Fashion

Red Carpets to Runways: All the Gold Dresses You Need To Check Out Before the Ball of Arabia

Red Carpets to Runways: All the Gold Dresses You Need To Check Out Before the Ball of Arabia

Photo: Instagram.com
This December, Vogue Arabia lights up the city of Dubai with its second edition of the Ball of Arabia. Falling on the same month as the nation’s 50th National Day, the gala is all set to pay homage to the UAE and its rich history with an all-gold theme. Co-chaired by Ingie Chalhoub, Huda and Mona Kattan, Mona Zaki and Zuhair Murad, the evening will also see our guest list walking in wearing a line-up of stunning gold ensembles by Arab’s favorite designers. Because after all, in a world where it only takes one dress to impress, what better way to own the crowd than with a timeless piece that is alluring enough so as to not need any accessories?
Marilyn Monroe in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’, 1953. Photo: Instagram.com
‘The Golden Dress’ made its way through the most iconic moments in history, starting from the Marilyn Monroe’s iconic sunburst pleated gold lamé halter neck gown, and moving on to Elizabeth Taylor in a golden gown draped with the rich history of the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, (a role Taylor played in 1963), and of course, Cher at the 55th Academy Awards, who stunned in an eye-catching white and gold, wholly sheer gown. Over the years, the iconic golden dress has also been reinvented by the likes of Nicole Kidman, Anne Hathaway, Gigi Hadid and many more on numerous red carpets around the world.
Nicole Kidman at the Academy Awards, 2000. Photo: Instagram.com
More recently, a memorable moment came via Milan Fashion Week 2018, where supermodels Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Helen Christensen took over the Versace show in liquid gold cocktail party dresses, paying tribute to the one and only Gianni Versace.
There no doubt that gold is back in every shape and form, as seen in the FW 2021 couture runway presentations—we saw Schiaparelli’s fully ruffled gold wings, and Valentinos’ short sleeved sequin number, and Zuhair Murad’s embellished creation, all serving major inspiration for the festive season.
Zuhair Murad
Gold doesn’t stop at couture, and has also made its way into the ready-to-wear collections of Alberta Ferretti, who used the look in her FW 2021 collection, elevating it with fringes and embroidered golden pieces as a go-to. Likewise, Michael Kors, Burberry, and Rodarte added gold statement pieces to their lines too. While gold has evidently given life to the most significant moments in fashion, the regal color will continue to reign with its timeless hue on runways and beyond. If you plan on celebrating the Ball of Arabia with us virtually, here’s all the gold dressing inspiration you’ll need!
Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, 1963
Cher at the Academy Awards, 1983.
Versace
Gigi Hadid, 2017
Anne Hathaway at Met Gala 2015. Photo: Instagram.com
Alberta Ferretti
Burberry
Michael Kors
Rodarte
Schiaparelli
Valentino

