DUBAI: Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has starred this week in a new campaign for Dubai’s Expo 2020.
Released in India and the UAE, the advert brings together the Bollywood star, Indian poet Prasoon Joshi and musical maestro Shankar Mahadevan to highlight the range of events and experiences available at Expo 2020, from projections on the Al-Wasl dome, the largest 360-degree projection surface in the world, to its 192 country pavilions.
This is the first time the three stars have collaborated on a project.
“When we began working on this project, the biggest challenge was to be able to truly convey the essence of Expo 2020 Dubai. We wanted it to be purposeful, but also playful and fun, catering to people of all ages and interests,” said Mahadevan in a released statement.
Joshi, who is the CEO of McCann Worldgroup India, said: “This campaign is a manifestation of what Expo 2020 Dubai has nurtured and it’s rewarding to see it come to life.”
“Working with Amitabh Bachchan is always a learning experience, as he always brings new concepts to life, and the collaboration with the great musician Shankar Mahadevan is always special. Together we have tried to give this campaign the edge it needs to instantly resonate with the audience,” added Joshi.
Expo 2020 has hosted more than 17,000 events since opening in October 2021, welcoming hundreds of entertainers, performers, talents and leaders.
Expo has hosted other popular Indian entertainers such as singer Neha Kakkar and rapper Badshah.
Award-winning director Shekhar Kapur and Oscar and Grammy-winning composer A.R. Rahman will present a musical show this month.
DUBAI: Samira and Yasmine Madranian are the Moroccan mother-daughter duo who have made it their mission to make a positive impact in fashion. The designers are playing an active role in promoting sustainability and ethical practices with their accessories label, Doum.
Each design in their bag line is handmade by underprivileged women. The totes, clutches and pouches support fair trade and sustainable practices to preserve local artisanal traditions and invite local women from rural areas around Marrakech to provide for their families via the production of the bags, according to the label’s manifesto.
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“It was during my final year project which focused on the situation of women in rural areas that the idea of Doum germinated,” said Yasmine, who co-founded the accessories brand with her mother in 2017. “We met some amazing women and wanted to make our contribution. It was naturally that together we created a cooperative sometime later. Many well-known international brands have supported us from the start. And after that, we decided to launch our own brand,” she said.
The brand takes its name from the Moroccan palm leaf, which is collected, pruned and then woven by the artisans. “It is a nod to our culture, heritage and craftsmanship,” explained Madranian of the decision to name the label Doum.
Today, Doum operates its own cooperative in Morocco, Doum For Women, which currently employs 235 women artisans.
Doum For Women is the first basketry cooperative in Morocco to have obtained SEDEX certification, meaning that the organization ticks all of the boxes of ethical business practices.
“It is important to work with these women, first to help them get out of precariousness and then to promote their know-how on an international scale,” shared the designer. “Before being a brand, Doum is a real social and solidarity project.”
In addition to improving the welfare of local women, Doum also promotes the preservation of the fast-fading form of craftsmanship in Morocco.
Each design is meticulously handmade using ancestral braiding and embroidery techniques from environmentally-friendly materials, palm leaf and raffia. Each bag is then assembled by leatherworkers at Doum’s workshop. Sometimes, a single bag can take more than 100 working hours to produce.
“These techniques are passed down from generation to generation and we wish to continue to preserve this artisanal heritage while including it in the current fashion landscape,” Madranian said.
All of the dyes used in the products are natural, made mainly from mineral and plant extracts.
Meanwhile, the designer stressed the importance of creating a rewarding ecosystem for all those involved in the brand.
“The future of fashion depends on the people. The people who make the products, the farmers who cultivate our materials, our employees and our customers. We want to have a positive impact on all those on whom we depend and on those who depend on us in return.”
The brand has gained international recognition since its launch five years ago, collaborating with US label Tory Burch in 2019 on “The Ella Basket Bag.” The designer says that one of her biggest career goals is to further internationalize Doum, while anchoring Moroccan craftsmanship as a key element in the fashion landscape.
The brand has plenty to look forward to in 2022. Doum is set to open its first-ever flagship in Casablanca, where it will be selling all of its sustainable and eye-catching designs, including bags from its newly-launched collection.
DUBAI: Italian-Moroccan model Malika El-Maslouhi has turned 23 and while she did not throw herself an extravagant birthday bash to mark the occasion, El-Maslouhi looked effortlessly stylish nonetheless. She took a moment to thank all of her followers and friends for the birthday wishes and for making her year so memorable — and posted a snowy image of herself surrounded by mountains to celebrate.
The newly-minted 23-year-old evoked cozy cool wearing a monochromatic look that consisted of a snuggly, black fur coat, cat-eye sunglasses, and a black scarf wrapped around her head. She paired the look with black trousers and cow-print shoes.
