Hidden Treasures – Jewelry from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


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.


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)


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

P-rouette by Hadar Neeman

Recent years saw a prominent rise of 3D printing technologies that were successfully implemented in shoe design. While 3D printing solutions were largely adopted in sportwear (Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, New Balance etc.) to design models that enhance confort and performance, the new technologies also transformed the fashionable approach to shoe design. Avant garde designs promoted by United Nude or Melissa, projects initiated by designers such as Marloes ten Bhomer, Julian Hakes or Sebastian Errazuriz, are relevant and inspiring for an entire new generation of fashion designers who are ready to reconfigure the industry of shoe-making.



P-rouette, the graduation project of Hadar Neeman, who studied at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, is relevant as it approaches a less explored field – ballet dancers shoes. The classical ballet pointe shoes are particularly interesting as require special customization (each dancer has unique feet) and it require minutious manufacturing process that integrates various materials and components glued and manufacturing process that integrates various materials and components glued and stitched together to provide best fit and structure to enable dancers to dance on the tips of their toes.

The beauty of Hadar Neeman’s P-rouette is her alternative approach to classical ballet pointe shoe manufacture. That’s an innovative approach, as it integrates functionality, esthetics, sustainability in the design process. Using 3D scanning with a mobile app to respond to wearer needs it provides the option of customizing the shape of the shoe and its hardness. Then through the 3D printing process using elastomeric polymer that provides a lightweight and shock-absorbing structure, various materials can be integrated in the production process in order to provide confort, reduce pain and deliver a durable solution for ballet dancers. The finishing also looks modern and flawless, suitable for new millenium ballet dancers. Hope to see it implemented & developed for large scale production.

Earthquake Dress & Siren suit

Today, while browsing through the Bloomsbury Dictionary of Fashion History,

I’ve learned about:



Period: 1750.

Following two nocturnal earthquakes in London in March 1750 a third was foretold, causing many to flee to the countryside against the predicted night of disaster. “This frantic terror prevails so much that within these three days 730 coaches have been counted … with whole parties removing into the country. … Several women have made earthquake gowns; that is, warm gowns to sit out of doors all night…” (April 4, 1750, Horace Walpole). A precursor of the siren suit of two centuries later



Period: 20th century.

A term for an all-in-one, shirt-and-trousers garment, usually buttoned at the front and made from a sturdy fabric.

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In the image above – Siren suit belonging to Sir Winston Churchill, as displayed at Science Museum. Picture: Geoff Pugh/The Telegraph

We don’t know exactly how an earthquake dress looked like (most probably similar to any other dress at mid 18th century). The siren suit is basically a unitard used during Second World War, something you can grab quickly and dress up to run in a shelter, a raw version of contemporary jumpsuits.

Gala UAD Fashion Design 2018

Gala UAD Fashion Design (the graduation fashion gala of University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca) is definitely the most prominent fashion event in Romania. Selected BA and MA graduation collections are shown every year at the end of June in a professional fashion show. Over the years (the event has already reached its 24th edition now!) UAD Fashion Gala became an excellent promoting platform for Romanian young fashion talents. With remarkable media coverage and serious support from partners in the industry, the event has the great merit of connecting the young graduates with the real fashion world.

This year the BA collections were coordinated by Prof.Dr. Anca Pia Rusan, and the MA collections were coordonated by Prof.Dr. Elena Basso-Stanescu and Conf.Dr. Lucian Broscatean.

I would like to congratulate the students and their professors, they did good job! Here are some of my favorite looks as shown on Fashion Gala’s catwalk this year / photo credit: Emil Costrut


Raul Lazar, Glam Anarchy (MA)


Madalina Stan, Eon (MA)


Bianca Ilonca, Almost Famous (MA)


Smaranda Buc, Psycho Kitsch (MA)


Bogdana Firu, Red is the New Black (MA)


Ferencz Borbala, The Return of the Shreds (MA)


Alexandru Manuel Pop, the virAGOs (BA)


Paul Paduraru, Power (BA)


Paula Clitan, In My Secret Garden (BA)


Alexandra Burtiuc, Divergent (BA)


Stefan Toma, Zaz Zuh Zas (BA)


Andrada Morutan, Debandada (BA)


Diana Cojocariu, FunKey aka MonKey (BA)


Radu Hasmasan, Be.have (BA)


Bogdan Benea, Outside the Box (BA)


Vlad Pavel, Salba (BA)


Diana Turc, It’s Personal! (BA)


Naomi Turcu (BA)

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.

Vogue Arabia June 2018_cover

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