Feel Ibiza, breath Dubai

Close your eyes and visualise a place where sand whispers stories of eternal happiness and blue is the warmest colour. Picture white chaise lounges, vibrant umbrellas, sun-kissed hair, boaty-boats and a glorious Mediterranean tan ruined slightly by fancy swimwear. Add a fabulous soft beat and oh boy, you are in Ibiza.

Open your eyes and you are here in the financial heart of the dazzling Dubai, sipping rosé at La Cantine du Faubourg.

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Impossible, you say? Well, not quite! Look closely at the photograph…

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The mesmerizing piece is the work of a Frenchman, passionate photographer Stephane Dessaint. Born and raised in Paris (I wonder if he loved to hang out at Montmartre) Stephane also lived in LA and New York where he was involved in the emerging fashion industry. Several years later, at his recent vernissage in Dubai, Stephane was introduced to me as the artist and photographer behind the limited edition “Ibiza Feelings” collection. My first impression however was: “Boy, he knows how to dress”.

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Charmed by his style I was the hundredth person at La Cantine to ask the same question: “What’s your secret?”, unintentionally narrowing his work to a photography trick. To my surprise Stephane took my inquiry with the full seriousness a serious artist can only afford and whispered back technicalities related to his usual day at a shoot. Geared up with a camera, Stephane would patiently wait for the “l’heur du Zenith” when the angle of the sun leaves no shadows on the ground giving seawater additional sparkle and deep blue colour (apparently his favorite).

Warning: Please consider the image below as rather inaccurate as I don’t recall being the only person who talked 🙂

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Stephane Dessaint’s work will be displayed at La Cantine de Faubourg for another couple of months. Please stop by to witness the charming vibes of Mediterranean summer and photographs that tell stories.

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Dream Body, Part Deux

A couple weeks ago I made an adult decision to involve science and new technologies to help me shape the body of my dreams. In collaboration with a diet and frequent workouts, I crashed Google searching other options and ended up confidently walking in Silkor medical center in Dubai for a rendezvous with their greatest Milena. Armed with facts and emotional desires, she sat me down for an honest chat: “Expectations vs Reality” followed by an assessment (read about my previous adventures at Silkor over here).

In brief, a dream body is more realistic than one may think, especially in our era of individuality. Every curve matters! What I consider a perfect shape may appear as skinny-flat to someone named Kim. On the other hand, highly desirable immediate results are often not achievable. It takes a great deal of squats, patience, sugar cutting and focus to move forward with body goals. Once you spot a twinkling light at the end of tunnel, turn to professionals to work their magic. My treatment plan from Milena was targeted to achieve a tighter, smoother lower body while focusing on stubborn fat and contouring with the help of LPG, Velashape, Pressotherapy and Cool sculpting.

LPG, or lipomassage endermologie, is a pleasant, non-invasive deep tissue therapy cleared by the FDA for temporarily improving the appearance of cellulite and bettering body dimensions. One session lasts about 30 minutes and feels like a fancy massage, involving a vacuum roller and a tight white suit.

Velashape is another non-invasive body contouring treatment that uses a mix of technologies (infrared light, bi-polar radio frequency and energy) to improve trouble areas unreachable by exercise and diet. Both vacuum and heating stimulate collagen production and improve skin’s structure.

Pressotherapy is a detoxifying treatment that uses mechanical pressure to improve blood circulation, decrease water retention, ease jet leg and increase lymphatic drainage. The best part of pressotheraphy is getting into an astronaut suit and dreaming of Mars One during the session.

Cool sculpting delivers precise cooling to target fat cells underneath the skin. Frozen fat cells gradually disappear over a period of 6 months and usually never occur in the same areas again. This procedure should be considered as an alternative to liposuction and obviously requires a specialist consultation.

Interested? You can take advantage of Silkor’s complimentary body assessment. Details at silkor.com or over here.

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Fashion Forward Dubai – it’s on!

Sheer with joy fashionistas, designers, models, bloggers, buyers and the beau monde. While the cosmopolitan fashion community is catching up on sleep, post major fashion weeks, Dubai is plotting to shine bright with talent from all over the globe at the new edition of Fashion Forward (FFWD).

