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THE ESSENCE OF STYLE

aL moTahajiba Fashion

Vogue Fashion DUBAI EXPERIENCE UNCOVERED!

The Very LaTesT

FaniLLa CouTure’s

IN FASHION & STYLE IN QATAR

NATIONAL DAY

ub40

inTerView

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OHLALA! DECEMBER 2013

WWW.OHLALA-MAGAZINE.COM

www.ohlala-magazine.com

DECEMBER 2014 | ISSUE 42

QATAR QR20


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VILLAGGIO MALL - VIP AREA - GATE 6 - +974 44161008 WWW.VALENTINO.COM


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THE PEARL QATAR / PORTO ARABIA / LA CROISETTE 06 / T. +974 4411 1245


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T H E A R I A CO L L E C T I O N

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THE ARIA COLLECTION

7 L A C R O I S E T T E T H E P E A R L - Q A T A R T E L : 4 4 9 5 3 8 76 , E X T 2 2 51

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G E O R G J E N S E N .C O M + 45 701 2 3 420

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The Pearl Qatar, Porto Arabia, La Croisette 06 Tel: +974 40176089, 40176090

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Editor’s Letter

Winter is Coming in Doha these days! This month we have an opulent photoshoot for you to drool over – we teamed up with Qatari luxury abaya maison Al Motahajiba

Hope you enjoy it! Laura Hamilton Editor Ohlala! Qatar

hot picks

Alice Temperley

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Alberto Guardiani

Maison Reminiscene

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G.Hamad St.: 44408408 www.ohlala-magazine.com

Landmark: 44861400 City Center: 44830100 Al Sadd: 44131452 Villaggio: 44519900 The Pearl: 44881194

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CONTENTS

62

Al MotAhAjibA FAshion

40 42 44 50

STYLE Jewellery Style The New Kempinski Beauty

48 52 56 62 76 78 82 86

FASHION Blogger Diaries Interview - Lily Cole Fanilla Couture Al Motahajiba Fashion Make Up Bag The Beauty Beat Work It Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience

CHIC EATS 92 Eatopia MOTORING 105 Speed Sisters ART&CULTURE 72 UB40 74 Saray Spa Review 98 Mathaf SHOPPING 110 Where to Buy THE COLUMN 130 Miss Ohlala!

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THE PEARL QATAR, PORTO ARABIA, LA CROISETTE 06 T: +974 40176083, 40176084 www.ohlala-magazine.com

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VERSACE JEANS

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27 VERSACE JEANS - LANDMARK MALL, +974 4418 2476


.92+

; +>+<

@366 +1139 7+66 #!!"

6 +8.7+<5 7+66 #!"!# 28

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chAirMAn Khalifa Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa chieF executive oFFicer Greg Hughes publishing Director Edward Smith General ManaGer Armaggan Festive Collection

Hussein Zreik

editor Laura Hamilton

contributors Karina Lazarraga Kirsty Edwards-Harris Tony Sidgwick Karen McGrath Angie De Lange Katie Schwartz

editor-at-larGe Ben Whittaker

creative director Paula Leal

senior Graphic desiGner Raquel Henriques

Graphic desiGner Rashed Bin Daina

production & distribution ManaGer Neil Mahmood

Website desiGner & developer Ammar Ali

photoGraphy contributors Abshar PK @ Creative Design Shameer Pokkutty @ Creative Design Imelda Reynante

sales ManaGer Badir Bechara

adMinistration executive

enquiries distribution teaM Jayapragash Ganesan Rajesh Abdul Kadar

cover iMaGe Rami Al Ali

printinG press Awal Press

Roy Varghese

distribution

accountants

Bahrain â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Al Hilal Qatar â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Dar Al Sharq

Gigimon Thankachen Praveen Alexander

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Editorial: laura@ohlala-magazine.com Advertising:edward@ohlala-magazine.com General: admin@ohlala-magazine.com Telephone: (Qatar) +974 4441 8415/+974 4421 3089 (Bahrain) +973 1721 6099 Postal Address: Ohlala! Magazine, The Nans Group, P O BOX 30378, Budaiya, Kingdom of Bahrain No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All Rights Reserved. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the views of the publisher. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, Ohlala! Publishing and all of its publications cannot accept legal responsibility for any error, content or omissions.