Inside Vogue Arabia’s December 2021 Issue Celebrating the UAE’s Golden Jubilee

Inside Vogue Arabia’s December 2021 Issue Celebrating the UAE’s Golden Jubilee

Words by HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, the “Mother of the Nation”. Calligraphy by Diaa Allam
Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, the “Mother of the Nation,” has penned an exclusive essay for the December 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia, marking the 50th anniversary of the nation. “Tangible success was made possible by investing in the UAE’s citizens and building their capacities and capabilities to realize our shared ambitions in the pursuit of a progressive nation and compassionate humanity,” she writes. “As we draw on the UAE’s achievements in supporting and empowering women, we remember the historic moment, 50 years ago, on the rise of the morning sun on December 2, 1971, and the declaration of the Union. Our citizens woke to our late founding father’s voice as he said, ‘The state gives priority to building mankind and caring for its citizens in every way, that is the real wealth of this land, and it is the most valuable asset in this country.’” Some of her words are reproduced on the publication’s main cover, illustrated by UAE calligraphy artist Diaa Allam.
Guardians of Heritage at the General Women’s Union. Photographed by Francesco Scotti
Editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut remarks, “It is a veritable honor to work on this issue, bursting with incredible profiles of Emiratis, leaders, and UAE residents who all co-exist in this country that promotes happiness and greatness. This was a special year for Vogue, where the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee started early, initially with the cover of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and in September, with the cover story featuring HH Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.”
Also in this celebratory issue, HE Hend Al Otaiba gives her first in-depth interview in the region since her appointment as the UAE’s first female ambassador to France this past summer. She underscores that she intends to help evolve the view of Arab women abroad, stating, “Women empowerment has always been a key issue for me.” Another inspiring Emirati featured in this month’s pages is Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, the first woman from the Middle East and the second one to lead the International Publisher’s Association since its founding in 1896. “The fact that I am only the second woman to be appointed to this post, and an Arab woman at that, speaks volumes about how the organization is changing – it reflects a more diverse industry and one that is more inclusive,” she says.
As part of Vogue Arabia’s Golden Jubilee edition, we explore fashion through the lens of culture with a visit to the Guardians of Heritage in Abu Dhabi, who share the secrets to their ancient crafts of Al-Tali crafting, sadu, sewing, and henna engraving. In another exclusive, HH Sheikha Fatima bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan reveals the second chapter of her collaboration with Bulgari, with a line that aims to share the values of her grandfather, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Father of the Nation.
The Seddiqi family photographed by David Wang for Vogue Arabia December 2021
In regional fashion, Salama Alabbar, the founder of Symphony boutique, gives new insight into her beginnings, sharing, “Growing up, we lived a simple life, as many Nineties kids did, while watching my father [Mohamed Alabbar founder of Emaar Properties] work hard and sacrifice a lot to get to where he is today.” Another family making a global impact from the UAE and abroad is the Seddiqi family, who started their jewelry business 70 years ago, even before the country was unified. Abdul Hamied Ahmed Seddiqi, Chairman at Seddiqi Holding, divulges on his family business, a veritable powerhouse group that includes Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, Seddiqi Properties, Swiss Watch Services, Dubai Watch Week, and Mizzen. Hind Abdul Hamied Seddiqi, Director General of Dubai Watch Week, also speaks on creating and leading a top tier platform for knowledge and networking.
Salama Mohamed photographed by Greg Adamski for Vogue Arabia December 2021
Showing Dubai is a land of opportunities for both local and foreigners, the Dubai-based couturiers behind Michael Cinco, Amato, and Ezra Couture opens up about building their respective fashion empires in the UAE, having arrived in the Emirates in the Nineties, and becoming leaders on the regional fashion scene with an international celebrity following. All this and more in the December 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia.
Read Next: Gold, Glamorous, and Grand: The Ball of Arabia is Finally Back!

Look No Further Than Max Mara’s Resort 2022 Collection for the Ideal Holiday Wardrobe

Look No Further Than Max Mara’s Resort 2022 Collection for the Ideal Holiday Wardrobe

Photo: Courtesy Max Mara
The return of travel and vacationing has been eagerly welcomed by jet-setters this year. Making it that much better? The ideal wardrobe to dress up in. Italian fashion label Max Mara is of the same mind as creative director Ian Griffiths draws upon the golden age of travel portrayed in author Truman Capote’s Local Color for the Resort 2022 collection. Think mid-century silhouettes with sportswear accents made for the modern woman who is once again free to be on the go in the post-pandemic world.
Photo: Courtesy Max Mara
“During lockdown, I read a lot about travel because I figured that’s what everyone would be dreaming about,” shares Griffiths with Vogue Arabia. “So I went to my favorite authors, looking for something that talked specifically about the golden age of travel, but at the same time relevant to now. I discovered that Truman Capote had written a series of charming essays about his travels. The book, Local Color, is out of print but I managed to get hold of a copy and I was mesmerized by his descriptions of slow travel… Really slow travel.”
Capote’s description of spending four months in Ischia, where he simply observed the details of local life, inspired Griffiths to create pieces that enrich the experience of traveling, particularly, “the act of getting somewhere.” The collection is also inspired by and made for the women who lived an “incredibly glamorous lifestyle” of planning their travels around their wardrobes. “When you think about Truman Capote, you can’t get away from the ‘swans,’” explains Griffiths. “They were central features of his life; fascinating women who lived a life of great privilege and luxury and dedicated to being perfect in every situation. They used to curate their wardrobe in an almost professional way, descending on Paris twice a year to put it together, and then, while they were waiting for it to be assembled, they would fly off to a place like Ischia for a little downtime.”
Photo: Courtesy Max Mara
This modern Max Mara woman is envisioned as Rym Saidi, the Tunisian actor, model, and mother of two who previously fronted the cover of Vogue Arabia with her husband Wissam Breidy. Highlights of the collection include a new silhouette with skirts that gather below the waist, a suit featuring the same gathering motif, an espadrille-sandal hybrid, a pull-on dress, and a sporty long coat.
Photo: Courtesy Max Mara
Read Next: Sustainable Denim to Shop Now and Wear Forever

