Oct 31, 2011

Fall/Winter 2011 Shoe Report

I honestly don't think I've seen so many shoe trends as I have this season.
Hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I did researching and compiling them!

Make a Statement with a White Stain Tee

“WhiteStain is an expression of how necessity and fashion meet.”  This is the motto of a team of young Arab male designers here in Doha who have teamed up and launched their very own tshirt label - White Stain.

Forget the LBD, a statement white tshirt is now hot property thanks to this group of designers who have mixed practicality with style and attitude to produce a collection of white tshirts for both men and women, with everything from the graceful and elegant to the edgy and directional.

What's great about them is that they can be teamed with anything and look great - skinny jeans, bootcut jeans, harem pants, tapered trousers, colour bloc-ing trousers/jeans, maxi skirts and bold stuctured tulip skirts - anything goes.

"Fuschia" 400 QR - silk shoulder pads embellished with gold buttons 

Here's my exclusive interview with one of the designers, and face of the label, Ahmed El Sayed:

So what exactly is White Stain?

White Stain is a tshirt brand based in Doha, Qatar. White stands for the color of tshirts we use as the base for our designs, and the stain is the print/color we add to each individual look to give it its own character.

And who are you?

White Stain consists of a team of Arab male designers; I am the only one that is under the spotlight and the others chose to remain anonymous as they would rather be known for their work.

How was your label born?

We basically all got together and started experimenting with what can we do to leave a footprint in the fashion industry here in Doha. We noticed a HUGE trend in tshirts being the next BIG thing, and so we decided to have our own take on it. We all have different design backgrounds, some guys have it from buying luxurious items and knowing what is good quality and what isn't. And I have four years educational background resulting in a BFA in Fashion Design.

How does the concept of "staining" tshirts work?

So as I mentioned earlier, white is the base of our work, and we brainstormed for weeks with different types of ideas on what looks strong in our collection and what would not, and what would sell and also what would give us a good image to keep our loyal customers coming. So once that was finalized, we would take our ideas to the print shop, see them printed and then think of what would make this more interesting, what would make it POP, and hence us also adding accessories to the design. So it's no longer just a printed Tshirt that is being sold.


Tell us about your debut collection - what went into designing the tshirts and what sorts of designs, motifs and embellishments did you use?

While some of us were here scouting shops for buttons and accessories here in Doha, a few others were travelling abroad, and so we took their travelling as an opportunity and had them also scout factories looking for accessories that would be sold in bulk as we would be getting several orders on each item.

Will White Stain eventually expand to include other garments?

In the meantime, White Stain will be launching a new collection every 2 months. Depending on the demand, we would eventually branch out with each new collection and introduce something slightly different than tshirts, and see how our customers react to it. The only way you can know your market is by testing it, and it's a matter of whether or not you have the patience for it, and whether or not you want to take a risk. We look around us, and we see plenty of tshirt lines here in Doha that after a while still bring the same idea, and we both know that if you want to survive in this industry you have to evolve and understand trends and try to capture as much as you can in each collection to offer versatility to your customers.

Well said Ahmed!

"The Necklace" 340 QR - illustration embellished with an actual necklace

"Comical Shoulders" 300 QR

"Matte Sutd" 280 QR - illustration with add-on matte silver hair clip

"Metallic Glare" 440 QR - royal blue shoulder pads embellished with silver button coins

"Raw Tank Top" 280 QR - studded shoulders

For more information about White Stain, and to order a tshirt, visit the website.
Don't forget to follow them on Twitter.

For enquiries and orders contact them at order.whitestain@gmail.com, or 00974 66953810 and BBm pin: 286E6579.

Wayed Vintage Eid Collection

It's a glitzy affair with popular Dubai-based online vintage store Wayed Vintage's Eid collection...and with Eid coming up in a matter of days, you need to put your orders in for these pieces quick before they fly off their online shelves! The Elizabeth Taylor piece is a must-buy!

Elizabeth Taylor piece; magnetic bracelet with 2 interchangeable stones, pearl and purple and black. Price: AED650 

Gorgeous multicolored crystal set: Brooch and dangling earrings. Price: AED550

Black Velvet set comes with a necklace and earrings.  Price: AED380

Star Alert: Earrings inspired by D&G’s new trend worn by many celebrities including Kim Kardashian. Price: AED250 

Stars meet Marine. Price: AED150

Check out the Wayed Vintage Facebook page tonight to view more pieces from the Eid collection.

How to order

Step 1: Send the item's link to their inbox, and they will reply to you as to whether or not the piece you want is in stock.

