Fashion as activism: Amna Elshandaweely

Egyptian designer Amna Elshandaweely creates clothes that break stereotypes, reference history and draw from indigenous cultures. Speaking at the Design Indaba festival 2018 and in an interview with CR, she sheds light on the politics of clothing in Egypt and the role of fashion in revolution.

Most Egyptians don’t like to think of themselves as ‘African’, states Elshandaweely. She claims that the rich colours, vibrant prints and tribal motifs often associated with the continent as a whole are often rejected in Egypt as vulgar or unaspirational. Egyptian fashion, she says, tends to be shaped by two major forces, a desire to imitate the West and simultaneously hold on to conservative Islamic values.

“I remember, when I was little,” said Elshandaweely said in her speech at Design Indaba, “my mother took me to buy clothes for our feast – which is like Christmas is in the West. Nothing I saw in the stores seemed to excite me. I would look at all the advertising and magazines and no one in there looked like me. So I asked my mum if we could go buy some fabric and take it to the tailor to make clothes that I wanted to wear. I’ve been making my own clothes ever since.”

Interview: Gernot Mueller

Chopard introduced their first Happy Diamonds bag at Baselworld

No luxury enthusiast is a stranger to Chopard’s signature Happy Diamonds watches, the timepiece that features loose diamonds running across the dial. Over the years Chopard has taken the Happy Diamonds concept to jewelry including pendants, earrings and rings, but now, for the first time, the company has debuted a Happy Diamonds handbag.

The bag in question is a crimson leather purse that uses quilting details to mimic the facets of a well-cut diamond. The stitches appear to fan out in a sunray pattern, emerging from the clasp which features a circular home for a few dazzling gems to skitter inside. The rose gold clasp will instantly remind you of a round watch face, but the gems inside are not diamonds, instead, the company chose five pink opals which perfectly complement the rose gold hardware and the cherry color of the purse.

The purse was part of a collection unveiled at Baselworld that included other jewelry items and watches. It’s interesting to see the brand take a signature design element of theirs and apply it to different products, but I have to say that at LL, Happy Diamonds watches remain the favorites.

Text: Gigi Morelli

Check out this pair of sneakers that is made from recycled chewing gum

We’ve all had gum stuck to our shoe soles at some point in life but having a shoe sole made out of gum itself? Now, that’s new and unheard of! Here to woe us with this unique concept is a company called Explicit wear that has recently tied up with city marketing organization Iamsterdam and sustainability company Gumdrop to create a sneaker out of recycled gum!

Christened as Gumshoe, the sole of this unique shoe is made from recyclable compounds or Gum-Tec’s as they are called. As described by Anna Bullus, managing director and designer at Gumdrop., “We discovered gum is made from a synthetic rubber. And by breaking down these properties, we were able to create a new type of rubber.” It is this very invention that helped the brands build an impressive shoe, which by composition would consist of 20% recycled chewing gum. The raw material for building the Gum Tec is sourced from the streets of Amsterdam that disposes close to 3.3 million pounds of gum on its sidewalks each year.

Available in color options of red and pink, these shoes are just what you need to become an eco-friendly athlete in the making! In addition to their exclusive soles, the sneakers also boast of a stylish leather body, for the perfect look. The Gumshoe will be up for sale onward June 2018 for a surprisingly affordable price of $232 USD.

Review: Diana Herrick

Our Top Picks from the Dior SS18 Haute Couture Collection

Maria Grazia Chiuri’s SS18 haute couture collection as artistic director of Dior Couture appears to float somewhere between dream and reality, imagination and realization. The designer brings a fresh breath of imagination to the collection, conjuring an otherworldliness and use of trompe l’oeil and optical illusion with fabric, form and flow.

Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by Surrealism in her predominantly black and white collection sprinkled with illusion and the occasional elements of surprise.

‘Féerie’ | Woven horsehair cage over black velvet ribbon-embroidered skirt.

In that vein, generous pleats on a white evening dress are etched in black like the pages of a book, while caging, is a recurring motif, is transformed into a black mesh fabric that hugs the body and underscores transparency as silvery fishnet mingles with the density of velvet.

Tuxedo suit with silhouetted lapels and tulle shirt with tie, inspired by the Porte Maillot design from spring-summer 1949.

Above all, it’s the charisma of the artist Leonor Fini that defines this collection’s strict yet radical attitude. Leonor Fini, who left Italy for Paris in the ’30’s, held her first exhibition in Christian Dior’s gallery and befriended the designer from that moment onward. Whenever she made one of her phantasmagorical appearances, she often wore Dior.

‘Ange Blanc’ | Ensemble composed of a cape and dress embroidered with flowers and feathers, woven ivory horsehair cage.

Leonor Fini was the incarnation of the then-revolutionary idea that one must always remain independent and reinvent oneself as a representation of all possible realities.

