Postcards from Bastakiya

Postcards from Bastakiya

My Dubai has given me an opportunity to view the most advanced and exciting infrastructure there is from right at ‘The Top’ of Burj Khalifa, to meeting adorable and beautiful penguins in the city’s very own ski mountains at Mall of the Emirates and taking me right back to the simplicity of the gold, fabric and spice souks in Bastakiya.

On a quiet morning earlier this week, I donned my favourite kaftan and explored the markets, rode an abra and enjoyed the most delicious lunch at Creekside Dubai before heading back to my hotel room for some much needed rest from the pounding heat. I’m a sucker for tradition, colour and vibrancy and that’s exactly what you get in a place that’s as full of heritage and culture such as this, just make sure to grab a coconut water from one of the few juice stands there are to stay hydrated and take as many photos as you can. Of course it wouldn’t hurt to have your best haggling skills to hand when dealing with these guys too!

Outfit images photographed by Slava Noor, edited by Reem Kanj.

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Kaftan: Maha Collections | Dress: Talulah | Bag: Mulberry

Fashion Forward

This week I’ve been working with My Dubai to bring a brand new experience of Dubai to our readers here on the blog as well as over on Instagram. As a regular in Dubai (being here every other month) and Natalya being a resident, we felt like it was about time we showcased just what this thriving city has to offer, and we’re starting with the fashion, naturally.

Fashion Forward is in it’s fourth season, and was created to highlight up and coming and established designers and their latest collections to the who’s who of the region’s fashion and media industries. Similar to the way traditional fashion weeks run, it has a centralised hub where all the action takes place, in this case it’s the stunning location of Mina Al Salam hotel. Spectators who have been accredited prior to the event can attend to watch shows, shop exhibitions by designers and brands as well as mingle and network.

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The shows I attended were all clients of Faux Consultancy and dear friends of Natalya and I. Madiyah Al Sharqi is a brand you may have seen here on the blog, and having already seen her SS15 collection at the showroom in Paris, I knew I was in for a treat. Al Sharqi’s aesthetic is one that I fall madly and deeply in love with season after season, she creates the dresses of dreams, made with the custom materials and textiles to match. There seems to be no limitation to the glamour, sophistication and femininity of her design process and it’s very exciting to see such home-grown talent set the bar so high.

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To end my Fashion Forward experience, it couldn’t have been with more of a bang then with the Dima Ayad show. A full house was eagerly anticipating what Grazia Middle East named as ‘Designer of the Year’, had to offer for SS15. The energy was bouncing off the walls as the first look took to the runway and it was official that Ayad had cemented her signature aesthetic. Colour blocking and abstract print married with flattering silhouettes and flirty neck and hemlines.

Gaining the respect and time for those coming in from New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Week straight to Dubai’s own version is always going to be a hard win for the region, however I have to admit that minus a couple of organisational set backs by Fashion Forward, what I have seen in terms of talent is more then enough to make me want to include Fashion Forward in my seasonal schedule. Endemage, Madiyah Al Sharqi and Dima Ayad have proved that, and I know I speak on behalf of Natalya and I when I say we couldn’t be more excited to be present in the rise and rise of these beautiful women and their brands.

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Outfit images photographed by Lailli Mirza, show images photographed and edited by Reem Kanj.

Skirt: Dima Ayad | Top: Zara | Bag: Mulberry | Shoes: Alexander Wang

Blanket Wrap

Blanket Wrap

It’s so crazy to think that just a few days I go I was all wrapped up in a blanket wrap doing a twitter takeover for New Look during Paris Fashion Week and now I’m in a totally different time zone and climate to match. Things are crazy busy at the moment and I’m currently suffering a rare moment of jet lag during my latest trip to Dubai which I normally don’t get here, but my schedule has been non stop the past few weeks so it’s either that, or a mini mental breakdown. I’m rooting for the latter, especially as it involves midnight pizza orders to my hotel room, (we’ll ignore the part where I’m too tired to focus on stringing a sentence together and doing my best to avoid the online sales).

Ok, getting back to work, this look has to be one of my favourites in a long time, it’s a complete New Look outfit that I styled as part of my collaboration with them over Fashion Week and it involves something called a blanket wrap, yes a blanket wrap (!) If you’re like me, then I probably don’t have to go any further in justifying why it’s the best thing created ever, although I do feel that it may have been a little pre-mature for me to have been so Fall-esque in my style, especially as Paris was rivalling the weather of coastal Italy last week but what can I say, I’m a sucker for blanket wraps. Evidently.

Can’t wait to style this fabulous piece with some jeans, a leather jacket and red lips in a few months!

All images photographed by Carrie Harwood, edited by Reem Kanj.

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All clothing: New Look.

Dress | Boots | Blanket Wrap | Hat