Priyanka Chopra, Dua Lipa and More: The Best-Dressed Guests at the Fashion Awards 2021

Priyanka Chopra, Dua Lipa and More: The Best-Dressed Guests at the Fashion Awards 2021

Photo: Instagram.com/dualipa
Hosted by Billy Porter and presented in partnership with TikTok, The Fashion Awards returns to the Royal Albert Hall following its digital-only iteration in 2020. Daniel Lee, Demna Gvasalia, Jonathan Anderson, Kim Jones and co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons were vying for the Designer of the Year Award, while Bethany Williams, Bianca Saunders, Nensi Dojaka, Priya Ahluwalia and Richard Quinn were in contention for the BFC Foundation Award for emerging talent. Alongside them, “leaders of change” were honored: brands and individuals who have transformed fashion over the past year when it comes to the British Fashion Council’s central pillars of environment, people and creativity.
One trailblazer who tragically was not in attendance was Virgil Abloh, who passed away at the age of 41 this week. The ceremony, designed as a celebration of all that has been achieved in this tumultuous pandemic era, also provided an opportunity for collective mourning as the industry reels from such an unimaginable loss.
Here, a look at the very best from the red carpet at the 2021 Fashion Awards, from Dua Lipa‘s ebony ensembles to Priyanka Chopra‘s floral Richard Quinn look.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas in Richard Quinn with Nick Jonas. Photo: Getty
Dua Lipa in Maximilian and Tiffany & Co Jewelry. Photo: Getty
Winnie Harlow in Bulgari jewelry. Photo: Getty
Kim Jones and Demi Moore in Fendi. Photo: Getty
Adriana Lima in Messika Jewelry. Photo: Getty
Alexa Chung in Caroline Hu, Manolo Blahnik shoes and Boucheron jewelry. Photo: Getty
Hailee Steinfeld in H&M and Boucheron jewelry. Photo: Getty
Romeo Beckham and Mia Regan in Proenza Schoueler and Messika jewelry. Photo: Getty
Tan France. Photo: Getty
Halima Aden in Moussaieff jewelry. Photo: Getty
Gabrielle Union in Valentino couture and Messika jewelry. Photo: Getty
Jourdan Dunn in Tiffany & Co jewelry. Photo: Getty
Shanina Shaik. Photo: Getty
Paloma Elsesser in 16Arlington. Photo: Getty
Precious Lee in H&M. Photo: Getty
Munroe Bergdof. Photo: Getty
Mona Tougaard in Alaïa. Photo: Getty
Daniel Fletcher. Photo: Getty
Tom Daley in Christian Dior. Photo: Getty
Griff in Simone Rocha. Photo: Getty
Leomie Anderson in Valentino. Photo: Getty
Thomas Doherty in H&M. Photo: Getty
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk
Read Next: 12 of Azzedine Alaïa’s Best Red Carpet Fashion Moments

Mona Zaki Makes a Case for Color-Blocked Cocktail Wear in a Green and Purple Elie Saab Gown

Mona Zaki Makes a Case for Color-Blocked Cocktail Wear in a Green and Purple Elie Saab Gown

Mona Zaki and Ahmed Helmy in Cairo. Photo: Instagram.com
Mona Zaki has had quite the eventful week. On November 27, the Egyptian actress walked the red carpet at the Cairo International Film Festival 2021 in an emerald green halter gown by Maram Borhan, and last night, she made one more appearance in the capital once again in a must-see ensemble. Spotted at the Elie Saab x Emaar Misr gala at Cairo’s Abdeen Palace, Zaki posed for pictures in a color-blocked number by the Lebanese label. Her pick was a floor-length one-shoulder number in shades of moss green, deep purple and royal blue. Take a closer look below.

