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June 2013 Issue 20

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The Gate Mall Tel. 44077153


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14 Editor’s Letter

26 Pretty Pastels

Sheikha Hend Al Qassemi presents Velvet Issue 20

A wedding favourite - keep it sweet

16 Editor’s Notes

31 News

Packing for all of summer’s eventualities

All you need to know for June


36 Style Transition


The new monogram travel trolley

Looking forward to fall – we take a look at the pre-fall collections

26 Gucci

43 The Hot List

T-bar pumps make a retro return

What we’re loving in style for June

30 Burberry Prorsum


20 Louis Vuitton

Shimmer through summer in a gold jacket

TRENDS 18 Black

44 Practically Perfect

50 FASHION 52 Pack It All In

Velvet’s definitive guide to shopping for summer 66 Make It Miami – fashion shoot

Hot fashion sets the summer on fire, Miami style

Isabel Marant, fashion editor’s favourite and designer of clothes women want to wear

78 Splash Out – fashion shoot

49 Jewellery Notebook

88 Haute Arabia – fashion shoot

Saba Mubarak becomes the first Arabian ambassador for Saint Honore

Rami Al Ali’s spring/summer haute couture collection

The summer’s most fabulous swimwear

Go over to the dark side for summer 22 Modern Monochrome

Black and white’s modish come back


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117 BEAUTY 99 Just Beautiful

Georgia May Jagger on her new role as the face of Just by Just Cavalli 104 Ten Of The Best

The latest and greatest products released for a flawless summer



106 Method In Her Madness

The woman responsible for Gwyneth’s body, Tracy Anderson tries to train Deborah Ross

132 Cannes Film Festival


The most stylish film event on the calendar takes over La Croisette

111 Lifestyle News

Polly Sweet plans your June diary

134 Velvet Fashion Show

114 How I Get Dressed

The region’s most promising design talent showcased at Velvet’s own fashion event

Chanel’s Little Black Jacket star, model and music producer Caroline de Maigret



117 Velvet’s Little Black Book OF LONDON

138 Voice of Arab art

142 Index

The definitive city guide to shopping, eating and having fun in London

Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi explains how he’s spreading the word of Middle Eastern art across the world

139 Competition


141 Competition


140 Scarred For Life

Celebrities and designers get fierce and pierced for the annual Met gala

How one man’s infidelity left permanent scars on his wife and their marriage


144 Archive

Get ready to splash the cash at Christie’s

VELVET / June Issue 20

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PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sh. Hend Al-Qassemi EDITOR Natascha Hawke DEPUTY EDITOR Polly Sweet MARKETING MANAGER Joumana Sabbagh SOCIAL MEDIA AND PR REPRESENTATIVE Samsara Hussain ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Suleiman Bahri QATAR & INTERNATIONAL Musheireb City, Souk Musherieb Tower, Office number 02 Tel. +974 (4) 4436303 CONTRIBUTING LIFESTYLE EDITOR Polly Sweet CONTRIBUTING FASHION & BEAUTY EDITOR Celia-Jane Ukwenya CONTRIBUTORS Lucy Wildman, Mickael Carpin, Kasia Furtak, Yumiko Hikage, Deborah Ross Kate Finnigan, Oksana Anel, Chris Rushton PHOTOGRAPHERS Jason Lloyd-Evans, Rachel Rebibo, Timothy R Lowery IMAGES Getty Images

DESIGN The Old Chocolate Factory, 4th Floor O’Meara Street, London, UK. SE1 1TE

ADVERTISING & Mahmoud Kerbaj COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR AMED Alternative Media The Executive Towers D Office 1301, Business Bay. Dubai. UAE Tel. (+971) 4 454 1566 PRINTING Atlas Printing Press LLC P O Box: 14833, Dubai, UAE DISTRIBUTION UAE Jashanmal Group QATAR Dar Al Sharq KUWAIT Farajalla Press Agency OMAN United Media Services LEBANON Levant Distributors JORDAN Aramex Media PUBLISHED BY

PLNY PUBLISHING, DISTRIBUTION & EVENTS LLC P.O. Box 68800; Sharjah. UAE Tel. (+971) 6 525 4114 Fax. (+971) 6 525 4224



Velvet Magazine is published monthly by PLNY Publishing, Distribution and Events. Reproduction in whole or part of the magazine without permission from the publishing house is strictly prohibited. Velvet magazine is fully independent and its views are those of any company mentioned herein. All copyrights and trademarks are recognized and all the images are used to the purpose of review only. For Subscription rates please contact

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H A C K E T T. C O M

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Lifestyle NEWS VELVET Luxury watchmaker Saint Honore has chosen the famous face of Saba Mubarak as their first Middle Eastern ambassador, page 49

The Editor’s LETTER

ME Time From Fashion Forward at the Madinat to the red carpet at Cannes, Dina JSR leads the way for sucessful Arab designers Page 32


ADD CREDIT >>>>>>>>>

Cover shot by Timothy R Lowery Dress by ERDEM; Sunglasses by ERDEM Styled by Oksana Anel Hair and Makeup by: Chris Rushton Model: Briley Hale at Elite/Miami


he last two months have proven to be quite a milestone for the Middle Eastern fashion industry. The end of April marked Reem Khedici in dina jsr at the very first instalment cannes film of Dubai’s hotly festival anticipated Fashion Forward event (page 32), our local answer to the international fashion weeks, that showcased, in a very professional manner I might add, the Middle East’s most intriguing fashion talents, both established and relative newcomers. Brilliantly organised, it was the most slick series of fashion presentations that the region has seen thus far, allowing such names as Essa, Amato, Tresor Sauvages, Dima Ayad, Tahir Sultan and Emperor 1688 to showcase their autumn/winter collections in an orchestrated way. I am personally very much looking forward to next season’s instalment. In other news from Middle Eastern designers, Dina JSR whose intricately structured designs have graced the pages of Velvet many times, achieved a number of red carpet appearances at the Cannes Film Festival – usually a sign of great things to come. And across the pond in the USA, Rami Al

Ali has cemented himself as a Destiny’s Child favourite by appearing on Kelly Rowland at the Billboard Music Awards and in her megastar exband mate Beyoncé’s tour book, as a leaked image showed. See his latest haute couture collection in our shoot on page 90. It is often alarming to me how fast time seems to fly by, and, seeing as this is the June issue, it would seem that we are already half way through the year. As social diaries begin to calm locally, our international commitments increase and this means that we can get excited about packing for our summer holidays. Velvet’s holiday fashion special ‘Pack it all in’ (page 52) is your definitive guide to packing the basics that will keep you on-trend and in comfort on your travels. I will be heading to London for my annual summer injection of energetic culture and a break from the summer heat. If you are doing the same then don’t leave without your copy of Velvet and the Little Black Book of London (page 117) that our expert Londoner Lifestyle Editor, Polly Sweet, has compiled. It has everything you need for a stylishly adventurous city break. Happy holidays!

Sheikha Hend Al Qassemi

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Editor’s NOTES

ISABEL MARANT Blazer, Dhs2,643 at

Prism Sunglasses,Dhs1,571 at


Address: Sanderson Hotel A popular destination for the Middle East during the summer, there is even more likelihood of to bumping into friends in Harrods rather than out on the social scene back home in Dubai.

Jimmy Choo Pumps, Dhs2,422 at

Velvet’s Editor Natascha Hawke packs her summer travel wardrobe.

J Brand White Jeans, Dhs1,300 at Bloomingdale’s

St Barts

missoni Bikini, Dhs1,370 at

Anya Hindmarch Woven Clutch, Dhs2,738 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Address: Le Sereno (pictured) or Eden Rock St Barths’ ‘Rockstar Villa’. Frequented by the rich and famous, St Barts is a sociable little paradise with stunning scenery, great parties and Grade-A people watching.

Laura Mercier, Daily Face Shield SPF40


Wishing You Were Here…

AG Jeans from a selection at Bloomingdale’s

azza fahmy Silver Bracelet, Dhs1,800


Address: Can Curreu, San Carlos A summer in Europe is never complete without a visit to the small Balearic island of Ibiza. Aside from the 24 hour party people, days can be spent out at sea, eating good food with friends at the islands many chichi restaurants or simply hanging out at boutique hotel Can Curreu.

Rupert Sanderson Sandals, Dhs2,700 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Michael Kors Orange Aviators, Dhs890

Matthew Williamson Beach Tote, Dhs4,200

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See more colour with



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alexander mcqueen Leather jacket, Dhs17,900

roberto cavalli

vintage chanel Dhs15,400 at Harvey Nichols Dubai

alexander mcqueen Clutch, price on request

Illesteva Sunglasses, Dhs690 at Boutique 1

christian dior Shoes,price on request

BACK TO BLACK The season’s most unexpected trend, vampy black has come in to its own for summer. A rock chick aesthetic was the key look at Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli and Nina Ricci – think leather, slashes and cut-out elements for how to wear it best.

nina ricci

camilla skovgaard Shoes, Dhs3,260 at Boutique 1 Manolo Blahnik ‘Ferson’ Shoes, Dhs2,950 at Bloomingdale’s Dubai

emilio pucci Dress, Dhs9,250

roland mouret Dress, Dhs9,300 at Bloomingdale’s Dubai

ancient greek sandals Sandals, Dhs745 at Boutique 1

Amanda Navai ‘Jess’ bag, Dhs4,295 at Bloomingdale’s Dubai


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Flair & Function A fact for global travellers with a flair for fashion: Louis Vuitton luggage is designed to last 10 years with one trip/week or up to 40 years with one trip/month. An investment buy if ever there was one. ZĂŠphyr Travel Trolley at Louis Vuitton


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vintage chanel Dhs16,900 at Harvey Nichols Dubai


MODERN MONOCHROME A leading trend for summer ’13, a monochromatic palette defines the season. Graphic prints, modish checkerboard, chevrons and statement stripes are a key part of the look. Diane Von Furstenberg Clutch, Dhs1,502 at

Anna Baiguera Dhs475, at Boutique 1

balmain Striped Blazer, Dhs9,249 at

chloe Alison Tote, Dhs4,706 at

giles Coat, Dhs8,921 at

Lisa Marie Fernandez Bikini, Dhs1,838, at

agent provocateur Mazzy Swimsuit, Dhs1,690 CH CAROLINA HERRERA Dress, Dhs3,540

Michael Kors Skirt, Dhs8,292 at chanel

Alice & Olivia by Stacey Bendet, Shoes, Dhs1,450 at Harvey Nichols Dubai

roger vivier Dhs4,062, at My-Theresa. com


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T Time Frida Giannini must have been feeling nostalgic when designing for her pre-fall collection if the accessories are anything to go by. The T-bar patent pumps, daintly accented with bows, are fifties fabulous. At Gucci


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Coralia Leets Earrings, price on request at Saks Fifth Avenue

burberry prorsum

Alexander McQueen Dress, Dhs5,236 at

mulberry ‘Bayswater’ clutch wallet, approx Dhs2,500

Pretty pastels

mulberry Dress, approx. Dhs6,937

Melt in the mouth pastels in sugared almond tones are softly sweet additions to a daytime summer wardrobe. Pistachio, lemon, candy floss and baby blues mix together to create a gorgeously girly look that slips effortlessly into a summer wedding party. victoria beckham Cat Putty Sunglasses, Dhs2,112

ancient greek sandals, Dhs595 at Boutique 1

sophie hulme Bag, Dhs2,845

emilio pucci Bag, price on request

Current/Elliot Yellow Jeans, Dhs935 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Rupert Sanderson Snakeskin shoes, Dhs3,975 at Saks Fifth Avenue

roberto cavalli


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Gold Rush Let the sunshine bounce off you as you shimmer through the summer months in Burberry Prorsum’s cropped buckle-waisted jacket in the precious metallic tone of gold. Truly blinding. At Burberry Boutiques


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Update,Translate CURATE GCC Sparkles at Cannes Stars come out in collaboration with Chopard to show their support for sustainability.

Written by Natascha Hawke, Lucy Wildman, Celia Jane Ukwenya


t wouldn’t be altogether unexpected that when we mention GCC you may automatically assume we are referring to our own beloved Gulf Cooperation Council, but in fact in this particular instance the GCC we are referring to stands for the Green Carpet Challenge, an initiative founded by Eco-Age creative director, and wife of actor Colin, Livia Firth. Already regularly highlighted in Velvet’s annual Green Issue, Livia’s Green Carpet Challenge has gone from strength to strength since its initiation, seeing partnerships with designers such as Tom Ford, L’Wren Scott, Valentino and, most recently, Gucci. But for the Cannes Film Festival Livia set herself and her team a whole new challenge: to create the first line of sustainable High Jewellery. By teaming up with Chopard on a project they called ‘The Journey’, the GCC begun their own journey in creating a line of jewellery from responsibly sourced Fairmined gold from artisanal community mines in South America, supported by the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) and using diamonds from mines certified to the high standards of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), sourced from IGC Group. “The launch of The Journey initiative in Cannes marks the beginning of an incredible journey for Chopard and our partnership with them,” says Livia. “By putting sustainability at the very heart of the brand, they are showing themselves to

be leaders and a company that truly wants to make a difference to the world of luxury jewellery.” Co-President and artistic director of Chopard, Caroline Scheufele admits sustainable high jewellery has its own challenges, but is a sign of the times, saying “as a century old, family-run business, we are very aware of our responsibilities in our journey to sustainable luxury. It is not an easy journey, but it is the right one and The Journey is the start of a very exciting new multi-year programme that will ensure we are working towards our goal of

sustainable jewellery. One of the first steps is our partnership with ARM, which will support the families and communities of the artisanal miners in South America.” The GCC collection by Chopard was debuted on the red carpet at Cannes by Marion Cotillard, wearing the sparkling sustainable accessories with her Christian Dior dress. /

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THE FUTURE OF FASHION Regional designers take to the runway at Dubai’s premiere Fashion Forward event to very positive reviews.


