CNICOL AT THE INDEPENDENT HANDBAG DESIGNER AWARDS

I met Cathleen- designer and mastermind behind CNicol- some years ago when we were both studying Handbag Design at the London School of Fashion. It was a really nice bunch of ladies and we all bonded very much. Our teacher Ann Saunders was amazing, peaceful and energetic. It might sound a weird combination but she is just like that. We learnt a ton with her!

Cathleen at that time was already working on her project. She had very clear ideas of what she wanted to do, where she wanted to reach, where she would produce, the brand and her aesthetics. Since then I have seen her working nonstop, growing bit by bit, pushing forward, posting Instagram photos, launching the website.. this is what happens when you have a project that feels like a life mission. I know it very well.. It is what I feel about Eushopia. It is kind of my baby!.

Today it is a big day for her.. She is in New York. Not touring around but presenting her handbag Pippa to the jury of the Independent Handbag Designer Awards. Yes! She is a finalist already and I am praying and sending mantras to the Universe for her to win. I learnt about these awards thanks to the book of Emily Blumenthal- Handbag Designer 101. She created the Yasmeena and the Yazzy bags.. cute, small and practical handbag (literally!) that went totally viral when Sarah Jessica Parker wore it in one of the chapters of Sex in the city.( boy! How I liked that series!.. I wish any Tv producer reads this post and decides to do another one, .. This time based in Dubai, why not? I am in!).

Emily actually decided to support independent handbag designers and created the Award. I follow it every year. Creativity there is raw, there is no boundaries about pricing, materials, strategy or other lines.. you just have the most beautiful bags. Period.

So, I want you to join forces with me and the Universe to see CNicol handbag winning this award. She deserves it and I will be a proud friend!

 

Go Cathleen, Go! Go Pippa, Go!

 

Araceli Gallego

whatijustlove.com

CNICOL

About MERCEDES, A CONTAINER TO SYRIA AND HOW I WANT TO HELP EMERGING DESIGNERS

Hi dears,

Since the last time I wrote so many things have happened and all of them are good, good!!.. Let me share with you not necessarily in chronological order.

A CONTAINER TO SYRIA

Well, first of all, I want to thank again all the donors that joined me to collect items to send the container to Syria. It was a total success!!! I received so many calls, so much help, so many messages… It was amazing! My house turned into a little extension of Jebel Ali. Lol. I requested a day off to be able to pack and organize the donations. In boxes I was able to fit more stuff in height than if kept in bags. Red Crescent sent volunteers to pick up everything- yep! You read it well.. The trucks are also volunteering. Our truck was full in 4 stops. My house was the first stop. It is very touchy to see how so many people got involved and to realise how where there is a will there is a way. My company was a great support for the cause too and many of my colleagues brought me their things. I feel blessed and proud.

A CONTAINER TO SYRIA

I´M MERCEDES

Another highlight I wanted to share with you and it is somehow related to how I want to help designers shine, happened at Leila Heller´s Gallery in Al Quoz. Mercedes Benz, the german cars, organized an event called ¨She´s Mercedes¨ mixing art, fashion, and a lovely white car- an E-Class.

I enjoyed it very much. It was my first time in that particular gallery and I was impressed with some of its pieces. I loved the metallic barely-there architectures hanging from the main room. The artist is called Afruz Amighi.

Also I liked the complex simplicity of the pieces of  Hadieh Shafie, made with rolls of paper of different diameters and colours.

My favourite pieces though I didnt get the name of the artist.. It was a twisted gotic truck.. I know it sounds weird but it was precisely that. And also a glass composition over the wall that seemed like water splashing. It was a lot of tiny pieces in perfect order with their different colours popping out.

In the main room, the car was showcased and also my lovely Essa Wala was there showing his unique pieces. I bought one of them. This bluish leopard print summer coat that looks good with everything I style it with it is his creation. I wore it once already and I received so many compliments. He is just that good!

SHE´S MERCEDES

There was also a corner for S*uce, and area for Hanah with bags done in the UAE that look great (made out of camel leather) and other for Hagar & India. The gourmet corner had cakes and cupcakes from Gossip- tres jolie for me to eat!