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Fashion Forward, the region’s well known fashion platform follows a “See Now, Buy Now” progressive format, where collections presented on podium are immediately available for purchase and delivery. Watch a kaleidoscope of last season’s best moments over here (credit to FFWD crew for images and a video)

Scheduled from March 23rd-25th 2017, the FFWD team had already opened its doors to sassy media reps and designers for an interactive press conference with the theme of fashion standards in the age of technology.

Taking place in the inspiring, sleek Dubai Design district, this year’s edition will support its commitment to introduce fresh faces to the market, debuting thirteen designers. In line with traditions, FFWD will showcase 30 regional pret-a-porter, haute couture and accessories designers who form not only the wardrobes of local “IT boyz and girlz,” but contribute greatly to what the cut of tomorrow is going to be. In the process some will make it big carving out a name and a niche for their labels on a global fashion map.

Online registration for industry pros is open and truly it’s the easiest and most efficient way to be a part of the show. Spare no time and go here for further detail  Tickets are expected to be on sale soon. Meanwhile scroll up and down through images of the unforgettably stylish people I stalked during the press conference.

Marcela Danielova, designer relations director at FFWD:

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Rumbi Tendaupenyu aka just.askana:

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Layla Shugri a designer and the owner of Lya Lya Couture:

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Florian Akinbiyi, MC, Host, Public Speaker:

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Arwa Al Banawi, designer:

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FFDW team:

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Be your own stylist with Valenxe

Once upon a time on a late night train from France to Germany, two beautiful girls dreamed up a perfect wardrobe staple for all occasions all around the world. Joined by a third fashionista they designed a pair of truly desirable and versatile leggings with a slimming effect. That’s how Valenxe, the “intrinsic attractiveness” was born. Being hard to impress, I decided to sneak three pairs of Valenxe leggings into Dubai and put these babies to an ultimate style trial, breaking all possible fashion rules in between.

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Look One: Trophy Girl

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It was a sunny January Friday in Dubai, the perfect day to brunch, pool around and show off that hard to get beach body (did you try my insane workout?). So I grabbed my “la vie en rose” shades, a silky shiny tunic by Parker NYAntilla crop leggings in dream navy, and headed to the family friendly Waldorf Hotel on the Palm. Cropped leggings is a challenge to wear well. For me. I visually extend the look of my legs by balancing shorter leggings with either flats or sneakers. Voila:

Look 2: Nasty Woman

They say show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are. Woah-oh-oh-ah-ah-ah! Hanging out with these three unbreakable style gAnnstars: no.1, no.2 and no. 3 led to irreversible changes in my attitude. Armed with a truly Canadian maple syrup candy, a tee with me boyz Beavis and Butthead, I pulled on the leather-like Aspasia leggings in black and rolled away. Do mind the cool hat (this is Rella)

Look 3: Lady in Red

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When the time came to dress for a challenging shopping afternoon with a fellow fashion-addict, I opted for a bright red tight dress, Versace scarf and Bollea leggings in bella fiora brown. Not only did I have a fun time strolling down the new “must-see” district in Dubai, but found a solid number of followers thinking I was a celebrity in disguise.

Look 4: Walkaholic

It’s that time of the year in the UAE when the anticipation of rain is almost as enjoyable as the rain itself. Layered in Aritzia wool jacket and protected by a powerful red umbrella, I felt like Mary Poppins on a mission. Surprisingly my black  Aspasia leggings pulled off a classy as well as edgy look, making my lower body look “gym every day” thinner.

Look 5: Trouble Maker

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Inspired by the adventures of Indiana Jones, I decided to initiate my own treasure hunt and drove all the way to the capital, glorious Abu Dhabi. Dressed in a vintage cotton shirt from Austria, breathable Japanese sneakers, sweet Italian shades and Canadian leggings I was proud to communicate the spirit of a true globetrotter. I did discover a hidden Arabian quarter overlooking the blue water of a little creek and called my trip a total success!

Loved Valenxe – shop’em here! Stalk me on Instagram and Facebook

Update: While on a different style mission, I spotted another Dubai girl rocking Valenxe leggings. I think she wore them better than me! What do you think?