ASHION FORWARD – the event that finally placed Dubai on the global fashion map. Showcasing the works of both established and emerging designers from across the Middle East, FFWD’S inaugural season spectacular garnered the kind of fashion-focused attention that the region has been craving for years, and with it, a whole new level of creative credibility. Boasting a packed 4 day schedule of workshops, lectures, lunches, catwalk presentations, pop-up shops (and, of course parties!) across three locations at the Madinat Jumeirah, more than 12,000 guests, including the CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Steven Kolb, and legendary Lebanese designer, Reem Acra, witnessed what has been hailed as the single most successful Fashion Industry event in the city’s history, and a marker of its glittering fashion future. With every show filled to capacity, and front rows bursting with top fashion  buyers, editors, bloggers, designers, influencers and academic heads, alongside  the most stylish socialites, and more than 20 collections from designers including Ayesha Depala,  Essa, , Furne One and Tahir Sultan set the runways alight, with a dazzling array of looks  for autumn/winter that left audiences spellbound.  “Fashion is a universal language, and


programmes like Fashion Forward fuel creativity and stimulate the economy,” said the CFDA’S CEO, Kolb. And while London, Paris, Milan and New York are the historical pillars of the global fashion world, Kolb believes emerging marketplaces, like Dubai, will have an important effect upon the industry in the future. “I don’t think the future is going to be about one city or that there will be a capital. The way technology has influenced business and economies have become global, I think Dubai could have an important place in global fashion.” The highlights? Both RTW and couture had some standout stars. The modern simplicity of Essa’s uncharecteristically pared down collection in a stark autumnal palette; the whimsy 80’s inspired line from Zayan, packed with tutus and battered denims; Emporer 1688’s stunning embroidered and embellished cocktail wear and suiting, and Tahir Sultan’s elegant 40s inspired line of foxy jumpsuits and

deconstructed separates in diaphanous chiffons and silks are certain to be snapped up for the sharpeyed fashionista’s new season wardrobe. As far as red carpet worthy collections go, the Holy Trinity of Dubai’s Haute Couture magicians knocked it out of the ballpark, with Furne One, Michael Cinco and Ezra’s display of impossibly beautiful gowns in a palette of white, nude, gold, red and black inspired by everything from Gaudi’s architecture to the sartorial extremes of good and evil drawing gasps of wonder from every member of the audience. Quashing the negativity of those who weren’t entirely sure if the latest attempt to catapult Dubai to style superstardom would work, Fashion Forward’s exemplary debut has been heralded a runaway, runway success story. And with the second season’s planning already underway, the future of the region’s fashion industry has never looked more bright. Look out, London, Paris, New York and Milan. Dubai is seriously on your tail.

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Dina JSR Tresor Sauvages


Tahir Sultan

Emperor 1688


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Shoe Fiesta Looking for last minute accessories to wear to one of the any wedding invitations of the summer? Look no further than the newly opened Menbur store in Abu Dhabi’s Al Wahda Mall. Specialising in elegant women’s accessories, there’s a great selection of clutches and peep-toes.


Following the resounding success of last year’s competition, luxury Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta has announced the launch of their second annual New Exposure photography competition. Portfolios are submitted to a panel of visionaries from the world of fashion, arts and photography including fashion photographer Craig McDean, Make up artist Pat Mc Grath and Supermodel Linda Evangelista. The winner will be awarded a prize package of $10,000, a one-year mentorship with Art+Commerce and the opportunity to shoot an exclusive project for Bottega Veneta. The winner announced at New York Fashion Week in September. For information on how to enter visit www.bottegaveneta. com

SWIFTLY DOES IT For a 21st century revelation to urban mobility look no further that one of the most exciting collaborations for 2013. Swifty Scooters has joined forces with British designer Paul Smith to create a range of scooters. At just 7.8kg the slim line aesthetic and innovative design of SwiftyONE embodies a blend of form and function with Paul Smiths’ quintessentially contemporary Brit spirit to get you around any metropolitan city with style.


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Velvet Loves…

Sienna Miller in Matthew Williamson autumn/winter 2013’s D.I.S.C.Ostyle shimmer dress. The perfect end of year party dress. Order yours now.


The Idea? A T-shirt with a fragmented design that is completed by another. If you own one, there is someone somewhere in the world with a matching tee waiting to be found. To find your other half post a picture on bossorange. or upload a picture to Instagram using the WE-T Instagram effect. Those who find their T-shirt pairing win a trip to Berlin.


New fashion addresses to know now Sonia Rykiel reopens in Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue Known for its contemporary classic line of Parisian cool ready-to-wear, Sonia Rykiel has reopened in Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue to give the look and feel of its flagship boutique on Paris’ SaintGermain. The 125 square metre space will house the mainline collection and accessories. +971 43308464

Saint Laurent on Avenue Montaigne, Paris Temperley London in Doha Quintessential British label Temperley London is the latest monobrand store to open, under Salam’s portfolio, at the Gate Mall in Doha. Alice Temperley herself cut the ribbon at an ‘English Tea Party’ themed launch on May 12th.

Under the creative direction of Hedi Slimane, Saint Laurent’s new 900 m2 store on the Avenue Montaigne is a ‘physical embodiment of the brand’s realigned visual identity.’ Situated over two floors expect sleek French Art Deco inspired design and a predominantly monochrome space. Chic.

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Lanvin For his pre-fall collection for Lanvin, Alber Elbaz introduces a wilder side to his aesthetic, forgoing the minimal for a more opulent feel, with calf-hair coats and bags in an eclectic smattering of animal prints decadently layered over one another and finished with the oversized jewellery that has become as much of a part of the Lanvin sartorial furniture as the strapless dress. Detail doesn’t stop at the jewellery, appliquÊ stones and flowers dot along seams and decorate hemlines, extending on to clutches and coats.


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Animal print, tartan and tweed reign supreme in the pre-fall collections, with a dash of transitional florals and a lick of leather along the way. Stella McCartney In her distinctive brand of nonchalant cool, for pre-fall Stella McCartney looked to the ‘uptown sophistication’ of New York. Graphic stripes and colourful, floral jacquard in bursts of poppy pink, vermillion and garnet give a feminine energy against her signature oversized, masculine tailoring.


As an introduction to the animal prints and pencil skirt silhouettes of the upcoming autumn/winter collection, Burberry’s prefall collection perfectly presents Christopher Bailey’s love for structure and femininity, with a touch of nostalgia.

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GUCCI “This is a contemporary femme fatale who relishes her own dark mood,� says Frida Giannini of her pre-fall collection for Gucci. Dramatic in effect, a distinctly war time aesthetic ruled in the boxy skirt suits and arm-length suede and leather gloves, patent T-bar sandals and the cinched waists, whilst tartan checks, jaguar prints and teal and khaki colours made up the palette. Texture was introduced in the form of luxurious fur, ponyskin coats and ostrich skin skirt suits, and eveningwear was punctuated with sultry lace peek-a-boo panels for a hint of unashamed Gucci sexiness.


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Michael Kors ‘Powerful femininity… fragile Vs tough… lingerie influences… lace from Chantilly to Guipure…sleek motorcycle touches’ were just some of the influences for Michael Kors’ pre-fall collection, mixed in with some ‘glamorous garden’ florals for a smooth wardrobe transition from summer to autumn.


In his first pre-fall collection for Dior, Raf Simons re-imagined yet again the iconic Bar jacket by pairing it with oversized trousers introducing another silhouette that represents the new attitude. Waists and structure were key components, as were intricate fabrics and new patterns. The attitude is wholly Simons and brilliantly a little more nonchalant than Dior has seen in the past. .

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CHANEL For Chanel’s Paris-Édimbourg Métiers d’Art 2012/13 show, Karl Lagerfeld took fantasy to a whole new level by flying in editors from all over the world to Scotland to present them with the collection in the historical surroundings of Linlithgow Palace, birth place of Mary Queen of Scots. As usual, Lagerfeld’s inspiration for the collection did not stray far from the life of Coco Chanel, who personally spent time in Scotland during her romance with the Duke of Westminster. The clothes themselves were a hearty mix of oversized coats and cardigans, voluminous breeches and kilts in tartan, tweed and wool, and at some points there was a very literal nod to Mary Queen of Scots in neck ruffs and Tudor accents.


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RALPH LAUREN Despite his all-American roots, Ralph Lauren does a very convincing line in European chic. His use of textures - fur against leather, cargo knit against silk palazzo pants has something of the Parisian about it. The eveningwear of his prefall still maintains a debutante aesthetic and his brand’s DNA of cosy glamour.

Matthew Williamson

Jean Paul Gaultier It was a tale of two halves at Jean Paul Gaultier. Using his haute couture sensibilities to great effect in a pre-fall collection that may not be the most practical but that shows off his expert attention to cut and detail to the best of its ability. Masculine in aesthetic and strong and glamorous in attitude.

Matthew Williamson has, by now, achieved his very own defined brand of hippie luxe that make his clothes incredibly wearable, but undeniably luxurious. Prefall is a smart/casual mix of bohemian, Aztec prints, pretty gowns and electric colours mixed in.

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Quoted: Yara For Escada

“I am so honored to be the first ever regional face of Especially Escada – a fragrance that captures the beautiful aroma of rose petals. As an Arab singer and someone who relishes unique scents pulled from nature’s aromatic palette, I am so proud to be associated with Escada – an esteemed and global luxury brand that symbolizes modern elegance, cool glamour and sensual femininity.” Especially Escada, Dhs260

Beauty Note: To get hot pink nails, Haifa used Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in ‘Back to the Fuchsia’.


Want what she has? Influential Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe is a Middle Eastern style icon. The first Lebanese artist to hold the number one position on American iTunes with a foreign language album, her personal style is well documented and her fashion choices remain some of the most blogged about to date. In her latest music video for the track Ezay Ansak, Haifa chose a chic white jumpsuit and glamourous gold trench coat from the Ingie Paris Cruise ’13 collection.

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Update,Translate CURATE VELVET

Things we're loving for June

Miu Miu’s edgy Tortoiseshell sunglasses, Dhs1,150

Matthew Williamson’s tie-dye dress, Dhs9,000

Mara Hoffman Swimsuit, Dhs1,021 at Net-A-Porter. com

Mimi Holliday, Bikini, at

Dolce & Gabbana, Beach Tote, Dhs6,350

Azzedine Alaia, Dress, Dhs13,770 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Castaner Espadrille wedges, Dhs545

Victoria Beckham, bag, Dhs5,444

Roksanda Ilincic Capsule Collection The Serbian-born Central St Martin’s graduate has acquired quite a name for herself with her simplistic approach to contemporary eveningwear and distinctive use of colour. Especially for Net-A-Porter she has revealed an exclusive collection to solve all summer wardrobe woes; smart shorts, chic lightweight tops and exceptionally smart dresses, all with bold pops of colour in her signature London style are great assets for a transitional capsule wardrobe.

Roksanda Ilincic capsule collection is available exclusively at

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Clothes that make you look fabulous yet don’t get in the way of everyday life. That’s why Isabel Marant’s eponymous label is the hottest thing in fashion today. Kate Finnigan meets the designer whose refreshingly sensible mantra is: ‘Don’t expect others to wear what you wouldn’t wear yourself’

Written by Kate Finnigan/NI Syndication; Baclstage photography by Jason Lloyd-Evans


sabel Marant appears suddenly from around a corner looking slightly harried and wrestling herself into a huge black cableknit sweater that immediately looks like the only thing one should be wearing today. The French fashion designer’s Parisian headquarters is opposite the Banque de France. In amongst the grand, establishment façades of the premier arrondissement it has a discreet, dark, industrial-style doorway, which leads into a light, open-plan 230,000sq ft space that for some reason reminds me of the British Library. But rather than books, this place boasts an impressive collection of cool women. While I’m waiting for Marant one effortlessly chic Parisian lady after another passes by. Skinny jeans, denim shirts, trainers or ankle boots. Nothing flash. Nothing, as the designer says later in her glorious Franco-English, that would ‘make people peer at you in the street’. Or at least, if they did, it would only be to admire your understated zhuzh-iness. When Marant has tamed the sweater (she’s also wearing laced leather trousers and worn-down ankle boots), we race upstairs to the mezzanine. Her greying hair is pulled back and she’s wearing no make-up. Her face is almost ferociously expressive; when she grimaces or laughs her face creases into great concertina lines that stay lightly etched in her olive skin. She’s gorgeous. She asks someone for a coffee and,

Once you’ve become familiar with crossing one leg over another, rolls a her aesthetic her signature is instantly cigarette. Really, she says, the demands of recognisable: a skinny, leggy silhouette: her job are so great that she should be like feminine but grounded by the masculine, an élite sportive; early nights, swimming, a little bit rock ’n’ roll, a little bit yoga, no smoking. But the autumn/winter global traveller – she likes her ethnic 2013 collection that she is preparing has craftmanship. Simple but, as she says, ‘not caused her a lot of stress, plus, she’s just very minimalist’. In short, it’s how many shipped spring/summer 2013 into shops women want to dress now and, as a result, – a joyful collection inspired by Elvis and her designs have been much emulated by Hawaii – and she ‘cannot refrain from other labels and the high street. Even if doing things that are not good for me,’ she you’ve never heard of Isabel Marant you’ve says. ‘But I’m working on myself’. probably worn something influenced by her. When we meet, the catwalk show ‘There’s not so many brands you can at which she will present the autumn dress up in every day,’ Marant says, trying collection is just a month away and she to explain her success. ‘For is ‘exhausted, excited, when you have to work, you because it’s coming, don’t have a driver, when you frustrated because it’s It’s so ugly when have to run, bring your kids to never what you want’. But school, look good at the office her hand is itchy, ‘and in I see beautiful just after go to dinner with France that’s a sign that girls wearing these and friends. I mean, that’s our life.’ money’s going to come’. She has always designed She laughs, a surprisingly dresses. They would full, rather masculine look better wearing for herself, a strength in guffaw. ‘So I’m not very a well-cut trouser an industry where many womenswear creative directors ’appy, but my hand says and a T-shirt. Much are male. ‘It’s true that I am it’s going to sell.’ more chic than a… my own muse. I don’t like It usually does. In this word but when I studied the past decade Isabel cake dress! fashion at Studio Berçot [the Marant has gone from Paris fashion college] the cult Parisian designer to director said, “You shouldn’t international commercial want others to wear things that you won’t big hitter. Worn by key influencers – Alexa wear yourself,” and that’s something that Chung, Katie Holmes, Victoria Beckham, never left me.’ to name a few – she is a fashion editor’s In the past she has described her favourite, but there are many, many nonwoman as someone who starts getting famous women who regularly welcome dressed up and then decides she can’t be Marant’s clothes into their wardrobes. VELVET / June Issue 20

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ks; Valeria odel friend Dior.

ks; Valeria odel friend Dior.

bothered and puts on her jeans instead; my kind of woman. ‘Most of women are like this, come on,’ she says. ‘You want to look good but you don’t want to spend too much time on it. I will always go to things that make me feel comfortable. Being a woman I’ve got a very honest eye on woman, I don’t have any fantasy. Sometimes I can create things that are beautiful but I say, “When am I going to wear that?” Every morning when I open my cupboard I need some clothes, I don’t need some clothes to go to awards or whatever, because it’s once a year.’ Her personal staples are ‘a pair of tight jeans, a pair of flat shoes and something that is a bit like a sweatshirt, a jumper or T-shirt. A good jacket, a good coat. I’m quite androgonystic. I’m very feminine but I always need to break it with something very masculine.’ For evening she’ll just change her shoes to heels. She doesn’t design eveningwear. In fact, she says sometimes she would prefer a world without it. ‘It’s so ugly when I see beautiful girls wearing these dresses because they have to. Sometimes they would look better wearing a well-cut trouser and a T-shirt. Much more chic than a… cake dress.’ She does a nice line in frank; none of


that sitting on the fence that you so often find with the well-known. Disgust is a word that she employs a lot. She’s disgusted that so many labels have copied her bestselling wedge trainers without attribution (‘Everybody who has the wrong one looks quite bitchy, very vulgar, when mine are not at all’); she’s disgusted by the impact on fashion of the digital age (‘As soon as you have an idea it’s copied and you don’t like it in a minute’); and she’s disgusted at the increased pressure on designers to provide two extra mid-season collections per year. ‘I feel like a machine to vomit garments,’ she says, rather vividly. But given that she tells me she starts every collection from a feeling of ‘disgust and frustration’, perhaps this is a motivating state for her. ‘I always think, “OK, again another collection. Why new clothes, when we have so many, I know we don’t need it. What is going to be the difference?” It’s always rejection, love and hate. Then I [go through] a psychological healing.’ She laughs. ‘From that, the excitation comes again. I go, “Yeah, that’s a good idea, I must do it, I didn’t do that properly before.” Then it’s a bit like a puzzle; there’s a shoulder [shape] coming, a length is coming, a kind of fabric... I’m very instinctive, actually. I’m not very intellectual.’