It was a nice event, maybe too quiet but Ramadan was around the corner and everyone had lunch and dinner plans. The three main topics though seemed a bit disconnected from one another. I get everything is meant to be Luxurious but there was not a story connecting the dots. Or maybe, I wasnot able to see it!

Viola- a beautiful soul that happens to be one of my favourite bloggers in Dubai was there. It is always a pleasure to see her, she is so much fun to have around and I love her vision of things. Dont miss your chance to follow her in this link or in Insta.

EUSHOPIA

Talking to Viola about Eushopia- This project is like a baby for me, I can´t help but to tell everyone about it!- she told me she wanted to do something similar in the past but didn´t work out. I really want to know what happened but I won´t let it stop me. When you are starting a new business, you feel like in an emotional roller-coaster. Some days, up in the sky, some others, down, insecure, fragile.. I want to learn from everything and from everyone that comes my way. From some time already I see gurus in disguise in my friends, family and even unknown people. It is amazing and beautiful to see how much wisdom there is out there when you are open to it.

Meeting and talking to designers is awesome and I enjoying it so much. Their insights help me shape the platform, understand their needs and make something great for them. That is the leit- motiv of Eushopia and why it all started. I feel blessed to have this mission. It makes me happy to be able to help.

If you know designers that you think they are amazing and you want us to get in touch with them, link them with our landing page. There there are three buttons- for designers, for people recommending a designer and for people loving unique items emerging designers create. Please feel free to share it with your friends and family. You will definitely be doing me a big favour and I will be forever grateful. But also you will be helping them. 🙂

Eushopia.ae

This week there has been also a very cool event. The graduation of Esmod, but I will tell you about it in a different post, because this post ended being too long. Lol

By the way, Ramadan just started – I wrote some posts for StoneHill´s blog. I invite you to check the first one that has beeen already posted. I have always been very curious about religions and for this post I did some research that I enjoyed a lot. Now I hope you also enjoy it and I wish you a..

Ramadan Kareem!

Araceli Gallego

WhatIjustlove.com

 

 

 

IT’S GREAT TO BE BACK! EUSHOPIA, THE BLOG AND HELPING A GOOD CAUSE

Eushopia.ae

Hi dears,

No, I haven’t been away, although many of you might have had that impression during the last few months. I didnt move from Dubai, I didnt go out that much, I didnt started in a gym or in a religious sect… None of that. I have been quiet in my blogging, in my life and in my social media, just because I decided to start again a project that has been itching me for so long that I really needed to scratch it. From 2013 I have the itch, imagine!

And now, I am not alone.. I have two amazing partners that I love working with and are enthusiast and brave and fun!. Life couldnt be better and surrounding myself with positive people, just makes things great!

So let me tell you also what is the project about and how is it going to change what I do here, in the blog.

Eushopia

The project is called Eushopia and you are very invited to visit our landing page in this link that is now up and running. From my first Fashion Forward in Dubai I fell in love with the talks and in one of them, designers complained about the little support they were receiving from shops, as shops prefer to have more recognized brands- specially in our GCC market that is very status driven.

Also consigment is common in the region and that means the budding designers need to produce items for the different shops before knowing if it would sell. Production costs are high when you are producing some units only and if you are starting money is not overflowing. Shops defended themselves saying that designers are not easy either, they don’t behave in a professional way, they don’t respond to emails, return calls, they do one prototype and pretend to start selling without not much else (branding, proper communication, etc). Shops also have high costs and they take a high risk.

Designers might end up taking other jobs where they can not explore anymore their talent and creativity in the same way and that honestly made me sad.

Wow! I didnt know this was such a problem and I listened to all the comments from both sides. So I started to think of ways to help the situation. Eushopia was conceived with the designers in mind.. to prepare them, to help them grow and get their brands and work out there, to represent them with shops, organise events or whatever neccessary. Initially it was not that clear.. only after more discussions and comments from here and there, it got that shape.

Eushopia’s name was not there either, it took good two- three months to choose it and it also passed a second review when the new partners joined. Another day I tell you what the inspiration was for the name.

Today we have defined the Business Plan, the mission, the vision, the objectives, the market and how to approach it and even the finantials. And although I know that we have a long road ahead, I am happy to start this walk and see how it goes. For me, it is something I am longing to do, it mixes a pair of things or three I love.. writing, helping and fashion. And that is what life is all about.. enjoying what you do and feel that you are in the flow.

and The Blog?

