Edi­tor’s LET­TER

Harper's Bazaar (Arabia) - - Editor's Letter -

This month, Max Mara de­buts a cap­sule col­lec­tion cre­ated for the GCC with in­put from the hi­jab-wear­ing model Hal­ima Aden. Rather than riff­ing on an abaya, the col­lec­tion of­fers a mod­ern take on tra­di­tional dress, com­plete with co­or­di­nat­ing head­scarf. “I’ve learned it’s not some es­o­teric dress code, it’s about of­fer­ing women the chance to wear clothes while cov­er­ing their bod­ies, not shroud­ing them,” Ian tells me of his take on the prin­ci­ples of mod­esty that gov­ern many Mus­lim women’s ap­proach to fash­ion. See the re­sults worn by four women from Saudi, Ye­men and Le­banon in Mod­ern Style Clas­sics, page 80.

Also chal­leng­ing con­ven­tion are the 10 Le­banese vi­sion­ar­ies pro­filed in The In­spi­ra­tional Women of Beirut, page 100; from the late pi­o­neer­ing ab­stract artist Saloua Raouda Chou­cair, who was a rare fe­male Arab voice on the art scene from the

1940s, to Aida Kawas, the leg­endary co-founder of con­cept store Ori­ent 499, to Carla Da­her, the ac­tor and model who walked for Ba­len­ci­aga’s spring/sum­mer ’17 show and ap­peared in the brand’s ad cam­paign. “I was very aware that I looked dif­fer­ent from what’s tra­di­tion­ally been con­sid­ered beau­ti­ful in this coun­try, but iron­i­cally that’s what got me the job at Ba­len­ci­aga,” Carla, the only Arab model to walk for the house that sea­son, tells Bazaar. “For a long time there was this

stan­dard of beauty that favoured big hair and make-up, which pushed women to as­pire to look like pop stars and Bar­bie dolls. But in the last few years there’s been a real back­lash amongst my gen­er­a­tion, who are against this over-stylised

stan­dard of what a wo­man should look like,” Carla adds.

Greater di­ver­sity in the im­ages we are all ex­posed to – of age, body type, eth­nic­ity and per­sonal style – can only help foster

un­der­stand­ing, tol­er­ance and in­clu­siv­ity, as we cel­e­brate the dif­fer­ences that make hu­man­ity so rich.


Left: Bella Ha­did, pho­tographed for Bazaar by Mar­i­ano Vi­vanco on page 118. Be­low: A new take on tra­di­tional dress, page 80

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