30 June 2013

Casual Talk | Christophe Beaufays from Belgium to Saudi

Christophe Beaufays at Tahskeel- Jeddah


Christophe Beaufays is the Associate Art Director and Senior Designer for the Jeddah based Thobe house Lomar, a formar Jean Paul Gaultier senior designer and a teacher at the prestigous Parsons the new School of Design in New York. This creative designer have been everywhere and have seen it all, and decided two years ago to relocate and take Jeddah as his new home in collaboration with Lomar team to help take the Thobe industry to the next level providing the customers with unique cuts, materials and ideas every season..

We had the chance to have a causal talk with him to know more about Lomar, the fashion scene in the GCC and more... 
Lomar 2013

- When was the first time you were ever introduce to a Thobe? and where?
The first time I really paid attention to this outfit and start loving it was when I came in Dubai to work For ESMOD fashion university.

- What made you interested in becoming a Thobe designer?
I never thought of being a thobe Designer of course and I was not even sure that there were Designer for this outfits as in the UAE the thobes (Kendwrah) are all the same and are just made in small tailor shops. I had to wait to meet Loai Nassem and his wife Mona Al Haddad in Dubai at Lafayette Galleries inside the Lomar booth to discover that there were some very interesting and creative designs for Saudi thobes and that the first to re-define the thobes were Loai and his wife and that many other young designers started to do the same and they were all from Jeddah.
Lomar Collections

- You travelled all over the world, Japan, Europe  the US, etc, and saw all the grown mature fashion industries ...... Why did you choose to design thobe?! and why saudi?!
My dream was to mix my knowledge and experience in high fashion design and my passion for Arab culture. I couldn't find a better place for that than working in Saudi Arabia for Lomar,-the biggest and most influential thobe Design company- and in Jeddah, the most open-minded and cultural city in Saudi Arabia where the mix of the Eastern and the Western culture was existing for centuries.

- You've worked in haute couture and in the ready to industry, which do you think is closer to Thobe design? and why? 
Thobe Design is not Haute Couture anyway there are no Haute Couture for men so far (except by Jean-Paul gaultier). But its not purely ready-made neither as each thobe is custom-made on measurements of the client. Its a kind of “Semi-Couture” but the Designs are not exclusive like it must be for Haute Couture (except on demand for “VIP”). But recently lomar started to sell ready-made thobes for people who are travelling, passing by or in a hurry. We just fix the length (hem) directly on the spot.
Ediyah Kids Collection

- What are the differences that you have noticed between the Middle Eastern fashion scene and the International one? What do we need to do over here to reach professional global standards? Of course there are differences because of the culture and also the religion and  its very important to keep those differences because those differences are the identity of the region and for me the mission of Designer is to keep those cultural differences alive because I hate the globalization that is trying to standardize the tastes and customs to make everything and everywhere look the same. But in term of quality and technical skills there are improvements to do to reach the professional standards concerning the all Middle East countries. And that s the most important challenge to avoid in the future to see the manufacture companies with “know-how” and skilled labor only going to western (for luxury)  or Asian (for mass market) countries.

- What's your favorite part when you are preparing for a collection?  
The work on the concepts and the making of the samples until we get the best result.

- Where do you see the thobe market going in the future? internationally or remain in the region?
The thobe market is and will most probably stay exclusively in the GCC market and even inside the GCC there are important differences between the designs of thobes from each of these countries. The Emiratis don't wear Saudi thobes for example as well as Saudis don t wear Omani thobes etc….
But of course we can think ( and we are already thinking….) “international” by designing other items like accessories and also by designing a western style ready-to-wear but with an Arabic inspiration.
Lomar Shumagh Collection

- Will we see an haute couture line for Lomar in future?
I don t think that s a very interesting market for Lomar... As a Designer I have more pride to see the people in the street wearing our designs than to spend time designing something that just one person will wear and maybe just for one occasion…For me the highest mission and pride of a Designer is to have an influence –even small-on the society or even sometimes on the world he’s living in. Haute Couture just makes u satisfy few privileged people in the world. It doesn't interest me that much, personally…



Questions: Amal Ismail & Hussa Altubbaji
Photos: Courtesy of Lomar & Christophe Beaufays.
Collages by: Hussa Altubbaji.