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The photo was posted alongside a quirky and thoughtful message — “9 tagliatelle al ragu, 17 tiramisu and a lot of sunshine later… I finally turned one year younger.”
She added: “Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that added a little piece to my year, I’m forever grateful to all the inspiring wonderful people I meet around the world. Love you!”
Birthday wishes poured in for the part-Arab model on Instagram from fans and friends.
“Happy birthday, beautiful,” commented Sudanese model Akon Changkou under the post.
Others took to their Instagram Stories to celebrate El-Maslouhi.
Barcelona-based jewelry designer Adriana Manso of the La Manso label shared a screenshot of herself on FaceTime with the model and wrote “Happy birthday mi amor.”
Italian model and actress Giulia Maenza posted a photo of her and El-Maslouhi and captioned it “Auguri sister,” which translates to “happy birthday, sister” in Italian.
El-Maslouhi certainly has a lot to celebrate.
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The model, who was born in Milan to an Italian mother and a Moroccan father, is one of the industry’s most in-demand stars.
El-Maslouhi made her modeling debut when she was 18 and went on to captivate the industry.
In addition to gracing the runways of storied fashion houses that most models can only dream of — such as Dior, Chanel, Valentino and Jacquemus, among others — the fashion star has also appeared in international campaigns for the likes of Off-White, Calvin Klein and Lanvin.
On the editorial side, El-Maslouhi has quite a few magazine spreads under her belt, including Vogue Russia, British Vogue and Dazed Magazine.
CALIFORNIA: The Golden Globe Awards, Hollywood’s so-called biggest party that regularly drew 18 million television viewers, was reduced to a live-blog Sunday night for its 79th edition.
The embattled Hollywood Foreign Press Association proceeded with its film awards Sunday night without a telecast, nominees, a red carpet, a host, press or even a livestream. Instead, members of the HFPA and some recipients of the group’s philanthropic grants gathered at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for a 90-minute private event, announcing the names of the film and television winners on the organization’s social media feeds.
Film winners included Will Smith for “King Richard,” Kodi Smit-McPhee for “The Power of the Dog,” Ariana DeBose for “West Side Story” and Andrew Garfield for “tick, tick…BOOM!”
The Japanese film “Drive My Car,” also a critics’ group darling, got best non-English language motion picture, while “Encanto” won for animation.
But those following along on Twitter only might have been somewhat confused. The tweets often left out exactly which project a person had won for.
To announce the winner for best actor, motion picture musical or comedy, the organization tweeted, “It takes 43 minutes to smile. Thanks for the workout Andrew Garfield and congratulations for taking home the #GoldenGlobe for Best Actor— Motion Picture— Musical/Comedy,” failing to mention that the award was for his turn in “tick, tick…BOOM!”
Television winners included: Jean Smart for “Hacks,” which also won best television comedy, Jason Sudeikis for “Ted Lasso,” Sarah Snook and Jeremy Strong for “Succession,” Kate Winslet for “Mare of Easttown,” O Yeong-su for “Squid Game” and Michael Keaton for “Dopesick.” Barry Jenkins’ “The Underground Railroad” got best limited series. None of the winners appeared to be present at the event, nor did they immediately comment on their awards.
Jamie Lee Curtis, however, chimed in with a video message shared on the group’s twitter, talking about the HFPA’s charitable work.
“I just wanted to honor and stand with them in this continued advocacy,” Curtis said. “I’m proud to be associated with them in this venture.”
That the organization proceeded with any kind of event came as a surprise to many in Hollywood. The HFPA came under fire after a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed in February ethical lapses and a stunning lack of diversity — there was not a single Black journalist in the 87-person group. Studios and PR firms threatened to boycott. Tom Cruise even returned his three Golden Globes, while other A-listers condemned the group on social media.
They pledged reform last year, but even after a public declaration during the 78th show, their longtime broadcast partner NBC announced in May that it would not air the 2022 Golden Globes because, “Change of this magnitude takes time and work.” The broadcaster typically pays some $60 million for the rights to air the show, which ranks among the most-watched awards shows behind the Oscars and the Grammys.
Though often ridiculed, Hollywood had come to accept the Golden Globes as a legitimate and helpful stop in a competitive awards season. And for audiences around the world, it was a reasonably lively night, with glamorous fashion, major stars, the promise of champagne-fueled speeches, and hosts — from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to Ricky Gervais — that regularly poked fun at the HFPA.
After the NBC blow, it was widely expected that the HFPA would simply sit the year out. Hollywood studios and publicists also largely opted out from engaging with the group as they had in years past, with some declining to provide screeners of films for consideration. When nominees were announced last month, few celebrated publicly.
