Today’s look is a new addition to this blog inspired by my gorgeous friend, who happens to have a pair of very long legs, Ahed Ghraizy.
Dark haired Beauty Ahed Ghraizy is Lebanese Model, Socialite & Businesswoman. In 2007, she won Miss Elegance in the crowning celebration by International Federation of Beauty Queens. Since then, Ahed was chosen to model at key fashion shows and TV programs such as “Project Fashion” Lebanon until she found her second half Dr. Thomas Otrok. She’s currently the Vice President of Eastern Technology Company flying between Miami & the Middle East.
Her all time favorite brand is Alexander McQueen due to it’s uniqueness & creativity pushing the limits with design and colors. For denim jeans, she loves A&F, Hudson for Flare Legs Style, and Roben’s Jean as it fits beautifully and is usually studded with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. If you’re a Bling-Bling fan, you gotta watch out for Ahed’s Look of Day! She’s also a fan of Herve Leger bandage dresses. Besides the high end, Ahed is smart about mixing high-end pieces with ones from Top Shop and H&M.
She’s a shoe fanatic with a closet full of Christian Louboutin, Giuseppe Zanotti & Gucci heels
Ahed has a slim body, but make no mistake, she’s curvy and I love that! Her looks always have a sexy touch with a fun and fabulous result!
The first womens Couture fashion show I ever watched during the Paris Fashion Week 2011 was for Georges Chakra at the Palais de Tokyo. Its worth mentioning that just before the show started I had a chance to view a very exclusive and one-on-one presentation for the latest Chanel J12 Chromatic watch. All in all, it was sensational. Very black and white.
I had to wrap up quickly and go to the backstage of Georges Chakra fashion show. I was fascinated by the generosity that Chakra loads in his creations. I have to say that it was my favorite show during the entire Paris Fashion Week. There’s so much regal and fresh feel to it all in one.
His inspiration was like most of the Lebanese designers, nature and flowers. That brought to my attention how the European designers were mostly inspired by certain characters. My favorite pieces involved a short fully CRYSTALLIZED by SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS dress and an coral/orange dress with a fully beaded tulle tight pants. Marvelous pieces. Yes, fully bling bling but in the most elegant way.
There was a tiny incident I enjoyed, that was when Mr. George Chakra was gonna have an interview with a TV station and he asked me to hold his telephone till he’s done. About 15 minutes later, his phone was ringing, and thats when I noticed that he’s forgotten his mobile with me!
On a separate note, a lot of people ask why are George Chakra’s creations so expensive. If you meet him and his staff, you’d be embraced with class and elegance. That alone makes you fall in love with the people behind the brand. But of course comes his beautiful designs, generosity in materials and crystals and a very fine end product. People, art is invaluable!
High-end shoes and luxury fabrics are 2 items I’m absolutely addicted to and I’m always looking for both whether online or in stores. I was very happy to learn that Aruna Seth, who gathers both these desires through her amazing shoes made of luxurious fabrics was having a trunk show in FROST Boutique, Palm Strip Center on Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai, a few weeks ago.
Only 6 Shoes are hand-made in northern Italy at once. She takes care of details where she includes beautiful ruffles, teftas, SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, and specially sought after bows. She specializes in bridal shoes, but she also gives us an interesting variety of colors and styles in white, flesh, pink, blue, fuchsia and Tiger prints. About 3 years ago, while I was looking for my wedding show, I drooled over her famous wedges shown below. This, for me is the peak of a classy piece of art!
Among the new collection, I absolutely fell in love with a pair of high heels completely covered with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. Something in the cut and the general outcome captured my heart. I can imagine myself wearing these anywhere, anytime!
Paris Hilton and Kate Hudson among other European royalties and celebreties are some of those who have worn Aruna Seth’s shoes.
Sophia Bush wears Aruna Seth
I usually hesitate purchasing high-end shoes on the Internet and prefer trying them on first. However, for me and for the UAE residents, this problem no longer exists! From now on, Aruna Seth shoes can be exclusively purchased at FROST whose evening and bridal gowns range from Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier and Carolina Herrera. Those brands are among other International ones that were launched for the first time in the UAE by FROST.
The most exciting news is that Aruna Seth might be designing the shoes for the bride of most awaited event of the year, the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William of Wales. Let’s wait and see!
