Photo: Allan Zepeda via Instagram/@nayelnassar
Jennifer Gates and Nayel Nassar met on the equestrian circuit and quickly became friends. Both Stanford graduates, they competed together internationally until Jenn started medical school in 2019. Their friendship eventually turned into something more, and they got engaged in January of 2020 when Nayel proposed to Jenn on her favorite ski run.
Jenn, the daughter of Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, is now a third year MD candidate at the Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai. Before pursuing her path in medicine, Jenn was an internationally ranked equestrian athlete. She is also the founder of Evergate Stables, which is now co-managed by the couple.
Nayel was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Kuwait by his Egyptian parents, Iman Harby and Fouad Nassar, founders and managers of Diwan Interiors International. He is currently ranked 44th in the world as a show jumping rider and competed in his first Olympic Games in Tokyo this past summer for Team Egypt. Nayel also recently developed and launched Jumpr, a new app for show jumping results and statistics.
The couple’s wedding took place this past weekend at their farm in Westchester County, New York. They worked with Marcy Blum Events to plan everything, while Rishi Patel of HMR Designs did all of the florals. They also relied on creative support and styling from Laura Lovett and Priscilla Poelmans. “Planning a wedding while I was in medical school rotations and Nayel was preparing for the Olympics was no small feat,” Jenn admits. “But it was so worth it to share such a special day with those closest to us. We feel so grateful for everyone involved who kept us on track and helped make our vision come to life. One piece of advice we were given [throughout the planning process] was to remember that this day is about us and our love. I think we really kept that at the center of our minds while planning, and we also tried to ensure that our families and friends were able to enjoy themselves.”
While the couple obviously wanted to be able to celebrate with their close friends and family, they wanted to ensure the event would be safe. “Which is why we made the decision that all guests must be fully vaccinated and receive a negative test result prior to the wedding,” Jenn says. “We also made masks available. We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to gather with our loved ones safely. We know others aren’t as lucky, especially as the pandemic continues to devastate communities in the United States and around the world.”
The wedding weekend began with a Katb el Kitab, or the Islamic marriage ceremony, on Friday with just Jenn and Nayel’s immediate families present. “Our main ceremony took place on Saturday,” Jenn says. “It was a beautiful fall day, and we had just finished taking photos when the rain started. The ceremony was facilitated by a longtime family friend, and we both wrote our own vows. It was a really special and intimate moment.”
Photo: Allan Zepeda via Instagram/@jenniferkgates
The bride wore a custom ivory long-sleeve A-line Vera Wang Haute gown with hand appliqué French macrame lace on the bodice, sleeves, and flowing onto a light ivory and champagne Italian tulle skirt to walk down the aisle—which was lined with white hybrid Dutch delphinium flowers—for the outdoor ceremony on Saturday. A light ivory Italian tulle chapel length veil trimmed in hand-appliqué French macrame lace complemented the dress. “Vera and her whole team were so wonderful to work with, and made my dream dress come true,” Jenn says. “She is an icon in the fashion industry and a trailblazer as a woman who changed careers late and followed her passions. From our first meeting, I knew that I was in such good hands.” The groom looked dapper in a classic Armani tux with a Lily of the Valley boutonniere—to match the bride’s bouquet—pinned to his lapel.
After the service, guests moved into the tent for the reception. For this portion of the evening, Jenn changed into a second gown by Vera Wang Haute, this one with a square neckline, lined in nude tulle and embellished with hand appliqué French macrame lace on the skirt and straps.
The newlyweds kicked off the festivities with a first dance to “Yellow Lights,” which was written and performed by their friend and artist Harry Hudson. “After such a meaningful ceremony, we wanted our friends and family to enjoy great food and entertainment,” Jenn says. “It was a beautiful evening and a dream come true for both of us!” Dinner was by Jean Georges and Creative Edge Catering and the six layer floral-adorned cake was a Sylvia Weinstock for Ladurée creation.
Photo:Allan Zepeda via Instagram/@marcyblum
“It’s been a challenging year, both collectively with the pandemic and for our families going through transitions,” Jenn says. “But our love for one another has been a constant. Being able to celebrate our wedding with our closest friends and family was a dream come true.”
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Originally published on Vogue.com
Photo: Allan Zepeda via Instagram/@nayelnassar
The world learned of Ariana Grande’s secret wedding a week ago, and now the bride has shared pictures from the intimate at-home ceremony – including her strapless white Vera Wang gown and sweet hair bow. Also present and correct on the pop star’s wedding day? Her signature sky-high ponytail.