As a child Isabel Marant didn’t want to be a designer. Until she was 15, ‘fashion was all that I hated’. Her mother was a successful model, but her father was keen to protect his daughter from the fashion industry, so the young Isabel ‘didn’t really understand’ what she was doing: ‘My mother was a kind of far-off angel.’ Her parents separated when she was six and Marant lived with her father who remarried – ‘a Caribbean woman, super-chic, like a model of Yves Saint Laurent in the 1970s.’ Marant was not impressed with her style. ‘A lot of makeup. It was during the 1980s so it was really waaagh! And I was totally grunge. But even if it was too feminine for me, at least it printed in my brain this French chic. Very classic.’ At the other end of the style scale was her nanny, the final of her ‘three mothers’. ‘She was crazy. She was drinking, smoking and had ugly clothes,’ she recalls, ‘but she was wearing them in such a cool way that, finally, she was a kind of icon for me.’ Perhaps it was inevitable, then, that, aged 11, Marant was going to school ‘dressed up in a very fancy way’. She made dresses out of her father’s old silk paisley robes and wore them with his

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Clockwise From Left:

Isabel Marant runway looks from Spring/Summer 2012; Autumn/Winter 2012; Autumn/Winter 2013; Spring/Summer 2013

checked slippers. ‘He had great cashmere sweaters and was quite tall and big, so In a DIY, grungy spirit she on me they were looking super-nice.’ She started making her own clothes. had a strong idea of how she wanted to ‘In France we have nice cloths, look? ‘Oh, completely. I didn’t want to look red stripes, to sweep the floor and like the others and I hated myself so I was also to sweep the dishes. I made hiding my face with my hair. I was quite tops with one at the front, one at the back, ugly.’ She shrugs. ‘I was not a pretty girl.’ square, very Japanese – in a European, ‘That’s how you felt,’ I say, feeling protective of the little Isabel. ‘I was not,’ she trashy way.’ Her friends coveted them. ‘I was kind of earning my living at 16 selling says, definitively. my rubbishy things and I thought, “Eh, ‘No, because I was sucking my thumb interesting.” I’d wanted to do economic and my teeth were all like that [she juts them over her bottom lip]. My little brother studies but I discovered fashion.’ After college she tried working in other was just super-cute and had a super-nice houses but found the experience frustrating angel face when I was quite… I was always – too big and noisy in that 1980s way she like that… [she frowns]. I was a bit like Patti Smith. I was raised in quite a chic area didn’t like – and decided to go it alone, launching her label in 1994. of Paris and they were all wearing pleated Although she started navy-blue skirts and for me as small as can be with a that was not…’ She gives fashion show in a squat up searching for the word. It’s not her friends as models, ‘Impossible.’ She laughs. really pleasing and it never felt like a struggle, At 15 she started to notice me to have my ‘because it was never a that fashion was changing. dream for me to be super‘When [Jean Paul] Gaultier name big and successful, recognised by all started, Comme des Garçons, to be ‘ISABEL the fashion girls. I’m always Yohji Yamamoto… they MARANT!’ surprised that I reached such kicked out all those Thierry a top level because I never Mugler shoulders, Montana, thought about that. I built YSL.’ She went crazy for my company step by step. I was very lucky Vivienne Westwood. ‘She had a shop in that I had great people working for me who Paris and I was babysitting for hours just to pushed me a lot. It’s not really pleasing me be able to buy something there. I had this to have my name big and to be “ISABEL huge red-pink skirt with two big pockets that were hanging. It was the opposite of all MARANT!” That’s not what pleases me about my work.’ She grins. that was fashion until then’.

Despite the international sales, the healthy turnover (62 million in 2011, up 44 per cent compared with 2010), the two lines (Etoile Isabel Marant is her cheaper diffusion line) and the 13 international stores – including four in Paris and a British boutique on its way – it still isn’t. Although she works ferociously during the week, every weekend for the past six years she and her partner, the accessories designer Jérôme Dreyfuss, and their nine-year-old son, Tal, have escaped to a cabin in a forest outside Paris with no electricity and no hot water. ‘What I love about it is that finally you [realise] you don’t need a lot to be happy in life. And that’s very reassuring to me,’ she says. ‘You know when you have all that pressure, pressure, pressure and sometimes I’m crying because I cannot achieve things, but when I’m in my cabin in the forest I say, “Finally I’m so happy.” I’m really somebody who believes less is more. I think we have too many things. It’s just killing everyone.’ She and Dreyfuss, who have been together for 16 years but have not married because ‘they don’t have time’ (she says they will do it when they retire) are very similar in their outlook. ‘I think we found each other because we share that same point of view,’ she says. ‘We have the same taste, we admire the same painters, designers, singers or whatever… but fashion is not only our life. It’s what we love and what we do well, but we have many other things beside this.’ Isabel Marant is available at Boutique 1 VELVET / June Issue 20

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03/11/2012 18:10



The French luxury watchmaker Saint Honore appoints Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak as the first Middle Eastern brand ambassador.


ith her flawless complexion, long glossy brown hair and envious figure, the well known star of the hit TV series Seraa A’ala El Remal and Eljteyah, Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak, is the perfect compliment to the Saint Honore watchmaker known for its flawless design and attention to detail that marries Swiss precision with French flair. Speaking of this new collaboration,

Olivier Birault, CEO of Saint Honore says, “Saba Mubarak exudes elegant style, flair and sophistication, all of which embody qualities that reflect the Saint Honore brand. This partnership also signifies our deepening ties with our Middle East customers who have been great supporters of the brand in the past.” The actress, who is known for her show stopping style says she is “very honoured” to be chosen as the first Arab woman to

represent the watchmaker and personally has always been a great fan. As the new Brand Ambassador she hopes to use her popularity to introduce the luxury watches to other Middle Eastern customers, saying “the flamboyance and flair conveyed by Saint Honore line of watches and accessories will make the brand very popular among the large number of luxury lovers in the Middle East.” Saint Honore is available at Paris Gallery

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cara delevingne in chopard red carpet collection necklace and earrings


Caroline Scheufele

frida pinto

Chopard Dazzles at Cannes

Chopard celebrates its fifteen year partnership with the Cannes Film Festival with the unveiling of the Red Carpet Collection.


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“Love is universal. It illuminates women’s beauty, like a beautiful piece of jewellery,” says Scheufele. “I very much wanted to pay tribute to the finest sentiments. The Red Carpet collection is thus adorned in shimmering colours, red accents… like the fire of passion and heart-shaped precious stones, one of my favourite cuts.” Celebrities and models wore the Red Carpet Collection at the opening ceremony of the festival, coinciding with ‘The Great Gatsby’ film premiere. Cara Delevingne cemented her status as model du jour in a diamond necklace and earrings set, Cindy Crawford and Frida Pinto both accessorised their couture gowns with Red Carpet Collection earrings. A glorious show of high fashion and haute joaillerie in one dazzling performance.

Written & compiled by Natascha Hawke


elebrating fifteen years as the official partner of the film industry’s most dazzling annual red carpet event, held on the achingly glamorous promenade de la croisette in Cannes, Chopard has been as much a part of the Cannes Film Festival as the stream of famous names that have walked the red carpet. Every year the industry’s most revered actresses present themselves to the wall of paparazzi in the most desired haute couture from Paris, accessorised by the world’s most flawless haute joaillerie from the Geneva based watchmaker-jeweller. To celebrate this milestone year Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and Artistic Director of the House of Chopard dreamt up the exquisite Red Carpet Collection inspired by great love stories.

Cindy Crawford

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emerald and diamond choker from the chopard red carpet collection

Belle Epoque heart with diamonds and rubies by Damiani

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Velvet’s definitive guide to packing a stylish summer suitcase.

THE SUMMER tote Not just a handbag, the personality of the summer tote is effortlessly chic and packed to the brim with a can-do attitude. This bag can fit your life, your laptop and your travel essentials inside its butter soft leather walls simply perfect for a last minute weekend away. Don’t forget to pack your passport.

Michael Kors Dhs5,700

victoria beckham Dhs4,933

prada Dhs7,950

STATEMENT shades Written & compiled by Natascha Hawke Photography by Jason Lloyd-Evans

Dolce & Gabbana’s deck chair influenced sunglasses are a great way to channel a nautical aesthetic if the Breton striped t-shirt has been over worn. Brilliantly beach chic.


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Carmen Marc Valvo price on request at Bloomingdale’s



MARA HOFFMAN Dhs1,320 at Boutique 1

We Are Handsome Dhs1,071 at Net-A-Porter

The swimsuit is once again the sleekest form of swimwear. Body-sculpting styles offer support and waist-cinching benefits that are elusive to a bikini. There are no rules when it comes to decoration, but the most show-stopping styles come from Mara Hoffman, Carmen Marc Valvo and Roksanda Illincic.

Roksanda Ilincic Dhs1,785 at Boutique 1

Marianna G Dhs8,231 at Boutique 1



Back with a vengeance, the espadrille is big news for summer. Practical, comfortable and now bang on trend, the espadrille will take you through flea market explorations, long flights, and lazy days on the beach, straight on to a predinner aperitif with casual, stylish, aplomb. Loewe Espadrilles, Suede Oro Dhs1,780; Napa leather Dhs1,930; Ostrich Dhs3,265

roksanda ilincic

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The Beach boutique


Boutique 1’s beach boutique is a one-stop shop for all your beach fashion fantasies. Fashion forward swimwear from muchloved labels Missoni, Mara Hoffman, Roksanda Ilincic, Vix, Lisa Marie Fernandez and Leonard Fuchsia can be picked up and paired with a printed kaftan by Heidi Klein or Mary Katrantzou, sunglasses by Sheriff & Cherry or Illesteva, and sand-savvy sandals from Diane Von Furstenberg, Havaianas and Y-3.

koku Beach Tote, Dhs860 Sheriff & Cherry Sunglasses, Dhs525

gucci Temperley London Palazzo Pants, Dhs8,995

Lisa Marie Fernandez Leather Bikini, Dhs1,275

gucci necklace, Dhs13,650

A Gucci


Undoubtedly the most statement of all spring/summer 2013 runway jewellery, Gucci’s colour coordinated costume jewels bought some carnival cool to Frida Giannini’s super-sleek seventies runway. Match with the earrings for full-on accessorised force.


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A FLASH OF fluoro

madiyah al sharqi

Fluorescent pops of colour have always screamed summer festival, but for 2013 neon grows up and re-emerges in feminine, elegant eveningwear and dainty daytime dresses.

Valentino Dhs8,442 at Net-A-Porter

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Dhs3,864 at Net-A-Porter



Salvatore Ferragamo’s glorious Greek goddess inspired sandals are essential summer footwear for all holiday eventualities. They will work anywhere and best of all, they won’t date for seasons to come. salvatore ferragamo from a selection

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christian dior price on request

CHLOÉ MARE Oversized Beach Tote, Dhs1,474 at

Beach bags

An absolute beach holiday essential, a stylish beach tote is a whole other way to express your style. From the haute designs of Chanel and Christian Dior that scream St Tropez chic, to the nautical stripes of Coach’s Legacy Weekend tote which will sit pretty up on deck, it is an entirely necessary new holiday purchase.

Sensi Studio Straw Tote, Dhs815 at Saks Fifth Avenue Dolce & gabbana

coach Canvas Tote Dhs1,700

Marc by Marc Jacobs

marc by marc jacobs Mouse Flats, Dhs1,200 at Bloomingdale’s


There really is no excuse needed to invest in a pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs mouse flats. Practical and beyond adorable they will lift any mood and keep feet happy despite how many walking miles one might clock up.


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Hat trick

Covering up in style is made easy with the plethora of fabulously wide-brimmed hats that are available through the cruise collections to spring/summer. A sun hat will not only keep the sun off your delicate face, but add a large dose of sophistication to your look at the poolside.

Eugenia Kim Dhs1,370 at Net-A-Porter. com




christian dior price on request

Missoni Dhs905 chanel Dhs10,620

Sensi Studio Stetson, Dhs375 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Going For


Nothing says poolside glamour like Burberry Prorsum’s gold body straight off the spring/ summer 2013 runway. Expertly rouched for a body sculpting effect, pair with a golden tan, killer heels and a glossy pout for a bombastic look of mega-watt proportions. Move over Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

Burberry Prorsum, Gold Body, Dhs8,795

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Street Hot


Totally cool, high fashion high-tops have been hot fashion fare for a few season’s now, but show no sign of going anywhere soon. Combining comfort with unrivalled amounts of street cred, Gucci’s fucshia pair are the business.


gucci Dhs2,550

Emilio Pucci Dhs4,584 at Net-A-Porter Missoni Dhs2,455 at Boutique 1

The kaftan Mes Desmoiselles Dhs990 at Saks Fifth Avenue


Lazul London price on request at Bloomingdale’s

Gloriously relaxed and breezy, it is impossible not to fall into holiday mode in a kaftan. The Middle East has always been an influence in this style of poolside cover up meaning contemporary kaftans are acceptable just as much on the beach as in a chichi bar for sundowners. Simply accessorise with lashings of jewellery and some glitzy flats.

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Elie Tahari Dhs1,800 at Saks Fifth Avenue




It’s a jungle out there and there’s nothing like dressing the part. Embark on a fashion adventure in tropical prints, exotic skins and animal influences that will create fierce stories of their own when debuted out in the wild, from the concrete jungle to the real thing. Take a walk on the wild side. gucci Dhs9,100

Juicy Couture Dhs625 at Saks Fifth Avenue

dolce & gabbana price on request


accessories It’s always nice to accessorise a holiday with chic little extras from the luggage tags to your travel diary. Who knows, it may even aid you in that upgrade.

pierre hardy Luggage Tag, Dhs437 at Net-A-Porter

Comme des Garcons Dhs895 at Saks Fifth Avenue Alexander Wang Dhs2,333 at Net-A-Porter

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Ancient Greek Sandals Dhs695 at Boutique 1

GILT gladiators

Grecian gorgeousness is always accented with golden gladiators, the absolute sexiest form of flat footwear bar none. There is also a certain element of fantasy with a gladiator sandal...dreams of Helen of Troy to, perhaps, if your lucky, Brad Pitt’s Achilles. Theatrically fabulous.

