Vogue focus – Saudia Arabia

While the latest issue of Vogue Arabia – June 2018, may seem for many just another Vogue edition featuring a glamorous cover, nice fashion photography and pretty dresses, it is definitely much more than that. Actually Vogue Arabia’s DRIVING FORCE issue can be regarded as an history making issue for several reasons.

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To begin with, this is the first-ever Vogue edition dedicated to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country undergoing relevant changes these days. The Vogue issue released this June is somehow symbolic & inspirational, as it celebrates the month when Saudi women start drive as driving ban for women in KSA was recently removed by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (for those who are not aware, women were not allowed to drive in KSA, yet the driving ban will be lifted on June 24).

Then, the cover star of Vogue Arabia is not an ordinary lady but a Saudi princess. Photographed by Boo George in the desert outside Jeddah, Makkah provence, the Vogue cover is featuring HRH Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud, daughter of the late King Abdullah.

The significance of the Vogue approach can be understood only considering the context of a very specific culture – Saudia Arabia is a unique country in the world, a place where traditionally women don’t have to work, don’t drive cars or practice sports, don’t take strong roles in society, living very private and secure lives under male guardianship laws.

It’s easy to comment on other people’s societies and think that your own society is superior, but people must remember that each country is specific and unique,” says HRH princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud in the Vogue interview. “We have strengths and weaknesses but, invariably, it’s our culture, and it’s better to try to understand it than to judge it.”

The Vogue Arabia June issue is truly a celebration of pioneering Saudi women featuring a series of role models of the region such as Manal al-Sharif, a prominent exponent of women’s rights movement, Saja Kamal, a footballer working towards establishing the Kingdom’s first-ever women’s football team to take to the FIFA World Cup,  actress Ahd Kamel, the first Saudi star to appear in a Netflix series, Saudi supermodel Shanina Shaik, and so on.

Vogue Arabia cover June 2018 / Photo: Boo George / Fashion director: Katie Trotter / Hair: Talal Tabbara / Makeup: Petros Petrohilos at Streeters using MAC Cosmetics.

The Gucci Tribe

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Besides the spectacular/weird mise-en-scene at Milan Fashion Week mocking an alien like medical theatre and featuring severed heads, toy accessories and additional eyeballs, the Gucci Fall 2018 show celebrated the joy and playfulness of constructing individual identities in our global world. Fashion is about experimenting with the clothes, constantly re-contextualizing and re-purposing, shifting aesthetics and ideals, changing perspectives and generating new trends. Alessandro Michele’s vision is extremely relevant nowadays, as it definitely appeals to a new generation of fashion consumers. It connects various cultures and tastes, taking the pulse of big urban environments. And after all, the garments and especially fashion accessories are creative and comercially appealing. I love the veils and balaclavas, head jewelry and kitten glasses, turbans and oversized earrings.
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Gucci Fall 2018 RTW / images source: vogue.com

Best of Spring 2018 Couture

If Couture still has the power to impress the fashion lovers these days is mostly due to the exquisite fabrics & amount of craftsmenship put in each and every piece. Besides, we would like to see some modernity in these outfits and silhouettes.

See my favorite looks of Spring 2018 Couture below:

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Dior – Spring 2018 Couture

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Givenchy – Spring 2018 Couture

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Valentino – Spring 2018 Couture / images source: vogue.com

VOGUE Arabia

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.  

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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.

RED

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.

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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

Genuine Beauty

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The Olsen sisters got talent – beautiful pieces! / The Row – Pre-Fall 2016 / images via vogue.com

Layering Skirts

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Nendo ‘skirt shoe’

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Balenciaga see-through layered skirt