For the evening celebration, Mona Zaki was joined by husband Ahmed Helmy, along with designer Mai Galal and actress-singer Youssra. While Youssra opted for a romantic nude and black strapless gown, Zaki’s outfit popped on camera for its vibrant hues, which gave cocktail dressing a playful spin. Along with its bold color-blocked palette, the star’s Elie Saab gown also made a statement with its minimal embellishment, and its cheeky thigh-high slit. The actor completed her look with an equally interesting beauty look: a high, voluminous ponytail, perfectly bronzed skin, a green-meets-gold smoky eye, and glossy nude lips.
As we approach the festive season, your calendar is bound to be filling up with celebratory dinners and get-togethers. While black is always a classic option, why not take cues from Mona Zaki and play with unexpected colors for your next night out? All you need is an all-eyes-on-me gown, and a little confidence.
Read Next: 8 of Egyptian Actor Mona Zaki’s Best Career Moments

Say Hello to Veganologie, the Female-Founded Brand in Dubai Creating Bags From Recycled Plastic Bottles

Say Hello to Veganologie, the Female-Founded Brand in Dubai Creating Bags From Recycled Plastic Bottles

Photo: Courtesy Veganologie
Sustainability. It’s a term that has slowly but surely become one of fashion’s favorite buzzwords, but so much is left to be done by the industry to be kinder to the environment. It was this very thought, back in the thick of Covid‘s lockdown, that had 27-year-old Angana Maheshwari rummaging online for the perfect handbag—a piece that looked good and lasted long without maxing out her credit card or leaving a carbon footprint. While she didn’t find the perfect accessory, what she did find was a calling: “It seemed like there was a gap in the market that I could fill, that would appeal to other people who also wanted to try to do something good for the planet. Living in Europe and the US has definitely made me acutely aware of the damage overconsumption is causing the planet. There is a sense of urgency for sustainability advocacy among my generation that transcends geography,” she tells Vogue Arabia.
Angana Maheshwari, founder and CEO of Veganologie with Sara Basar, executive designer and director of Veganologie. Photo: Courtesy Veganologie
And so came Veganologie, a brand new label that aims to balance style with sustainability, and is now available online. “Starting a business during the pandemic was definitely interesting to say the least,” Maheshwari says. “But the collection wound up being even more sustainable because it was impossible to fly to China to have one-on-one meetings with the factories, which reduced our carbon footprint even more significantly.” The result: a debut collection featuring three bag silhouettes and three wallet styles, all in an earthy—yet vibrant—palette of “deep forest green, maize yellow, red, white, rust, dove gray, and black.” The pieces stand out for their finer details, from top stitching to customized hardware in burnished gold and silver. Vegan leather finishes, of course, were a must while planning the collection, but what really gives Veganologie’s bags their trademark look is their abstract monstera leaf detailing, added in the form of raised top stitching. “I always want something practical—so a bag that is easy to wear and care for, with enough room for necessities.  All of our bags incorporate a key ring strap so that our customers can easily locate their keys; a pocket on the outside of the bag, for work or university IDs; and a comfortable shoulder strap so that when you want to be hands free, you can be.”
The Maze in Cinnamon is made using 11 recycled plastic bottles. Photo: Courtesy Veganologie
Conceptualized between Maheshwari and the label’s creative director, 28-year old Sara Basar, Veganologie’s creations embrace almost every facet of sustainable fashion, with durability playing a key role in their designs. “We use 100% recycled PU leather and 100% recycled faux suede, which have been created by collecting old plastic bottles and recycling them into fabric, which are some of the most durable vegan leathers on the market,” Maheshwari explains. “It was important to us that our bags also be recyclable themselves, which includes the hardware. We also ensured that all of our packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable. We are certified by GRS (Global Recycling Standard) and PETA, which assures Veganologie’s consumers that we are, in fact, what we say we are.” What helped the process along was the duo’s understanding of each other. “[Sara] has been able to translate into sketches—and then products—everything I had in my head for this brand. Her formal training as a designer, and her luxury sensibility has been crucial to the development of the Veganologie brand. At the beginning, we worked primarily across Zoom, since we were in lockdown. Now that we can meet in person at the office, we have a very natural way of working together.”
If you’ve been on the hunt for an easy accessory that also comes guilt-free, scroll for a glimpse at Veganologie’s very first offerings to the world, and keep an eye out for Maheshwari and Basar’s favorite pieces: the Gemma in Mineral, and the Gaia in Onyx respectively, both with burnished hardware.
The Veganologie collection. Photo: Courtesy Veganologie

Dress Like Ariana Grande and Gigi Hadid with Their Stylist’s Collaboration with This Brand

Dress Like Ariana Grande and Gigi Hadid with Their Stylist’s Collaboration with This Brand