Grande married real estate agent Dalton Gomez at her Montecito mansion on 15 May, wearing a strapless white column gown with a low back, in a look reminiscent of classic bridal muse Audrey Hepburn. On 26 May, she shared some insights with fans, including the rows of white church candles and shimmering streamers that decorated her home on the day.
A representative for the bride previously told People the ceremony was “tiny and intimate – less than 20 people”, and that the “room was so happy and full of love”. Grande certainly looks deliriously happy in a photo she shared of her new husband sweeping her up in an embrace.
The singer got engaged back in December 2020, confirming the news in an Instagram post of her unusual pearl and diamond ring. “Forever n then some,” she wrote. The couple is thought to have started dating earlier that year in January, and spent the coronavirus lockdown together.
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Originally published on Vogue.co.uk
Fashion has turned its spotlight on politics, with designers harnessing their power to call attention to social issues.
Chanel Spring/Summer fashion show in Paris.
The time to remain apolitical or risk losing valued customers is here – and designers around the world are shouting loudly, supporting human rights, and picking political sides. Many brands want to be on what they perceive as the right side of history when it comes to politics. In the run-up to the recent US presidential election, 19 designers – including Vera Wang, Joseph Altuzarra, and Tory Burch – launched the collaborative Believe in Better collection in support of presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Designer Tory Burch wears her Believe in Better, T-shirt. Photo: Supplied
Others have been vocal about social issues such as systemic racism. When the American football player Colin Kaepernick knelt during the US national anthem at the start of his NFL games in 2016, in protest against police brutality and racial inequality, the country erupted into furious debate.
In 2018, Nike followed with an advertising campaign featuring Kaepernick with the text, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” In response, some Nike fans took to social media with videos of them burning their once-beloved kicks, and the hashtag #BoycottNike began to trend. The brand had transitioned from being not just something to wear, but a way of pledging political allegiance. Others stayed on the sidelines, waiting to see if Nike would come out on top financially. Despite an initial dip in its share price after the campaign was launched, Nike sales increased by more than 30% the following year.
Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston have been encouraging Americans to vote in the recent election.
Protests against long-simmering racial inequality in the US seems to have lit a fuse with brands, precipitated by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis in May this year. “Following the death of George Floyd, we saw that the public is not afraid to voice their intolerance toward racism and that set in motion the movements we’ve seen recently to challenge discrimination in all its forms,” says Sanjay Bhandari, chair of Kick It Out, a UK-based organization that fights discrimination in English football. “Brands have been aligning themselves with well-known figures and influencers to show support for the likes of Black Lives Matter, as a way of pledging their solidarity and commitment against racism.”
Celebrities like Vogue US Cover Star Lizzo, have been encouraging Americans to vote in the recent election.
Support through fashion is apparent in other areas of inequality, too. In 2017, after the rise of the #MeToo movement, designers around the world projected feminism and female empowerment to reflect the sentiment of the era. Actresses wore all-black at the 2018 Golden Globes Awards, Egyptian designer Rana Yousry showcased her Black Rose line at Arab fashion week that same year displaying themes of feminism, strength, and power, and Saudi designer Arwa Al Banawi dressed the Saudi women’s soccer team for the 2019 Global Goals World Cup in Copenhagen.
“Fashion reflects what’s ‘now.’ For it to have power and feel right, it has to speak to what is going on more broadly,” says Dr Rosie Findlay, course leader in fashion cultures at London College of Fashion. But sometimes, brand’s signatures are adopted by less-than-desirable demographics.
In the 90s, the signature Burberry check was associated with football hooligans in Europe, and more recently, a US far-right group appropriated a black and yellow polo shirt by Fred Perry. It’s not the first time the British brand has been commandeered by the far-right – it was a favorite of skinheads in the 60s and 70s, too. Fred Perry quickly withdrew the polo shirt from sale and released a statement disavowing its use by far-right groups, saying, “They have absolutely nothing to do with us, and we are working with our lawyers to pursue any unlawful use of our brand.”
“Some business decisions seem very driven by what is moral and ethical,” says Findlay, citing the example of French brand Maison Cléo. “It is constantly advocating for slow fashion and educating its followers about the unsustainability of the fast-fashion system.” Fashion has always been one way of uniting people, but, Bhandari says, “we need to see more from some brands in terms of their commitment.” He continues, “We also need to see them making a positive contribution to society and their local communities.” In terms of racial inequalities, brands need to be “looking inside their organizations and developing long-term plans for social inclusion and racial equality so that they foster a more inclusive environment and attract a more diverse workforce,” Bhandari says. In an age of such political extremes, it seems fashion, which moves and evolves with the times, must speak louder and be more politically brazen than ever.
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Originally published in the November 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia.