noticed a red carpet and a photographer was eagerly papping away. Needless to say, we didn’t mind this one bit and channelled out inner Paris Hiltons!

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What I really loved about this show was the way it had been cleverly set up!

Instead of having rows arranged traditionally, the whole catwalk was set up in a large circle around the iconic Gate monument, which was in the middle acting as a centerpiece. This made it one huuuuge circular catwalk and therefore only ONE row …making EVERYONE a front row guest!!! I really liked this idea! It was totally genius and very unique!

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The clothes ranged from smart/casual ensembles, to quirky prints to gowns fit for Queen Rania.

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I really enjoyed the after-party, too! It was honestly one of the BEST I have been to!

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Partyin' with fellow art blogger Danna, of dannawrites.com

Partyin’ with fellow art blogger Danna, of dannawrites.com

And here’s a couple of illustrations I did of the Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdales show.

Bloomingdales illustration

Bloomingdales illustration

Harvey Nichols show

Harvey Nichols show

Both shows fare extremely well.. I loved the stage, atmosphere and overall set up of Harvey Nichols, and the outfits and after party of Bloomingdales.