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PFW - Kenzo Menswear | Spring-Summer 2014


We've been waiting for the Kenzo Collection since March, everyone knows it's one of our favorite brands of all time and it's getting better and never disappointing! Ahhh while I was watching the show I felt like someone was aiming fire-crackers at my heart! really my chest was burning with excitement, with such a vibrant and beautiful inspiration, waves of success I swear! not just a theme. I think it had a Tokyo/London look, it was not very Paris which is what makes it so special. I don't care if it's menswear, I want some items..















Writing by: Amal Ismail
Photos: courtesy of fashinisto.com
Video: courtesy of mailmovement.com
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26 June 2013

Brand Alert | Kay Li

Kay Li AW 13/14

A dream is a great motivation that keeps us going in this life, and no one is luckier than a person who pursuits it and make it come true, that was the case of Kay Li who traveled from her home town to explored the world til she decided to settle follow her dream in becoming a fashion designer, her lines, inspiration and silhouettes are different and shows her diverse backgrounds.
Here is our interview with her... 

- Where are you from and how did you start in fashion?
I'm from Hong Kong but I left home for college when i was 18.  Since then I have lived in the US, Switzerland and the UK and now I'm in Dubai.  Fashion Design was something I wanted to pursue when i was young but didn't have a chance to do so.  When I first came to Dubai, I realized that was my chance to finally make my dream come true, so I enrolled in the full-time program at ESMOD Dubai and started my own label soon after I graduated.  I'm now based between Dubai and Hong Kong.
Kay Li AW 13/14

What was the inspiration behind your collection?
I draw inspiration from humanity to architecture, environmental issues to current affairs.  At this moment, my inspirations come from my life journey.  This AW13-14 collection was about the similarity between modern women and horses.  We all think horses are free-spirited animals, running wild in the woods. Much like modern women - free to express ourselves, free to pursue whatever we like.  However, just like all but 1 breed of horses in the world, when duties call, most of us are happily being domesticated, comfortably being tamed.
Kay Li AW 13/14

- How do you describe the Kay Li Brand customer?
Sophisticated, cultured, intellectual.  A woman with an understated elegance
Kay Li AW 13/14

- What are your future plans and where are your items sold currently?
I will continue what i love to do the most - designing quality womenswear.  My focus is to continue building and promoting this label.  You can find my Spring/Summer collection in O-Concept, which is located on Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai.  Next collection i will also sell through notjustalabel.com, which is the world’s leading designer platform for showcasing and nurturing emerging designers worldwide, for people that live outside of Dubai.
Kay Li AW 13/14

The Inspiration...
Kay Li's A/W13-14 collection paints a surreal scene of a black horse being trapped in an enchanted forest When a fair maiden came to rescue him, one look into each other eyes, they realized they are both trapped in the world they have put themselves in.

The Silhouettes...
The Autumn/Winter 13-14 collection with simple and yet beautifully structured silhouette. Elegantly sloping shoulders, wide sleeves and scarf collars are strong features to create effortless statement pieces that can easily translate into everyday look.

For more on Kay Li collections Please click here


Interview by: Amal Ismail
Collages by: Hussa Altubbaji
Photos: courtesy of Kay Li 

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24 June 2013

New Classic Men Collection & The Toby Junior Ramadan/Summer 2013 Collection


 New Classic Collection Available Exclusively at Toby Boutiques



The Toby Junior Ramadan/Summer 2013 Collection

"The new collection of thobe market leader Toby by Hatem Alakeel's Toby Junior Ramadan/Summer 2013 collection encorporates Hatem Alakeel's refined design ethos featuring smart stripes and a sophisticated color palette of baby blue, navy and silver made of the finest international fabrics. This festive season fashion forward kids who wish to stand out in a crowd in bespoke red carpet cool designs will be wearing Toby Junior. Toby Junior the perfect choice for the 2013 Ramadan/Eid/Summer season." - Toby


Photos: courtesy of Toby by Hatem Alakeel
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22 June 2013

RENE GURSKOV MEN | SS14 - OH MAN!