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Bourjois Middle East

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Beauty with a French accent since 1863

0째 volume 36

PATENTED DESIGN NEW BRUSH

with spherical bristles to wrap every lash

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Arabian grandeur. European elegance. Rising from the horizon, upon a private island in the heart of The Pearl, overlooking the iridescent waters of the Arabian Gulf, a hidden gem awaits. masterpieces at our eleven restaurants and lounges. Celebrate momentous occasions in our opulent ballrooms, or simply let waves of bliss wash over you at the Spa by Clarins or the private beach and outdoor pools.

reservations.marsamalaz@kempinski.com | kempinski.com/marsamalaz

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JEWELLERY

CHAUMET’S HORTENSIA COLLECTION Some things are worth the wait. KNOWN AS THE PURVEYORS OF TIARAS for European royalty, like Napoleon’s wife Josephine, Chaumet has been around for centuries. That’s why it’s so surprising that it’s taken until 2014 for the luxury brand to do a flower collection. However, it has been worth the wait. The Hortensia Collection is feminine without being girlish and lush without being overthe-top. Chaumet also, rather surprisingly, caters to all crowds and offers a mid-range but no-less beautiful collection. There is also some top-notch headgear, stunning without being OTT; perfect for a dinner with the girls or cocktails at the latest VIP opening. Available at Alfardan Showroom, The Pearl.

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STYLE

??????????

COLOUR ME BEAUTIFUL DVF AT 51 EAST LAGOONA MALL

N

Sometimes in the coldest months, we have to wear the warmest colours…

ow that the weather has turned and we are officially in winter, it’s time for something bright and beautiful to cheer us up as we wrap an extra layer around ourselves. Why not splurge on one of Burberry’s stunning trench coats? If the traditional and iconic trench isn’t doing it for you anymore, each season the British designers create something stunning that will have you thrusting your credit card towards them, and the latest offering is no different. And of course, you need something beautiful underneath your coat! If there’s one woman we can always count on for feminine dresses, it’s Diane Von Furstenberg. After that, you’ve simply got to accessorise, whether it’s with a cool new key ring, kickass boots or the newest headphones from Bang & Olufsen. 42

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BANG & OLUFSEN – 51 EAST, LAGOONA MALL

PILLAR BOX KEY CHARM, PRINTEMPS FOR BURBERRY

THE ENGLISH ROSE KENSINGTON TRENCH, FOR BURBERRY ENGLISH ROSE PEEP TOE ANKLE BOOTS PRINTEMPS FOR BURBERRY

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S T E F A N O C AVA L L E R I

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www.quisquiskids.com | The Pearl Qatar, Porto Arabia, La Croisette 06, T: +974 44684686


NEW IN DOHA

MARSA MALAZ KEMPINSKI Doha is about to get a whole host of new night spots now that the new Marsa Malaz Kempinski is opening at The Pearl! Are you as excited as we are?

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STYLE

this impeccaBle â&#x20AC;&#x153;topkapi palaceâ&#x20AC;? creation perfectly portrays

Bringing the opulence of the Ottoman Court to showcased their level of craftsmanship and jewellery-

preservation of the valuable

inspired By the domes and cupolas

is dropped by a beautiful enhanced by the brilliance of white diamonds set in

Fascinating Journeys

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BLOGGER DIARIES

STYLE BLOGGER Graniello talks to Ohlala! Qatar about her blog venustasblog.com.

How would you describe your blog?

Why did you start a blog?

Sofia Graniello is originally from El Salvador but has lived in DOha onand-off for seven years. She studied Textiles and Design in Milan.