Step 2 : Send them your mobile number and mailing address so that they can confirm your order.

Step 3: They will ship your order to you via Aramex and you can pay Aramex directly in addition to the shipping fee which ranges between 25-40 dirhams depending where you are.

* For worldwide shipping, payment has to be done by Western Union and they will send via courier.

Wayed Vintage is now available at Ush Boutique.

For more information, you can email Wayed Vintage at info@wayedvintage.com or add them on your Blackberry Messenger, BB Pin: 267AE9D5. To make an appointment for a private viewing of their collections, call them on  for a private viewing of their collections, take an appointment by calling 00971 0566945898.

Oct 27, 2011

Versace for H&M Exclusive!

The date of the launch of Versace for H&M is drawing closer, (November 17th folks), and I can just imagine shoppers camping outside H&M stores, fighting over pieces and clearing the shelves within ten minutes like last year when the Lanvin for H&M collection was launched.

Versace and H&M have promised lots of Versace-type prints, shapes and cuts for this historic collection...think body-con, leather, studs, bold floral and animal  prints, and the iconic Versace logo.

From the Versace for H&M lookbook

To up the excitement, I've got an exclusive behind-the-scenes video showing sneak peeks of the upcoming TV ad as well as interviews with Donatella Versace herself.

Oct 25, 2011

In Love with DARMAKI

Sultan Al Darmaki

Me with Sultan

Last Friday I attended the launch of DARMAKI footwear at Impression Boutique at The Pearl Qatar and not only did I fall head over heels in love with the shoes (bad pun, I know), I love the shoe maestro Sultan Al Darmaki himself!

Sultan is so gracious and so sweet it's making me all the more determined to save up my riyals for a pair of his fabulous Dahab shoes from his S/S '12 collection (the red heels with the vintage brocade tassels in the picture above - yes, very lustworthy).

In the meet-and-greet event on Friday October 21st, 2011 Qatar's fashion pack flocked to Impression Boutique where they got to say hello to Sultan, ask him questions, have their photos taken with him and get their hands on his new collection! We also got scrumptious Darmaki cookies and Impression Boutique cupcakes, and a goodie bag - thanks Impression Boutique!

The shoooooes!


Ottoman - Dahab


Grecian - Valentina

I was also lucky enough to have my photo taken with him and squeeze a mini-interview in.

So tell me about the famous pair of shoes you designed inspired by the Emirati batoola.

Well I've never seen my grandma's face and so the inspiration came from that. I reflected that in the footwear with a western twist.

Tell me about your latest collection.

It's inspired by the late Ottoman Empire...I've used vintage gold brocade on the shoes. I always like to have a hint of history in my shoes.

Is it important to you to incorporate aspects of the Khaleeji culture in your designs?

Yes it is. While I'm here I want so spend a few days in the desert and reconnect with my roots. It keeps me grounded.

Right now you're doing footwear. Will you be expanding your label to include womenswear?

Maybe womenswear in the far future.

How important do you think shoes and bags are to women who wear the abaya?

They're so important, because for a woman who wears the abaya the shoe and the bag are her key accessories.

Many people say that Gulf women are known for their good taste in shoes and bags. Would you agree?

They have amazing taste. You can spot Middle Eastern taste immediately, it's exquisite and refined.

Thanks Sultan!

A little bit about Sultan:

The Emirati designer, who hails from Abu Dhabi, made his debut into the fashion world with his line of luxury couture shoewear in Spring 2011. His designs are manufactured by a team of highly skilled Italian craftsmen.

One of his debut designs, the shoe that is inspired by the Emirati batoola (the gold face veil worn by older women in the UAE and the Gulf) was chosen to be part of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London's permanent collection of significant footwear throughout the ages - now that's an achievement!

Sultan follows Andre Perugia's philosophy that a woman's personality is reflected through her shoes - now I wouldn't argue with that!

Find Darmaki at

Impression Boutique, The Pearl Qatar
Bullets & Butterflies, Mercato Mall, Dubai

For more information visit the Darmaki website and don't forget to "Like" the Facebook page.

About Impression Boutique:

"Your second chance to make a first Impression" is the motto of Qatar's newest and coolest multi-brand boutique, located in Parcel 1 in the luxurious Pearl Qatar. The boutique houses edgy, modern fashion - clothes, bags and accessories - from both established and up-and-coming designers from Qatar, the region and around the world, including Mawi, House of Harlow 1960, Kara Ross, Sass & Bide and now Darmaki! And what's great about the boutique is that there are pieces for all budgets - many of which won't break the bank! I fell in love with Impression from my first visit, so it's definitely a must-visit for all Qatar dwellers and anyone on a visit to Doha.