Valentino Dhs2,740 at Net-A-Porter

Azzedine Alaia Dhs3,305 at Saks Fifth Avenue



Steamline Luggage Dhs1,650 at Bloomingdale’s Home


The travel trunk is a nostalgic nod to the glamorous days when travel was a privilege and not a regularity. Louis Vuitton is, of course, the original and Sophie Hulme has designed a vintage/contemporary trunk with GlobeTrotter, but affordable and available in a good selection of colours are trunks by Steamline Luggage at Bloomingdale’s Home. If not for travel, then most definitely for decoration.

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victoria beckham Vintage Indigo, Dhs1,076

WILLOW ETHNIC DENIM Dhs705 at West L.A Boutique


cut offs

Cutesy denim cut offs belong in every girl’s summer suitcase. A festival favourite, cut offs are casual enough to be cool, but sexy enough to turn heads. Dress them down for the beach, up for the beach bar and accessorise with luscious, long, tanned limbs.

mary katrantzou for current/elliott Dhs1,220 at Boutique 1

tory burch price on request



The spring/summer runway collection from Tory Burch was a bit of a trip. Her usual New Yorker aesthetic of Upper East Side debutant niceness was interrupted by postcards from Africa, South America and back through the Hamptons. Eclectic loveliness was seen best in her accessories.

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cole haan Dhs975 each at Bloomingdale’s



Cole Haan’s pastel loafers maintain that even a step-in shoe has some pull in the style stakes. Another classic staple to add to a basic shoe wardrobe, these will work wonderfully with summer’s love of printed trousers or some simple white cropped jeans another summer staple.

red haute Dhs325 at Bloomingdale’s

marc jacobs Dhs1,315 at Saks Fifth Avenue



The beatnik calm of a Breton stripe has been a fashion editor’s staple since the swinging days of the 60s saw it come into its own. Offering a nonchalant style stamp of Parisian chic which, let’s face it, we all want a piece of, stripes work from tops to accessories as one of summer’s absolute necessaries. Marc by Marc Jacobs Dhs1,051 at


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Say it loud and proud in a pair of printed pants. Statement prints can be worn head-to-toe or pared-down with a classic white t-shirt. Whatever the weather make sure there’s a print party on your pants.

marc jacobs Dhs3,485 at Saks Fifth Avenue

J Brand Dhsxxx at Bloomingdale’s

miu miu Dhs5,677 at Net-A-Porter

hale bob Dhsxxx at Bloomingdale’s

By Malene Birger Dhs1,125 at Net-A-Porter

Miu Miu dress

Rarely is Miu Miu far off the mark when it comes to looking for something feminine with the ability to push to the edge. This aqua pinafore dress may look dolly drop adorable, but layer it on top of a coloured blouse and you have something much more fashion worthy.

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Festival season always calls for a touch of bohemian attitude - without the slightly worn aesthetic the word itself can conjure up. Summer’s boho is entirely about the luxe side of the look. Lighweight gypsy silk shirts, broderie anglaise kaftans and embellished chiffon sheath dresses in which one can drift dreamily around barefooted and dance freely in the firelight.

AIDAN MATTOX Dhs1,240 at Saks Fifth Avenue

ch carolina herrera Dhs2,430

Christian louboutin Dhs2,490

jimmy choo price on request


The more sensible approach to achieving a more flattering leg length, wedges give an altogether more stable answer to a high heel, especially when it comes to event dressing or maintaining a puttogether aesthetic. Where certain holiday destinations may require walking more distance than simply from the taxi to a chair, wedges are a secret weapon.


ChloĂŠ Dhs3,095

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SHORTS Summer packing isn’t complete without a pair of smart shorts. Choose tailored turn-ups in shimmery metallics for a touch of glamour, stripes for a nod to nautical, or a pair of classic culottes for a touch of girly insouciance. It’s all in the cut.

burberry prorsum price on request

ch carolina herrera Dhs1,310

marc jacobs Dhs1,971 at Saks Fifth Avenue


tiger sweater

It’s become the cult sweater on every fashion blogger’s wish list, so much so there are entire youtube videos dedicated to it. Kenzo’s tiger sweater is the very fast way to throw on a style statement.

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Spring collections offer electric colours, contemporary cuts and some sizzlingly hot swimwear that will keep you looking hot all summer long.


Photography by Timothy R. Lowery Styling By Oksana Anel

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Left: Swimsuit by VERSACE;––––––––––––Right: Swimsuit by Missoni at Boutique 1

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Left: Top by MIU MIU; Hat by MAURIZIO PECORADO; Right: Swimsuit by La Perla

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Top and Skirt both by ALEXANDER MCQUEEN; Shoes by MICHAEL KORS

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Dress by ERDEM; Sunglasses by ERDEM; ––––––––––––Right: Top and pants both by GUCCI; Shoes by ALEXANDER WANG Team Credits: Photography and Creative Direction by: Timothy R Lowery; Styling by: Oksana Anel; Hair and Makeup by: Chris Rushton; Model: Briley Hale – Elite/Miami; Photography Assistants: Ray Hardman and Jonathan Addison; Location: Terra Veritatis Estate, Miami Beach, FL

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Swimsuit by NAÏLA; White gold necklace & diamond ring by DINH VAN; Watch by NINA RICCI; Sunglasses by ACUITIS

Create waves on the poolside this summer in contemporary swimwear with a haute couture edge. Structure is key. Photography by Rachel Rebibo Styling By Mickael Carpin

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Left: Swimsuit BY JOY de VILLARET; Bag by DSQUARED2; Cuff by MM6 MARGIELA ---------------- Right: Swimsuit by VERSACE; Belt by PATRIZIA PEPE; Brooch by PHILLIPE FERRANDIS; Sunglasses by WILDFOX; Bag by LACOSTE Roland Garros

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Left: Bikini by THAPELO; Black mesh top by Diesel; Black cuff by ISHARYA; Gold bangles and ring by JOANNA LAURA CONSTANTINE; Bag by VERSACE ---------------- Right: Swimsuit by SEAFOLLY; Cuff by MATTHEW CAMPBELL LAURENZA; Necklace by SCOOTER

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Left: Bikini by 8HUIT; Short necklace by REMINISCENCE; Long necklace by THOMAS SABOT; Bag by BALENCIAGA; Cap by EMMANUEL KHAN ---------------- Right: Swimsuit by ERES; Earrings by ISHARYA; Hat by STETSON

Pace e Luce, St. Regis Hotel Tel: 66126650 P e L Dunes Hotel Tel: 66848892 2

VELVET / September Issue 2012

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HAUTE IN ARABIA Syrian designer Rami Al Ali’s spring/summer collection of haute couture is a red carpet ready collection of fabulously decadent eveningwear. Championed by both Kelly Rowland and Beyonce of late, his name is no longer placed in the category of newcomers, this Middle Eastern fashion star is now firmly cemented as one of the most revered in haute couture today. Private appointments may be scheduled by calling +9714 394 5607

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Daily energy for


your skin Cellular Power Serum, your daily virtual bodyguard against aging.

La Prairie is thrilled to debut the newest member of the elite Power team. The sophisticated science behind Cellular Power Serum combines a revolutionary new Defense Fortifying Complex with the acclaimed Cellular Power Complex to deliver unprecedented performance, empowering the skin to reclaim its optimal equilibrium, youth and beauty. Developed to satiate consumer demand for a “daily dose of power,� Cellular Power Serum joins the ranks of fellow power players Cellular Power Infusion and Cellular Power Charge Night. Cellular Power Serum truly allows your skin to strengthen its natural defenses against free radical threats while acting as a battery supplying energy to your cells to repair existing damage. Utilizing a natural anti-oxidant defense network, your skin works in four phases to combat oxidative stress: 1. Sensing oxidative stress. 2. Protecting by scavenging free radicals before they can cause damage. 3. Restoring oxidized molecules such as proteins and DNA. 4. Eliminating irreversibly damaged molecules from the skin.

La Prairie Cellular Power Serum Dhs, 2100 available at Harvey Nichols

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Rock ‘n Roll royalty, model du jour and international style icon Georgia May Jagger talks to Velvet about being the current face of the new “sexy, provocative and addictive fragrance” Just by Just Cavalli.


ow do you feel about being the face of the first Just Cavalli fragrance? It is the first fragrance that I have ever done so it is a huge honour! It’s just amazing working with all the Just Cavalli team; I am having a great time. How would you define the Just Cavalli universe and brand? Roberto Cavalli is a great designer. His creations are always different and he has his own signature with all the animal and exotic prints. The Just Cavalli brand is very sexy, young and cool. Each collection is very urban and colourful; it is clearly for the younger generation who wants to have a trendy look.

Written & compiled by Celia-Jane Ukwenya

What do you like about the Just Cavalli fragrance? The Just Cavalli fragrance is very sexy, very addictive and very provocative. It is at the same time fresh and sensual. What is your relationship to fragrances in general? I think fragrances remind you of people. So, you can tell a lot about someone by his or her smell, you always remember it. So, I think it’s a very important part. Just by Just Cavalli, 75ml, Dhs 350, available in all fragrance retailers.

VELVET / June Issue 20

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SOLO Loewe Platinum

The quintessentially Spanish luxury label’s newest offering for the contemporary man is a sophisticated and innovative scent balancing lavender, leather and black tea. The aroma is designed for a man who demands only excellence and perfection, just how we like them. Solo Loewe Platinum Eau de Toilette at Loewe

The New Treatment

So Colourful

With its ultimate concentration of Gold Orchid technology,

sephora’s newest addition for summer focuses on nails and eyes with a collection of over 77 shades of eyeshadows and 52 polishes to make your fingers dazzle and your eyes pop this ss13… Velvet Loves this Banana split shade.

Guerlain’s ORCHIDÉE IMPÉRIALE tailormade treatment, is the quintessence of luxury and age defying efficacy. It revives the skin’s cellular vitality and reinforces its longevity in a mere 28days.

So Colorful, r eyeshadow Dhs72 , nail polish Dhs33. Available at Sephora.

Tropical shadows

ORCHIDÉE IMPÉRIALE, The New treatment, Dhs5,951, Guerlain

Safe In The Sun “Love the name,” says loyal fan Gwyneth Paltrow, “works for the entire family.” Free from parabens, fragrances and petrochemicals, This toxic free sun protector is perfect for summer travels and everyday use.

Supergoop! is available at Make Up Etc, Park Hyatt Dubai, and Six Senses Spa at Zighy Bay

Color Five Color Eyeshadow Palette in Batik Sun, Dhs275, Estee Lauder


When on holiday, you want to spend the least time worrying about how you look and more time enjoying your destination. Tantastic Instant Spray Tan (150ml), a nonaerosol, bag-in-can technology, is ideal for tanning legs and hard to reach areas as it sprays from any angle - even upside down! Better yet, there is no product wastage as the can empties 100 per cent – ensuring you get your money’s worth. Instant Spray Tan (150ml), Dhs95, Tantastic at available at Spinneys, Waitrose, Géant and Le Marché.


Written & compiled by Celia-Jane Ukwenya Photography by Jason Lloyd-Evans

Embodying the exotic remoteness of a Caribbean paradise, this summer Estee Lauder indulges the senses with sunset hues, vivid and vibrant bronzes and metallic tones with the Limited edition Bronze Goddess Collection. Turn up the heat through a spectrum of summer shadows with the New Limited edition Pure

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Better Bigger

Clinique’s #1 selling lip product has just gotten a little more intense. For all Chubby Stick Fans worldwide Clinique introduces a new fuller lip coverage formula in 8 more intense pigments while decadent butters, oils and antioxidants protect and pamper lips. Chubby Stick intense Moisturising Lip Colour Balm, Dhs97, Clinique

Olay Touch of foundation

Paradise found

Total Effects BB Cream 50ml, Dhs70.15 at Boots

philosophyMiracle Worker

In the words of Fragma, “I need a miracle!” Enter philosophy’s Miracle worker, a self proclaiming “miraculous” anti-aging moisturiser that will firm and hydrate your skin with a unique complex that will replenish its natural moisture barrier.

Miracle Worker Cleanser and Mask Dhs160 by philosophy at Sephora

The new fragrance, Flower of Immorality by Kilian, recently launched at Paris Gallery, pays homage to the Chinese superstition that blossom is believed to have the power to bewitch the human soul and make it immortal. Fragrantly fantastical. Flower of Immorality, Dhs1,065, Paris Gallery

With claims of over 11 million HydraQuench skin care products sold since its launch, and one product bought every 12 seconds, Clarins Hydra Quench mask is a must. the numbers can’t lie.

Hydra Quench Cream Mask, Dhs199, by Clarins

With the BB cream craze still going strong, here is a clever multi-tasking cream that combines the anti-aging skin care of the ever popular Olay Total Effects with the natural and even tones of Max Factor foundation. “Olay Total Effects Touch of Foundation BB Cream is a great skincare solution for busy women who want to look their best quickly every day.” says Dr Sian Morris, Olay Principal Scientist.

Blossom Tales

Best Seller

Dior has taken inspiration from a legendary bird of paradise for its spring makeup collection of mystical shimmering colours and skinenhancing highlighters.