I’ve always been a big fan of Joan Collins from Dynasty. She is after all a classical queen who is in every meaning of the word, a role model. After the first time Ms. Collins wore an Aiisha turquoise Kaftan, I became obsessed with her. To be specific, I loved her interview with Piers Morgan the most. This amazing lady brings me inspiration and reminds me of being graceful and strong. With that, came another Aiisha kaftan that was custom-made in fuchsia silk sprayed with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS that Joan Collins wore in her recent interview on Palm Springs Life.
Palm Springs Life - March 2011 (cover)
Joan Collins wears Aiisha Fuchsia Kaftan
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Palm Springs Life Magazine, Mohieb from MoDa’s Touch, and Joan Collins for another wonderful experience.
To see the first Kaftan that Joan Collins wore by Aiisha, check the following link
Just before I left to Paris 6 weeks ago, Grazia Magazine supplied me amongst few other designers with a straight forward Little Black Dress from H&M worth 49 Dhs (13 USD) to transform for under 100 Dhs (27 USD) worth of materials.
I love changing existing designs. Since I was young, I used to get basic garments such as a denim pair of jeans and have it altered to fit me and my out of proportion hips. I also love playing around with my dresses, adding trims to them and maneuvering their lengths.
I had about 1 week to get the work done just before I left and get the photoshoot done with me wearing the dress.
I split my my thinking into 3:
- What suits Aiisha’s rounded figure
- Material used has to be under 100 Dhs (27 USD)
- The work I’ll propose shouldn’t take more than 5 days.
I hated the neckline of the given black dress. It was rounded in a funny way where it was neither revealing nor high and elegant, so I changed it. I added some tulle flowers with pearls and black crystals from SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS to accentuate my shoulders. Finally, I draped a piece of black jersey around the lower hips in order to make my waist appear smaller. I kept it short from the front to show more of my Manolo’s. I generally went for the rock chic appeal and it rocked!
Before and After…
The Little Black Dress BEFORE and AFTER..
Front and Back after makeover
My days were crazy as I was on my way to attending the Paris Fashion Week and my entire schedule for the past few weeks was jammed. My makeup prior the photoshoot took literally 20 minutes and my hair took a similar time and looked so beautiful and fresh. I used my Braun Satin Hair 7 Airstyler with IONTEC. You remember my Braun brush with the IONTEC technology? It’s basically my every day brush to make my hair healthier. Braun answered my prayers and made a styling brush with the same technology.
It releases heat in a gentle way. Whereas in most of the salons, I have to constantly ask the hair stylist to keep the blow dryer away from my hair as it kills it. On the other hand, my new favorite Braun gadget provides me style and care at home in less than half an hour!
Here’s Grazia photoshoot results:
LBD project by Grazia Magazine ME 1
LBD project by Grazia Magazine ME 2
Thank you Grazia for the beautiful shoot (especially Elaine Greenshields) & thank you Braun for taking care of my hair!
On a separate note, I’ve been thinking for a very long time to dedicate part of a my blog for the dress makeover project where you may send me your used or, preferably, new clothes along with your budget to change them for you. The changes may be major or minor.
Its still an idea as I’m very busy and my atelier is usually over swamped. Having said that, I’d like to give it a try. So feel free to contact me anytime you’d like to experiment with your clothes.
This is one of our latest UAE coverage from Style Arabia that took place on the set of the beautiful Media Rotana Terrace. I truly loved the photoshoot as I’ve had the pleasure of working again with one of my favorite (and youngest models) Sophia. In the below photo, Sophia wears a chiffon silk dove grey dress with Italian lace and CRYSTALLIZED™ – by Swarovski Elements . When I have to be in a photo, I choose one of few characters. Mostly, I go for the crazy spontaneous woman! That, as well as I wanted Sophia to look like a robotic butterfly.
Arabia Style Coverage
Below are also few photos that Style Arabia, an ITP Publication, has taken during the photoshoot. They were too beautiful not to share with the world.
Courtesy of ITP Publications for Style Arabia
Courtesy of ITP Publication for Style Arabia
Courtesy of ITP Publication for Style Arabia
What a beautiful photo.. joy, innocence, beauty all together in one photograph.. By the way, these photos are untouched (they have not gone under any photoshop work).
2 of the Barbie collection by Aiisha were dazzling the Zahrat Al Khaleej pages. I loved the mood created in the coverage, the innocence portrayed and the cuteness of the hair/ makeup/ the Louboutins and all.
From the Barbie Collection by Aiisha Ramadan
To give you a little insight on what I did with the Barbie collection, I chose to keep Barbie as I love it and as most of all love it too. Simple, cute, trendy and mostly pink! The fabrics were top quality Raw Silk, layers and layers of Italian Tulle to achieve the gradience I was looking for.