Normani in Valentino, styled by Mimi Cuttrell. Photo: Instagram.com/mimicuttrell
As the stylist for It girls, models, and stars including Ariana Grande, Gigi Hadid, and Normani, there are few who know better than Mimi Cuttrell what the woman of today covets. Informed by this very experience, Cuttrell has joined forces with By Far to create her own accessories collection.
Ariana Grande wears By Far x Mimi Cuttrell shoes. Photo: Katia Temkin
The stylist’s eye for sourcing and putting together trendy pieces to create head-turning looks meets the cult-favorite luxury label’s approach to design in this collection of nine new silhouettes, including two bag styles. At the core is By Far‘s signature sculptured heel shape, which is offered in various heights and in the form of boots, pumps, sandals, and sling backs. The collection has already found a fan in Grande, who recently took the internet by storm dressed in the 13 Going on 30 custom Versace dress, courtesy of Cuttrell. For her latest appearance as The Voice judge, the pop star was styled in a custom Off-White dress paired with the By Far x Mimi Cuttrell shoes reminiscent of the classic Mary Janes, but made bold with a platform heel. The look, an instant hit with Grande’s 278 million followers, also offered a preview of the soon-to-be-released pieces.

The versatile collection can take one from day to night with its range of textures and colors (think neutrals like black, white, along with bright green and orange). Expect By Far’s staple semi-patent leather and a soft French Nappa leather with a glossy finish, and for added bling, crystal embellishment, plus gold and silver-toned hardware.
The By Far x Mimi Cuttrell collection retails online exclusively through Net-A-Porter and Byfar.com from December 2021.
Read Next: Meet Michael Anthony, Ariana Grande’s Go-To Makeup Artist

Remembering Virgil Abloh and His Many Contributions to Fashion

Remembering Virgil Abloh and His Many Contributions to Fashion

Virgil Abloh, at his fall 2020 Off-White show. Photo: Alessandro Lucioni/Gorunway.com
Virgil Abloh, who has died November 28 aged 41, will be remembered as one of the most popular and influential fashion designers of his era. As both the founder of Off-White and the Creative Director of Menswear for Louis Vuitton, Abloh’s ascent from show-crashing fashion tourist in 2009 to the very apex of the global luxury industry at the time of his passing is arguably the defining fashion story of the 2010s. For as both an African American and a creative whose work emerged from the rag-tag genre of streetwear—a genre whose definition he regularly contested—Abloh was the seminal boundary breaker in a notoriously bordered business.
Abloh’s influence, however, will also be remembered well beyond fashion. It was only six months ago that he observed in an interview: “I operate by my own rules, in my own logic, and I’m not fearful.” By 2021 that same unorthodox process that fueled his unprecedented rise in a world so often ruled by convention had led him to see his fashion design as only the by-product of a greater end. This was, as he described it, “making a global community regardless of the elitism or sort of territorial-ness that can happen in the subculture.”
Virgil Abloh backstage at his fall 2021 Off-White show with Bella Hadid. Photo: Acielle/Style du Monde
Abloh’s greatest product of all was the varied creation of opportunity for others to whom opportunity is otherwise routinely denied. In 2017, for instance, he created a uniform for Melting Passes, a team of recently immigrated soccer players in Paris whose lack of residency status meant they were excluded from playing in official competition, and later included them in the audience at an Off-White show. There were 3,000 students at his first Louis Vuitton show at the Tuileries in 2018. He worked to support skateboarders and surfers in Ghana, the birth-country of his parents, and provided funds to fix park and play facilities in Chicago, the city he called home.
In August 2020 he launched his Post-Modern Scholarship Fund as a progressive response to Black Lives Matter, and has since worked to raise funds and support for Black-owned businesses. He was also generous in the professional sphere, mentoring younger Black designers including the Briton Samuel Ross, and employing others within the design team at Off-White, one of whom wrote during the writing of this article: “I owe so much to Virgil.”
Abloh’s generosity was fueled by hope. In that same interview six months ago he spoke of his excitement at the thought that technology could create the conditions in which “humanity can be a sort of utopia.”
Virgil Abloh backstage at his fall 2018 Off-White show. Photographed by Corey Tenold
He added: “And that’s why I focus on design, while I’m also focusing on asking what and who can I shine a light on. You know it’s not just about making art or fashion for its own sake: there are kids in Accra who can become attached and engaged in the skateboarding community if someone builds a bridge. And there are kids in the South Side of Chicago that need education and health: how does what I’m doing tie into that? What’s the bridge for that? That’s sort of the ethos of my career. You know, I started the Post-Modern Scholarship Fund and raised a million dollars to offer assistance in the education of black students. Those things, they’re critical to me.” Most recently, in July, that critical imperative in Abloh’s thinking received the backing of LVMH, which announced that he would consult for the conglomerate at an executive level, acting to create positive disruption across the group.
Virgil Abloh was born in 1980 in Rockford, Illinois, to Nee and Eunice Abloh, who had emigrated to the United States from Ghana. When not at school Abloh developed an early passion for skateboarding—which he credited with sparking his first interest in fashion—and later DJing, which would become another key facet in his lifetime’s work. While studying Civil Engineering at the University of Wisconsin and later the Illinois Institute of Technology he encountered Kanye West, another unorthodox thinker, who was so impressed that he installed Abloh as his ‘creative director’ in 2002.
During the next few years Abloh’s many activities included launching a retail space gallery, working in the Been Trill collective alongside Heron Preston and Matthew Williams, and launching Pyrex Vision, a now long-defunct brand that is still bootlegged to this day. In 2009 he made his most personally significant launch of all: a successful proposal of marriage to his then girlfriend of a decade, Shannon Sundberg.