DiorSkin Nude Tan Paradise Duo, Dhs257, Dior

Bon Voyage

For those of us who have not mastered the art of packing light, effortlessly continue to provide the best for your skin with Bioderma’s travel kit. containing their essential Sensibio H20 make up remover, Atoderm Mains hand cream, Sensibio Eye contour gel and Photoderm Max fluid SPF100, all in one handy pack. Bioderma Travel Kit, Dhs199 is available in all leading pharmacies

VELVET / June Issue 20

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The Spa Deal:

Trip to Freedom The opulent and lavish B/Attitude spa at Grosvenor House, Dubai, with its Asian inspired décor, takes you on a pampering trip to the Far East. This June, they are offering a selection of exclusive spa specials to help fight the heat this summer. Velvet loves the “B/attitude Trip to Freedom”, which is a choice of any 2 signature treatments lasting two hours, for only Dhs880. We recommend a relaxing Intuitive Fusion Massage with warm oils paired with the Ayurvedic Dorsha Facial for the ultimate in indulgence and relaxation. 2 hours Dhs 880, The B/ATTITUDE Spa, 4th Floor, Grosvenor House TOWER 2, +971 4 3998888

No More Mascara This summer, forego any beauty faux pas like mascara by the pool, and book an appointment at Tips and Toes for some long-lasting eyelash extensions. Like a permanent mascara, they look real, don’t run and allow all-day beach glamour. They will last around 2-3 weeks, depending on how often your natural lashes shed. Warning, they are addictive - after one appointment you’ll never want to use mascara again. Tips and Toes Spa, Dhs500, with over 16 branches call +971 4 399 0550 to find your nearest branch or visit


The Spa treatment

Simply The Best


ecently awarded “Best Luxury Day Spa UAE 2013” at the World Luxury Spa Awards, I was intrigued to find out more about Spadunya Colour Experience. Living in a city saturated with countless spas and beauty salons it is often difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff, but Spadunya’s unique concept, based on colour therapy, makes it a spa with a difference. Colour therapy works by asking a person to select colours from a chart which they respond to the most. these apparently correlate with what a person is lacking emotionally. Once determined what an individual requires, Spadunya tailor makes the treatment to the individual. Research has proven that each and every cell in the body reverberates at a certain frequency relevant to its function. These cells also carry memories of injuries or discordant vibrations. It is believed that harmonic vibrations produced by colour, light and music have healing benefits and can lead to better health, enhanced senses and therefore optimum efficiency of the body. Upon arriving at the spa I was taken into a consultation room where the colour experience begun, 4 colours are highlighted

as the most appealing and more drawn to. These are then matched to a scented perfume or serum, which is used during treatments. The consultant takes time to carefully explain to how each colour can heal, energise and relax. The Color Harmonizing Massage is the signature massage at the spa, offering a dynamic experience using organic brand- Altearah Bio. An hour long, the full body massage takes place in a dimly lit treatment room to rhythmic and soothing music. All areas of the body are covered and the soothing kneading left me feeling energised. After your treatment the therapist recommends which colour scent you should take home to recreate the feelings of calm and composure when required. This June, enjoy a Signature Color Harmonizing Massage using Altearah Bio’s yellow and gold oils, said to invoke feelings of joy and confidence, for the special price of Dhs395 and receive a mini facial worth Dhs215 free. Color Harmonising Massage at Spadunya 60minutes, Dhs395. Spadunya is located at Shams 1 Plaza, The Walk at JBR, Dubai

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Sisters Are Doin’ It… Now at Sister’s Beauty Lounge, UK nail brand Ciaté has launched its new summer Fairground collection. With 9 new colours with imaginative names such as Ferris Wheel, Carousel, Spinning Teacup and Loop the Loop, you’re spoilt for choice. Ciaté Nail Polish, Dhs60 www.sistersbeautylounge. com

“I’m no fuss when it comes to my beauty regime so I love to use skin care products that I know will work. For a cleanser, you can’t beat Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse, Dhs220. It feels decadent,

smells amazing and removes all traces of make-up.” “I use Tracie Martyn’s Enzyme Exfoliant once a week. It’s like a facial in a pot! In the evening, I love to massage a few drops of Aurelia’s Probiotic Cell Repair Night Oil, Dhs248

into my face– its smells of orange blossom, my favourite scent which instantly transports me into a state of zen.” “Tracie Martyn’s Shakti Resculpting Cream, Dhs624 is a holiday essential. It doubles as a facial moisturiser and acts as a perfect makeup base. I always take Hampton Sun’s SPF 15 Gel with me. It contains walnut oil for super soft skin. Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Body Balm, Dhs330 is refreshing, hydrating and smells delicious - perfect after a day out in the sun.”

“I am liner fanatic. Le Metier De Beautè’s Precision Liquid Eyeliner, Dhs303

has true staying power. “ “Chantecaille’s Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara, Dhs331 – for super

long, natural looking lashes.” “By Terry Touché Veloutee Highlighting Concealer Brush and By Terry Light-Expert Perfecting Foundation Brush, Dhs237 – the ultimate concealer and foundation. The brush means you can blend easily for a flawless, long lasting appearance.” “Aesop’s Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm, Dhs370 is super rich and

absorbs easily which is perfect for hydrating hands and feet in flight.” “Natura Bissé’s Diamond Drops Serum, Dhs812

rejuvenates my skin and feels light and silky.” All products available at

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Ten of the BEST

4 3

2 1


9 10



6 7

Scents of Summer

Spring summer 13 catwalks reflected youthful, colourful fresh palettes. Let your scents this summer do the same… 1 Dior, J’adore Voile de Parfum 50ml, Dhs387 02 BYREDO Inflorescence, 100ml, Dhs 880 from Paris Gallery 03 Estee Lauder Pleasures Eau Fraiche, 100ml, Dhs379 04 Flora by Gucci, Glorious Mandarin, 100ml Dhs420 05 Prada Candy L’Eau, 80ml, Dhs450 06 Bottega Veneta, Eau Legere, 75ml Dhs445 07 Balenciaga, L’eau Rose, 100ml, Dhs350 08 ckOne Summer, 100ml, Dhs205 09 Valentino, Acqua Floreale, 75ml, Dhs415 10 Custo Barcelona, Glam Star, 100ml, Dhs315


VELVET / June Issue 20

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Advertorial VELVET

UTTERLY butterly soft Get look-at-me lips this summer with Revlon’s latest Lip Butters


ydrating, smooth, soothing and softening, Revlon has introduced new sugar-sweet colours to its Lip Butter collection for summer 2013. Straight off the runway in New York, Revlon Lip Butters are more than just lip colours, they glide on like a balm and are infused with mango, shea and coconut butter to look after your lips and keep them velvety soft, as well as giving them a subtle pop of on-trend colour. For a look that’s all your own, Velvet recommends layering shades to create an individual lip colour. Try Tutti Frutti with Sweet Tart, or Sugar Frosting with Velvet’s favourite Wild Watermelon for the hottest summer mix. Revlon ColorBurst™ Lip Butters, Dhs48

VELVET / June Issue 20

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VELVET / June Issue 20

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She’s trained Hollywood A-listers and wants to empower all women with her unique Method. Can the fitness guru Tracy Anderson transform Deborah Ross?

Deborah Ross – Ni Syndication; Photo by Contour/Getty Images


o enter the world of fitness guru Tracy Anderson, as I do when I visit her studio in New York, is to enter a parallel universe peopled by teeny-tiny women with rock-hard tummies and perfectly toned arms. Tracy’s training system, which is still associated with “the baby food diet”, whether she likes it or not (and she doesn’t), has reshaped half of Hollywood – “Tracy kicked my sagging ass into shape and I will be for ever grateful,” says Gwyneth Paltrow – and promises “a journey to your teeny-tiniest point”. This is fair enough, but the trouble with these teeny-tiny, perfectly toned women is they do get under your feet rather. Still, as I hack my way through them, I am, at least, considerate enough to issue a warning cry – “Larger lady coming through! Ass-sag in evidence! Mind the bingo wings!” – but suspect I flatten a few all the same. I’m here to take a class, which I know will be quite a thing. The Tracy Anderson Method is based on more than 3,000 moves that work the small muscles rather than the big muscles, with the aim of producing a “feminine and dancer-like” shape. Aside from Paltrow, who is also her business partner – “Along with the physical change came an incredible empowerment,” she reveals – Anderson’s client list includes Jennifer Lopez, Stella McCartney, Donna Karan, Cheryl Cole, Courteney Cox, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington, but not Lady Gaga (“She isn’t a technically a client yet”) nor Madonna, since they fell out. (“She has no relatability to real women. She’s like an alien, you know?”) Keith, a former dancer trained by Tracy, is taking my class today. He is a dish and

a sublime mover, but this is way out of my league. It involves a highly choreographed dance-cardio routine, plus pulling on resistance bands that hang from the ceiling like long strips of deflated balloon. There is no hiding and, as it’s a mirrored room, nowhere even to hide from myself. There I am, pulling weakly on the bands, with no more strength than if I were pulling on the bell cord of an old-style bus and wanting to get off at Debenhams, and hopping from foot to foot, utterly out of time, as if it were lurching. I bring shame upon the Method and myself, but, still, the exertion is phenomenal. I have never experienced anything like it. My face turns a violent, boiling red and the sweat – “Sweat is my fairy dust” is one of Tracy’s favourite sayings – transforms my hair into a deranged dandelion clock. After the class, I shuffle off sheepishly with another warning cry – “Larger lady on the way back! Saggy ass and bingo wings still an issue! Hair gone mad!” – but think I may have sucked a few teeny-tinies into my slipstream all the same. In the locker room, I encounter a woman – in her forties, I think, but she looks like a teenage gymnast – stretching. Seriously, I ask her, you do the Tracy Anderson Method two hours a day, six days a week, as recommended? “For sure,” she says. The studio is small but so exclusive it won’t quote prices over the phone. However, I later discover there is an annual fee ($1,500) on top of a monthly rate ($900) and personal training sessions are extra. A cheaper, more time-effective and dignified solution for untoned arms, you’re asking? Sleeves. They work for me every time and

come in a range of colours. Post shower, yet still sweating, I’m ready to meet Tracy. She is 38 and looks, with her blonde hair extensions, spray tan, false lashes and super-glossy mouth, like a pared-down Pamela Anderson. Her body is dynamite: minute, yet fantastically defined. Her thighs could crack coconuts and her arms are shapely but as solid as baseball bats. I am fascinated. Will you ever get a saggy ass or bingo wings, I ask. “Never,” she says. “I know too much. I know how to keep the skin close to muscle.” But, surely, at some point, the escalator of ageing will be going up faster than you can go down? “Hopefully, my 60 will look like 40, but will I age? Of course.” Do you think it is right that the appearance of a woman’s body can become her sole purpose? “I love that I’ve come up with a solution that helps and empowers women.” Do you ever eat chips? “I don’t cut out any food groups – I had pizza last night. I love food. I love wine. And I believe in eating round the family table.” For reasons I never properly grasp, Anderson arrives at the studio with her sister, two young nephews and her mother, Diana, in tow. She later announces importantly, “I’m a very family-orientated person and I’m in touch with every woman.” Even those, I ask, who have brought shame upon the Method? She laughs good-humouredly, as does her mother, who, I’m guessing, is in her sixties and, it turns out, is as fond of sleeves as I am. “Tracy,” she says, “didn’t I see a dress the other day that I really liked but didn’t buy because it was sleeveless?” You don’t do Tracy’s exercises? “She does,” says Tracy, “but she’s not an A-plus student.” VELVET / June Issue 20

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“I’m not an A-plus student,” echoes Diana. She and I think we might open a shop, selling sleeves, but her daughter puts the kibosh on that. “Tracy Anderson’s mother can not run a shop selling sleeves!” she says. Just a little shop, we plead. “No!” she says. We look sheepish. We find a quietish corner, and I kick off by asking Tracy to describe her celebrity clients. Gwyneth? “Magical. Gorgeous.” Stella? “Brilliant.” Cheryl? “Youthful. She’s great. I like her very much.” Could you understand a word she said? “No.” Christy? “Elegant.” Jennifer? “Total bitch.” I’m joshing you. Ms Lopez is, in fact, “amazing” and “incredible”. These days, she prescribes programmes for her clients, then one of her staff takes over. So you don’t personally train celebrities any more? “It depends,” she says. “I saw Gwyneth this morning, for example, and Stella the other day. I still work with the girls I’m close to, but it’s impossible to train regularly and also give this to women all over the world.” Giving, she continues, is what thrills her most because “there’s a teacher in me and I’ve always been a big giver”. She gives via her studios – there is also one in LA and others planned for the Hamptons and London – and via her books and DVDs, most recently Metamorphosis. I did try the Metamorphosis DVD, but, alas, was as hopeless as I was in class; just as I failed to master one move, I looked up at the screen to see Tracy was eight moves down the line. I also read the books and, while all diet and exercise books contain significant repetition and padding – how many times can you repeat “Eat less, move more”? – who is to say I won’t one day try the recipe for Halved Grapefruit (“Ingredients: one grapefruit, halved”) or Fresh Pineapple (“served sliced for a nourishing snack”)? I did try baby food, but, as I tell Tracy, the moment I opened the jar, my gag reflex kicked in. Perhaps I’ve just been on solids for too long. She says she has never recommended it – “An adult putting baby food in their mouth? Ridiculous!” she exclaims. But Tracy, I say, I’m reading about the Tracy Anderson Baby Food Diet all the time. She says, “I know –


it’s a nightmare. Would you be the one to put the record straight?” Go for it, love, I urge her – hopefully empoweringly. She explains that, at one time, there was a fad for “juice cleanses”, which are extremely unhealthy. Women would only drink juice for a week, lose a few pounds, go back to eating normally, regain the weight, return to the juice… “That yo-yoing is a disaster for the body. It messes with your metabolic rate. But I did think, yes, there is value in eating highly nutritious foods in consumable quantities, so I came up with a diet that was more calorific and wasn’t juice but purée, so it’s still got the fibre in it. But it’s not baby food. I was on a plane with my sister and she was reading a magazine and she was like, ‘Look at this: Heinz baby food and the baby-food industry are saying sales have gone up because of your diet.’ But the kind of baby food in jars doesn’t have any business going into an adult mouth.” But, Tracy, I say, you have talked about baby food – I have seen the evidence with my own eyes. She says, “I developed it for a client who likes to eat a lot and often. I said, ‘She is like a baby.’ ” So people are mistaken? “Totally, including celebrities. They come in and say, ‘I’ve been doing your baby-food diet,’ and I’m like, ‘What are you doing?’ ” How did it all start? Tracy grew up in Indiana, where her mother, a former ballerina, ran a dance studio and her father was an entrepreneur who, I gather, did not have much success and may even have been a bit of a disappointment. “My dad is very artistic but conflicted,” she says. “I’m so focused because he was not focused, and I saw what chasing too many dreams can do to you.” After her parents divorced, when she was 17, her mother worked three jobs so Tracy could come to New York to train as a ballet dancer. But she did not make it as a dancer. Put plainly, she got too fat and could not shift the weight. “I tried everything short of an eating disorder – which I really wanted to have, actually.” But with all that dancing, you must have been expending zillions of calories, surely?

