HAN­NAH RASEKH

30, Jor­da­nian/English

Harper's Bazaar (Arabia) - - The Style -

“I was born in the UK, grew up in Jor­dan and moved to Dubai three years ago, but I’m based be­tween Dubai and Lon­don. Be­cause of that, I think I found a uni­ver­sal style for wher­ever I’m liv­ing. My dad is from Jor­dan and my mum’s from the UK so I like to bridge the east and west, and it makes me happy to see in­ter­na­tional de­sign­ers do­ing the same.

I’m not a trend-set­ter, I’m quite clas­sic. I’m al­ways up­dat­ing my wardrobe with more modern pieces, or vari­a­tions of pieces that I al­ready own. So I buy more blaz­ers, more white shirts, more denim. I like clean tai­lor­ing. My wardrobe is blacks, nudes, and white.

I like to be ad­ven­tur­ous and more play­ful with ac­ces­sories but I tend to keep my out­fits quite mono­chrome. I try not to spend more than five min­utes pick­ing out what I’m go­ing to wear, if I spend longer than that I get re­ally flus­tered. So I just pick what I want to wear, put it on and I leave. I’m also quite petite at 5ft 1, so I like form-fit­ting clothes. I like how clothes make me feel when they fit me prop­erly. I al­ways tell my fol­low­ers and I al­ways preach, ‘dress the way that suits you’. Just be­cause some­thing suits some­one else and they’re wear­ing it, it doesn’t mean that it’s go­ing to work for you. So dress ac­cord­ing to your body type and ac­cord­ing to what you like. It’s about be­ing cre­ative within your own com­fort zone.”

e’s a man who needs no in­tro­duc­tion. Tom Ford has been weav­ing his magic wand on women’s wear for more than two decades. He’s known for his sex­ual charisma and his im­mac­u­late dress­ing – and his con­fi­dence is bor­der­line in­tim­i­dat­ing. Per­haps that’s be­cause he never gets it wrong? And he knows his value. Cur­rently he is own­ing the fra­grance in­dus­try with a cat­a­clysmic launch of pri­vate blends, and his killer in­stinct to­wards his menswear and

wom­enswear lines has yet to let him down. His vi­sion, of­ten cen­tred by the provoca­tive and the glo­ri­ously ex­ces­sive, is a trans­la­tion of sex ap­peal on a hanger. Shy women don’t wear Tom Ford, and if they do, it has the po­tency to rev­o­lu­tionise the way they dress. If you’ve ever tried on a pair of his im­mac­u­lately tai­lored satin-trimmed crêpe straight-leg trousers, or slipped into a ruched pen­cil dress, you’ll know the feel­ing of dress­ing your­self to a more con­fi­dent be­ing. “I be­came a fash­ion de­signer be­cause I wanted to make women feel more beau­ti­ful and to em­power them with a feel­ing of con­fi­dence. A feel­ing of know­ing that they looked their best and could then present their best selves to the world,” Tom Ford tells Bazaar.

His clothes breathe an as­sertive at­ti­tude and his A/W18 col­lec­tion, which stays true to all Ford is syn­ony­mous with, was a show with all his brand sig­na­tures. Re­gard­ing the lat­ter, it was quite lit­eral. Se­quin leop­ard print trousers – the most glam­orous ath­leti­cism we’ve yet to clap eyes on – and black sweat­shirts with a slant­ing sig­na­ture – Ford’s own of course – read­ing Bev­er­ley Hills in crys­tals. It was a nod to fash­ion’s cur­rent logo-ob­ses­sion and a per­sonal ode to his for­mer LA home. And why not, too? Top-to-toe liq­uid se­quins – who wouldn’t at this time of year?

“In terms of mood there is a cer­tain lan­guid sen­su­al­ity and ro­mance to my lat­est col­lec­tion. Skirts are just past the knee, softer and of­ten asym­met­ri­cal. They are con­trolled and yet have an ease about them at the same time. Soft dresses are al­most al­ways an­chored by a corset of­ten in leather to em­pha­sise the waist. Jack­ets are struc­tured and al­low the dresses and skirts to have a soft­ness, while not mak­ing the wearer feel vul­ner­a­ble,” the de­signer tells us of his A/W18 show.

