Chanel Cruise Show Illustrations

Just incase you have been living under a rock and hadn’t heard – the Chanel Cruise Fall show took place in Dubai recently.

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It was held on an exclusive luxurious island just off the coast which was made JUST for the occasion.

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If my tone appears to read tinged with an ever-so-slight tone of bitterness, it’s because I AM still rather sore I did not attend. (super exclusive invite only!)

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(sniff)

Oh well! I’m over it!! All is fair in love and fashion 🙂

Now that I’ve got my emotional trauma behind me (!) Let’s talk about the collection …

The level of luxury and opulence at this show reminded me a lot of Karl Lagerfeld’s interpretation of India is his pre fall 2012 collection. (One of my favorites!)

Similarly, this one was also very lavish and plush but with a very sophisticated 1001-Nights/ Arabesque twang to it.

I liked the contemporary tailoring contrasted with the fluid billowing shapes such as the harem pants and elegant flowing tunics with ethnic shoes. Tres Aladdin!

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The signature tweed textures made cameos, both in light variations and more stronger monochrome tones. I was particularly enchanted by the folksier prints in sheer chiffon kaftans. I also loved the tribal embroidered fabric (Bedouin inspired, perhaps?)

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It wasn’t all soft and demure, though. For instance, I appreciated the odd lamé metallic trouser thrown into the mix; unexpected and added edge!

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MOST of ALL I loved those AWESOME bejewelled moons.

They added such a wonderful ethereal, exotic touch, especially paired with the models’ smouldering, sultry eye make up!

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The gorgeous fabrics and textures stirred up some creativity inside me. Here are some fashion illustrations I created of the show.

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Fashion Forward Frolics – Part 2

Essa Walla’s show was wonderfully outrageous and truly audacious!

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Courtesy of Getty images

Provocatively entitled “Blow,” his collection featured plenty of acid bright colours, statement prints, furs and plenty of interesting frou-frou details. I loved the ostrich feather embellishments mixed with beadwork that sparkled in the spotlight.

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The eclectic combination of textures were so unexpected and constantly kept us guessing.

Although it was a very daring and bold, there’s no doubt that there was a pinch of feminine romanticism (i.e the floor sweeping hemlines and hourglass-enhancing silhouettes) but it was unconventional femininity.

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Essa - Runway - Fashion Forward Dubai April 2014

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Oversized sunglasses, vintage 50’s shapes and trippy combinations – think Jackie O on LSD.

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Courtesy of Getty images

Beautiful simplicity with a sporty, sleek twist is what sprung to my mind when describing Tahir Sultan’s collection.

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Courtesy of Getty Images

His experimental use of jersey created some very versatile draped pieces ranging from floaty maxi dresses to more structured, slick ensembles. I love the striped patterned fabrics, the “50 shades of grey” colour scheme and the simple pearl adornments for a touch of understated elegance.

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Sultan has successfully combined function with design by creating wearable pieces that are soft yet stylish – whoever said practicality has to be unsophisticated?

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Zareena’s collection was very regal with Eastern influences. The embroideries and embellishments were multi layered, ornate and refined and the silhouettes ranged from graceful and flowing to sculptural and dramatic.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images


Paired with the most strikingly theatrical hairstyles, a few of her gorgeous outfits almost looked like they were from a different time and would make wonderful costumes for a fantasy film of some sort.

Having said that, quite a few pieces offered alot of coverage so they were very modest and could even be worn over the abaya just like designer herself had demonstrated.

Regionally appropriate and frankly, quite marvellous.

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Zareena - Runway - Fashion Forward Dubai April 2014

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To attend Amato’s show, one needs to be strong and merciless. This is because the queue for his sensational shows can get SO overwhelming. In fact, people START lining up for his show forty minutes in advance. With the huddles of people pushing and shoving, it’s like fighting a herd of aggressively bossy and highly determined sheep.

It’s survival of the fittest.

A full house crowd at the Amato show

A full house crowd at the Amato show

But just like all things in life, if the bitter ain’t bitter, the sweet ain’t as sweet.

And I assure you, it his shows are ALWAYS pretty “sweet.”

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

This season was no exception. The designer was inspired by the conquests of Alexander the Great and his travels in Persia, India and Egypt.