From the Barbie Collection by Aiisha Ramadan
However, to incorporate the cultural element, I hand-embroidered and CRYSTALLIZED™ – by Swarovski Elements Arabic calligraphy portraying words that speak to every kid. Simple words such as Youth, Beauty, Playing, Hope and so on, all in Arabic.
Remember what Queen Rania says.. “If you educate a girl, you educate a future”. This is one little way of contributing from my side and its just the beginning.
I mentioned a while ago that Emirates Woman Magazine has initiated a fashionable charity project called Fashion with a Heart. The team of Emirates Woman selected 10 of the very best designers in the UAE to work with. Each of the designers, of course including myself, was requested to make a bespoke dress that will be auctioned off at the Fashion With A Heart charity event that will take place at the Raffles Hotel Dubai, for the benefit Al Noor Training Centre for Children With Special Needs.
This project combines philanthropy and fashion where each of us, designers, have created a one-of-a-kind dress incorporating the themes of red, love and Fashion With a Heart concept. The 10 designers included myself, Aiisha Ramadan, Amato, Walid Atallah, Essa among others.
Aiisha Ramadan for Emirates Woman - Fashion with A Heart
Ironically, I was in touch with Al Noor last year and we had something in mind that didn’t work out. The good news is that now its happening and like I said before, its time to give back. In fact, its always time to give back!
My dress took an intensive month and a half and more than 30 yards of fabric!!! It was a sweet heart neckline, corset base bustier fully embroidered and beaded with Swarovski Crystals with layers and layers of tulle wired ruffles.I truly gave it my heart. In my opinion, if you want a dress to be auctioned, give it the best you can and don’t go cheap.
Not my favorite photo of myself, but the editor chose one that reflects my character the most. I’ll let the photo tell you more..
I will post a separate thread about the event when it happens as the date is TBC.
What I haven’t told you until now is that Camay and I worked on a beautiful project together, very recently. I was asked to design 5 dresses reflecting the personality of Camay’s five new fragrances; Dejour, Crème Delice, Passion, Parfum and Pink. Each of these scents addresses a certain mood that each of us, women, go through sometimes during the same day!
Dejour is what reminds me of a fresh breath of air.. a practical morning scent. With that, came an off white satin silk jumper with a cowl neck on the back and a beaded bow on a skin color tulle.
Crème Delice is my very favorite! Its smells like vanilla and berries.. its about indulging yourself. For that, I created a lavender chiffon silk dress draped like a Roman goddess CRYSTALLIZED™ – by Swarovski Elements.
Passion is sensual and mysterious. I had to select a plum purple dress with a diamond resemblance on the neckline.
Parfum almost always reminds me of some Princess living in a palace with all of her antique and expensive surrounds. Its vintage! The dress, already won in another competition, was about a fully beaded and CRYSTALLIZED™ – by Swarovski Elements white/ pink bolero with a gathered tulle skirt. It was a modern look for a vintage spirit.
Pink says it all. Young, trendy, fun loving gal! Out of that, came my favorite just above the knee dress made of light salmon/ baby pink dress with CRYSTALLIZED™ – by Swarovski Elements Ruffles and a bow on the neckline. Just like the rest of the dresses, it was made with great care but is indeed the closest to my heart.
Hellwafashion is running a competition this month that gives you the chance to win this dress – it’s a UK 10.
All you have to do is to visit: http://www.hellwafashion.com/ send photos of yourself in either “your favorite fun piece” or “wearing something pink” to reflect the Pink’s spirit, and tell them why you love your outfit.
This by far is the longest post that this site has so far, and its there to thank every individual who has provided us with support and has been a part of this great success. So I list them at no particular order.
A Love Affair
Stefan Cebula, an amazing human being. You look at him and you realize that everything will be alright. Building the stage on ice, hanging himself from the rooftop, taking care of every (production) aspect was never an easy job. Stef has produced Valentino shows and The World Summit in Johannesburg among many others. He is the best!
Among many others, Vartan Kelechian was a true positive vibe for me. Everytime I felt the world crashing around me, he assured me it will all be fine and it was!
Jihad Mawed is the man behind my logo. I paid 5 companies for a proper logo and I ended up using none. Instead I used the one from my childhood friend. He’s a true artist and a very dear brother. Along with my husband, Jihad also designed the Love Affair backdrop, which I think was sensational
A Love Affair Backdrop
Liz Berry, What can you say about a (Super Lady) who has produced the lights for London Fashion Week and Robbie Williams concerts? She’s a Super Lady!!