What is your personal style?

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me what it was to market yourself and

Sofiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s style has changed over the years and her interested in minimalism can now be seen in her sartorial choices.

Which designers are you inspired by?

Are there misconceptions about the fashion industry?

How would you describe the fashion scene in Qatar?

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the key to online success?

What fashion pieces are you coveting at the moment?

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BEAUTY

SKIN DEEP 1 2 3 5 SOMETIMES BEAUTY SHOULD ONLY BE SKIN DEEP.

Creed’s Erolfa, available at Merch

Ariesienne Perfumed Soap, L’Occitane

Ariesienne Hand Cream, L’Occitane

Candle, L’Occitane

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Mercedes Benz L’eau,

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Ariesienne Perfume, L’Occitane

TIME FOR PAMPERING!

available at Merch

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Wild Madagascar Vanilla Perfume, Bath and Bodyworks 50

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INTERVIEW

Do you follow a beauty regime?

Who are your all-time favourite designers?

What charity projects are you working on at the moment?

Catching Up with Lily Cole The second Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience (VFDE) was full of fashionistas, editors, socialites, celebrities, designers and VVIPs, buzzing around, admiring the designerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work and sharing insider gossip. Ohlala! Qatar caught up with stunning English model Lily Cole, on her work with Vogue Italia Editor Franca Sozzani, her charity work, and her ink. 52

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Can you tell us about your tattoos?

and how they instinctively know how to work

believe that all people can tap into the idea

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STYLE LOVE

A LITTLE

SPARKLE

Introducing Swarovski’s Fall/Winter Collection 2014…

W promises to put a little sparkle into everyone’s wardrobe and this year

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STYLE

FANILLA COUTURE Razan Suliman has built up an empire on Instagram, selling her t-shirts inspired

How is your career going so far?

What’s it like seeing your t-shirts on people? What has been your career highlight so far?

Why do you concentrate on t-shirts?

an inevitable part of every one’s closet then

Does your upbringing and culture have a strong impact on your designs?

“Simple things around me, out of which I can create an entire collection, touch me. Ideas simply hit me out of the blue; sometimes while driving or walking I get distracted by something that can be the thread I weave an entire collection on.”

What is your creative process?

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STYLE

“I want Fanilla Couture to be a brand that encourages Westerners to be more interested in our culture.”

What’s your secret to being successful at social media? am always keen to update my fans on my played a very important role in my success

to my brand and this is the best kind of

Fanilla Couture’s stunning collection for National Day has already made waves on social media.

What’s your ambition for the future?

What does the name Fanilla Couture mean?

Where can Fanilla Couture be purchased? Fanilla Couture t-shirts are available in Hamad

culture and but rarely clothes

Fanilla Couture revive the 58

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TIS THE SEASON TO LEAVE THE DETAILS TO US. Celebrate the festive season at Grand Hyatt Doha.

December 24th

December 25th

December 26th

December

For reservations and bookings, please call 30293748 / 44481234. Hyatt. You’re More Than Welcome.

GRAND HYATT DOHA West Bay Lagoon, P.O. Box 24010 Doha, State of Qatar, doha.grand.hyatt.com Facebook.com/GrandHyattDoha www.ohlala-magazine.com

HYATT name, design and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. ©2014 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved

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In the lap of Luxury IN THE STUNNING ALAIN DUCASSE RESTAURANT IDAM AT THE TOP OF THE MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART, WE PLAY WITH LUSH FABRICS, FEMININE YET MYSTERIOUS SILHOUETTES AND RICH TONES TO CREATE THE PERFECT MARRIAGE BETWEEN CULTURE AND MODERNITY. THE HOMEGROWN QATARI LUXURY ABAYA MAISON AL MOTAHAJIBA PROVES THAT TRADITION IS NEVER BORING.