While his col­lec­tions are al­ready geared up to make our se­quin-lov­ing hearts sing, Ford is now turn­ing his fo­cus pre­cisely to the Mid­dle East. He is launch­ing a di­rect as­sault on our bank bal­ances and tak­ing ad­van­tage of our weak­ness for bling (guilty) and any­thing ex­clu­sive (guilty again) with a very lim­ited edi­tion cap­sule col­lec­tion of pieces in­spired by the un­apolo­getic lux­ury of his A/W18 show. “When I travel to the Mid­dle East, I am of­ten im­pressed with how the women there are al­ways so mag­netic, worldly and open to dif­fer­ent ways of styling my pieces. I have met many won­der­ful women on my trav­els to the Mid­dle East but my per­cep­tion of her al­ways re­mains the same; the Mid­dle Eastern woman com­mands at­ten­tion wher­ever she goes,” Ford says, adding, “I have al­ways thought of Mid­dle Eastern women as beau­ti­ful and el­e­gant with a strik­ing sense of style. Women in the Mid­dle East like to stand out from the crowd, and my col­lec­tion does just that. The ex­clu­sive pieces I de­signed are about cel­e­brat­ing the unique peo­ple and cul­ture that you can only find in Dubai.”

Of course, Ford isn’t the first de­signer to cap­i­talise on the spend­ing power of the Mid­dle East mar­ket. De­sign­ers have long recog­nised Dubai as the gate­way to the GCC and as a leader in moder­nity and modesty – build­ing on the foun­da­tions of sen­su­al­ity over sex­u­al­ity. But, Tom Ford’s of­fer­ing is not com­pro­mised in any way. He’s not adapt­ing his styles for the re­gion, and ap­peas­ing us with longer lengths and bil­low­ing sleeves. He’s still do­ing his thing. He’s just giv­ing women in the Mid­dle East his very pre­cise and de­fin­i­tive seal of ap­proval – within the ex­clu­siv­ity of the col­lec­tion is an in­ti­mate recog­ni­tion.

The col­lec­tion in­cludes a ver­sion of the black se­quin sweater seen on the cat­walk – a hand­made, liq­uid-se­quin em­broi­dered, crêpe-satin lined jumper recre­ated by Mr. Ford him­self ex­clu­sively for the Dubai flag­ship bou­tique in The Dubai Mall’s Fash­ion Av­enue. It fea­tures gor­geous crys­tal stones de­tail­ing the de­signer’s hand­writ­ten sig­na­ture, and then of course fin­ished again in crys­tal stones with the per­son­alised ‘Dubai’ let­ter­ing. Only 20 pieces were made world-wide, and only for Dubai, and no other coun­try will ever re­ceive its own name­sake jumper. How priv­i­leged are we? There is also a ver­sion of Ford’s sig­na­ture Na­talia bag, this time in an ul­tra-fem­i­nine an­tique rose gold python leather, and for the first time ever the in­fa­mous Na­talia turn lock has been fin­ished in rose gold, too. Once more, there are only 15 pieces ex­ist­ing in the world that you’ll only find in The Dubai Mall store. “The Dubai mall is one of the most fa­mous malls in the world. The Mid­dle East is an ex­tremely im­por­tant global mar­ket, there­fore I thought it was im­por­tant to cre­ate some­thing spe­cial for our Tom Ford store on the new Fash­ion Av­enue,” he tells Bazaar. There are also men’s and women’s sun­glasses to be cel­e­brated, a fu­tur­is­tic-style coined At­ti­cus, which was fea­tured in the cat­walk shows and is sold ex­clu­sively in the bou­tiques, which is also now avail­able in an op­u­lent mir­rored rose gold. “Mid­dle Eastern women are in­cred­i­bly so­phis­ti­cated and look for the lux­ury, re­fine­ment and qual­ity in all as­pects of their lives. They want lux­ury in a modern way that res­onates with the new world that is fast emerg­ing in the Mid­dle East. She also ex­pects an ex­clu­sive pri­vate at­mos­phere and a high level of per­sonal ser­vice that matches her life­style – all of which are at the core of the Tom Ford brand,” the de­signer con­cludes, hav­ing seen an ap­petite for a higher level of dress­ing and a bold­ness in our re­gion to which he wants to hon­our. Say it with se­quins.

This page, Han­nah Rasekh wears: Sweater, Dhs17,430; skirt, both Tom Ford. Boots, Han­nah’s own. Op­po­site page, Saufeeya wears: Sweater, Dhs17,430; jacket, Dhs14,000; trousers, Dhs4,515; sun­glasses, Dhs1,800;shoes, Dhs4,935, all Tom Ford

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