So the blog is going to change a bit, I have so many interests already but I want to focus a bit on this new journey that is entrepreneurship, fashion and all things digital (another passion of mine). There is a new whole world out there for me to discover and I would love to keep on sharing it with you. I hope you want to join me through this change, that I am confident it is going to be better, more exciting and very interesting.

I want to focus for this new journey on entrepreneurship, fashion and all things digital

Eushopia will have its online magazine, so a lot more of writing will be taking place. And press releases and business reports and magazine contributions .. I am happy with that! I just like it and now that I am not alone. It is so much better! If one day I am tired from work, or the muses decide to avoid me or even if you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.. it is fine. We are a team and we push together in the same direction.

Helping

Eushopia has behind a wish to help and all designers are free to contact us and we can talk and find the best ways to help them. But there is a little bit more, we also want to help causes that are close to our hearts.

The platform is in process and the Causes section is not yet ready but we want to share with you something our friend Leila is putting together now with the Red Crescent and invite you to participate. This cause can not wait until we are ready, but it is very important, so I wanted to mentioned it here- and in all my social media. She is organizing to collect clothes, medicines, toys, towels, blankets, foods (non perishable).. to send it to Syria where so much help is needed. The items will need to be collected before the end of May, the container needs to leave Dubai before Ramadan. You can get in touch with me if you want to collaborate (call me or wassup me +971 555752608). My company is helping, my neighbors, my friends.. It is so moving to see so many people mobilised to help. I am blessed with so many good people around, I can only thank the Universe.

Ups! The post ended a bit longer than what I expected but I really dont want to cut any of it.

I send you all a big hug, please visit and share Eushopia’s page and also see if you want to do the spring cleaning of your closets and help Syria. The moment is now. 🙂

XOXO

 

Araceli Gallego

WhatIjustLove.com

and now also Eushopia.ae 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SNEAK PEEK ON DUBAI’S FASHION FORWARD SEASON 7

FASHION FORWARD SEASON 7 DUBAI

This year Fashion Forward will be a bit different and I am so excited to see how it will go. This time it will not be conveniently close to where I live but close to where I dream of having my company setup… In D3, at the Dubai Design District.

There is another highlight which I think it is really fantastic for our talented designers.. The focus is on attracting buyers -local and international. This coming season is already the 7th and we will see 5 big international buyers from Fenwick, Galeries Lafayette (Paris), Harvey Nichols (Hong Kong), Neiman Marcus (USA), and Printemps (Paris) and over 150 Regional buyers. This is what precisely the local talent is needing.. visibility, exposure to these new markets and great opportunities.

BRAG is not alone any more in organizing the event and has the full support of the Dubai Design and Fashion Council. That is another reason why now the event will be hosted in Hai d3 and not in Madinat Jumeirah.

The list of designers is great too.. many repeating from previous seasons, which is a good sign. It means that they are here to stay and the have a voice that needs to be heard and a creativity that needs to be seen.

The tradition of having uber interesting talks is kept and I am very happy for it. I guess I am a bit nerdy but I have always loved the talks of every Fashion Forward. For example one of the highlights is the talk of the CEO of Moda Operandi. You might not know but I totally love ecommerces and to have her insights is something not to be missed.

We will also enjoy the talk of Anita Patrickson, celebrity stylist from Hollywood. I am very curious to know how she does decide and deals with the stress and responsibility of choosing what her celebrities are to wear and how.. taking into account the amount of comments and gossip behind each look and how personal they even get, I consider this a heart attack high risk job. Lol!

The Garden is called now The Showcase but the concept seems to be the same as in previous editions.. beautiful jewelry and accessory designers to showcase their creations.

Oh! I just realized I didn’t mention the dates when Fashion Forward will be taking place! Ok, take note in that pretty agenda of yours or on your iphone.. From the 31st of March to the 3rd April. Times depend on the days so you need to check the schedule on the website.

Loads of love,

 

Araceli Gallego

www.whatijustlove.com

www.thebagedition.wordpress.com

 

 

WHAT IS AN A-LINE IN FASHION? AND A H-LINE? AND A Y-LINE?