Location: IDAM | Photography: George Matthews Stylist: Laura Hamilton | Hair & Make Up: Mary-Jane Smith Model: Elee | Assistant: Lavanya Kumar With Special Thanks to Claire Sublet, Stephane de Malberg, Osias Abraham Bayot and the wonderful staff at IDAM. All abayas by Al Motahajiba , available at Landmark Mall, Lagoona Mall, Markhiya, The Mall, City Center Doha All accessories by Migato 62

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BEHIND THE SCENES

And... ShOOt!

“I found all the abayas to be sophisticated and elegant, but my favourite was the grey one!”

Claire Sublet

From a distance it looks glamorous, but it’s hard work.

B

“This was one of our smoothest photoshoots yet!” 70

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SEASON'S GREETINGS

Souq Najd, Salwa Road, Tel: 4432 4888 | Royal Plaza, Al Sadd, Tel: 4435 5588

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Fauchon.Qa OHLALA!

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HAPPENINGS

UB40 in Doha It’s not often that an international band makes its way to Doha! Laura Hamilton speaks to Mickey Virtue about his musical background, his time with UB40 and what we can expect when he comes to Doha...

e

ven for those who aren’t a fan of the

UB40 was started in 1978 and you’ve all had such a successful career. Do you have any ambitions left to achieve? Were you a musical child?

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

How did you get into reggae music?

but you don’t hear it on the radio as most radio stations

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Commercial Bank Qatar Masters is on from the 21 – 24 January at Doha Golf Course.

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REVIEW

A Spa to Remember

After a long, hard dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work Katie Schwartz is invited to unwind at Saray Spa at the Marriott Marquis.

Y

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COLUMN

MAKE-UP BAG Sonia Kheda looks at what you need in your make-up bag when you’re travelling. Whether it’s a family reunion, weekend getaway, or a glamorous jetsetting adventure, there’s no question that travelling is stressful and as the winter looms, just about everyone in the Gulf is going to be jumping on a plane at some point. Trying to look good when you’re travelling is pretty much at the top of the stress-o-meter. However, when it comes to my travel makeup bag I have it down to a fine art; with these few travel beauty survival tips under your belt, you are safe in the knowledge that if you bumped into Ryan Gosling you wouldn’t have to run and hide. A great moisturiser is top of the list when choosing which essential items make the cut. I have been on a lifelong search for a miracle moisturiser and believe I have finally found it. Beauty blogger’s and makeup artists have raved about this cult classic cream the world over: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream has more functions than I could possibly list and best of all it comes in travel size. A little certainly goes a long way, saving you the hassle of slathering on

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sub standard moisturiser at high altitude in an attempt to escape in-flight dehydration. It also doubles up as a lip balm, soothe minor weather burns and scrapes. It’s no wonder this legendary cream is first choice for makeup artists, celebrities and models. A makeup setting spray is not only a crucial step in your makeup routine but also serves as a refreshing boost of mineral hydration in-flight. For this I like to use Mac Fix+ Spray, which comes in a handy 30mls. Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray, who also manufacture the Urban Decay setting sprays, really extends makeup wear, maintains colour and prevents makeup from slipping, melting and creasing. I would advise women to forgo the foundation on vacation. All that Vitamin D you’ll be soaking up from the sun will do wonders for your skin, helping heal breakouts and evening skin tone. Instead I would opt for a face illuminator, in liquid form, to bring your skin to life with a youthful glow from within. Why not try Revlon Photoready Skinlights Face Illuminator in ‘peach light’ for olive to dark skin tones and ‘bare light’, a lighter gold, for fairer tones? If you cannot bear to leave the house without foundation, Make Up For Ever HD Foundation is a safe bet. Priding itself on its invisible cover, this foundation combines flawless coverage and an extremely natural finish. Pairing this with a silicon-based primer such as the Clinique Super Primer, a universal face primer is a sure fire way of securing your foundation for travel.

