While Arab version of Vogue has been online for a while, the first printed issue of Vogue Arabia was just released – March 2017, and it looks so promissing.
Having Saudi princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz appointed as editor-in-chief, the magazine features Gigi Hadid as cover girl, delivers fashion stories photographed by Hans Feurer and Inez & Vinoodh, showcasing established designers and emerging talents. Conceived in bilingual version English/Arabic, Vogue Arabia will be distributed in several Middle Eastern countries: UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and in international location such as London, Paris, Milan.
As underlined on Vogue’s website:
The launch of Vogue Arabia is a pioneering one on many levels: it is the first Vogue to break onto the market in digital prior to print, it is the Middle East’s first premium fashion publication in two languages, and the first Vogue to represent an entire region.
Ultimately, we should add that the launch of Vogue Arabia is particularly significant and challenging within the very special cultural context to whom it is addressed. Middle Eastern ladies had embraced fashion since forever, while the cultural environment valuing privacy above all, kept them away from the spotlight and the pages of glossy publications. Therefore, the Vogue Arabia moment sounds like a genuine breakthrough.
The title of the first issue “Reorienting Perceptions” clearly emphasizes the scope of this wonderful project. Besides the appealing look, this cover works as a symbolic moodboard – the famous half-Palestinian model as the first face of the magazine, the precious fabric detail (so cherished by clients in the Arab world), the styling twist functioning as a reference to fashion glam masks as well as Arab dress codes.
Definitely Rad Hourani is an exceptional presence on contemporary fashion scene. The French-Canadian designer clearly traced his own path from the very beginning. Opting for the minimal approach, he was strongly determined to redefine the ‘neutral’ look in fashion – genderless, raceless, ageless, limitless. Preoccupied by aesthetic beyond fashion, perfecting his creative expression during the years – paying great attention to every detail, calibrating proportions and shapes, Hourani coined the concept of unisex couture.
Rad Hourani’s Red collection presented at DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, deserves a closer look. The effect of this stunning red in conjuction with Hourani’s signature architectural garment construction is literally breathtaking.
ART BY ADRIANA VAREJÃO / IMAGINE BRAZIL EXHIBITION CURATED BY HANS-ULRICH OBRIST + CHERYL SIM AT DHC/ART
MODELS CAMILLE + SOPHIA + JEEHYE + RICHARD PHOTOGRAPHED BY BRENT GOLDSMITH – STYLE SASHA WELLS – MAKEUP PATRICK RAHMÉ – HAIR JASON WILLIAMS
images source: radhourani.com
The Olsen sisters got talent – beautiful pieces! / The Row – Pre-Fall 2016 / images via vogue.com
Vogue Italia teamed up with Rubaiyat, the faimous Saudi luxury fashion retailer, to support the young talents of Saudia Arabia fashion scene. The result was a great event held during 3 days (20th-22nd of April) in various locations of city of Jeddah – Boulevard, Rubaiyat Department Store, Park Hayatt hotel.
10 Saudi young fashion designers – the finalists of the Vogue contest, had the opportunity to showcase their creations in front of the Vogue team and to meet iconic figures such as Franca Sozzani, Alberta Ferretti, Silvia Venturini Fendi.
Finally there was not one, but four designers, selected by Vogue Italia as result of Saudi Talent Scouting. They will be further promoted by Vogue Italia, who provides them with a valuable support at the beginning of their career. Nora Aldamer of Chador, Mariam Bin Mahfouz and Nouf Hakeem of Haal Inc. will have the opportunity to participate at Milano Moda Donna, while Alaa Balkhy (Fyunka) will start a collaboration with Carpisa.
For me, as I attended for the first time a fashion event in Jeddah, it was a good opportunity to get a real picture of the Saudi fashion design scene and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. There were plenty of passionate youngsters, fresh graduates that showed maturity and professionalism in their creative approach. Therefore Vogue Experience Jeddah will go on.
Selection of young Saudi fashion designers work, as displayed at Rubaiyat Department Store during the Vogue event, Saudi Talent Scouting in Jeddah.
Anish Kapoor – Cloud Gate / before & after
The “Cloud Gate”, Anish Kapoor’s iconic public sculpture placed in Millennium Park of Chicago, recently encountered an unexpected creative twist. Issued by artist himself, the change could be regarded as extreme, controversial, trendy or deeply conceptual.
Kapoor covered the mirror-like surface with something that seems to be exactly the opposite – a deep black material called Vantablack. Vantablack, labeled as ‘the blackest black ever’, because it absorbs up to 99.96 percent of light (radiation in the visible spectrum), was initially developed by British company Surrey NanoSystems for military purposes and astronomy equipment. Anish Kapoor who gained exclusive rights in using this material for artistic purposes, says that he plans to explore it further and review many of his famous art pieces within the next years.
The project itself is challenging not just through the way contemporary art meets high-technology, but also in the way it blends with the work of an artist like Anish Kapoor. While the idea of an artist adhering to a specific ‘color’ and making it ‘his own’ created a buzz around the art community, I guess this is not the main attraction here. However, it has happened before (see the Yves Klein blue – IKB).
The project of reformulating referential art works, so well ingrained both in artist’s track record and in public consciousness, this is really challenging. I love the perspective of iconic art pieces seen as work in progress, projects that can be periodically revised, evolving in new unexpected ways. I love the idea that something like the Cloud Gate might not remain forever a mirror of the clouds, and one fine day might become “a void of nothingness”.