Hi dears,

Today’s words are very interesting indeed. You may have heard  about the A-skirt. the very cute silhouette super famous in the sixties and now in every store. Do you know where these terms are coming from? Let’s get to the definitions and the history of these shapes. By the way the man in the picture is the one creating these concepts. You know him?

DIOR, A LINE, Y LINE, H LINE, FASHIONESE. WHAT IS AN A- LINE?

What is an A-line?

The A-Line garments are shaped like the letter A, flaring out from a fitted waist or the shoulders to the hem for example A-Line coat, A-Line gown or A-Line skirt. The term was coined by Parisian fashion designer Christian Dior,  who introduced the style in the Spring of 1955. Yep! He was the one in the pic before.

Dior is quoted as saying “I have designed flower women”, when referring to the A-shapes.

A-LINE . WHAT IS AN A- LINE?

What is an H-Line?

A style of dress, introduced in 1954 by our celebrated Christian Dior. This shape feastures a high bust, low waist and relatively straight sides, resembling the letter H in form.H-. WHAT IS AN A -LINE?

 

What is an Y-line?

The Y-Line dress was introduced in Autum of 1955 by, well, you guessed it right.. by Christian Dior. The characteristic shape of Y is suggested by the use of clothing that is tight-fitting at the legs and waist, flaring out at the top with wide shoulders and /or large collars.Y LINE - WHAT IS AN A-LINE?

 

It seems that the alphabet was very inspiring for Monsieur Dior, right?. He was extremely shy but his talent spoke louder that any words could ever shout. He was a master at creating shapes and silhouettes. His time was not easy, think of Europe convoluted by the many conflicts, by the war, with not much food, leave aside fabric, with fears and uncertainty. For some reason, in hard times, the best of us comes up and shows.

WHAT IS AN A- LINE ?

 

Hope you enjoyed the words of the post. If you have any word that you would want to add to the fashionese dictionary, please do not hesitate to drop me a line.

Lots of luv,

 

Araceli

www.whatijustlove.com

www.thebagedition.wordpress.com

What I Just love in South Africa- Drakensberg

Hi dears,

This lovely husband of mine got me a really sweet surprise and he took me to Drakensberg the weekend before the moving of apartments. I had not much idea what it was.. berg, mmm mountain in german, Drankens..mmm a mix of Dracula and Frankenstein.. Honestly I didn’t know what to expect.

Waking up in Drakensberg

We arrive well in the night and in South Africa places, whether cities or villages, are not too well illuminated. We were tired so khalas! We fell in the bed like a brick.. Chum! Zzzz.. In the morning, the light was coming through the window of the room and it woke me up. Then is when I saw the place.. and I am still in awe. This area is just so beautiful! (Please don’t mind my sleepy face.. It is my policy not to use make up while I am on holidays.. and when I am not, just to use the bare minimum.. lol)
DRAKENSBERG

 

Drakensberg is very impressive with mountains in funny shapes and very charming valleys with gracious rivers and dams. I felt so full of gratitude in that balcony early in the morning. God really did an amazing job here.

We were staying in a very nice hotel, it says it is 5 star, but it must be in african standards. I would give it a 4 and the location makes most of the 4 still. The hotel is called Champagne Sports Resort and has swimming pool, spa, golf course, a business center and a buffet restaurant. There are two main options in the hotel.. Hotel rooms and little cute chalets. If you are going there with your family pick the chalets, they are gorgeous and more isolated. The landscape there, the nature will inspire you for some good quality reflection time.

The hotel is very well located, on the main road.. you just have to go up or down to find most of the activities and attractions. Let me share with you my discoveries.

Activities in Drakensberg

There are canopy tours, abseiling, white water tubing, quad and mountain bike riding, scootours (like the fat bikes for the desert but you stand on them and with no motor), a reptile center, zip lines, king swing, flying trapezes, paintball, bungee bounce, falcon shows ( yes, here there are falcons too!) and even helicopter tours. There is a boy choir and a bakery that seemed to be very successful too. Well, I just wanted to go up and down the valleys like in my good old days.. by horse (no, no trekking this time, I was so unprepared). Of course there were also horseback riding tours. We choose the one departing from Dragon Peaks and it was very nice. Too bad the horses are all so trained they don’t follow your orders but the orders of the guide. I have done some horse riding before in my life – i’m not an amazon, but well, I know a bit- just trying to get the horse to stop to ride along my hubby was such a fight. The guide told me they are trained to go in a line and they know who is in front and who is in the back.. no changes allowed. After that, I decided to relax and just let the animal take me wherever.. The area around Dragon Peaks is very pretty and has some water ponds and little rivers. The views are amazing. Nature is really generous and the best decor of whatever picture you might think.