That was also the year that, now famously, Abloh joined West and their associates Don C, Taz Arnold, Chris Julian, and Fonzworth Bentley to attend the Paris fashion shows: West later estimated they managed to gain access to just over half of them. In the same year, Abloh joined West for a one month internship at the Fendi headquarters in Rome, and the year after joined West’s Donda project. By 2013 the designer decided to pivot from Pyrex Vision in order to focus on a fresh concept he’d named Off-White. He shared this idea with County of Milan’s Marcelo Burlon, a fellow spirit, designer, and DJ, who encouraged Abloh to manufacture Off-White through what would later become the New Guards group in Milan.
Virgil Abloh with Naomi Campbell at the close of his spring 2018 Off-White show. Photo: Catwalking / Getty Images
The reveal of the first Off-White collection in 2014 coincided with a broader shift in the currents of fashion. Responding, at first slowly, to shifting consumer desires that proved difficult to rationalize against established luxury clothing categories, houses had started tentatively offering sneakers. But a generation that habitually wore sneakers and rarely considered tailoring increasingly demanded more—they wanted ‘streetwear.’ By showing pure streetwear in a fashion show context Abloh’s Off-White breached the dam between fashion’s ivory tower and the street’s more inverted forms of sneakerhead discernment. In 2015 Off-White was nominated for the LVMH Prize and by 2018, when greater seismic shifts in the menswear sector led to a four-house creative reshuffle, Abloh was championed by Kim Jones to take over the job at Louis Vuitton. Alongside Olivier Rousteing at Balmain, he duly became only one of two Black designers in the leading design role at a Parisian house.
That sunny afternoon show on June 21, 2018, was held on a rainbow runway and distinctly felt like a watershed moment in fashion—which it was. After he took his bow, Abloh and West exchanged an ecstatic hug. As Vogue Runway reported: “The last look was a metallic silver poncho with “Follow the Yellow Brick” written on a breast patch. When he posted a picture of that moment on his Instagram, the caption read, “You can do it too.”
Kanye West and Virgil Abloh embrace at the close of the latter’s debut collection for Louis Vuitton Men, for spring 2019. Photo: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty
Virgil Abloh was born September 30, 1980, and died on November 28, 2021. He is survived by his wife Shannon, and children Lowe, 8, and Grey, 5 as well as his parents Nee and Eunice and sister Edwina.
Read Next: “It represents Off-White ideals”: Virgil Abloh on Casting Gigi, Bella, and Yolanda Hadid at Off-White
Originally published on Vogue.com