She says there may have been hormonal or chemical reasons, or it may simply have been genetic. “I guess I’m just built like my dad. He looks like Santa.” So she gave up dancing and, instead, married her boyfriend, Eric, a professional basketball player, and had her son, Sam, now 12. And that would have been that, I suppose, had Eric not injured his back and, finding themselves in Puerto Rico, visited a doctor who said that if he did certain exercises he could avoid surgery. “Oprah talks about the ‘Aha’ moments in your life,” she says, “and this was one for me. If it weren’t for that doctor, I wouldn’t have stumbled on the way the muscular structure could be manipulated.” She says she then embarked on “ten years of research” – although, when I press her on what it entailed, I am still no clearer. She’s clear about what she discovered, though, and it is this: exercising the big muscles, like biceps, is fine if you want to bulk up, but if you want to look “lean and fit”, it’s the small, behind-the-scenes ones you have to focus on because they draw all the other muscles in. She developed moves and equipment – the bands and some sinister-looking cubes that hang from the ceiling – to do just this, transformed herself and then other women noticed and wanted her to do the same for them. Word got out and, eventually, Gwyneth was on the phone. “To be honest,” Tracy recalls, “at that point, I had so many people relying on me, I’d turned down lots of celebrities wanting one-on-ones. The tough thing for me is that, when I meet with someone, I know what I can do for them, and have a hard time not following through with it. But there was something about her. But she was so down to earth and said to me, ‘I’m a really hard worker and I’ve tried everything, but I just can’t get the baby weight off after Moses [her second child] and I have to do this superhero film.’ It was the first Iron Man. I really felt for her, you know?” It was Gwyneth who introduced her to Madonna. “After our first session, she texted Madonna to say, ‘You have to meet this woman. You’re going to freak out.’” Initially, Tracy

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flitted between Gwyneth and Madonna, but then Madonna snaffled her up full-time. ‘I lived with her for three years,” she says. Really? What was that like? What was her most irritating habit? Did she wash up her mug or did she just leave it by the sink? “Madonna? Wash up? Puh-lease. But she was a very good student. For three years, six days a week, two hours a day, she did all I asked of her and did it well.” She looks like she would, I say. “She’s a machine,” she says, “which is very far removed from what I am.” As I understand it, they fell out when Tracy, having accompanied Madonna on two world tours, decided she needed to leave so Sam could settle down in one place. And Madonna wasn’t having it? “It’s tough when you know you’ve transformed someone and it means so much to what they do…” But you couldn’t keep giving? “I couldn’t do it. But when you do that gig, you’re expected to sign up for life. Period.” Tracy is warm and friendly, but she is a brand now, and things can certainly get sticky if she senses the brand is being compromised. She later gets shirty with the photographer, who, she claims, is not doing enough to make her look “golden and lit from within”, whatever that might mean. She says she is like Coca-Cola: only she truly knows the formula, but some of her employees fail to realise this. “I train a lot of dancers and place them with famous people and they get perverted.” Perverted? How so? “They’re like, ‘Oh, wow, I’m around celebrities, and I can do what Tracy does,’ and then they try to rip me off. That hurts, because I spend all this time teaching and empowering them.” There have been claims, though, that she has ripped off others, most notably clients who say that they did not have their membership fees refunded after one of her gyms closed in Indiana, and a former boyfriend and business partner who says

The Method is based on more than 3,000 moves that work the small muscles rather than the big muscles, producing a “feminine and dancer-like” shape she swindled him out of money. She denies both charges. She is honourable, she says. “I’ve had offers to put my name on gyms all over the world, but I’ve turned down every single deal. How would I quality-control all of that? I’m hot right now, but I’m not going to cash in on it. That’s not my style. I didn’t do this for that.” She does it because the Method works. “I’ve tried it on all sorts of women, no matter how toxic, and on all shapes and sizes.” I put it to her that however “down to earth” Gwyneth might be, and Stella (“so down to earth”), and J-Lo (“she is so down to earth, and an amazing mom”), the average woman might not find the Tracy

Anderson Method that “relatable”. Even if she could dredge up the motivation, where would she find the time without a nanny, cook, housekeeper, driver and money on tap? She says that if you buy Metamorphosis, “It’s six days a week, but only an hour a day.” I say it’s a shame women have to spend so much time policing their bodies, that if we put that energy elsewhere we’d run the world. She says what she is doing is liberating. “I free women’s brains from the thing they think about the most so they can put their best foot forward.” Might this be empowering? “The thing I love,” she adds, “is empowering women. I really do.” I try to find out more about her life. Do you like to read, Tracy? “I love to read!” What sort of thing? “Anything that has to do with furthering what I do.” She also loves to cook. The Method, she adds, only restricts your food intake during the first period. Once you have mastered the cardio-dance moves you can eat what you like, more or less. And she has her son. She and Eric are now divorced, and Sam, as far as I can work out, lives with Eric, but she is still very much involved. “I love being with my son. I love swimming with him in the pool.. Our time is really important.” Do you have a boyfriend? She does. She says he’s in advertising and is “an awesome surfer”, but not so great at the Method, “although he’s getting better”. Anyway, our time is now at an end. What you think of Tracy Anderson and the Tracy Anderson Method will depend, I suppose, on how much store you set by your body beyond keeping it in reasonable shape so it can get you from A to B. I can only tell you that, as I leave, I do so with a wink towards Diana. Sleeves. They are not especially empowering, I guess, but they do the job. Debenhams offers a wide variety of sleeved items. You may wish to start your search there. Metamorphosis is available from

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Zeytinlikahve Mevkii, Bodrum / Muğla / TÜRKİYE T: +90 252 337 11 22 F: +90 252 337 12 28

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Advertorial VELVET


Summer Begins Here Celebrate the arrival of Summer 2013 at the magnificent Rixos Premium Bodrum on Turkey’s magical coastline.


asking in beautiful Bodrum, Turkey’s most celebrated holiday destination, Rixos Premium Bodrum is idyllically situated to make the very most of Summer 2013. Located in Zeytinlikahve Bay, the sprawling hotel is set along the shore of the Aegean Sea and enjoys pristine views of the Bodrum peninsula and its many natural wonders. Dense pine forests shelter the property from prying eyes while adding to the sense of escapism that has made the hotel a firm favourite among those looking for a little rejuvenation – in their midst, endless species of flora and fauna teem with life, just waiting to be discovered. For those who need a little more help to unwind, the Royal Spa offers world-class treatments, from the resort’s signature Chocolate Massage to Balinese, Thai and Hot Stone

therapies. Expectant mothers and little ones are also catered to, with treatments targeted at the former and activities for the latter available through the dedicated ‘Rixy Club’, a safe and engaging atmosphere designed for even the most tireless tots. Boasting four dining outlets that draw inspiration from all four corners of the world, Rixos Premium Bodrum elegantly combines East and West. Its wide variety of cuisines encompass Asian, Middle Eastern and local flavours resulting in an offering that is certain to delight every palate. A further seven refreshment lounges and bars vye for guests’ attention, each one serving imaginative and cooling cocktails, mocktails, light snacks and bar bites to be enjoyed throughout the day in a relaxed and atmospheric setting.

Summer 2013 tantalising offers Dedicated Family Rooms designed with larger groups and little ones in mind Peace of mind for Mums and Dads with special ‘Rixy Club’ activities for tots Pampering packages for mothers-to-be 4 dining outlets and 7 refreshment bars and lounges serving authentic dishes, light bites, coolers and sundowners Exquisite views of the Bodrum Peninsula State-of-the-art facilities and treatments at the Royal Spa

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Robert Kime

Inspired by the rich tapestries of Turkey, India and Uzbekistan, antiques specialist Robert Kime set about creating his own line of traditionally woven fabrics. Screenprinted by hand using 100% vegetable dyes, each Robert Kime print is entirely unique and can be applied across soft furnishings and furniture alike. Now available in the UAE, the company and its founder are decreed Decorator By Royal Appointment To The Prince Of Wales, adding a touch of grandness to even the most humble of dwellings.

Déjà vu

Every Saturday night at Boudoir is ‘Bollywood Night’, courtesy of Déjà Vu Events who will be unveiling a mystery guest each week. Meanwhile, anyone who has ever dreamt of a sugar daddy should pop down to the Fairmont on Sheikh Zayed Road on Wednesday 5 June where Déjà Vu will be presenting their ‘Billionaire Affair’ night. For enquiries call +971 50 976 4027

Haas Brothers for Versace Home


Pretty little updates for the home include Tanagra’s kitch bird cage with matching napkin ring holders. Dainty little dinnerparty delights that will have guests twittering for hours. Tanagra, Mall of Emirates – +971 4 341 1084 28

Ralph Lauren for Wimbledon

We wouldn’t expect anything less from Versace Home than raw, edgy, sex appeal. Their latest 12-piece collection, a collaboration with the irreverent Haas Brothers, raises the bar even higher with highlights including the leather-bound Bondage Bench. Naughty.

Those gearing up for the annual Wimbledon tournament (June 24 – July 7) had better pay a visit to Ralph Lauren. For the eighth year in a row, the preppy label has been appointed as the official outfitter for the two-week event, designing the uniforms for all on-court officials including the umpires, Ball Boys and Ball Girls. Chunky cableknit sweaters, crisp white polo t-shirts and tailored blazers will all feature lending easy breezy chic to the games.

This summer’s jet-set need no longer worry about arriving at their destination feeling worn out. Abu Dhabi International Airport has introduced ten ‘GoSleep’ sleeping pods across Terminals 1 and 3, which allow travellers some much-needed shut eye at a cost of 45dhs per hour. Converting into fullyreclining beds with sliding shade to block out the unwanted bustle of fellow passengers, the pods also come with secure storage for personal belongings, charging docks for laptops and mobiles and will soon feature Internet access for those, seemingly, who agree with the late Dame Margaret Thatcher that ‘sleep is for wimps’.


Written & compiled by Polly Sweet

Abu Dhabi International Airport

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Little ones looking to update their wardrobe for the Summer need not leave the comfort of their crib thanks to Founded by stylish maman of four Nathalie Christen-Genty, the website is packed with designers for the most stylish tots and delivers worldwide. As well as labels such as Kenzo, Chloe and Dolce & Gabbana French favourites Chipie, Lili Gaufrette and Pate de Sable are all available to buy. The site is also cleverly divided up into sections including Occasionwear and Beachwear so that even the most baby-brand illiterate can’t go terribly wrong. 93

Lacoste ‘Summer Camp’ collection

And for those whose sartorial preferences courtside are a little more retro, Lacoste has rifled through its archives to come up with its latest ‘Sport Active’ collection just in time for the Summer. Featuring the prettiest of pastels, slimline models and the revolutionary OrthoLite insole system designed to keep feet cool, the newest collection from the sporting brand is its most stylish yet.

‘Honestly Healthy: Eat with Your Body in Mind, the Alkaline Way’, Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson

The Act Dubai

Since its launch earlier this year, The Act Dubai has been the Thursday night hangout for Dubai’s gliterrati, with tables booked up weeks in advance. The concept, brought over by theatre empresario Simon Hammerstein to replicate his London and Las Vegas shows, presents a series of acts enjoyed over the course of a sumptuous Peruvian dinner, all of which takes place on the 42nd floor of the Shangri-La. Thankfully, the concept has now added an extra night to its weekly performance, with Sunday nights now welcoming those who like to start their week off with a bang. For reservations call +971 52 811 9900.

Those who snort in the face of wholewheat and snarl at the thought of ‘raw’ food will be completely blindsided by how delicious each of the recipes are in ‘Honestly Healthy: Eat with Your Body in Mind, the Alkaline Way’. Devised by nutritionists Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson, each dish is packed with flavour and loaded with energy-enhancing goodies for a meal that is almost too good to be true.

St. Regis Doha – Astor Grill A seriously stylish update on the traditional New York steakhouse, St. Regis Doha’s Astor Grill serves up the juiciest cuts and freshest seafood in the city. The venue, a jazzy mix of contemporary furniture, modern art and vibrant prints, is also renowned for its extremely sippable Cocktails, with their Martinis deserving a particular mention.

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How I Get Dressed French Music Producer and Model, Caroline de Maigret, talks Parisian chic, rocking out with Karl Lagerfeld, and why a little black jacket from Chanel is her secret weapon in style.

We got back in touch… after Karl saw me on TV for this music thing and he called me back, he said ‘do you want to do a show for us?’ I was 35 so I was quite shocked. Chanel were the first to take Stella Tennant back, and me, and I was very flattered at my age – which is still a young age, but not for modelling - to represent women. I have shape, I’m not skinny, I’m a mother and I think that’s what Chanel is about. Working on the Little Black Jacket was… really amazing. I’m a music producer and I produce rock ‘n roll so Karl was really excited about doing something quite rock ‘n roll with me. I’m always doing things, so he was like ‘you need to move, whatever happens you move, you move and we catch it’, he almost pushed me into a boxing session and it got really fun and I’m really happy, it’s very me. The exhibition is about… every race, every age, every shape, every kind of talent. For rock ‘n roll people, for very classic people, actors, musicians, it’s the whole


Caroline de Maigret at the Dubai exhibition of The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited.

quality of that little black jacket. Chanel, in general, is not about the trend of the moment, it’s about a timeless trend. I got my first Chanel black jacket… about six months ago...I was very fortunate... as a gift because we’ve been working together with Karl and Chanel. My Chanel black jacket…has a super power for me because I am a very lazy fashion person. I just have to put the jacket on and I’m really styled, so I’m happy. It makes my day. My first Chanel bag was… I’m the real Parisian girl. The first one I had to have was the black 2.55 with the clip, like I had always dreamed of, so I had this first and then I got a bit more funky. To dress like a French woman is…to stay true to yourself and not follow the

trend, but have the trend follow you. We’re not into showing off too much. There’s something quite intellectual in the Parisian girl I think, that she doesn’t want to look like she’s been trying too much. We don’t think about it, it’s natural, it’s instinct - that we want to be like we are, but a bit more pushed. My shopping advice is…in the collections themselves just find one or two or three items that really fit you and don’t go crazy. When getting dressed… choose one strong piece. That is the key. For example, today it is going to be the jacket. For me, it’s strong, it might be very classic for someone else, but for me it’s quite an important piece. The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited (Steidl) will be available in the

UAE from July, 2013.

Photograph by Jacqueline Kent

I first met Karl Lagerfeld… a long time ago when I was a model. My first job was to do looks. For three weeks we would do all the collections on me, trying the clothes on. Then I did all his shows and then I went off to make my family, my company, my music.

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BMW M6 Gran Coupé

‘The Great Gatsby’ – this year’s most glamorous, most glitzy, most roaringly fabulous celluloid feast is finally out. Expect flapper dresses, pearls and a whole lot of Leonardo DiCaprio.

‘Disconnect’ – a young couple driven apart by grief; a teenage boy lost in his own isolated world; a former cop struggling to relate to his son – in an age where technology supercedes human relationships, can they reconnect?

Sleek, slick and speedy – it has to be the brand new BMW M6 Gran Coupé now available to buy in the Middle East. The 4-door high-performance sport’s car, with its roomy interior and user-friendly control panel is the right side of practical for everyday use, but with its 4.4 litre V8 engines and ability to go from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.2 seconds it is also one of the raciest cars on the road. The real hook? It comes in a wide range of pretty colours. www.

If a fashionista can’t make it to London this summer, then London will just have to come to the fashionista. Founded by Tina Lake, is an indispensable go-to for those whose idea of shopping hell begins with the word ‘High’ and ends with the word ‘Street’. Offering a round up of independent designers and boutiques hailing from the capital, the website is currently undergoing an extensive facelift set to make its debut this month. Interviews with designers, a candid ‘street style’ section and cultural cross-references will all feature alongside goodies from the likes of Austique, Attic and Barn and JOIE, which can all be delivered directly to your desk or door.

S*uce London Calling With a nod to this year’s Met Gala (themed ‘Punk’) and a wink to our London special, S*uce has sourced the best of British fashion and transported it to our shores. Simone Rocha, Antipodium and Alessandra Rich are just some of the labels to descend upon the diminutive boutique this season ensuring that London’s rebel yell can be heard all the way over in the UAE.

XVA Gallery DIFC – ‘Temporary Permanence: Contemporary Art From Sri Lanka’ The first ever contemporary Sri Lankan art exhibition in Dubai, ‘Temporary Permanence: Contemporary Art From Sri Lanka’ will run at XVA Gallery DIFC until the end of the month. Featuring six of the country’s most exciting talents, the show comprises sculpture, works on paper, oil on canvas and mixed media pieces that explore themes of change, loss, religion and culture.

