The November issue of Vogue Arabia celebrates the return of dramatic romance and opulent beauty, as exemplified by Oscar winner Penélope Cruz, shot in Madrid for the cover. This month, the actor will be visiting Dubai for the third time, as part of Chanel’s Cruise show, to be staged in the emirate on November 2.
In her conversation with editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut, Cruz opens up about her close relationship with director Pedro Almodóvar, with whom she has made eight films. For their latest work, Parallel Mothers, Cruz was awarded best actress at this year’s Venice film festival. “I feel very grateful for all the characters Pedro gave me, as they allow me to do things I’ve never done before. We’ve worked together eight times and it’s always a big and complex challenge,” she shares. Her focus, though, is being a mother to her two children with fellow actor Javier Bardem, with the couple living full-time in Madrid. “My priority is being a mother, so I’m blessed I can work while keeping my family the priority,” she says. “I don’t think of myself as a role model for anyone other than my children, as they see me every day, and the actions of their mother and father are the most important to them. This is a huge responsibility, and my biggest mission in life is to try to do that well.”
Cruz also discusses another central relationship in her professional life – that with the house of Chanel, and its creative directors, the late Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard. The actor has been an ambassador of Chanel since joining its Cruise 2018/2019 campaign. “I feel I was always connected to the brand, as I’m really Chanel’s biggest fan. Even since I was a little girl, I always dreamed of wearing their clothes,” she says. She had a close relationship with Lagerfeld, with the two talking about more than just fashion. His death in February 2019 hit her hard, yet she walked the runway at the FW19 show, right after his passing. “It was really difficult not to cry while walking. I remember the runway was very long, and that feeling that I had to make it until the end,” she confides. “After I finished, I saw Marion Cotillard in the hallway behind, and we just hugged each other and burst into tears. There were so many people there that loved him and worked with him for 40 years. It was really magical, and it felt like time had stopped.”
The November issue is a toast to remarkable women from the region and beyond and shines a light on the important work they are doing and art they are creating. There’s Iranian artist and director Shirin Neshat in conversation with Isabella Rossellini about their new film, Land of Dreams, talking about the power of women creating interesting, dynamic work together. “I wondered all my life if there is a woman’s sensitivity to art, and if a filmmaker, who is a woman, would bring a different point of view,” Rossellini says in their heart-to-heart. We also travel to Rabat to meet the mother and daughter team behind Atelier Houria Tazi, which has been creating exquisite homeware for four decades, and speak to the world’s first Arab supermodel, Lebanese Andrée Acouri, who walked the runways for Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Chanel. And in two further world exclusives, we reveal the Christian Dior exhibition opening in Doha this month and publish the moving new foreword from Her Imperial Majesty Empress Farah Diba Pahlavi’s memoirs.
Lush romance in fashion and beauty is also celebrated with shoots showcasing the evocative new-season looks and silhouettes, from modern lace to XXL puffers. The issue also dives into the latest beauty trends, from groundbreaking ingredients and formulas to the latest makeup and perfume releases. The November issue also features the Vogue Arabia Living supplement, with the world’s most beautiful homes, trends, and designers, and an invitation to HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan English countryside manor.