From Saudi Arabia, This Artist is the First Arab to Craft a Dior Lady Bag

From Saudi Arabia, This Artist is the First Arab to Craft a Dior Lady Bag

Saudi artist Manal Aldowayan is the first Arab to craft a Dior Lady bag. Through three designs, she reveals her journey.
Manal Aldowayan. Photo: Courtesy of Dior
“My father’s generation came back from the west and was dressing western, awkwardly,” starts Saudi contemporary artist Manal Aldowayan from her atelier in Dubai. “Now, in Saudi Arabia, people are beyond embracing their identity. It’s a reclaiming of identity. They are no longer ‘wondering’ and that’s what these bags are about.” Aldowayan is the first Arab commissioned by Dior to take part in its Dior Lady Art bags, an annual project launched six years ago that sees the Lady reinvented by contemporary artists from around the world. The artist – whose trampoline works made international headlines and which have been permanently acquired by Al Ula, and who has 16 commissions ongoing – says, “I had never collaborated with fashion before and it is a machine.”
The result is three bags – Landscapes of the Mind, The Boys, and the Desert Rose minaudière – that speak to her journey as a Saudi artist. Landscapes of the Mind is a bag in printed gold calfskin leather with embroidered black feathers and jewelry in silver finish metal. It features oil barrels as seen from her home. “The whole climate and fossil fuel conversation exists, and I acknowledge it, but this oil, this black gold, has transformed my country. It’s brought longevity to lives. I am the result of this economy of black gold and the life that is bursting out of it is something I must recognize, even though I understand it is important that we address the impact that fossil fuels has on the climate.” Two doves sit on one of the barrels and also fashion the keychain.
Photo: Courtesy of Dior
“This is an ode to my art education,” Aldowayan offers. “Had it not been so terrible I don’t think I would have been inspired to make all this work in my life. When I was in public school in Saudi Arabia, I wasn’t allowed to draw anything that had life. If you drew an animal or your parents, you had to strike the neck out because you are not allowed to imitate God and his creation. I was questioning, was I being bad? This is an ode to that.”
On the other side of the bag, it reads, “I live and die for the moment,” a nod to Saudi’s youthful population. “The moment is about decisions you make today,” explains Aldowayan. “Experience everything in the moment and when you look back, you will see a positive path. It reflects my current solo show, called The Eternal Return of the Same. I’ve always thought about these things.”
The Dior Lady Art limited edition in collaboration with Manal Aldowayan launches this December
Read Next: Bet You Don’t Know the Story Behind Princess Diana and This Dior Bag
Originally published in the November 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia

Giorgio Armani Receives Italy’s Highest Honor, the Knight Grand Cross

Giorgio Armani Receives Italy’s Highest Honor, the Knight Grand Cross

Photo: Courtesy of Giorgio Armani
Yesterday morning, at the Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome, Giorgio Armani received the Knight Grand Cross decorated with Grand Cordon. As Italy’s highest civilian honor, the accolade reflects both Armani’s six-decade career in the fashion industry and his status as one of the country’s leading lights across the fashion, lifestyle, and luxury sectors.
In a private ceremony at the palace, which serves as one of the three official residences of the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, the celebrated Italian designer was specifically awarded the honor for his services to fashion and the arts. “This honor holds a particular meaning for me,” Armani said following the ceremony. “It came from our President, who is not only the head of state, but also a man whose values, open-mindedness, and kindness are unquestionably high.”
Giorgio Armani and President Sergio Mattarella at Friday’s ceremony in Rome. Photo: Courtesy of Giorgio Armani
Born in the Emilia-Romagna city of Piacenza in 1934, Armani founded his first company in 1975 with his partner in both business and life, architect Sergio Galeotti. The designer’s minimalist vision of relaxed luxury came to define 1990s fashion, both thanks to the signature ease he brought to his men’s tailoring and the understated glamour of his haute couture line which saw him become a red carpet fixture. In recent decades, Armani has branched out into hotels, sports, interiors, and dining. Building a newly completist vision for a 21st-century luxury brand, these ventures have not only made him a billionaire many times over but have also seen Armani become widely acclaimed as the most successful designer of Italian origin of all time.
Previous recipients of the Knight Grand Cross from the world of fashion count just two: Valentino Garavani and Miuccia Prada in 1986 and 2015, respectively. For Armani, however, receiving the prize wasn’t just about celebrating his illustrious career as a designer, but also a recognition of his life-long efforts to promote the Italian creative industries on the world stage and his efforts to give back to his beloved home country, where he has a long history of supporting charitable causes. As recently as last year, Armani donated $2.2 million to local hospitals in the fight against coronavirus, while his Giorgio Armani Foundation established in 2016 has continued the designer’s long history of supporting social causes including the fight against HIV/AIDS and child poverty.
Clearly, yesterday’s ceremony marked not only a career milestone for Armani but carried a more sentimental meaning, too. “I am proud to represent Italy and I am honored to receive this prestigious title, which the President is giving me on behalf of the whole country,” he said.
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Originally published on Vogue.com

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