Our Rene does it again! Season after season, it only gets better. We would love to congratulate him and his team on such wonderful creation and we always look forward to hearing from you.

Press Release:
SS14 OH MAN! – A collection dedicated to the early days of hip hop.The period where graffiti became art and nightlife became wilder and wilder. Dance music was called high energy.The boys were out all night – breaking, painting, rolling..Fashion became bright and easy to wear! Today “street wear” is bigger than ever – even big old Parisian fashion houses are fighting to dress today’s rapper!
SS14 is loud, colorful and diverse. Our aim is always to please the two side sides of the modern man: THE CUTE and THE COOL.On the cute side the very flashy printed sportswear-inspired items. Mega hoodies which can be carried as backpacks and the almost superhero-like tracksuits.For the cool the mega skirt like shorts covered in patches – with tartan maxi shirts.

Rene Gurskov is always a big hitter in Tokyo street fashion and this season his subversive cuteness fits in perfectly with the mood of the moment."Tokyo telephone

Photo: kasper harup-hansen –
Make-up: martin svaneklink brandt
Model: noah syrkis
Artwork: arnold gevers - 

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20 June 2013

Sasha Marini | Socially Conscious & Artistic


Our interview today is with one of the fashion world's most interesting people, we got interested in Italian super model Sasha Marini's artistic photoshoots few years ago, also Facebook & Instagram followers unanimously have always liked any images posted of him by us and that's when I decided to contact him and ask for an interview, I have to say that I was quite surprised at how nice and humble his reply was and I've noticed afterwards how positive his personality was, he's really someone you can look up to, in fact he absolutely changed my point of view on models, Sasha is one of the few people in the industry today who genuinely cares about others and feels an obligation to make it better. I would like to thank him for spreading the word about abuses towards models and his efforts to educate the new-comers into this crazy world of fashion about their rights and to say out-loud that dignity & self-respect is above anything. Hope you all enjoy our small chit-chat about his work, his life and cause..


1- How did you start in fashion? Tell us about the moment  you decided to fully pursue a career as a model instead of continuing with your legal studies. 
 

I started working in fashion something like 15 years ago, when I was studying Law at University. At the beginning, I just wanted to make some money to help my family to cover my expenses but I immediately realized that fashion was more than a passion so I decided to invest my energy and determination to travel all over the world in order to get an international background.



2-  In your opinion what do you think models here in the Middle East & The World in general need to know to make it internationally?

I don’t think there’s a perfect formula to get an international career. I keep working so hard because I deeply put all my passion in it and I’m always doing my best to be very professional in all my shoots. I’m not interested in being a pretty face or fit body that everyone likes, I just want to be myself and show my personality through my work. I suggest to all models, especially the fresh faces, to be smart, focused, always kind and work in a very professional way without being influenced by anyone or any trend just to be successful in a season.

3- So tell us more about your personal side now, from all the cities you've lived in which has a home feeling to you and why?
I felt home in Berlin and NYC, they have such a creative energy that really inspired my work.

4- Describe your personal style, are there certain brands you love wearing?
My personal style as well as my beard are an expression of my personality. Strongly masculine, a little rough but with a gentleman soul. I like to play fashion in a very personal way without letting it to be influenced by the season’s trend. I always pay attention to little details which are able to make a very unique style. That’s why I love wearing Tom Rebl clothes.


5- On your "100% Model" movement last year you shed some light on certain sexual abuses committed in the industry towards model. What made you decide on spreading a message regarding this and was it difficult for you to launch such a movement?
 
100% Model by Shout Up You Can (www.shoutupyoucan.com) is an ethical and social project that aims to increase awareness for young aspiring models on the dangers they may encounter in their work. The awareness that the lowest attitudes should be reported without fear.
Shout Up You Can invites young models and emerging professionals of the fashion world to rise against it, don’t be silent against attempted sexual abuses that they might suffer from in their career.
For this purpose, also a blog YOU CAN |shoutupyoucan stories was born a year ago, a place to gather and to share negative experiences in the fashion system. I’m the campaign’s testimonial and this choice is not by chance. The art director wanted a model who was an expression of “Made in Italy” and was able to get a successful career due solely to his own stubbornness, determination and integrity. In addition, a personal negative experience during a fashion shoot made me particularly sensitive to further support the initiative. So, with the utmost commitment and strength, I have the honor to put my own face for this noble project and I will do my best to spread the word. To be honest, it was really difficult to launch this movement, especially in Italy.
 
It’s a topic that calls to take a clear position. At the beginning, it had a strong interest: publications by several fashion bloggers and reviews, contacts with institutions and model agencies have shown their collaboration for the initiative. Then, many people preferred to distance or ignore it because they must have other interests prevailed. Fortunately, the project was collecting more and more acclaim and success abroad. On July 27th, 2012 I was invited on stage to present the US première of 100% MODEL, introducing the Video Campaign and the project related at La Jolla Fashion Film Festival, The World Largest Gathering of Fashion Film Makers, in competition for all the main awards together with big names such as Bruce Weber, Karl Lagerfeld, Rankin, Luca Finotti, Mariano Vivanco among the others.
During NY Fashion Week F/W 2012, I was also recognized as “September Diplomat Artist of the Month”. Afterwards covers, interviews and many other prestigious publications arrived: the interest is growing and this is a positive signal. In my opinion, a heartfelt and fair attitude is a rewarding choice that pays off in the professional side as well. It's no longer time to hide our heads in the sand. A new revolution is possible, it's time to rise up. Breaking the silence is a very important step to give a brave contribution for a change in the fashion industry. A strong modeling career is based on values like professionalism, tenacity, integrity, dedication and respect for body & mind. And last but not least, dignity is priceless.


Written by: Amal Ismail
Questions & Collages by: Hussa AlTubbaji & Amal Ismail
Photos: courtesy to www.sashamarini.com
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19 June 2013

ANA LOCKING | A Designer You'll Be Obsessed With




As fashion label ANA/ LOCKING’s collection for Fall-Winter 13-14 is about to become available in stores and I’ve always been/ still amazed of Ana’s creation, I decided to share the background of the brand and how it evolved to create its latest range of men’s and women’s clothes.
 
Summer SS13
But before all, I want to share a glimpse of my favorite of her Spring-Summer 13 collection,  ‘THE TALK’ which was presenting a unique dialogue about the modern approach of the new woman about her relationship to the serenity of the moment in which she is destined to live. This is an intimate dialogue between the creator and the onlooker, one in which we can discern the gestures of the participants, thus forcing our eye to acquire a taste for details, which are not simply adornments to be regarded from a far.


                                  Summer SS13

In "The Talk" we can observe the designer's search for a sense of balance between opposites. In effect, she maintains a dialogue between the upper and lower parts of the body, creating a silhouette that can be read from head to toe, a seductive over-sized style that gives way to a decidedly emphasized waist, thus creating a pencil silhouette that is entirely seductive and sensual, with a diverse color palette of Coral red, coral pink, petroleum blue, navy blue, olive, smoke grey, fingerprint, leopard print, coral print, white, black and stripes.
 