The collection was exotic, rich and bejewelled and he enticed us all with the combination of sumptuous colours – ruby reds, emeralds and sapphire blues.

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Courtesy of Getty Images

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The outfits were made from French lace and tulle, all embellished in sequins, swarovski crystals and plenty of flowers.

I loved the amazing gold tribal jewellery he used to cover the models’ faces, lending an element of Eastern mystery as they strutted grandiosely down the runway.

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Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Amato By Furne One - Runway - Fashion Forward Dubai April 2014

Amato By Furne One - Runway - Fashion Forward Dubai April 2014

See, I told you! Good things come to those who wait.

I assure you, this is worth the wait.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Street Style/The Garden at Fashion Forward

Every time I attend Fashion Forward, I find myself getting more and more impressed by the way people dress in Dubai!

Street style really inspires me a lot – especially in my illustrations. I thought I would add a personalised twist to the blog by just taking a moment to highlight some of the best looks I spotted this season!!

Y’know … “REAL beauty from REAL women.” Kinda like the Dove campaign (only less cheesy and condescending!!)

Creative or eccentric, quirky or classic – here’s to all you gorgeous Dubai stylistas out there who are not afraid to sparkle!

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ootd - Michael Kors dress with Nihal Basha clutch

ootd – Michael Kors dress with Nihal Basha clutch

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The Garden

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Initially when Fashion Forward started, regional designers just had a small shop in the corner to showcase their work.

Since season two, the concept has evolved a great deal! The Garden is an open area situated at Fashion Forward with collections of booths and stalls dedicated to accessory designers.

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As it is, I am a total magpie when it comes to accessories and jewellery stalls happen to be my Achilles heel!! I can spend hours exploring touristy souks and checking out bits and bobs so The Garden is one of my favorite parts of Fashion Forward!

Here are a few of my favorite pieces I found this year.

Yalla …let’s browse!

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Maria Iqbal’s pop art clutches will always hold a fashionable space in my heart. This talented furniture designer creates THE most unique, humorous and wonderfully tongue in cheek pieces! The style is very Warhol and the colours are bold, trippy and acidic and I like her regional satire. I just LOVE this “I swear upon Prada” clutch.

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It gets even BETTER. This year she extended her signature style of painting onto actual garments! Just a couple of limited edition pieces which I am TOTALLY coveting. I was ITCHING to try them on and so I abducted this sexy little leather/tulle number for a little while.

How AWESOME is THIS?!

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A lot of designers get on the pop art trend bandwagon but I find that Maria Iqbal’s accessories just exude cool.

Azza Bijou’s jewellery designs are beautiful, strong and intricate and I love her Arabesque influences. She’s constantly inspired by the timeless and artistic majesty of Islamic geometry, but every year she keeps her collections fresh with new ideas and themes.

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This season she was inspired by a warrior princess theme and collaborated with Taller Marmo supplying the jewellery for his catwalk show.

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If you haven’t heard of Nathalie Trad clutches, (as they say in Mean Girls) I’m sorry but “you can’t sit with us.”

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Nathalie Trad clutches

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Just like Azza, geometric form is a strong element and she complements this by using exquisite materials like luxurious mother of pearl. Her signature is this amazing trademark lattice effect on top of most of her clutches, but this season she is branching away from that and her shapes have transitioned into sharper and more futuristic forms.

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I then wandered over to “Sarah’s Bags,” where these rather splendid Lichtenstein inspired purses caught my eye.

There are even clutches that look like shawermas!!! How ADORABLE are THESE??!?!?!

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There are even clutches that look like manakish!!! How ADORABLE is that??!?!?! They even have paper wrapping. They look SO real that I can almost taste the so-good-but-so-bad salty cheeseyness.

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Sparkly and sassy, I love the catchphrase in particular! I think every once-lovestruck girl can relate to it. Why not turn your battle scars into a fashion statement?! As well as looking awesome it’s a great reminder to always keep your position and dignity intact next time around!!!!

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That about wraps it up! Filled to the brim with style, fashion AND talent, there is never a dull moment here at FF!

My fashion illustration Collaboration with Rami Kadi

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Courtesy of Getty Images

As soon as I laid eyes on the “Le Gala Des Mysteres” collection last year, I developed a deep “designer crush” on Rami Kadi and his DIVINE ball gowns. The tulle, the embroidery, the beadwork – it’s honestly what dreams are MADE of.