‘LISE DEHARME’ Ottoman Bar tuxedo and ivory embroidered tulle shirt

She used clothing to define herself and set her own stage, in public as in private: at once influential, severe and elegant, she struck poses inspired by portraits of men from the Renaissance, by the constant interaction of art and life, and the blend of the natural and artificial. These marvels of haute couture came into being in a dimension suspended between dream and reality.

‘Les Amants’ | Lips-motif bustier dress with a millefeuille of sun-ray pleated gray tulle.

The same applies to the daywear for which Christian Dior had such a knack, and notably to shapes reinterpreted using traditional men’s wear fabrics. Maria Grazia Chiuri draws on these as inspiration in a series of suits that recalibrates Dior’s curves to today’s tastes, paired with skirts of multiple contrasts.

‘Dominos Blancs’ | Ivory satin cuir coat with domino intarsia, satin cuir skirt, and white dotted tulle shirt with tie.

Ever faithful to the Surrealist tradition of deconstructed forms, accessories make their presence felt in a whimsical way: a fishnet stocking veils a sandal, while gloves clutch an ankle. It’s this way of seeing and being seen, with a point of view that draws on the unconscious and today’s world, that Maria Grazia Chiuri uses as a foil for embroideries and other embellishments.

‘Les Oiseaux du Paradis’
| Black organza and tulle bustier dress with layered feather embroideries inspired by the design Faubourg Saint-Honoré from spring-summer 1949.

On a dress illuminated by a mirage of peacock feathers, precious and delicate ornaments become eyes that behold and express mystery — as well as the spiritual power of today’s women.

Review: luxxrs London

Check out this exclusive Leather Lunch bag by Simon Miller

Are you tired of the same old paper rolled, or horrendous plastic lunch bags? If you chorused that with a yes, then worry not, as Simon Miller is here to save your day! The designer brand has recently launched a leather Lunch bag option for you, which means that you can carry and flaunt around your food with equal style from now on!

Crafted with 100% goatskin leather, the bag comes with a fold over magnetic closure, metal feet and gold tone embossed logo on the front. It maintains a simplistic design all along, thus fusing in the charm of the traditional, while still making a fashion statement of sorts! It is available in a ‘seamless to carry’ size of 19 cm / 7.5 inches X 21 cm / 8.5 inches X 10 cm / 4 inches and can be purchased in various color options ranging from black and yellow to a vibrant turquoise blue. And while you can most certainly carry around your food in it, we’d rather use Simon Miller’s latest as a clutch purse with panache!

When Simon Miller was initially launched as a men’s denim label a decade ago, little had we thought that it would deliver such fabulous trinkets into our kitties! But here it is, doing just that! Why not we head on then and grab ourselves an exclusive Simon Miller lunch bag (starting at $345 USD) right away!

Review: Samenda Caldwell

Here are the best looks from the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2019 show

Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2019 collection hit the runway recently and for the house’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, it marked a sharp turn away from polished glam. Instead the collection was decidedly more eccentric; a mix of prints and textures that really brought to mind the mix-and-match feel of street style images and fashion influencers on social media.

For all the lack of color on the runway (this is a resort line after all!) there was a textural richness brought on by the mix of prints and fabrics. Billowing dresses shared the runway with tightly belted jackets and thigh high boots.

While a couple of lingerie inspired outfits looked a little out of place in the sea of layered ensembles, the collection seemed contemporary and cohesive on the whole.

The jackets were all winners, ranging from feathery and over-the-top to boxy, cropped, round shouldered and even blazer-inspired. If you have a penchant for outerwear, this collection will delight with its options that range from loud to subtle.

Standout looks include this white dress paired with high boots that feature the same sole as Louis Vuitton’s archlight sneakers. This is a catwalk-to-sidewalk outfit if there ever was one.

This modern take on an 80’s skirt-suit also had us swooning. It’s part motorcycle madness and part Working Girl, and we love when two unexpected concepts are married together thoughtfully.

Don’t miss the cute cat accessories created with Vogue’s creative director Grace Coddington as part of a capsule collection. They are undoubtedly one of the best parts of this show and are sure to sell out in record time.

Review: Edward Collins

Fashion Forward Dubai Announces its Next Edition | 25 – 27 October 2018

After a celebrating its milestone tenth season in October 2017 at Dubai Design District, Fashion Forward Dubai, the definitive fashion platform which has championed Middle Eastern design talent for the past five years and has propelled the careers of many designers both internationally and regionally, will return to showcase couture, ready-to-wear and accessories from established designers, as well as debut new talent.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 26: A model walks the runway during the Essa show at Fashion Forward October 2017 held at the Dubai Design District on October 26, 2017 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Cedric Ribeiro/Getty Images for FFWD)

Bong Guerrero, CEO and co-founder of FFWD said, “After 10 successful seasons, Fashion Forward’s next edition will take place in October 2018. The additional time between events will enable the platform to further evolve as we build upon the new event format launched last season, nurture relationships with exciting new talent, continue to support seasoned designers, and re-energise the fashion design landscape. Together with our partners, stakeholders and leading industry players we look forward to delivering another fashion event which represents the breadth of talent across the region.”