If you’re like me and find keeping oily skin at bay a daily battle, you’ll be glad to know there is a travel solution! A friend introduced me to this lifesaver some time ago; blotting papers. These things are compact enough to throw in your bag and simply dispose of when done. They make a huge difference to the appearance of your skin especial in the T zone area. I prefer to use the Clean & Clear Oil Control Film Absorbing and Blotting Papers. Finally, add some shimmer! I find it’s a quick and effective way to perk up a sallow complexion. I’m not a huge fan of glitter, but I have found a few products that provide you with glowy skin which highlights the best aspects of your face without leaving you looking like you just bathed in glitter. In terms of powders, my favourites include; The Balm’s Betty-Lou Manizer, which incidentally acts as a bronzer, eye shadow and highlight. For fairer complexions I would recommend Mary-Lou Manizer. This product is ideal for travel as it has multitasking abilities and provides a beautiful shimmer when dusted in a c shape from brow bone to apples of the cheek, any further though and you run the risk of sporting the sweaty look! Having packed all these goodies into my travel makeup bag, I was all set to jet to France to soak up the sun, tuck into a good book and enjoy some French cuisine. On my arrival in Nice I happened across Sephora… no makupaholic can successfully walk past this store without purchasing something! I managed to pick up a few lip products to add a pop of colour to my outfits. I settled on Chanel’s Rouge Allure Gloss in ‘Extase’ a pretty everyday gloss in shocking pink and ‘Pirate’ a true red shade for the evening. I also stocked up on Makeup Forever HD Foundation in N153. Having read these trusty beauty travel tips, I hope this reduces your stress levels so you can concentrate on relaxing and also snapping some great photos for Instagram and Facebook to make all your friends jealous!

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SEASONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S GREETINGS FROM THE RITZ-CARLTON, DOHA The festive lights, the gingerbread aroma in the air, the taste of hot chocolate and a traditional Festive Spirit awaits you. The Ritz-Carlton, Doha is celebrating a memorable festive season featuring take-home feasts, diverse and abundant culinary experiences, festive holiday packages and an unforgettable send-off to 2014.

For more information kindly contact us at +974 4484 8000.

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COLUMN

The beauty beat Angie De Lange, a part-time model and student in Doha gives us the low down on her beauty tips.

H

ave you ever experienced a moment when you revert back to childhood in the worse

felt when my best friend called to say that

Silence.

really old!

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BEAUTY

“Even though I was going at the speed of a snail, I had mentally overcome the negative and unhealthy thoughts swimming around in my head.”

possible! yourself when you’ve pushed your body to cured most of the muscle pain within two

cream contains a variety of essential oils

kind of wonder cream to take it all away

soaks into your skin – this process happens

bound to have sore muscles at some point This product is really amazing!

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COLUMN

WORK IT many of us do in doha, writes Karen McGrath, doesn’t mean that you have to let go of your individuality.

R

ight now, I couldn’t look further from a lawyer moonlighting as a fashion columnist. I’m sitting in a Starbucks at JFK airport, after 14 hours in economy class. I’m wearing two clashing plaid fabrics (not on purpose), accessorised with a faded hoodie and I’ve just discovered a hole in my leggings. This would never happen to Victoria Beckham. I wouldn’t even be thinking about fashion right now if I didn’t have an article deadline, but in attempting to combat my jetlag induced writer’s block, I have started thinking about how I got here in the first place. And really, it started with a pair of shoes. They were lipstick red, patent, crocodile skin and several inches high, and surprisingly on the feet of the lawyer interviewing me for my first real job as a trainee lawyer. I was twenty-yearsold and yet to answer to that important question of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was worried that a law firm would be a stuffy, old-fashioned environment would be a stuffy, old-fashioned and that I would need to change my personality to environment and that I would need to change my personality to fit in and become a more serious version of myself. The shoes certainly helped to change my mind... version of myself. of course, the woman wearing them did more to convince me that corporate law was the right path for me, but the shoes were filled with symbolism. They suggested the wearer was powerful, confident and most importantly to me 82