Imagine my sheer delight when I got a call a few weeks ago from Rami Kadi Couture in Lebanon to say that they would be interested in doing an artistic collaboration with me for Fashion Forward this year!!

I was elated and couldn’t wait to get started!

I couldn’t share any information about the upcoming collection until it was over so it was QUITE a challenge keeping it schtum.

His theme for the show this year was fairy tales and his collection had strong French Rococo elements and took inspiration from the set design of the film Marie Antoinette. It consisted of beautiful Laduree inspired colours, opulence, indulgent fabrics, decadence and femininity.

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To set the tone for his show, his idea was to print out actual illustrated mini story books which would be placed on all the seats at the runway. (800 to be exact!)

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In addition to this, those same illustrations were going to be projected onto the screen of the catwalk show before it started and the story was to be narrated live in front of an audience.

Here’s how my final illustrations turned out!!

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His catwalk show finally took place last night and it was such an exhilarating experience to see my illustrations projected onto the screen. I’m still totally buzzed from the show!

As for the collection itself, it was absolutely breathtaking. The models all wore these magnificent peony headpieces which really complemented the outfits and made it look even more theatrical and dramatic.

The embroidery was so ornate and the fabrics were plush and lavish especially the embossed damask motifs. I really liked the shade of gold he used in the collection. It wasn’t highly glossy or metallic – just a very pale subtle sheen which was far more flattering and sophisticated than straight up gold; especially combined with pale blue.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Although the colour scheme was mainly soft pastels, brighter sorbet shades were also included which broke up the collection, keeping it from being predictable and giving it a sense of bold freshness.

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Courtesy of Getty Images

Even though the silhouettes were extravagant, they were all incredibly tasteful and well executed. I loved how luxurious and heavy the fabric looked, the way it trailed behind on the runway and how the fabric was draped. My favorite gowns were these two.

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Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

I cannot wait to draw them!!!

There’s MORE – I’ll be publishing an exclusive interview with the designer himself in the VERY next post to find out more about his design process and inspirations.

More information will be up on the blog in a jiffy!!! 🙂

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

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Courtesy of Getty Images

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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!

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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.

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Courtesy of Getty Images

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

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

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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?

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Courtesy of Getty images

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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

Middle East Film & Comic Con 2014

#ootd - "Alice through the looking glass"   Costume rented from Dark Horse Event Management

#ootd – “Alice through the looking glass”
Costume rented from Dark Horse Event Management

I can’t explain how extraordinarily bizarre it is to have a gorilla wearing a shell-bikini tap you on the shoulder and politely ask if he may take a photo with you.

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It’s MAD. Absolutely mad.

But as Cheshire Cat quite rightly says “We’re ALL mad, here.”

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I think this statement sums up Middle East Film & Comic Con perfectly! A bit like “The Muppet show,” it’s weird, it’s wonderful and above all … it’s unpredictable – absolutely ANYTHING can happen.

One minute you are having a delightful conversation with The Grim Reaper about the weather.

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The next – you are interrupted by a collection of monsters dancing to Gangam Style!

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It’s a place where you can enjoy catching up with old friends ….

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and make a few new ones!!!!!

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I finally found white rabbit ...

I finally found white rabbit …

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Meanwhile, in the corner … an Arab looking Mario and Luigi getting up to all sorts of tomfoolery.

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Yep!!! It’s just a normal day here! Totes legit.

Mind you, I was no better … don’t you LOVE my new bazooka?!

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As well as the costumes, it’s a great place to browse through the creme de la creme of limited edition comic books, rare anime and manga memorabilia. You can spend all day here oohing and aahing over the impressive array of graphic collectibles.

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You can even mosey around casually donning a cape (and no, I don’t mean an Anna Wintour style “cape” coat, I mean, a CAPE cape). Duh.

If you’re lucky you might even spot a celeb or two from your favorite TV series. (LUCKY being the key word…I was GUTTED I missed Seth Green!)

FINALLY! You can leave the stressful world outside and let your cheeky neon streaked hair down to come out and play by getting your “game” on (literally).

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No Judgement. Just games.

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My FAVORITE part of the day was seeing the cute little kiddies in their adorable costumes. I always wanted to run away and be a disney princess at Orlando. Now I know what it feels like to be one …

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I urge you to join us at the next comic con. Loosen up that tie and fall down the rabbit hole ….