‘Amour’ – a touching tale about an elderly couple in their eighties whose lives are transformed when one of them has a stroke. A little lesson in what it means to truly love someone.

Villeroy & Boch

Villeroy & Boch invites the world for coffee with their brand new New Wave Cities collection of coffee cups and saucers. Featuring dainty artwork, each piece is adorned with icons hailing from London, Paris, Berlin and Rome for a morning brew that is truly international. VELVET / June Issue 20

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04/11/2012 19:24


Little Black Book of LONDON

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Little Black Book of LONDON

One Leicester Street

London’s latest opening is a haven in the electric heart of Soho.


idden away on a corner of London’s tourist trap area of Leicester Square, the newly opened One Leicester Street boutique hotel is the most “amongst it all” you can possibly get in Central London. A nanoseconds walk to Soho’s Wardour Street, the genuine Chinese food district of Gerrard Street and some of London’s trendiest bars and clubs, it is the only place to stay for those who really want to feel the buzz of the city through the day and into the night. The address, formerly known as the St John Hotel before being bought and revamped by renowned Singaporean hotelier Peng Loh, has an exclusive 15 rooms only, set across five storeys, each individually decorated with a light and airy finish of white wash wooden slatted walls and parquet flooring. The aesthetic is modern/minimalist, which is in no way pretentious, with a home from home, guesthouse feel. Each room comes with a bath for a moment of stolen relaxation away from a busy tourist schedule, a flat screen TV and bath products courtesy of British


fragrance brand Penhaligon’s. A key attraction at One Leicester Street is its in-house eatery simply named The Restaurant, which is headed up by Michelin-starred chef Tom Harris formerly of Nobu and St John Chinatown, who is celebrated for his use of locally sourced produce that results in a very British menu. Crisp white tablecloths and an open plan kitchen where punters can watch all the action is complimented by well spoken waiting staff, who know their gastro-stuff down to a tee. A sharing concept, the menu is an exploration not just of the great British menu in all its quirky glory, but also of the food dictionary - dishes like smoked dexter (a cut of beef), middle white (pork) and Judas ears (mushrooms) may need translating for those less seasoned foodies. There is also an extensive wine list of primarily European wines and champagnes that can be paired with each dish, as recommended by one of the informed waiting staff. If the outside world is proving too hectic – and in Leicester Square there is no such thing as chilled out – then the hotel

has its own bar to offer a more relaxed environment for a drink or two away from the flashing lights and bolshy tourists. An unrivalled location for those looking for a boutique hotel with a more personal feel, whose energy matches that of the 24 hour city and those who want to cram as much in as possible in a short stay - One Leicester Street is the place to be.

The Menu at

ONE Leicester Street by Tom Harris

• Cockles, saffron broth and samphire • Lamb sweetbreads, artichokes and celery • Smoked dexter, pickled beetroot and horseradish • Middle white, Judas ears and wild leek • Chicory and mustard salad • Harbourne blue, pickled pear and oat biscuit • Salt caramel, apple and hazelnut

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Little Black Book of LONDON

The Connaught Still one of London’s loveliest addresses. Thanks to British interior designer David Collins and his team, The Connaught’s imperial suite, The Apartment, is a chic retreat filled with tasteful art, the most sumptuous of dressing rooms and a pretty little roof garden with views that sweep over the whole of shiny Mayfair. No wonder that Gwyneth Paltrow often pops in for a midweek staycation.

DeGournay As pretty on the outside as the wares that are hidden within, interiors specialist DeGournay’s petite boutique on the corner of Fulham Road is a must visit for anyone who is serious about their stylish home. Specialising in hand painted wallpaper, 18th century Chinoiserie and 19th century Papiers Peints Panoramiques, the company is also run by some of London’s loveliest fillies who have an uncanny knack of ensuring that their customers leave with at least half a dozen hand spun silk cushions.

Olivia von Halle

Velvet loves… Luxe pyjamas by Olivia Von Halle, pretty enough to wear to lunch.


Bicester Village

A fashion discount dream, Chic Outlet Shopping’s Bicester Village is packed with cut-price designers from Aquascutum to Zegna. Just 40 minutes away from central London and a stone’s throw from historic Oxford, the shopping centre is hosting its annual British Designer’s Collective for the fourth year in a row, with designers including J.W Anderson, Nicholas Kirkwood and Imogen Belfield offering up to 60% off.

Umbrellas at the ready - the 2013 Wimbledon Championships will be opening on Monday 24 June and running until Sunday 7 July. Djokovic, Nadal and the Williams sisters are all expected to battle it out on the newly-roofed Center Court although the crowds will no doubt be backing their very own Andy Murray. VELVET / June Issue 20

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Little Black Book of LONDON

Sanderson Hotel

Still a popular celebrity hangout, the Sanderson is a fashionable favourite.


bit of a media institution, the Sanderson hotel on Berner’s Street remains a popular event venue for London’s fashion scene, which has also firmly cemented it as one of the favourite places to stay when visiting the city of any kind of style-related business. Still frequented by a host of celebrities travelling through town – Olivia Palermo requests she stays only at Sanderson - media moguls that work around the corner in the media district of Charlotte Street and anyone with a penchant for seeking out interestingly laid out interiors, Sanderson maintains a reputation as a place to be seen despite its established age. Described as an ‘Urban Spa’, during the day the hotel does have a feeling of low key escapism in comparison to the bustling pavements of Oxford Street that


reside a mere five minute walk away - popping to the Topshop flagship or Liberty’s department store is made much less stressful in the knowledge that you are able to reach the quieter confines of your minimalist suite in just a seconds notice if the crowds get too much. Whilst during the day the hotel is reasonably quiet, except for the business lunches and Mad Hatter afternoon teas that are popular attractions, at night it really comes to life. The 80-ft Long Bar is a great place to pull up a pew and people watch to your heart’s content the passionate media debates or developing romances that surround you, or if the weather is looking up, out on the Berner’s Street Terrace where you can also order some light bites if the Malaysian at their Suka restaurant doesn’t

tickle your taste buds. A Offering a hip haven in Central London with some serious style credentials in the Philippe Starck design and slightly left-of-field elements like the, what we like to call, ‘disco lift’, Sanderson has everything you need for a London visit. There is a 10,000 square-foot spa for a touch of pampering (we are Middle Eastern after all), a well-equipped gym space open 24 hours and some great dining and drinking options – the Purple Bar is a mustsee. Book in for some real London fun.

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Little Black Book of LONDON Grace Belgravia Describing itself as a ‘private club for spirited, sophisticated, healthconcious women’ Grace Belgravia is an all-together different work-out experience. Resembling a five star hotel complete with marble lobby, designer bar and cosy library, the health club offers a holistic approach to wellbeing with a state-of-the-art medical atelier offering everything from nutritional advice to biodynamic psychotherapy complementing the gym, hammam and spa on offer. The idea behind the concept is to support women through the different phases of their lives, ensuring their wellness at every step of the way through a combination of diet, exercise and therapeutic assistance. Professionals on hand include celebrity personal trainer Matt Roberts and Apothecary to HM The Queen Dr Tim Evans, guaranteeing that members are in good hands.

Tim Walker at The Bowes Museum Looking to escape the confines of the capital? The Bowes Museum in verdant County Durham will be hosting an exhibition of fashion photographer Tim Walker’s most iconic work from the 25 May until the 1 September. Tim Walker: Dreamscapes, will include shoots he has done for Vogue and Vanity Fair as well as offer an insight into his remarkable ability to capture the British countryside at its best

The Shed

Velvet loves… The Shed, hip Notting Hill’s even hipper addition. Featuring a ‘Daily Loosener’ cocktail and the finest British fayre cooked to perfection.

Jimmy Choo

London’s Dover Street has further cemented its reputation as one of the city’s leading shopping destinations with the addition of Jimmy Choo Men’s new flagship store. With over 1,000 square feet filled with shoes, bags, belts, wallets and scarves, the nattily designed showroom is a metrosexual marvel.

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Little Black Book of LONDON

St.Martin’s Lane

Nowhere captures the essence of London quite like hip, arty St Martins Lane Hotel, a rebellious little bolthole in the backstreets of Covent Garden.


ack in the roaring early noughties, le tout London was to be found perched on the edge of St Martins Lane Hotel’s ‘Light Bar’, bodycon bodies vying for a square inch of space at what was undeniable London’s flashest hangout. Fast-forward a few years (and a recession or two) and the Philippe Starck-designed bar has matured into a stylish destination for the art crowd, a quiet corner just off Trafalgar Square into which to retreat from the hoards of tourists and pigeons. Stepping through the hotel’s luminous yellow revolving doors (the tallest in the capital) is stepping into a fantasy where proportions, colours and shapes are distended, distorted and then given a whole new meaning. The brilliance of Starck and his ceaseless imagination is displayed all over the property from each of the 204 rooms and suites to the lobby, lounges


and restaurant, which at night come alive with a sophisticated crowd who bear little resemblance to their high-maintenance predecessors. Old favourites die hard in London it seems, and much to the relief of many, AsiaCuban fusion concept Asia de Cuba is still thriving at St Martins Lane Hotel. One of the first restaurants in London to champion ‘sharing’, it presents a wide range of menus to suit the needs of its various patrons, from a Sunday Dim Sum Brunch to a Pre-Theatre Sample Menu. Cevishes and Thai Beef Salads and a sweet, creamy, sticky, heavenly concoction called a Coconut Invasion are all presented in a hip setting that is more akin to a contemporary art gallery than a restaurant. When guests have finished indulging their every Cuban-Asian fantasy, a short wobble along the kaleidoscopic corridor reveals Gymbox, an entirely different

workout experience. A laser-lit dance studio presided over by a nightly resident DJ certainly brings the nineties back to life but the state-of-the-art equipment makes it one of the city’s most advanced gyms. Olympicsized boxing rings, spinning rooms, ‘hammer strength’ free weights and classes including a stiletto workout are not to be underestimated, so if it all sounds like too much effort, guests can hire bicycles for the afternoon for a leisurely ride around town. Unpredictable and irreverent it may be, but somehow St Martins Lane Hotel offers a real sense of belonging. For all of its dramatics, it remains an inviting and cosy boutique hotel, hidden at the heart of the action.

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Little Black Book of LONDON

La Bodega Negra Beneath the lurid flashing signpost of one of Soho’s less salubrious ‘shops’ lies La Bodega Negra, the London outpost of New York’s achingly cool La Esquina. Serving Mexican street food and margaritas with a hefty dose of attitude, the joint is packed with hipsters from Monday to Sunday. For those looking for a ‘speedy gonzalez’ slice of the action, an equally irreverent café has recently opened up around the corner.

Archipelago Crocodile, kangaroo and ostrich are just some of the dishes on the menu at Archipelago, a favourite of Kate Moss’s. Filled with exotic trinkets unearthed during numerous adventures to farflung destinations, the restaurant is the perfect escape for those suffering from London’s infamous drizzle.

Café Colbert

Café Colbert, the perfect pre or posttheatre performance pick me up located slap bang in the middle of Sloane Square for the city’s finest people watching.

The Electric Diner

Still one of London’s hottest spots despite the original having burnt down last year, The Electric Diner puts a spin on the classic American joint, dishing up blueberry pancakes, inch-thick crumpets and the juiciest burgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thankfully, the recipe for their muchapplauded Espresso Martini was salvaged from the flames, ensuring that the fashion pack can still keep going well into the night.

The Box

Velvet loves… The Box, The Act Dubai’s racier big sister, still guaranteeing one of the best nights out in the capital. VELVET / June Issue 20

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Little Black Book of LONDON

Meliá White House

Surrounded by some of London’s best shopping, tourist attractions and the scenic Regent’s Park, the Meliá means business.


ocated conveniently within a five-minute walking distance of Great Portland Street and Regent’s Park tube stations, the Meliá White House hotel is near to some of London’s main attractions and most scenic walks. A short stroll will land you in the picturesque greenery of Regent’s Park, one of London’s favourite picnic spots that during the summer month’s becomes saturated with locals eager to soak up the rare rays when the smallest burst of sunshine appears, making it a great place to while away the day in the electric atmosphere. Predominantly a business hotel, the Meliá is fitted with all your basic needs, but its location will ensure that you spend little time in the comfort of your room and more time out exploring the surrounding area. For those who visit London for shopping, a short wander down any of the nearby streets will land you in some of the city’s best shopping areas. The bustling crowd-pleaser that is Oxford Street will meet any clothes


shopping desires with it’s numerous high street stores, shoe shops and two of London’s favourite department stores for contemporary fashion, Selfridges and Liberty. Regent Street is the destination of choice for those with young kids – a trip to Hamley’s will keep them occupied for hours and a venture into the winding streets of Soho offers up an unrivalled melting pot of London’s quirky art and fashion types and a myriad of colourful bars, cafes and restaurants from which to watch them all from. Back at the hotel there are a number of food and beverage venues where a light bite or aperitif can be taken prior to dinner, whether you have decided to make a reservation at one of London’s plethora of excellent restaurants or gastro pubs, or

booked into one of the in-house dining options, The Place or the award-winning Spanish venue L’Albufera which serves some very tasty tapas. A non-fussy hotel where guests can go about their day uninterrupted, using it as a base for intermittent shopping trips, afternoon walks or gastro explorations, the Meliá gives you all you need in a smart little package. What more could you need from a trip to the Big Smoke?

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Little Black Book of LONDON & Other Stories

Part-Parisian chic, part-London edge, part-Swedish cool, fashion emporium & Other Stories is an international crowd pleaser housing ready-towear, accessories, beauty, lingerie, shoes, bags and jewellery in a cavernous store on Regent’s Street. An equally cool online retail space will ship to most countries in Europe although sadly the Middle East has yet to make it onto their radar.

Coco Maya

All that walking and public transport means that a cup of hot chocolate and a slice of pound cake at chocolatier Coco Maya is a daily essential. Thankfully, the team behind the concept have pre-empted such needs and opened outlets all over town. Velvet’s favourite? Coco Maya Pavilion Road in Chelsea.

Oxygen Boutique

Fortnum & Mason Velvet loves… afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon – if it is good enough for the Duchess of Cambridge, then we can surely manage a pot of Earl Grey and a round of scones.

The Village Bicycle

The number of independent fashion boutiques that have sprung up across the British capital in recent years seems to confirm its reputation as the world’s leading fashionforward, creative hub. Owned by mother and daughter duo Helen and Joanna Nicola, Oxygen Boutique in Fitzrovia states that ‘big brands and label flashing are a thing of the past’, championing instead up-and-coming designers such as Rebecca Taylor, Mara Hoffman and Gryphon NY. A genuine breath of fresh air.