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COLUMN

at that time, had a personality - the kind of woman I hoped to be. I wanted to walk in her shoes and how better to do it than to work for her? I could work as a lawyer and still wear shoes that would fill a fashion editor with envy. I got the job, but was brought back to reality when my first paycheck paid for my rent, rather than Louboutins. One of my Facebook friends shared an article recently about career satisfaction and how we should assess whether we are in the job we should be by looking at what our younger selves would think of our current lives. Twenty-year-old Karen would hopefully be satisfied by my current shoe collection, but my younger self

to me at that time, had a personality. would likely be disappointed not to have an Oscar on the shelf or a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. No one really dreams of wearing suits for a living, do they? For me, it was an early obsession with acting, in particular My Fair Lady that had a sartorial impact on me. The film had somehow led me to believe that being an actor would result in Edwardian races style dresses a la Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle. Unfortunately my acting career at school eschewed the style of Hepburn’s career and began with roles as a prisoner, a peasant and a French revolutionary, none of which resulted in glamorous costumes. I graduated into playing Maria Von Trapp (dresses made from curtains and a nun’s habit), Miss Haversham in Great Expectations (a wedding dress, but sadly one which had been dragged through mud, stained by tea and ripped to shreds) and Fantine in Les Miserables (shorn hair and rags). It wasn’t as stylish as I thought acting would be. I think I’ll stick with my LK Bennett suit, thank you very much! Now where are my red heels? 84

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for friends you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seen in a year. facebook.com/gap

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STRIKE A POSE Laura Hamilton attends the second Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience (VFDE) and checks out the growing fashion vibe in the Emirates.

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FEATURE

W www.ohlala-magazine.com

No one can dispute that Dubai is the fashion capital of the

LILY COLE

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ON THE CATWALK

Franca Sozzani, far right, and VIP guests outside the Armani Hotel, Dubai, about to walk the red carpet.

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FEATURE

Roberto Cavalli charms the crowds with his anecdotes about Jennifer Lopez, his muse.

THE DESIGNERS

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Alberta Ferretti, a stalwart of the Italian fashion scene, talked about her career progression and friendship with Franca Sozzani.

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FEATURE

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Simple things around me, out of which I can create an entire collection, touch me. Ideas simply hit me out of the blue; sometimes while driving or walking I get SHOWCASE YOUR TALENTS distracted by something that can be the thread I weave an entire collection on.â&#x20AC;?

businesswomen who still commanded respect in their mid-

certainly has been her MO in the last ten years to nourish

The fashion workshops were an intriguing insight into the often closed off world that is the fashion industry

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Watch this space! OHLALA!

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CHIC EATS

A VISIT TO EATOPIA There’s a new kid on the block, and this one’s motto is “Every Dish You Can Imagine is Real”. Foodie Laura Hamilton gets a little bit over excited.

A

s I ascended the escalator to the second level at The Gate Mall, Eatopia came into view, my first thought was, “Why have I never been here before?” I knew something was up at The Gate Mall. The car park, which previously had been the only one in Doha that you could guarantee a space in, was chock-a-block. I was suspicious; what was happening? Of course, I had heard rumours about Eatopia, but my discerning (read: paranoid) soul didn’t believe that the delicatessen could possibly live up to the hype. I’ve been left disappointed too many times to count. I popped along one afternoon, ready to be proved wrong and I was barely through the doors when I had already got my phone out and texted several friends about the place. If I couldn’t see the construction from the window, I wouldn’t have believed we were truly in Qatar. It’s a little bit like an up-scale Manhattan deli, except that it is huge. It’s truly massive; there’s a deli, a market area and a vast eating area, and it even extends outside. Now that the weather is perfect, it’s time for a little bit of alfresco dining. I sat on the balcony, which was partially covered, ordered an orange and pomegranate juice and did a little bit of people watching. Eatopia was full of young professionals, foodies, businessmen and the kind of people who give me sartorial envy. It wasn’t, however, very noisy, despite the 92