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You won’t be sorry.

Playing Dress up at Dark Horse Event Management

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This Saturday afternoon, I plan to venture where NO fashion blogger has EVER gone before ….

The Middle East Film and Comic Con, that’s where!!!!

For three days, the world trade center is transformed into a wonderfully weird and and magical land full of limited edition comics, anime, manga and gaming!

Although we often jest that Comic Con is solely for geeks, I have to say – I beg to differ.

I went last year, and I found it really creative – ESPECIALLY the outfits! I think it’s wonderful how everyone makes such a huge effort with costumes. Last year, I looked wistfully and enviously at everyone else’s amazing ensembles. They ranged from classic superman get-ups to retro super-nes characters…I even spotted a few Japanese lolita cosplay outfits! It was AMAZING.

Alas!! It would be a waste for me to purchase an outfit that flamboyant just for this occasion. After all, I don’t go to conventions like this very often (shocking I know!)

What I NEEDED was a costume “fairy godmother” …

Well, I found one …. In the form Dark Horse Event Management…

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They are the largest creative production & entertainment house in the Middle East and they organise various events, PR and marketing activities for brands and clients, as well as providing a unique brand of entertainment.

As well as this, they also offer costume rentals for fabulous prices!!!

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When I found out about this, I dared by art blogger BFF Danna from dannawrites.com to come join me to play dress up!!! Being the gutsy woman that she is, she accepted my challenge (much to my delight!) Even though comic con is predominantly about comics…as far as costumes go, anything goes …

Let the games begin!

We started off innocently enough, just trying on a few hats. Something subtle to warm us up …

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That Danna! Honestly, I don’t know why she insists on ruffling feathers …

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Here she is again, looking like an extra from The Lion King.

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This…Is….SPARTA.

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I experimented with the Mad Hatter look, whilst Danna opted for the “sexy zebra” (The actual description..which really intrigued us)

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Let them eat cake.

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If Marie Antoinette was a Dubai blogger, this is would be her #ootd pose.

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We then felt the urge to partake in a dance.

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Here’s Dana as a regal White Queen.

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It all got a bit stressful for her, so she took a few minutes to do some serious reflecting …

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OFF with YOUR head.

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That about wraps up our bizarre-yet-brilliant fashion show. If you are ever in a dire need for costumes, I’d highly recommend to pay Dark Horse a visit. As you can plainly see, their handmade costumes are highly unique with their gorgeous little details and they obviously have a huuuuuuge variety, as we’ve demonstrated!

Can you guess what I will be dressed up as?

Hint! I will be chasing a little white rabbit …

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What do you know? I guess blondes DO have more fun!

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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Art Dubai 2014

Mark Twain once said “Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.”

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Rather grim, but there is some truth in that quote. Many artists work their whole lives to get the recognition and exposure that their work deserves but SO many remain unsuccessful in this quest in spite of it all.

This is where fairs like Art Dubai come into the picture!

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With over 500 participating, it allows artists from all over the world (emerging and established) some well-earned time in the sun. (literally!!!)

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With a strong focus on the Middle East, artists from the region gain global exposure and therefore, so much awareness is created. Art Dubai has an extensive, well-rounded programme which is filled to the brim with numerous tours, forums, discussions and workshops while attracting many prestigious art collectors from all around the world.

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From competitions like the Abraaj Group Art Prize, to workshops like the Sheikha Manal little artist programme, there truly is something for EVERYONE to see!

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Now in it’s 8th year, the fair continues to flourish …

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For opening night, I decided to channel my inner Betty Draper and so I opted for this gorgeous emerald-green full skirt from a local boutique called Dee by Dalia. Her chic vintage pieces set my heart aflutter. Check her website out here –

http://www.deebydalia.com/

Although artistic, Art Dubai is certainly one of the chic events where you can really go really fun and eccentric with fashion.

As I loitered around outside, I spotted many well dressed ladies. They wafted around in their wide pleated trousers, quirky turbans, neon accessories, bright kaftans and oversized sunnies! I dug it!

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Image courtesy Savoir Flair Magazine

Image courtesy Savoir Flair Magazine

Now, I’m not one for planning. I immediately set about aimlessly traipsing through the grand halls, enjoying getting “lost” and immersed in the artwork.