Summer SS13

HER
Ana Gonzalez founded her own label in 2008 and with her first collection ‘reentry’ FW08-09 won the L’Oreal Paris Award for the Best Collection from the Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week. Ana keeps herself updated of the new artistic disciplines by collaborating with different cultural institutions and artistic organizations through expositions, installations, video-art, photography, seminars, conferences, classes, etc. All these projects help her to grow and evolve through what she considers should be the grounds of every sensitivity related to creation. “In my work I always establish references that involve the onlooker, which establish a link between what I want to say _and what the onlooker internalizes. Over time, the recurrent use of these references and stories within my work has come to form an indissoluble part of my brand and my own personality. However, on this occasion I have not sought to tell my own story, _but to use "McGuffins" that enable each onlooker to develop and invent their own stories” Ana Gonzalez stated about her AW13/14. 
AW 13/14
One of the most important aspects when creating a story is the relationship that is established with the onlooker. Ana Locking AW13/14 collection tells the mysterious story of “MC GUFFIN”, the dialogue of the story translated into silhouette, colors and more details. 
“MC CUFFIN” The Story
"Two men are travelling by train in England and one man says to the other, "What's that package up there in the baggage rack?", _and the other answers, "Oh, that's a McGuffin". The first one asks, "What's a McGuffin?". "Well," the other one says, _"It's a device for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands". The first man says, "But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands", _and the other one answers, "Well, then that's no a McGuffin!"_(François Truffaut, "The Cinema According to Hitchcock").
Alfred Hitchcock coined the term "McGuffin" as a resource or excuse that serves as a means of beginning the plot of a story, but which, at heart, is not really important to the story itself. That is to say, the "McGuffin" is only a device that introduces some kind of conflict in order to bring a story to life, and sometimes a series of characters that have little to do with the main idea.  Without "McGuffin" there are no stories, but "McGuffin" always constitute the aspect that is forgotten first.
If you would like to see what I've chosen from their collections check it out on my instagram: @Bakrialkaff

Written by: Bakry Alkaff
Collages by: LMA
Photos: courtesy of ANA LOCKING

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13 June 2013

Moez Achour - Talks Fashion Playlist & Photography

Today our interview is with one of the Middle East's rising talents in photography and visual art scene, he's Fashionplayist.com's founder, Creative Designer at Style.com/Arabia and The Middle East's first ever street-style Photographer. What we like about his site & photography is the originality and creativity level behind it which is something rare to posses in the Middle East.  I had the chance to get to know Moez Achour during my internship with style.com/arabia few months ago and I have to say  it was an amazing experience to see him take shots and choose people to photograph for street style at Dubai's Fashion Forward, he's able to find beauty easily and knows exactly what to shoot, also his ability to  capture his subjects best features like no one else makes him loved by most of the people he snaps a photo of. We were happy to hear that he was going to revamp his website fashionplayist.com which is a website dedicated to soundtracks, photos & videos from the runways each season, we all know that music is a big part of fashion shows because it's what sets the mood for a show and translates a whole collection..Here are his answers to our questions and his thoughts: 
1- Tell us about you're experience with street style photography, which is your favorite city to shoot in? 

What I most enjoy about street style is the contact with people: to capture real life moments, and share these with my followers on the Internet. I don't really have a favorite city, but here in Dubai, people are so stylish that it's a great pleasure!

2- What words of advice would you give to anyone who's interested in being a good street photographer?

Appreciate you're entourage/environment/surroundings, and look outside, there's always something special to capture

3- Who was the first person to notice your talent as a photographer?
Sofia Guellaty was the one who truly believed in me from the start. 

4- What was your first fashion photography experience? and where?
It was in Tunisia, I was with a friend: as all "first times". I had the will but not yet the experience for it and the result was very average. 
http://arabia.style.com/2013/06/street-style-tunis-fashion-week/
Photos: Tunis Fashion Week, Fashion Forward & Style.com/Arabia's Street Style Inspired Shoot
5- What's the concept behind FashionPlaylist.com and what made you start it? 

I wanted to highlight the musical aspect that was within the fashion industry: whether during runways, adverts or street style. There isn't enough attention given to the music that accompanies what happens in fashion and I thought it was about time it was!

6- What are your future plans for FashionPlayList.com? and your new projects?

I hope to create a reference site for music in fashion and in shows. My future project is FashionPlaylist's relaunch, during the Haute Couture Week in Paris, and then hopefully the launch of a T-shirt brand. 
Written by: Amal Ismail
Questions & Collages by: Hussa AlTubbaji & Amal Ismail
Photos: courtesy of Style.com/Arabia & Moez Achour




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