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crowds and the jazzy and upbeat background noise. Eatopia gives you a card and let you loose at the various food stations, your eyes wide and stomach rumbling. After a brief lap of the food stations, to inform my decisions, I hit upon the sushi counter. It was a tough decision, as the aroma in Eatopia was making me lightheaded with greed, but I managed. Having never been able to resist some raw fish, I decided it was a suitable test, and the chefs prepared my sushi as I watched. I wasn’t sure if six Dragon rolls were going to fill me up, as I hadn’t had breakfast in preparation. They were, however, just the right size. Tender salmon, sticky rice, deliciously crunch and chewy, I savoured

I popped along to Eatopia one afternoon and was barely through the the doors when I had already got my phone out and texted several friends about the place.

the sushi and gazed out the window, pretty happy with my lot in life. The only critique is that the chopsticks were a little cheap. No one wants splinters in their sushi. After that, I needed a caffeine pick-me-up and so ordered a café latte and stared out the window, thinking about the rest of my day and planning a return trip to Eatopia. www.ohlala-magazine.com


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CHIC EATS

NOM NOM NOM Bake with Chris at the Four SeaSonS

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95


BOOKWORM

GOLDA SLEPT HERE LAURA HAMILTON SPEAKS TO RENOWNED PALESTINIAN ARCHITECT AND WRITER, SUAD AMIRY AND DEVELOPS A BIT OF A GIRL CRUSH.

I

The fashion workshops were an intriguing insight into the often closed off world that is the fashion 96

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’m actually not a fan of non-fiction books in general, so it’s rare for me to pick one off the shelf. However, the intriguing title of TED speaker Suad Amiry’s latest book, Golda Slept Here, took my fancy. And, oh, what a book! Heart wrenching, and peppered with the driest of humour, this book is special. The premise of the book revolves around what Amiry refers to as the biggest real estate theft in history; when the Palestinians were forced out of their homes and due to absentee property laws, can’t reclaim them. As an architect and founder of Riwaq, an organisation dedicated to protecting Palestinian architecture, this is something that draws together Amiry’s www.ohlala-magazine.com


storytelling skills as well as her passion for architecture. “Ah,” she writes, “if only building could tell their stories.” This is not an entirely autobiographical work however. Amiry links stories from different generations of her friends together with her characteristic humour, but her intention had never been to write a book about the trauma of Palestinians losing their homes. It had originally begun as a book about the architecture of Palestine, and then morphed into a subject just as close to Amiry’s heart. “The hakawati, explains Amiry, “The storyteller in me was more forthcoming and had a stronger presence than the architect in me.” Although much has been written on the political problems of losing a country, the individual stories from Palestinians (of all religions), there isn’t much out there on the personal stories. “I realised that our parents didn’t share with us the trauma in 1948 of having to leave their homes,” says Amiry, who has never been to visit her father’s house in Jaffa despite living in Palestine since 1981. “I haven’t had the emotional ability to do that,” she admits. All the characters in the book still refer to their possessions, whether it’s a house or a tree, with possessive adjectives, several decades after someone else has taken them. The characters in the house have to deal with walking past their houses and seeing another family inside. “I took Jerusalem as a location as refugees in West Jerusalem are only living a few metres away from their houses in East Jerusalem.,” explain Amiry. Indeed, one character, Huda visits her house on such a regular basis, that she gets in trouble with the police and is often chased away. Being in her 70s, she is seen as more of a nuisance than a threat and there is a forced levity as Amiry relays the story that would otherwise be rather heartbreaking. One of the funniest, but also the most painful passages in the books relates to Andoni, a Palestinian architect. The Israelis take his architectural masterpiece from him, and many years later he endeavours to get it back. He comes close, until he comes up against legal jargon. The judge tells him not to take him personally. “That sentence, “it’s not personal” is the whole book for me,” Amiry tells me. “The concept of being an absentee in your own country. The legal status, not only for refugees, but also for those of us who live in occupied territories, whether in Gaza or in the West Bank, we are physically present but by law we are absentees. It’s a very existential problem!” www.ohlala-magazine.com

“The hakawati, the storyteller in me had a stronger presence than the architect in me.”

