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.
LOUISE NICHOL, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Left: Bella Hadid, photographed for Bazaar by Mariano Vivanco on page 118. Below: A new take on traditional dress, page 80