There’s such a huge amount of galleries, workshops and activities going on at Art Dubai. For this specific post, I have decided to focus more on the galleries and briefly describe some pieces that really attracted me.

Without further ado, here’s my round-up!

At Green Art Gallery, Kamrooz Aram’s piece “Tempered composition with three points” has a hazy and dreamlike quality.

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He is known to constantly layer his work, and then he scrapes it off to re work it. This results in a distinguishable multi dimensional quality. He exposes faint tracings in certain areas of the canvas and has used a simplified, child like floral motif. This shows that the use of florals can be sophisticated and prove more than just an adornment.

This statue “ Flesh of the Shadow Spirits” is created by Kendell Geers from Galerie Rodolphe Janssen and it is made from resin. A conceptual artist from South Africa, his work often has heavy political elements, typically concerning civil rights.

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I did a double take when I saw these beautifully crafted knives by Zoulikha Bouabdellah at Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde. I found it really interesting how she has taken an instrument that usually has connotations of violence or aggression, and given them a new lease of life with her intricate, arabesque inspired shapes.

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:mentalKLINIK created this quirky piece cleverly called “French Kiss. Two forces are linked together in perfect symmetry, giving a romantic sense of personification.

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The Breeder – a gallery based in Athens, featured Zoi Gaitanidou’s very tactile pieces. She uses embroidery to create elaborate tapestries that combine primitive figures and abstract patterns. She is influenced by tribal art.

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Mumbai based gallery Chatterjee and Lal presented a solo booth by one of my favorite Pakistani artists, Rashid Rana.

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For these pieces, Rana has re interpreted famous paintings such as “The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus” by Peter Paul Rubens, and “The Oath of Horatii” by Jacques Louis David and has chopped them up into smaller fragments and scrambled them up – just like the surface of a Rubik’s cube.

He has selected these particular paintings specifically for their connotations on carnal violence, and perhaps misogynistic undertones which is something he feels he can resonate with regarding the political state of Pakistan/rise of islamic fundamentalism.

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It’s interesting how Imran Qureshi’s work deals with a similar theme too but he has an extremely different approach to it.

I find works by these two artists always seem to pull an emotional chord with me.

Another rather emotional piece is by Sydney based couple Sean Cordeiro and Claire Healy. Entitled “T+85_red&blue_diptych”, it is part of a collection of pixel-art images of space shuttle explosions which are created from pieces of Lego.

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This piece is dedicated to highlight a certain shuttle that exploded. The use of material is interesting as the Lego is not only to depict the tragedy itself, but it also seemed fitting as one of the women who died on the shuttle explosion was a teacher, therefore the Lego reminds us of children and the loss of innocence.

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This was shown at Gallery Wendi Norris which is based in San Francisco.

There were a few artists at the fair with really strong environmental themes in their work.

Take this very narrative piece of art by Indonesian artist, Prilla Tania from dgallerie.

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It is made from cut paper of various types and upon close inspection, it actually tells a whole story about deforestation in Indonesia.

There’s a primal and primitive element about it that I like. It reminds me of ancient art – the way her artwork “talks” just like hieroglyphics or cave paintings would. Fascinating!

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cropped close up of work

Also focusing on the environment, Nnenna Okore’s installations are made from discarded yet reusable materials such as magazines, newspapers string and plastic bags.

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Okore’s works brings a focus on consumerism, excessive wastefulness. She is represented by Omenka gallery, Nigeria.

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I loved this beautiful glimmering golden sculpture by Elmgreen and Dragset, from Victoria Miro Gallery in London. It is made from 24 carat gold-plated bronze.

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Frank Bowling from Hales Gallery combines an emotive use of colour stain and sprayed motifs combined with textural elements.

Frank Bowling, Ashton's Plunge, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 302.5 x 165 cm

This artist, originally from Guyana is actually 80 years old!

There are also some tactile qualities as stitching is sometimes incorporated in his work as an homage to his mother, who was a seamstress.

Frank Bowling, Ponsonby Welch, Overlooking Fryish Maze, 2012, acrylic paint on canvas, 304.8 x 188 cm [lowres]

His paintings relate to Abstract expressionism, Color Field painting and Lyrical Abstraction.