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What’s Dubai wearing #RedCarpet, #WDWD, #DIFF2106

There’s a deep emotional connection between the two industries that produce dreams: fashion and cinematography. One appeared spontaniously in a previous millennia, probably when a cave teenager refused to wear a hat to be different, the other – invented during a series of scientific experiments in motion picture photography. Yves Saint Lauren said “Les modes passent, le style est eternal…”. The same can be said of film vs. cinema, as even the oldest Brothers Lumieres cinematography is a form of immortal art. Surprisingly though the Dubai Film Festival’s style and red carpet often drew more attention than the screenings.

Divided by four popular fashion choices, tailored gowns, “mix and match” tuxedos, fantasy outfits and traditional fusion, guests and participants united in looking effortlessly glamorous guided by dress-codes, personal taste and the work of designers. I couldn’t take my eyes off fabulous Tuba Buyukustun, a female actor from Turkey, who in her dreamy long gowns created an Art Deco illusion.

Initially spotted in a crowd of admirers, it took me a day to build the confidence to approach Eileen Level. With a straightforward mission to photograph Eileen in her incredible hat, I ended up admiring her perfectly shaped face, charismatic sense of fashion and spontaneous jokes. Come back to Dubai, girl!

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Forever-young brunette Andie MacDowell made two quite remarkable appearances during DIFF 2016. Dressed in a tailored beige trouser suit, she delivered a sharp yet very personable masterclass to a demanding audience of international media reps. Later that evening, perfect in every detail, Andie was dazzling with confidence in a dark blue sequin gown at the Global Gala.

A girl who created waves and sighs of admiration from “seen it all” red carpet pool photographers and critics alike was Jordan-based influencer Hiba Assad. Being a stunning beauty she wore an exceptional black dress with a leather like corsage and flirty skirt by Dania Dahleh.

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My own astonishing fashion crush of the year occurred when mega popular Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh stepped onto the Red Carpet looking magical in a dark violet cape on top of a 3-piece earthy suit paired with gorgeous hair and a noble mustache. For the next couple of days I ran into him striking poses in completely unrecognizable looks that could be described varyingly as edgy, fancy, hipster, posh and even conservative. Wish I was quick enough to steal his stylist’s number. See for yourself!

Glowing with happiness and timeless beauty, Shirina Fotuhi, a creative mind behind Coega sunwear marketing was in high demand at Harpers Bazaar best dressed lounge. Rushing to the premier of “Rogue One: Star Wars story”, she looked fabulously daring in her “Happy Sithmas” shirt paired with tight leggings, denim jacket from Maison Clad and stilettos.

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My choice for most entertaining Red Carpet appearance would go to English actor Bill Nighy. Striking pose after pose in his sharp dark navy suit (no tie), Bill found time for every photographer in the pool, boosting energy and encouraging bursts of laughter. His speech at “Their Finest” premier alone deserved a big shiny trophy and standing applause.

Emirati photographer Ismail Hemaid looked fantastic in a traditional dishdash empowered with enthusiasm, professionalism and a great sense of humor. Can you tell he has been working loooong hours?

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Attending DIFF 2016 has demonstrated once again the importance of attracting individuals from all over the world, who inspire, provoke debates, mentor, express and create dreams. Both cinematography and fashion are charisma driven industries and watching them in action is a lot of fun! Cheers to the great people who shape the style of entertainment:

The Siren dress by Kris Jane, an emerging designer with an artistic touch brought me luck, fame  and most importantly new followers (hooray!).

 

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This is Rella, the perfect companion

Fashion like the change of seasons comes and goes, but your personality stays no matter what. Style is forever too. Encrypted in DNA it molecularly copies your attitude because we, the individuals are born this way! So once the weather starts falling apart and the survival instinct prevails common sense, I hit back with the right accessories. This is Rella!

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From the heart of Canadian Rockies Rella has expanded it reach by opening offices in cosmopolitan cities of Montreal and Stockholm (c’est vrai!) becoming a four-season brand. Driven on passion, Rella communicates warmth and comfort by transforming traditional knits into sought after elements of super hip outfits.

Described as edgy, fun, vibrant, cute, classy, comfy, awesome (you name it!), Rella’s collection balances good fit, high functionality and eternal style. These babies are made to be enjoyed! Look, my grey beanie is lined with soft woolen fabric (shield) for extra warmth and topped up with “can’t take my eyes off” pompom. Sharpen your look with Betto scarf and explore tons of hot opportunities to wear it (I warn you, there are many!).