Carole B, Hana Nitsche, Alexandra, Zeljka, Cole, Ying, Maja and Sophia from Bareface, Kate and Nicole from LMM, Dima, Anastasia, Katryna, Katsyarina, Rene and Anna. Everybody spoke of their beauty and grace. They really made me proud and were gorgeous! Unlike other models, they were all lovely, patient and simply professional.
A powerful opera singer who’s full of passion and has previously opened at Twickenham for 80,000 people. He was sensational!
Andrew Amdur (Tenor)
Natasha Alexandra Kemball
A graceful figure skater, who started the evening off with twirls and elegant moves, using the soaring voice of Opera Singer – Andrew Amdur for inspiration. It was so passionate and truly brought me tears.
Natasha Alexandra Kemball
All the photographers stood side by side to document every breath we took, every move the models took and every shine of Victoria Casal pieces. Joseph Bassil was their leader and his photos speak for themselves.
All 4 Media. These guys got me speechless everytime I saw them around me either filming or solving a problem or simply reassuring us that everything is gonna be alright. They were true soldiers. The filming was conducted in HD and transfered on the massive 20meter x 10meter screen at Dubai Mall. Thank you, Roland, Raymond and all the incredible staff.
Thanks to my incredible husband, we truly brought Paris to Dubai for the night. The mix was sensational.. I listen to it almost everyday and never get enough of it – Because we truly worked on it from our hearts. Please visit the links to taste the music.
What an pleasure to have met this legend. With his beautiful fuchsia shoes, both Victoria and myself were honored and so glad to have met Manolo. The 3 of us shared 2 photoshoots (exclusive for Harper’s Bazaar and Zahrat Al Khaleej magazines). It’s great as it makes the lady wearing Manolo’s feel like a princess, but also meeting the lovely legend behind it, is thrilling. Truly, to have Victoria and Manolo on my sides was a dream I never thought would come true!
Manolo Blahnik, Victoria Casal and Aiisha
Our stylist Noni, a passionate lady so eager to become a professional stylist, I tell her thank you for your dedication and your precision. I couldn’t have done it without you.
The models looked like they went out of the 60’s Vogue (I quote from the Khaleej Times). Steve from Pace e Luce Al Manzel – Burj Dubai Downtown – made me and Victoria look like 60’s divas for our clip. We simply looked sexy. Put the same look on the naturally perfect models and tell me what you think! The entire team of Pace e Luce blew us away by their work.. Thank you guys! If you know great hair professionals, Pace e Luce will always be on the top of your list!
When it comes to Max Factor (part of Procter & Gamble), I can’t help but think: Family. P&G and their PR company MS&L have supported me from my early beginnings and we remain loyal to each other. Not only are they professionals, but also friendly and easy going. When it comes to mastering Max Factor, Samira Olfat is my favorite makeup artist. She has worked with the best companies and designers from Galliano to Christian Lacroix to Aiisha and Victoria Casal! Max Factor had their iconic Lipfinity in its 6 shades worn to stay on the lips. I don’t know of any woman who has tried them and not felt grateful for this invention..
As you know, I’m the spokesperson for the HP Fashion Products, including the Vivienne Tam netbook. To continue what we have started, HP supported us with their latest pink edition, which simply happens to be divine!!
Another supporter from Procter & Gamble. Camay, the luxurious soap brand, has 5 exquisite variants for every woman: Dejour, Crème Delice, Passion, Parfum, and Pink. I have designed 5 dresses that reflect each of the Camay 5 scents. Each of them appeals to a mood / character that every woman may embrace. In each character, I see myself. We’ll cover that soon in a different post.
Did you know that Sweet Stuff made a special Aiisha and Love Affair Cup Cake editions for the fashion show? Not only that, but these cup cakes are being sold in their store on Jumeirah for a month after the show. I’m really flattered!
Sweet Stuff / Aiisha Cupcakes
Its a true honor to have had Graziella as our MC. Graziella and I have worked on Dubai TV for a fashion styling program. I was always fond of Graziella’s ocean of talent. She was a sense of fashion that this region needs to nourish from. She’s multi-lingual and its simply sexy.. And she’s smart. Did I forget to mention how beautiful she really is? Hard luck for the men out there, she’s taken by a wonderful Ralph!