This year Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical drama “Belfast,” about growing up during the Troubles, and Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” a gothic Western set in 1925 Montana with Kirsten Dunst and Benedict Cumberbatch, both received a leading seven nominations, including best picture. HBO’s “Succession” led the TV side with five nominations, including nods for best drama.
The press association claims that in the months since its 2021 show, it has remade itself. The group has added a chief diversity officer; overhauled its board; inducted 21 new members, including six Black journalists; brought in the NAACP on a five-year partnership; and updated its code of conduct.
DUBAI: Scent is an essential part of the beauty regimes of Arab men and women. According to Euromonitor, the fragrance market in the Middle East is projected to reach $4.4 billion in 2027, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE making up the region’s two largest markets for scents.
These statistics prove extremely beneficial for the revenue of luxury brands, many of which have produced perfume lines crafted specifically for regional consumers.
“The Middle Eastern consumers, they are really in love with perfume,” said the renowned French nose Fanny Bal, who recently dreamed up Loubiprince, one of the musk-infused scents that makes up Christian Louboutin Beauty’s unisex fragrance collection launched exclusively for the region.
“Fragrance is part of the culture in the Middle East. It goes way deeper than in any other region in the world,” she added.
When it comes to their preferences, Saudi Arabia and the UAE both favour traditional scents, and tend to gravitate towards perfumes boasting potent ingredients such as oud and musk, she said.
“It was very interesting developing the fragrances because you can go deeper in terms of intensity and the choice of the ingredients. Unlike in Europe or America, where consumers prefer fruity or floral scents, we were able to explore stronger notes that we wouldn’t typically use for the European market,” said Thomas James, Chief Brands Officer for Niche Brands at Puig. “For instance, we wouldn’t use incense for European customers, but in the Middle East, of course, incense is so important.”
For this specific fragrance, Bal — who has conceived perfumes for Givenchy, Frederic Malle, Issey Miyake and even popstar Shakira — looked at ingredients that have become synonymous with Middle Eastern fragrances, including resin, amber, spice and sandalwood.
There are two other fragrances that make up the exclusive Louboutin collection: Loubicharme and Loubiluna by French perfumer Christophe Raynaud.
Loubiluna is a blend of fig milk, cedar wood and papyrus, while Loubicharme boasts floral notes of geranium and rose balanced by incense and patchouli.
In addition to the ingredients, Christian Louboutin also paid homage to the region in the presentation of each scent. They come in an opulent red bottle with a gold cap depicting a scarab beetle, pyramid and a crescent moon.
Bal reveals that Louboutin’s roots served as the starting point of the collection. The designer, best known for his red-soled footwear, was born in Paris to a French mother and an Egyptian father, a discovery he only made recently. The godfather of part-Egyptian model Elisa Sednaoui, he has always felt a connection to the North African country. He owns property in Luxor, a purchase made well before he discovered his heritage.
For instance, one of the main ingredients used in the perfumes is papyrus, a thick paper-like material that was used in ancient Egypt for writing on. “When you think of papyrus, you also think of Egypt. Perfumers don’t use papyrus often, but it made sense with Louboutin’s story,” shared Bal.
DUBAI: These are the biggest hairstyle trends to have on your radar for 2022, according to stylist Michay Alexander from Dubai’s Stay Flawless Beauty Lounge.
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This is a great way to revive dark hair colors without opting for a drastic change. A brown balayage will give the hair a good amount of dimension and a subtle sun-kissed look that works for almost everyone. The varying shades of brown placed throughout the hair add a pop of liveliness whilst looking natural.
Grown-out Curtain Bangs
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This is for people who fancy a change, but don’t want to cut a short fringe. Grown-out curtain bangs are shorter in the middle with slightly winged longer sides, giving hair the volume and shape it needs. This cut falls between a fringe and front layers, making it versatile and easy to maintain to look beautiful on all hair textures.
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This haircut is a combination of two distinctive haircuts – the bob and the pixie. It gives a length that is considered to be too long for a pixie, and too short to be a bob. This style comprises of a mix of layers that adds dimension and texture to the hair. Although popular back in the 90s, the “bixie” is ready to make a dazzling comeback in 2022.
The Boy Bob
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This classic cut has several variations, but the one trending this year will be the chunky boy bob. It will be a fuller version of the original bob cut with a lot of natural texture. The cut can range from chin to collarbone length with slightly rough, undone ends to add texture and bounce.
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This year, curly hair and hairstyles are going to be more popular than ever. It is time to embrace natural texture and make the most out of curly locks. Adding layers and air-drying the hair will add more body and life to the curls.
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No matter what hairstyle you opt for, this year is all about accessorizing those luscious locks. Whether you want to bling it up, or tone it down, adorn your hair with headbands, clips, scarves or bows to complete your look.