DRAKENSBERG SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL

After the horse ride, we went up and down discovering Monks Cowl, Champagne Castle Hotel, up the mountain and later down the mountain.. Scrumpy Jacks, a place that says to offer the best cheesecake and honey products. I must say that to me, it was the most delicious cheesecake ever.. fresh and flavourful with some honey taste. If you go try it. Also I am in love with some other things we bought there.. Raw Honey, Propolis Balm and Propolis to take.. I am testing them and I can tell you so far all of it is positive.

DRAKENSBERG SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL

Kwazulu Natal is the province or region where Drakensberg is located and it is very historical. The place is full of battlefields.. Here everybody fought everybody.. the british the boers, the boers the zulus, the zulus the british.. I lost track of all the battles but there are museums and some memorials where you can get explanations. I saw some poster with some battle reenactment that happened some months back.

I love history but this sounded a bit spooky to me, I decided for something totally different for our last day.

What about Ballooning? First of all, I must confess that I am scared of heights so it took me some swallowing before accepting. Now I can tell you that it is something you have to do, even if you are scared of heights, you don’t feel scared up there. The balloon glides, it doesn’t shake or anything.. It felt like if you were in an elevator raising smoothly.

Ballooning in Drakensberg: Best experience ever!

The views from there- we went over the kilometer high- are to die for. Luckily my iphone was fully charged and I took so many pics and videos that now I can share with you. There is a game reserve close by and we got to see animals roaming around, drinking water and running around.

DRAKENSBERG SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL BALLOONING

Not sure if there are other companies but I can recommend you 150% the one we picked. It is called Drakensberg Ballooning and they know their thing. They even compete in Balloon competitions, Danie and Daniel, father and son, are the soul and hands, both pilots. There are other pilot too that took the other balloon you see on my pics. In that balloon very important things were happening, as the guy was proposing the girl to marry from the skies. Romantic or what! Danie told us they knew of a rejection.. It was some time ago another pilot proposing to his girlfriend in the balloon, the girl said no.. the situation was so uncomfortable, they had to do an emergency landing. Happily this girl said yes and I wish them lots of luck in their life together.

DRAKENSBERG SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL BALLOONING

 

DRAKENSBERG SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL BALLOONINGDRAKENSBERG SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL BALLOONINGDRAKENSBERG SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL BALLOONINGDRAKENSBERG SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL BALLOONINGWhen coming down, we did a Truck landing, .. lol.. yes, we landed in the back part of the truck that came to pick us up and we got a cute champagne bottle to celebrate the experience.  after that a hearty breakfast prepared by the wife and mom of the house.. sausages, eggs, yogurt, I eat as if I wouldn’t eat any more in a decade. To go in the balloon you have to wake up very early, and so at 4.30 I was up (without wishing to set a precedent, I am not a morning person at all) but it is worthy to see the sun rising from the heights.

After the super powerful breakfast we said bye bye and drove back to the hotel, in front of the entrance there is a little shopping area and there I discovered two shops.. one of cheese (I love cheese!-called Macedonia Cheese and co, they have gorgeous cheeses and even locally produced halloumi!), the other shop is in the sweet business of Chocolate..The Drakensberg Chocolate Memories.. Run by a serbian married to a south african, they bring the chocolate from belgium to mix it with local milk and do their magic. I bought one bar of each “darkness” because I tried them all and I like them all.

This was my lovely trip to Drakensberg mountains, if you have the chance to go, do it, you will not regret it.

 

One love from Drakensberg,

 

Araceli Gallego

www.whatijustlove.com

What I Just Love goes to South Africa!

Hi dears,

 

This has not been my first time in South Africa.. It is like the third and I quite like it here. It is a nice place, full of history and great people. The food is amazing and I was lucky enough to come at spring time.. and I am a flower lover.. so you have a happy me!.. Let me share with you the highlights of this trip and hopefully it inspires you to go and visit.