“We are excited to announce that the next edition of Fashion Forward will take place in October 2018 and will be a celebration of fashion.  With the shift in global industry trends, and in order to strengthen the programme as well as the roster of designers, this move and consolidation will see an even stronger event. To evolve the platform and grow Fashion Forward into a truly remarkable fashion occasion, the team are convening focus groups with key industry stakeholders, media and designers to further understand their objectives, seek feedback, and brainstorm new ideas to enhance what is already a highly credible platform.”

Lacoste replaces crocodile logo for limited edition range

In a collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Lacoste has swapped its famous crocodile logo for ten of the world’s most threatened animals on a set of limited edition polo shirts.

Lacoste’s crocodile logo is known throughout the world, but on a limited edition of polo shirts created in partnership with the ICUN’s Save Our Species initiative, the brand is dropping it. It will be replaced with a series of ten different animals, all of which are facing extinction.

Review: Gernot Mueller

 

PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD WITH LUXURY FOOTWEAR BY PURE REGAL

Pure Regal is a British – Portuguese luxury footwear and accessories brand based in London. The brand was built on the principle that “Fashion is Architecture, it is a matter of proportion”.

Encompassing the precision of architectural lines with the beautiful symmetry found in fashion and footwear construction, traditional styles meet modern inspiration. Shoes that are beautifully handmade in Portugal, with the finest, ethically sourced materials, and can be worn in a professional, elegant or casual environment, taking you from each occasion effortlessly.

With ultimate sophistication, practicality and elegance in mind, Pure Regal creates for the most daring, driven and discerning customers. Choose from their selection of classic suede or leather loafers, embroidered velvet slippers, chic city boots, and elegant heels for ladies. Golden details adorn their footwear, from from the eyelets and buckle hardware, to the 12mm stiletto heels.

Offering a truly personalized experience, Pure Regal’s Bespoke service allows you to add your initials in six different embroidery options to the black velvet slippers. What better way to express your personal style? And they also make for a perfect gift! The luxury loafer is reimagined to your own desire with this elegant addition.

All shoes are finished with the signature leather golden sole and branded with the Pure Regal London logo. Delivered in gold branded, black boxes, with dust bags provided, and tissue wrapped. After all, it is all in the details.

Discover More Online at www.pureregal.com

How to Conquer Milan Fashion Week

Fashion Week has arrived in Milan and the entire city is abuzz. With so much going on, it is important to know where to go and what to do. Martina Colombari, former Miss Italia, turned model, turned humanitarian, is a modern woman who has found her home amongst the busy Milanese.

“My favourite district in Milan is Porta Nuova, which is near where I live, and Isola with its mix of local businesses of stores and restaurants. It’s a graceful neighbourhood that has maintained its community feel,” she says.

Colombari has thrived in her role as a pillar of the Milanese community, and in doing so has come to know the city in a unique capacity. She has even become an international philanthropist through her charity work; for more details on her philanthropic efforts, see Miss Italia turns Humanitarian on luxxrs.com.

luxos milan park

Take this year’s Fashion Week as an opportunity to follow in her footsteps.

Dip and duck between models and influencers into the best fashion shows but also between locals into Milan. Start off with a morning ritual that usually only the Milanese get to experience: a morning workout starting in Parco Sempione. Jog, run, or walk your way from Castello Sforzesco to Arco della Pace, and then take the metro just a few minutes to Pasticceria San Gregorio. This Porta Venezia pastry shop has even croissant and coffee drink to reward your athletic pursuits and sustain the rest of your morning in a true Italian manner.

From there, you can head back towards Cadorna for some shopping. Backtracking may seem odd, but it will actually give you a chance to stop in at any shops or attractions you saw on your walk/jog/run. Milaura offers classic but cool fashion for women while Mercato San Marco more local goods. The market is open only between 7:30am and 2:00pm on Thursdays but offers fresh produce and meats and handmade clothes and shoes. That is Milan for you: high fashion and artisanship all rolled into one.

luxos milan sites

In the midst of all of this there will be lunch.There is Dry, a classic Italian pizzeria with a pleasing selection of cocktails, or Soulgreen, a health focused but still with an intriguing menu. Both are located in Porta Nuova, so it is really up to you which to choose. After refueling, continue on to find the wonder that only Milan can offer.

A day spent seeking and seeing in Milan calls for a dinner that is nothing short of indulgent. Adventure to either North or South to Fingers Garden or Osteria il Giardinetto respectively. The first of these features Japanese-Brazilian cuisine with the occasional hint of Italian flare. This will satisfy the culinary explorer in you. The latter is classic Italian. With handmade ravioli, fine wine, and luscious desserts, it is idyllic Italian.

Colombari knows Milan like the back of her hand, and of all it has to offer these are what she deems the most worthy for your visit.

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