Despite her losses, Amiry isn’t bitter and Golda Slept Here is filled with anecdotes about loss, but also with hope for the future. In the beginning of the book, Amiry writes, facetiously, that other peoples’ pain makes her feel better. “Every nation has had a disaster and we tend to be obsessive about our own losses, our own pain; we are ego-centric,” explains Amiry. “We know that different people have suffered, the Armenians, the Greeks in Cyprus – if it’s important for us not to commit the sin of thinking you’re the only victims. While you’re suffering, you shouldn’t conflict suffering on other people. We all have to learn from our suffering to be kinder to all human beings.” Amiry continues her important work with

Riwaq, conserving Palestinian architecture; her newfound fame in her twilight years an unexpected boon. She never considered herself a writer, as she was always more interested in the story than in the writing. Indeed, Amiry is dyslexic. “Actually, I’m not dyslexic in Arabic. I can read Arabic with no difficulty, but in English…We dyslexic people have issues with shapes. So in English it’s one letter at a time, so it’s harder than joined up writing and Arabic calligraphy.” There is a sweet irony that a dyslexic writer gives a voice to people who are too traumatised to give an account of their lives. Golda Slept Here is published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing. OHLALA!

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CULTURE VULTURE

Afterwards

Mathaf Has Made History.

Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a new exhibition at Mathaf! This time the arty people have brought us some mesmerising photography from the renowned visual artist Shirin Neshat. is a conceptual and artistic approach to

emotional and human realities behind the faces

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CHARITY

REACH OUT TO CHARITY GALA

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charity hones in on the most impoverished areas in Asia and

Music and Dance School for Orphaned and

Qatar has always been known for it’s charitable works, but this year, at Reach Out to Asia (ROTA)’s the stops and raised a whopping $21 million! 100 OHLALA!

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CHARITY

S

heikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani spoke about the importance of education and

Superstar Janet Jackson attended the gala along with her husband who had donated several lots to the acution. .

Wissam Saleh Al Mana had donated a custom-

contributed their time and money to

The cold hard cash that supports the myriad would be complete without a safari trip for two to South Africa donated by luxurious hotels there were two tickets to attend a football match

of Qatari society turned up to open their

by Qatarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Supreme Committee for Delivery

the Janet

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MOTORING

TANYA HABJOUQA

The Palestinian Diva Drivers

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peed Sisters is a documentary about the lives

what made you decide to do the movie?

Premiering last month at the Ajyal Film Festival in Doha was Speed Sisters, a documentary by Amber Fares How important do you think the movie is in terms of

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MOTORING TANYA HABJOUQA

What was it like spending time with the girls? Did

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invited me to see a documentary called the Children of Shatila would have a car at every race that women would be able to How much international interest has there been for the documentary? Have any TV channels picked it up? Have you had trouble raising interest in it in North America?

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the power of story to open doors to worlds that were otherwise

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MOTORING

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SHOT-ON-SITE

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A new luxury boutique has opened up at the Pearl and it’s called Per Lei. Full of all our favourite designers, from Sophie Webster to dima Ayad, it’s well worth a look!

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TURKISH FESTIVAL

When it comes to turkish cuisine, it’s all good. the turks know what they’re doing and so do the chefs at Sharq Village and Spa! A night to remember, a whole host of ambassadors turned up to tuck in.

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VISION FASHION SHOW THE PEARL the Pearl, know for its chic and elegant soirees, held an exclusive event where more than 500 women were present, to support and empower 18 talented Qatari designers. An evening with a touch perfect combination for a successful Arabian night.

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Ohlala! Qatar December 2014  

Qatar's premier luxury lifestyle magazine

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