Mark Dion’s curious dark room in InSitu Gallery, contains various glow in the dark items and encourages us to reflect age-old philosophical questions regarding spirituality, science and art.

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Plus…it’s pretty groovy.

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I know it was a SUPER long post, but this was honestly just scratching the surface.

Hopefully with more initiatives like Art Dubai, an abundance of geniuses will continue to be discovered.

They, too will get their chance to tell their stories to the world …

"Forever These Words Unsteadily Will Live" by Fred Eerdekens

“Forever These Words Unsteadily Will Live” by Fred Eerdekens

DIFC Art Night March 2014

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So here we are … on the BRINK of Art Week 2014. Can’t you just FEEL the energy in the air?!

Once again, Al Serkal and DIFC decided to have their art nights on the same night!!! Curses!!!

Can I just take a moment to rant …

WHY do you DO this to us?! WHY do you make us choose?
Al Serkal …you are so spacious, trendy, relaxing, sophisticated, clean and classic.

And as for YOU, DIFC…you are no less with your chaotic energy, your glamazons, canapés, live art, music and yuppie handsome men (ofcourse I had my eyes firmly focused on the art but .. c’mon It’s hard NOT to notice them) 😉

So basically … If I had to sum up the aura of these two important hubs, I would say that Al Serkal is Jackie O and DIFC is Marilyn Monroe.

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It was a toughie but this time I decided to go with DIFC, even though (just like the actresses) they are both awesome – each with their own charm.

As expected, DIFC Art Nights was PACKED. A live band played in the background, lending an air of joviality.

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You know me … I’m a major canapé cruncher and so of course I made a beeline towards the food, which was prepared by the Ritz Carlton. I had warm beef potato fritters with a dusting of truffle on the top.

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Uh-oh… I’m in truffle now…. (Geddit???)

I dunno if a  spoonful of goat's cheese helps the medicine go down..but it IS certainly is delightful.

I dunno if a spoonful of goat’s cheese helps the medicine go down..but it IS certainly is delightful.

Dessert was as yummy as it looked.

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Now for the art – although I arrived late, there was still some interesting live art going on including a 3D pavement chalk drawing and graffiti art. Amazing stuff!

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Further up on the right side corner, there were various artists and photographers exhibiting and selling their artwork.

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Close by …there were some beautiful, regionally inspired jewellery designs for sale. Being the magpie that I am, I had to have a little nosey. Those are some mighty pretty baubles!

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Here are some of my favorite pieces from Opera Gallery.

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And over at Cuadro gallery, a very informative presentation caught my eye entitled “Crash” by Manal Al Dowayan about the alarming rising numbers of Saudi women that are critically injured or die in car crashes due to the combination of low pay, the driving ban and unsafe roads in Saudi Arabia. Al Dowayan has collected clippings, photographs and statistics and the artist asks us “How do you mourn if the suffering has no face and no name?”

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Sheena’s choices for the evening were these beautiful, saturated, calligraphy pieces by critically acclaimed Emirati artist Abdul Qader Al Rais.

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I had to agree with her taste. Just look at his stunning use of colour. These paintings are unlike any calligraphy painting I’ve ever seen, and you can spot his style from a mile off!

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Meanwhile in Art Sawa – an extremely upbeat and cheerful solo show by Robert Hammond who combines materials like painted stainless steel and acrylic. His exhibition was aptly entitled “Happy Lucky.” In the cynical world that we live in, at first I thought the artist was being satirical or ironic …but it turns out …his tone really IS happy. A refreshing change! Love his work!

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Some images from Abdulnasser Gharem’s solo show “The Awakening” at Ayyam Gallery.

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Over here we have Khaled Zaki’s beautiful spiritual looking sculptures at Art Space. Artefacts from Ancient Egypt inspire the artist and I find that his pieces appear so placid and serene. I love their expressions captured in bronze and marble. The large dervish in particular is mesmerising.

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Last but not least, Cube Arts gallery highlights a cubist inspired style born in Saudi Arabia since the 1950’s. They showcase how the various artists matured and developed as well as how the cubist movement spread as time went on within the region.

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What a LONG post!!!! But then again, there was SO much to cover. It’s now 3 am and I shall retreat to my bed, to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed for Art Dubai!

Sheena and I

Sheena and I

Toodles!!!!