Aisyha Hart is one of those actors you feel fortunate to cross paths with. Beyond her magnetism, it’s her inherent curiosity that is her unique charm. Aiysha’s so inquisitive about people and the world around her, that it makes her all the more interesting to be with. She’s hungry to learn, question and explore but also to challenge, and it makes for a truly engaging encounter. Born to a British mother
and Saudi father, a childhood spent between the UK and Riyadh helped nurture Aiysha’s curiosity of different cultures but also to question what ‘belonging’ really means. “I’m hugely proud of my dual heritage because it’s taught me to see the world in many shades of grey and it’s imbued me with an innate appreciation of cultural diversity,” she says in A Force of Nature, page 90. “But you do find yourself constantly walking a line between two worlds, never fully ‘existing’ within either. And while I’m proud of my heritage I don’t want to be reduced to just my heritage. It’s limiting from the perspective of an actor, as well as a human being. The question ‘Where are you from?’ becomes synonymous with the question, ‘Who are you?’. I define myself by many things, not just my heritage.” Based in London but travelling to Saudi often, Aiysha yearns for the familiar. “I love watching the calm, pink sunsets and dusk is my favourite
time of day there. Hearing the call to prayer ring out always makes me feel nostalgic.”
Playing on the theme of nostalgia, in Bazaar Goes East, page 84, Alex Aubry delves into the archives of Harper’s Bazaar to uncover an intriguing collection of imagery that chronicles the publication’s early forays into the Middle East – long before the launch of Harper’s
Bazaar Arabia a decade ago. Spanning back to the 1950s, photographers and journalists who travelled to the Middle East offered a powerful insight into the region’s fashion, popular culture and society, further fuelling curiosities about the exotic East. From model Jean Patchett photographed at the Alhambra Palace for Bazaar’s June 1953 issue, to Saul Leiter’s image of a model posing with Bedouins in the Jordanian desert for Bazaar’s June 1963 edition, and party pages documenting Beirut’s social scene in Harper’s Bazaar
US’ June 1966 issue, it’s a fascinating retrospective look at the relationship between the East and West.
The notion of reflecting on the past in order to build a bright future over-arcs this issue, but for those focusing on the present, literally, the following pages are also filled with inspired gifting ideas for the holiday season ahead. Whether it’s the perfect stocking-filler sized Guirlande de Cartier bag or Gucci’s multi-finger ring on the cover – which draws inspiration from the Egyptian Ouroboros symbol
– that snakes its way onto your list, we hope you get everything you wish for.
EMILY BAXTER-PRIEST, ACTING EDITOR
Emily Baxter-Priest, Aiysha Hart and LuciaO’Connor-McCarthy, on the set of Bazaar’s December cover shoot