Forever – Valentino

Forever – Valentino

Everybody loves Valentino. The Maison Valentino, founded in 1960 by Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, grew into one of the prominent fashion labels in the world, worn during the last six decades by celebrities, princesses, and fashionistas around the world. Under the creative direction of Pierpaolo Piccioli, the recent Valentino collections continue to impress through artistic value and craftsmanship, supported by Piccioli’s interest in innovation, creative experiments, diversity, and cinematic appearances.

From the 28th of October 2022, Qatar Museums in Doha will host a major fashion exhibition dedicated to Maison Valentino (Forever – Valentino). Running until the 1st of April 2023, the event is a tribute to Valentino Garavani and his iconic creations. For those living in the Middle East or planning to travel to Doha in the upcoming months, this is definitely on the must-see list – it will be the first and largest Valentino exhibition in the Middle East.  

Curated by Massimiliano Gioni, artistic director of the New Museum New York, and the fashion critic and author Alexander Fury, in close collaboration with Valentino Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli, the exhibition promises a unique experience. Conceived as an immersive scenography inspired by the city of Rome, Valentino’s home and source of inspiration, the Forever – Valentino exhibition features over 200 Valentino Haute Couture pieces and ready-to-wear outfits displayed on mannequins by La Rosa, accompanied by accessories and fashion objects, along with private memories and precious discoveries from the brand archives.

Qatar Museums’ M7 at Msheireb

I find the location of this fashion exhibition equally appealing. The Forever – Valentino exhibition is part of the ambitious projects of M7 Qatar. M7 is an initiative developed and supported by Qatar Museums to build a solid creative ecosystem in Qatar.

Located in Msheireb, Doha’s historical district, M7 functions as Qatar’s creative hub for fashion and design industry and a public showcase for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. The exquisite architecture of the space, designed by John McAslan + Partners, is a modernist take on the Qatari heritage style.

The M7 exhibition programme features significant events focused on local and global fashion, design, photography, and films. It previously hosted an impressive Dior retrospective (Christian Dior Designer of Dreams (November 2021-March 2022).

The Wonderful World of Simone Rocha

From her initial breakthrough into fashion in the early 2010s to the British Womenswear Designer Award (2016) and many other distinctions, Simone Rochas continues to inspire fashion lovers worldwide.

The fascination with Simone Rocha’s designs comes from a unique balance of romance and functionality, delicacy and strength. Her unique vision of femininity gained her a strong voice within the industry.
In a world where shapes and silhouettes tend to become more minimal and androgynous, finding new ways to express femininity and staying modern is a challenging goal.

Simone Rocha Spring 2023 RTW / Photo: Filippo Fior, Gorunway.com

Simone Rocha’s SS 2023 collection at London Fashion Week features another genuine sample of the Irish designer’s particular style. The keywords that best describe this collection could be: sensuality, fragility, layering, and power.

The fashionable silhouettes seduce through an exciting combination of romantic gowns and utility pieces, everything adorned with Rocha’s signature embellishments – frills, pearls, embroidery bows, and paillettes.

The central elements of Simone Rocha’s Spring 2023 collection are the oversized bomber jackets, the puffy tulle dresses, and the adjustable straps. I love the use of the straps – the crisscrossing effect, the long ends popping from underneath layerings. The oversized jackets are fantastic, whether you look at the classic khaki version, the floral printed recalling duvet style or those adorned with bold paillettes flowers.
Beautiful indeed.

Simone Rocha Spring 2023 RTW / Photo: Filippo Fior, Gorunway.com
Simone Rocha Spring 2023 RTW / Photo: Filippo Fior, Gorunway.com
Simone Rocha Spring 2023 RTW / Photo: Armando Grillo, Gorunway.com

Portrait of An Artist

The title of the recently released book ‘Portrait of an Artist’ by Hugo Huerta Marin, published by Prestel, sounds quite humble. It’s the subtitle: ‘Conversations with Trailblazing Creative Women’ that gives us a glimpse of what lays underneath the covers.

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Hugo Huerta Marin is a multi-disciplinary artist and graphic designer whose work focuses on gender and cultural identity.

‘Over the course of seven years and countless journeys’ the author met some of the most inspiring creative women in their homes, studios, galleries, theatres to take their portraits and have insightful conversations.

The selection of portraits is extraordinary: Miuccia Prada, Angelica Houston, Marina Abramovic, Rei Kawakubo, Julianne Moore, Annie Lennox, Shirin Neshat, FKA Twigs, Agnes Varda, Orlan, Uma Thurman among others – basically the book brings together all the incredible, inspiring, influential women you’d really like to meet.