Click here and "Like" their Facebook page.

Look out for my interview with the owners of Impression Boutique in the December issue of Glam magazine (Doha).

Mia Jafari: The Waterlilies Collection

You may remember me mentioning British-Iranian designer Mia Jafari who took part in the Bras for a Cause Middle East design contest and won the designers' category with her Strawberry Sour and Cupcake bras.

Mia, a graduate from Central Saint Martins, London's most prestigious art and design school, and Goldsmiths, made her design debut in 2010 with her "Ladybird Strawberry Cosmos" collection, a collection of gorgeous limited edition scarves and dresses made from 100% silk.

She wowed the fashion pack with her deliciously playful collection which took motifs from modern pop culture like lipsticks, stilettos, gold chains, a John Paul Gaultier-style perfume bottle and an Alexander McQueen clutch. Other designs included traditional Persian motifs, the likes of which you see on grand Persian carpets. Mia infused her Persian heritage into her designs through a technique she pioneered herself - digi-droidery, a process through which she converts beautifully embroidered designs and motifs into digital prints that are easy to transfer onto garments. The technique adds a totally new dimension to her clothing.

The gorgeous Mia Jafari

And now she's back with her latest ready-to-wear collection for Spring/Summer 2012, which she named "Waterlilies".

If you're looking for the perfect dress for the spring/summer season look no where else. "Waterlilies" consists of a collection of playful, feminine and chic dresses printed with tropical flowers in a variety of shades of turquoise, blue, lilac, green and yellow, as well as dresses that incorporate the artwork of Monetesque paintings - floral and arty prints are always a bit hit for spring/summer. And as always, Mia injects a bit of playfulness with motifs like ladybirds and a Christian Louboutin heel.

Mia has used 1950's vintage-inspired cuts, the silhouettes include ballooned, pleated blouses worn under high-waisted skirts, with pockets and draping. She has also used Swarovski crystals, intricate hand embroidery and embellishment on the necklines over the digi-droidery to create the feel of oversized embellishments.

Perfect dresses to wear at a tea party or garden party, with, as Mia says, a flower in one hand and a mocktail in the other.

Spring Musk

Sunset Bloom

Sunset Impression

Watercolour Explodes

Mia Jafari is available at Debut in New York, Crème boutique in Bahrain
and S*uce in Dubai, and online at Dia Boutique and Mia Jafari's online shop.

For more information, visit Mia's website and don't forget to "Like" her Facebook page.

Look out for my interview with Mia in the December issue of Glam magazine (Doha).

Oct 23, 2011

Fall/Winter 2011 Trend Alert! 60's Mod

60s Mod

60s Mod

60s Mod

60s Mod

60s Mod

Oasis floral cotton dress
£35 - oasis-stores.com

Falke merino wool tight
$69 - net-a-porter.com

Short heels
$34 - shopruche.com

Fendi leather bag
$2,550 - saksfifthavenue.com

Kenneth Jay Lane gold jewelry
€45 - pret-a-beaute.com

Oasis multi color dress
£15 - oasis-stores.com

H M top
£15 - hm.com

Oasis black hosiery
£10 - debenhams.com

Rupert Sanderson round toe shoes
$855 - rupertsanderson.com

MYSUELLY genuine leather handbag
$667 - my-wardrobe.com

ASOS gold tone jewelry
$14 - asos.com

Peacock dress
£28 - peacocks.co.uk

Dorothy Perkins navy stocking
£8 - dorothyperkins.com

Raoul leather shoes
$263 - boutique1.com

Stella McCartney logo bag
$750 - shopsavannahs.com

Louis vuitton jewelry
$460 - louisvuitton.com

Missoni retro dress
$675 - my-wardrobe.com

Cotton socks
$12 - topshop.com

Miu Miu platform heels
$670 - bergdorfgoodman.com

Lanvin clutch handbag
$1,350 - kirnazabete.com

Jamie Wolf post earrings
$2,150 - barneys.com

Lola Rose stone ring
$93 - asos.com

Mango dress
£45 - mango.com

Armani Exchange opaque tight
$20 - armaniexchange.com

Faith crocodile shoes
£41 - debenhams.com

Miss Selfridge black patent handbag
£25 - missselfridge.com

Hoop earrings
$20 - topshop.com