Nora and Noor spotted at New York Fashion Week

The Longchamp Fashion show at NYFW 2019. (AFP)
Updated 12 February 2019
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Nora and Noor spotted at New York Fashion Week

DUBAI: British-Moroccan model Nora Attal and Libyan-American journalist Noor Tagouri were spotted on catwalks around the city at New York Fashion Week — and it’s being lauded as a step in the right direction for diversity on the runway.

Attal walked the runway for Brandon Maxwell, whose collection ranged from pantsuits with plunging necklines and caped sleeves to full-bodied skirts that sweep to the ground and cinch at the waist. He designed in black and white and monochrome for some looks, the Associated Press reported.

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A black sports bra with a keyhole was worn under a sleek black blazer trimmed with satin. There were cinched white coats worn over white skirts barely visible from underneath. Maxwell also showed black-and-white leopard print dresses with a subtle “B” hidden in the pattern.

US-Palestinian model Bella Hadid also walked in the show, appearing in a satin white dress that zipped in the front to reveal a white turtleneck. Of the 35 looks, only six were in color.

Hadid also took to the runway for Prabal Rana Gurung, who now has 10 years in the business behind him and looked home for inspiration to Nepal, where he recently spent some time.

The result was a joyful, bright ready-to-wear collection — a theme he had introduced last season after several years of more sober designs, AFP reported.

He played with sari draping, especially in ikat and mandala-inspired prints.

No monochromatics or tone-on-tone ensembles here — purple or mustard yellow and turquoise, red and pink — women should use their imagination in Gurung’s world.
The designer said in his notes that he hoped to create a “multi-faceted, colorful and optimistic place where integrity, purpose, levity and love are our most celebrated virtues.”

As more and more American designers flee New York for London, Paris or Milan, foreign fashion houses are flocking to the Big Apple to take advantage of the style vacuum.

Case in point: venerable French label Longchamp, which is looking to develop its stateside presence and staged its second New York show at the weekend. Attal walked the runway for the brand, which is known for leather goods, handbags and riding gear.

For next fall, designer Sophie Delafontaine kept it classy but sensual — embracing pleated short skirts, black studded leather and lots of looks in black and white.

For her part, journalist Noor Tagouri walked the runway for US brand Rebecca Minkoff as part of the label’s push to highlight inspiring women on the catwalk.

“Storyteller @noor went out of her comfort zone today when she hit our catwalk this morning. She was one of many inspiring women who walked our runway today,” the brand posted on Instagram.


A tribute to late photographer Irving Penn goes on show in Beirut

Updated 13 February 2019
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A tribute to late photographer Irving Penn goes on show in Beirut

DUBAI: The Beirut-based Mina Image Center is hosting a showcase of works by late American fashion photographer Irving Penn, marking the first time the iconic artist’s snaps have been show in the region.
Set to run until April 28, after it kicked off on Jan. 16, the exhibition focuses on ­­ Irving Penn (1917-2009), who is recognized for his high fashion images and for his portraits of the artists, writers and celebrities who defined the 20th century.
The exhibition in Beirut is titled “Untroubled” and draws inspiration from an exhibition organized by the Pinault Collection in 2014 at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.
The exhibition explores Penn’s technical and artistic commands — a set of self-devised rules he is famous for scrupulously sticking to in order to create almost flawless images.
Photos showcased in the exhibition hail from four decades of Penn’s repertoire, but rather than arrange them chronologically, the curators in Beirut chose to loosely arrange them by subject matter.
Trained as a painter, with photography as a side hobby, Penn studied commercial art and was hired in 1943 as assistant to Alexander Liberman, art director of Vogue magazine. The photographer soon established himself as the most innovative professional in the field and went on to produce his own distinctive style.
His photographs often feature simple backdrops of paper or canvas and tend to focus on the subject — be it a celebrity or a cigarette butt — with an almost scientific, unflinching glare.
“The image is decontextualized, intense and demanding of attention,” the Mina Image Center notes on its website.
Penn was known to experiment with printing techniques and investigated innovative ways to produce photographs throughout the 1960s, including platinum-palladium printing.
Practiced in the early 20th century, the platinum process created an image that is virtually unlimited in its tonal variation. The aesthetic possibilities of the platinum printing process inspired Penn to revisit earlier work and re-print images in a range of styles. The constant reworking of his photographs formed the basis of Penn’s creative approach, according to the Mina Image Center.
The Mina Image Center is a non-profit organization that aims to showcase photography and artworks from the region and around the world in its space in Beirut.