OH LA LA
If you’ve ever been to Paris, you might have been tempted to visit place de la Bastille, the site of a prison that was stormed by the people of the city, kicking off the French Revolution. I went there expecting evocative ruins, a living Les Mis, instead, there’s an obelisk, a modern opera, and the gateway to some really good nightlife. The ruins are gone, but the popularity of the place remains. So in the spirit of that busy roundabout, let’s celebrate France’s national day today by looking at now, not back. What’s France doing awesomely well at, right now? Well, fashion – but not the super-highend fashion it’s been famous for centuries. It’s the high street that the French fashion revolutionaries are invading now.
In the last few years, we’ve seen a ton of moderately priced French labels take over our malls, bringing variety to the domination of the Swedish and Spanish fast-fashion brands we’ve been shopping at. It’s a lot more colourful and patterned than you might expect if your idea of French fashion is a beret and a little black dress – see our cover, for example. Fashion editor Lindsay Judge went to the mall to snap up her favourite looks. Check out the outfits she created on page 32. French designers are having a moment, for sure, but our local fashion scene is not far behind, with some inputs from a perhaps unexpected quarter: The lovely ladies of Dibba, who gather daily to produce ancient Emirati handicrafts that are being used in modern clothing and accessories. They make tallis, a handwoven strip that once adorned dresses, and trousers; now, they’ve been used on a successful international handbag collaboration, and there’s another one lined up for next year. Lindsay went to the east coast to meet them and find out what impact it’s had on their lives; read her story on page 28.
I recently asked features editor Anand Raj OK a question: What happens when students of special needs schools graduate at age 18? Are they equipped for life after school? Find out the answer in his piece on page 22 about Enable, an initiative that’s revealed the talent and purpose those students have to offer to society. The question now is, what can society offer them?
Natalie Long Editor firstname.lastname@example.org