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Remember there is no bad weather, just the boring company… Rella is always ready to rescue, keep you warm and keep you going!

A big special thanks to adventure driven stylist Domenic Iannuzi and picture driven photographer Tom Trestain for your help!

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Super 5 from Fountain Cosmetics

Being dangerously adventurous when it comes to experimenting with baking (with a 50% pavlova failure rate), fashion (mixing yoga leggings and silk tops) and beauty (from mermaid locks to bob in one easy swoop), I passionately sacrifice myself to try out innovative products from all over the world and from every dot of the Internet. Because I want you guys to look and feel awesome  🙂

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So while I blindly entrust my wellbeing and pretty face to the decency of modern chemists, please blend a handful of berries with a glass of almond milk and a scoop of protein and build a healthy appetite for healthy skin. Cheers!

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Fountain Cosmetics, a family run business based in Sidney, Australia since 1999, creates sulfate, paraben and mineral oil free solutions for skin, body and soul (happy skin=happy you… and me!). All products are designed by a dedicated team of local researchers and scientists who believe in innovation and the latest skincare trends. Packed with anti-aging ingredients, Fountain Cosmetics are effective in conquering skin problems plus delivering desired results.

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They make what they love and I love what they make! Here are my thoughts on the top 5 “must-gets” from  Fountain Cosmetics for a complete fancy spa experience:

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  • Exfoliate

Skin Exfoliant has a wonderful soft texture but a powerful base of lactic and glycolic acids paired together to penetrate deeper into skin (scratch-free). The combination of both acids is honestly a rare find that gives a professional touch to home care routines, allowing you to save on superficial medical peels. I use it once or twice a week depending on weather and skin condition, after removing all make up, washing and drying my skin (think face, neck and decollate at least).

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Test it first and then leave it on for 10-15 minutes to clear break-outs, free and tighten pores, brighten your skin from pigmentation or sun damage and soften wrinkles. Use cautiously in combination with products that contain retinol to avoid a reaction and please apply sunblock (SPF 20 in the winter and SPF 40-50 in the summer). More.

  • Firm and plump

Envy anti-aging eye serum contains glycerin, lactic acid, marine-based biopolymer complex, hard-working wrinkle fillers and a few other moisturizing agents to make your eyes a reflection of your forever-young soul 🙂 It smoothes lines, cools, plumps and gently firms the skin.

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The best part – packed in a long skinny 15 ml tube, Envy is easy to sneak onboard a flight for much needed hydration and regardless of its size it really lasts  (I use Envy twice daily), because one tiny drop covers it all! Doesn’t irritate eyes. More.

  • Moisturize

Exquisite Moisture hair mask is 3-in-1 R-solution: renews, restores and rehydrates. It has a lovely light fragrance and thick texture that melts into wet hair (the magic of argan oil).

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I apply it to all hair from the crown to the ends except roots and wash it off after 5-7 minutes. Exquisite hair mask brings back the shine without greasing your hair, so it could be used every day or on the trip to the steam room. More.

  • Nourish

Hydrating face mask is a real treasure suitable for all skin types including the super oily. Once applied it turns into a light veil allowing your skin to breath while benefiting from fruit extracts and advanced moisturizers. You can keep it on for 10-20 minutes without having to sit still as this mask doesn’t leak or fall off, however I warn you that the freedom of movement may result in you forgetting to remove it!

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Well, not a worry as you can just wipe it off with a wet cloth. Complete your little facial with a serum or moisturizer. More. 

  • Glow

Although it’s recommended for a very dry skin, the combination of Think C 15% serum and the Activator did wonders to my questionably demanding face (oily and irritated at the same time).

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The Activator is loaded with Vitamin B3 and anti-inflammatory properties, while the waterless formula of Think C serum revitalizes skin without blocking pores. Prevents break-outs and assists in healing. More.

Last, but not the least: Fountain Cosmetics offers a rare treat of delivering their products almost anywhere with free worldwide shipping (what!) on orders over $95 (Australian dollars). My latest order reached me in Toronto in 7 working days!

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