A naughty little mix of emerging designers, household names, trinkets and baubles, The Village Bicycle is regularly frequented by girls-about-town Alice Dellal, Mary Charteris and Daisy Lowe. Owned by society empress Willa Keswick, the store is moving from its original Ledbury Road location to a new site on Brick Lane in trendy East London. VELVET / June Issue 20

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MET Ball


Chaos To Couture Celebrities got full on fierce and pierced for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute Gala in New York on May 7th with Honorary Chair Beyoncé and Co-Chairs Rooney Mara, Givenchy’s Nicholas Ghesquiere, Anna Wintour and Lauren Santo Domingo of Moda Operandi, to celebrate all things punk in fashion and beyond.

chanel iman accessorised her J. Mendel gown and Lorraine Schwartz jewels with punk-inspired hair

karlie kloss in louis vuitton jessica alba in Oscar de la renta gown & Roger vivier clutch

kirsten dunst in louis vuitton

anja rubik in Anthony Vaccarello, pictured with the designer jennifer lopez in michael kors


Jessica Biel took a subtle approach to punk by accenting her Giambattista Valli gown with a silver nose ring.

VELVET / June Issue 20

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MET Ball

The Mulleavy sisters give good shred for Vogue, July 2008. Photographed by David Sims on display at the PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibition.

diane kruger got punk’d with pink dip-dye hair wearing a dress by chanel couture miranda kerr in michael kors

mary katrantzou and karolina kurkova

beyonce in givenchy by riccardo tisci

madonna harks back to her material girl days

The face of the Gucci Premiere women’s fragrance took a glamorously abstract approach to punk in a pale green silk georgette strapless gown with silver and matte black feather motif embroideries and a skirt of layered black organza. VELVET / June Issue 20

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MET Ball

JORDAN, 1977 jessica alba in Oscar de la renta gown & Roger vivier clutch

alberta ferretti with kate beckinsale

Standout punkish hair came in the form of Sarah Jessica Parker’s xxx headpiece which got her winning points in the style stakes, whilst one-time pop child Miley Cyrus showed she’d come of age with a bleached spikes and safety pins through her ears. emmy rossum’s punk inspired cat’s eyes

dakota fanning in dress by rodarte and jewels by van cleef & arpels

The peek-a-boo netting of Look 45 from Frida Giannini’s Autumn/Winter 2013 Gucci runway was perfectly punk-couture for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. 128

valentino with anne hathaway

VELVET / June Issue 20

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MET Ball

peter dundas and amber heard in emilio pucci

Sienna Miller and cara delevingne in burberry

Karl Lagerfeld’s deconstructed punkchic for Chanel, photographed by David Sims for Vogue, March 2011, on display at the PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibition.

Lily Collins in moschino

on Commes Des Garcons Spring/ Summer 2006 runway.

Designer tory burch with jessica alba and ginnifer goodwin, both in tory burch

elizabeth banks in atelier versace

VELVET / June Issue 20

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MET Ball

kate bosworth in balmain & Salvatore ferragamo pumps

Sid Vicious, 1977, photographed by Dennis Morris on display at the PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibition.

kristen stewart in stella mccartney

gisele bundchen rocks out in anthony vacarello

jaime king in topshop

nicole richie in topshop liya kebede in alberta ferretti


Richard Hell, late 1970s, photographed by Kate Simon on display at the PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibition.

VELVET / June Issue 20

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amanda seyfried in givenchy

MET Ball

katy perry in dolce & gabbana

spring/summer 2003, Dazed and Confused, March 2003, photographed by Eric Nehr on display at the PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibition.

This year’s exhibition was made possible by online boutique Moda Operandi who have launched a capsule collection in honour of the event, in collaboration with twelve established and vanguard designers: Balmain, Dolce & Gabbana, Eddie Borgo, Ek Thongprasert, Givenchy, House of Waris, Moschino, Prabal Gurung, Preen, Rodarte, Thom Browne, and Vivienne Westwood. “The enduring appeal of punk’s avant-garde ideology is that it inspires designers across the spectrum of design sensibility. Each designer has created pieces for this capsule collection that expresses their unique vision of punk’s rebellious spirit,” says Lauren Santo Domingo, Co-Founder of Moda Operandi. The collection will also feature one-of-a-kind customised designs, art objects and vintage fashion.

Gwen Stefani in Maison Martin Margiela and Salvatore Ferragamo minaudière

elle fanning in rodarte & jewels by van cleef & arpels

ginnifer goodwin in tory burch

Punk: Chaos to Couture, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from May 9 to August 14, 2013.

VELVET / June Issue 20

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cannes FILM FESTIVAL High style was in evidence as celebrities were out in force cruising la Croisette at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Milla Javovich in Giorgio Armani naomi watts Nadine Labaki in Chopard

Tahar rahim in prada

julianne moore in dior

karlie kloss in louis vuitton

lea seydoux in louis vuitton

lea seydoux in giorgio armani


karolina kurkova in roberto cavalli Leila Bekhti

kristen scott thomas in giorgio armani

rooney mara

melanie laurent in christian dior

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Mohammed Al Turki in burberry

oscar isaac in prada

jessica chastain in hedi slimane for saint laurent

Nominee claire danes in atelier versace

frida pinto in gucci premiere

janet jackson

emma watson in louis vuitton rosie huntingtonwhiteley in christian dior

carey mulligan in christian dior

nicole kidman in christian dior

kylie minogue in moschino

jessica miller

Kati Nescher eva herzigova in chopard jewellery

liya kibede in alberta ferretti

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Fashion SHOW


Atyabi by Aida showcased abayas in flashy colours as well as exquisite prints and embroidery.

What we love: Noura’s style is very contemporary and gives the abaya a fresh new twist.


Classic Haute Couture by Noura Al Ali wowed the crowd at the Velvet Fashion Series with her abaya collection which featured intricate designs and contemporary cuts.

Written by Anthon Garcia

What we love: A black gown with floral embroidery as accents – simple yet elegant; it’s good enough for day functions and evening parties.

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Fashion SHOW


Exotic Designs by Nuha Al Dhaheri’s abaya collection showed why she’s one of the most promising young designers in the UAE. She counts culture, architecture and her travels as her sources of inspiration.

What we love: Her stylish use of Italian chiffon and French lace and her bold yet playful use of prints as accents.

Malik Al Abayat Fashion delighted the crowd at the Velvet Fashion Series with her vibrant collection featuring sexy silhouettes and elegant prints.

What we love: Her provocative yet elegant designs and the variety of fabric she uses which showcases her versatility.

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Fashion SHOW


Marayer Couture’s exquisite abaya collection used eye-catching embroidery and detailing on a variety of fabrics.

What we love: Her use of unconventional shapes, and feminine yet edgy style

Medici by Sheikha Hend Al Qassimi’s collection featured elegantly designed abayas with her signature layered drapes and intricate embroidery.

What we love: The rich texture of fabric she uses and the layers of her design give added depth to the abaya


VELVET / June Issue 20

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Fashion SHOW


Tiara exemplified simplicity and elegance in her latest collection presented at the Velvet Fashion Series.

What we love: Clean an simple cuts, with fancy jewellery accents and colourful edges.

Zina’s impressive collection featured intricate design patterns, laces and layers.

What we love: Her creative use of jewellery and raffles to give texture to her fabric and a touch of style.

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Voice of Arab Art A picture they say can speak a thousand words. For many Arab artists, one man has made it his life’s mission to spread the word about Arab art with the rest of the world.


will once again have this opportunity, this time through an art exhibit in Singapore, a project it is organising along with the Singapore Art Museum, where the exhibit will take place from June to September this year. The exhibition will draw upon seminal works from Barjeel Art Foundation, the Abraaj Group Art Prize Collection, Musée national de l’histoire et des cultures de l’immigration, Paris, as well as private and artists’ personal collections; and will take place xxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Dubbed Terms and Conditions, the first Arab Art Exhibition in Southeast Asia xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx how the phrase ‘terms & conditions’ can dictate how people, countries and entities behave; however the two words taken independently - ‘terms’ and ‘conditions’ - can be taken to mean in the context of a relationship – one that is constantly negotiated and modified. “Many Arabic artists work together but possess different geographic and cultural beliefs, making it difficult to define identities and representations. As a result, the artists with roots in the Arab world create pieces through a variety of techniques, which enable them to navigate and speak within multiple contexts. The exhibition presents an open-ended debate into how history and social realities are represented, with emphasis on the Arab world,” says Al-Qassemi about the show that will yet again give Arab art a chance to speak to a new audience.

Written by Anthon Garcia


ultan Sooud AlQassemi is popular commentator on Arab affairs, and is widely recognised for his use of the popular social networking site Twitter to share his views about important socio-political events happening throughout the region. While he is still active on this front, Al-Qassemi started an initiative that he considers to be a monumental accomplishment in his life – enlighten the global community not just Barjeel Art Foundation, an organisation about Arab art, but its history and culture,” he established to share his personal art collection with the rest of the world. It aims he continues. Al-Qassemi believes it is not just the to contribute to the intellectual discussion and appreciation of the Arab artists and the aesthetic value of the art that is important; for him, it’s that and the underlying works message that they convey. His collection He started his collection before speaks volumes about entering university, and has the many socio-political since amassed a portfolio Art is an changes that have swept that includes prized important aspect through the region in pieces from emerging and many years. “There established Arab artists. of the history of are works that talk By his count, Al-Qassemi the Middle East, about the struggles of estimates he has more the working man, or than 650 plus artworks; a yet is seriously the joys of freedom majority of this collection underrepresented. as colonial powers is produced by Arab artists. retreated from all across “This is why I decided to set Through [the] the Arab world. There up this foundation – to share the wealth of Arab artworks Barjeel Foundation, are stories of tragedy pain,” he says. with the rest of the world,” I hope to share the andThe foundation Al-Qassemi says. voice of Arab art runs an extensive According to Aleducation programme Qassemi, his passion for with the world that includes travelling the arts is rooted in his exhibits that take these interest in history. “Art works to many parts of the world, hoping is an important aspect of the history of that these vignettes of Arab culture and the Middle East, yet one that is seriously history will put a context to the story of underrepresented. And so through Barjeel Arab people throughout the region. Foundation, I hope to share the voice of This June, Barjeel Art Foundation Arab art with the rest of the world and help VELVET / June Issue 20

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True Story VELVET




had my doubts, as I always did. No one would blame me as I was beginning to get sick and tired of the lipstick marks on his collar and suspicious restaurant bills. He would silence me by getting me gifts, but it reached a stage where we were both too old for this childish and selfish behavior. It was one thing to swallow his affairs and choke, but it crushed me when the children began noticing and hiding proof of their father’s affair. I wanted to know who it was, and how could she be so cruel as to wreck a peaceful home. I did my research in the bank and requested my husband’s bank bills. It turned out that anything he would buy for me, he would buy the same thing that would better fit his mistress. In their trips to Europe and America they would stay together in the same room at the hotel, so it was difficult finding out where she was from, how she looked and what she was doing with a married man. Until a trip to Dubai appeared on the bill, so I inquired and was rewarded for my persistent search. I found out that it was his Bahraini secretary. She was also married with a child and a successful husband, who was an engineer and I knew his cousin from university. This was an extremely difficult situation for me to handle. It needed immediate attention because I was crumbling and it was getting out of hand. I easily found the number of the unknowing husband and I called. “I’m sorry to say this, but your wife is having an affair with my husband,” I said,


had. There was a storm of an entry back breaking down in tears as I told him the in the house; he unleashed a whirlwind of painful truth. insults and anger at the irreparable damage He was silent, and then responded I had done. with questions. He had had his doubts and If his onslaught came like a tornado, I I had brought it to light with proof. He erupted like a long dormant volcano telling said he wanted more so when our spouses him I would leave him and I would ruin went to Thailand, he made a few calls to his reputation by telling the INTERPOL and sure the world what a shameless enough, they were in the husband and father he is. same room again. A single When I took I was shaking when he king sized bedroom suite. My down my arms that left the room, only to be husband, and his wife. He changed the locks to covered my eyes back with a small bottle his house and informed his from the gushing of kerosene, he squirted it messily on me and I was child that mummy was going liquid, I was shocked and trying to stop it to be traveling for a while horrified to see fire hitting my face. When I took longer. Upon the arrival of the sinful pair, each went engulfing my entire down my arms that covered my eyes from the gushing to their familiar socially body. liquid, in a split second I was accepted abode. She was on fire. This all happened surprised that the locks were so fast, there was no time left to react or changed and could not get a response from attack. I began running around in crackling the angry husband. He simply cut her off pain; I rushed to the bathroom and turned and at the gate she received her divorce on the shower and sat in the tub. document. Oddly enough she was in shock I sat there crying in pain over my and spent the night wailing away at how burns. I was humiliated and scarred yet unfair life was. I managed to call the police and they My husband came home and fell asleep collected me from home. I have written my next to me. I had planned to speak to him story in Bahraini press and my husband is in the morning and tell him that I need closure, that we were too old for this and, if ruined, yet I still bleed in agony. He has gone to prison for 10 years, but is out after not, I would leave him. After the children left for school, and he seven years. I have had corrective surgery was having his breakfast, his mistress called to repair the damage done, but I could never be as I once before. The burning him. He rushed to the car, but he had not experience has left me scarred for life. taken his briefcase and we had not spoken yet. I was drawing the line but felt weak as to not have taken a stance like the husband

Written by Merie de Medici

My husband is an important businessman and is well known in international business circles. Behind his dignified public image is a horrific man who burned me when I ranted on his affair to his married secretary – he poured gasoline on me and lit a match and watched me burn. I am mother to his four children and this is my story.

VELVET / June Issue 20

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VELVET / June Issue 20

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Mary Katrantzou

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VELVET / June Issue 20

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Spend…£40,000 £60,000 Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction Date: 25 June 2013 They say: Signed and dated oil on linen painting by Ali Banisadr (b. 1976) entitled ‘In the Name Of’ (2008); 54 x 71⅞in. (137.2 x 182.5cm.); Painted in 2008

Spend It Looking to invest some serious cash on art, fashion or antiques? Then save the dates of Christie’s upcoming auctions. Christie’s London, 8 King Street, St. James’s, London, SW1Y 6QT; Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060;

Spend… £40,000 – 50,000 Jewellery Auction Date: 5 June 2013 Item: A RARE DIAMOND-SET SNAKE WRISTWATCH, BY BULGARI (Lot 344) They Say: Designed as a coiled snake, the sprung body with black enamel scale detailing, the head with pear shaped diamond eyes and hinged jaw opening to reveal the circular dial with polished hour markers and hands, to the diamond line bezel, mechanical movement, 1960s, maker’s pouch.


Spend… in the region of £3,000,000 The Exceptional Sale Date: 4 July 2013 Item: A George II Silver Coffee-Pot, Mark of Paul de Lamerie, 1738 They say: This is one of the most valuable works of English silver ever sold and the most important coffee pot ever to be offered at auction. It is a Rococo masterpiece that has recently been the centrepiece of the Metropolitan Museum’s silver exhibition.

VELVET / June Issue 20

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Velvet Issue 20 June 2013  

Velvet is a Dubai-based, monthly magazine that looks West but thinks East. It incorporates global style and trends but holds true to its Isl...

Velvet Issue 20 June 2013  

Velvet is a Dubai-based, monthly magazine that looks West but thinks East. It incorporates global style and trends but holds true to its Isl...