Choosing instant photography such as Polaroid was brilliant too – the portraits look simple, intimate, yet very powerful and relevant.

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charlotte by hugo huerta marin

miuccia by Hugo huerta marin

The book is available at Prestel, Amazon, Penguin

Vogue Arabia March Highlights

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The 2021 March issue of Vogue Arabia comes with a statement cover page marking the 4th anniversary of the magazine as it was first published back in 2017. As an issue dedicated to creativity from MENA region (Middle East and North Africa), it features various ‘creative visionaries’  such as Mous Lanrabat, Alia Bin Omair, Mahira Abdelazizm, Mohamed Abdelhamid, Safeya Binzagr, Monir Shahroudyand more. Well done.

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Photo: Mous Lanrabat / Styling: Katie Trotter / Model: Athiec Geng / Editor-in-chief: Manuel Arnaut

 

Dior vs. Modernism

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Taking inspiration from Bernard Rudofsky’s historical & provocative exhibition – Are Clothes Modern? (MoMA, 1944), Maria Grazia Chiuri clearly states her intention to redefine the modern couture at the House of Dior. It is not easy to make things look modern when it comes to haute couture. It is very challenging, and there are very few designers to succeed in redefining couture (I believe Iris van Herpen is one of the few).

However, Maria Grazia Chiuri who was recently awarded French Legion d’Honneur, brings in a new approach and a clear intention to change. Therefore, the white dress in the opening of Dior Fall 2019 fashion show works as an open manifesto.

I have selected for this post a few details from Dior Fall 2019 couture collection, that in my point of view, look truly modern (the socks-style sandals inspired by Rudofsky’s designs, the braided hairstyling paired with black veils).

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Images source: vogue.com

Louis Vuitton Cruise 2020 @ TWA flight center

Under the creative direction of Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton fashion shows benefit from very special locations.

While Louis Vuitton’s Cruise show was staged at the Miho Museum in Kyoto, Japan, and 2019 Cruise show was hosted at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, Nicolas Ghesquière choose for  Louis Vuitton Cruise 2020 collection another iconic location – The TWA flight center, a newly renovated terminal of JFK airport. Designed by Eero Saarinen, the place was recently transformed in a public lobby for a new hotel by firms Beyer Blinder Belle and Lubrano Ciavarra Architects.

Working in collaboration with artist Es Devlin, the chic terminal featuring a red heart-shaped lounge was filled with plants to look like an hi-tech oasis, perfect to host a Louis Vuitton fashion show under the direction of Ghesquière. That was definitely a perfect match for an impeccably designed collection.

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TWA flight center, JFK airport, New York

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Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquière, Cruise 2020 collection

 

Hidden Treasures – Jewelry from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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If it happens to be in Dubai these days, you definitely need to visit d3 (Dubai Design District) where an exquisite jewelry exhibition is on display till April 13th.

Hidden Treasures: Jewelry from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, an exhibition gathering more than 300 priceless items of jewelry from Saudi Arabia, from Bedouin styles to pieces belonging to the royal family, was organized by the French jewelry design school L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels.

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The collection belongs to Art of Heritage group from Riyadh, established 30 years ago as a cultural trust aiming to promote research and study around Saudi culture, arts and crafts. Art of Heritage sets a foundation for a future museum bringing together artworks and objects that reflect the history and lifestyle of various Saudi tribes and regions since the 19th century.

Pramod Kumar KG, the curator of Hidden Treasures: Jewelry from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, highlights the complexity and diversity of the pieces on display, as being relevant not only for the Arab identity but for the multiple influences Arabs were exposed to – African, Egyptian, Celtic, Austrian, Indian etc.

From the works of the pilgrims that came to Makkah and stayed on and created different crafts … to the goods and influences from the trade routes that passed through, to the newer styles and creations by designers in the Kingdom, the Art of Heritage Museum, when it opens, will be one of a kind,” says Kumar KG (read more on Arab News)

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The display conceived for the exhibition is also fascinating – the choice of black faceless mannequins not only highlights the shape and style of jewelry pieces showcased, but also creates special atmosphere. With the styling concept, Hidden Treasures: Jewelry from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia brings in the bold mysterious presences recalling various generations of women that wore these accessories – the hidden beauties of the Arab world.

Images source: thenational.ae