Johannesburg

Probably you will be reaching South Africa from here. Sandton area is a must, you have the huge Mandela monument and the mall, with a theatre and plenty of restaurants and shops. There you have one of the Butchers -if you are from Dubai, you will know which one I mean.

Also there is a quite nice Library almost in front of the theatre.. I had to work and I am a bookworm, so my husband took me there and I spend good two hours roaming around getting excited about some findings.

Johannesburg is quite big, very spread city.. there are not many skyscrapers and I guess that is why it takes forever to cross.. you have a lot of 1 or 2 floor housing with a garden-something very british, I find. Johannesburg has a botanical garden and it is beautiful. I know it is not going to be in your tour guides but I quite enjoyed it. It has a huge pond- with ducks and guys kayaking – and areas to picnic. There is a Shakespeare garden and plenty of gorgeous trees, now in bloom.

You have to love Nature.. I do and I miss it very much in Dubai- at least until they finish whatever crime they are doing to Safa Park.

Here you have some pics

www.whatijustlove.com

To go out and dine there are some cool options. You have Melrose Arch area- where one Mojo is located- I tell you more about it later, you have also a Mall called Montecasino and another area called Melville. Let´s review one by one..

Melrose Arch is a mix of commercial and residential within one compound. There are restaurants and bars and one big screen in a  kind of square to watch the Springboks play ( Rugby is huge in SA!). With the security issue I won’t recommend you just to roam around freely in Jozi (nickname of Johannesburg). If the locals don’t do it, I won’t do it either but I must say, nothing ever happened to me here, I am just cautious.

Mojo is a one of a kind restaurant- high end african cuisine with great decor and service. Every single time I have been in South Africa I came to dine there…

Montecasino Mall is similar to Ibn Batuta in Dubai.. a Mall that has a sky painted ceiling and decorated like somewhere else.. In the case of Montecasino like old Italy.. It is very nice, has a casino- there you have the name- and they change the sky.. making it full daylight or starry night. There are many shops, a cinema and a hotel part of teh complex. There is a resturant there you shouldnt miss.. It is called Beira.. It is a portuguese ( or Mozambican) restaurant and the food there it is just glorious. Try whatever dish with Prawns and you will thank me later.

In Montecasino you can also buy crafts, there is a very cute store that sells pretty african crafts and not the customary “Made-in-China”, saying “Welcome to New York”.

Another place where you can buy pretty arts and crafts is at the Rosebank Mall.. There is an entrance to the specific area for crafts and arts and there you have so much choice.. For crocodile bags to african textiles, to Ostrich carved eggs to handpainted wood trays.. all there is beautiful and you will want it all. One rule though.. always negotiate with the vendors. We have a huge neon message in our foreheads saying “Tourist” and they will charge you more just because. Basically.. do and buy as if you were in the Souk.

The last two places I want to tell you about in Johannesburg are a bit hippie, rundown, uptown.. Melville and Millpark. Melville is today full of pretty restaurants and houses, it has a flavour of boho chic, you can tell the restaurants there have had a facelift but kept the hippie soul. I love it there! You have also some shops with books and antiques and african fashion.They say it is the gay quarter, well, we have Chueca in Madrid and I love it too.www.whatijustlove.com

Millpark looks like it was some sort of industrial center just few years ago and it would have been reconverted into a pleasant patio where shops and restaurants offer their best products. I has amazing decor shops but the entire thing is like a spotless cute little stage. The food was great and the strolling through the passageways deliciously pleasant. The weather was with us in this trip indeed.

There is also something you don’t want to miss.. and it is culture. The theatre freak in me wanted to go and see what was on offer and I couldn’t make up my mind between two venues.. One, called Raising Mandela in the little theatre in Sandton Square, the other a musical called Burn the Floor that seemed to be doing really good between the locals.

The dancing one won the bet and off  we went. The Joburg Theatre is pretty cool, has different sections for youth development,  2 stages and one restaurant. The show was really good with music and voices live. The dancing was spectacular with latino rhythms and english songs and with a pretty good looking singer (I think he was italian). The music was so good I was moving my feet and my hands “playing drums” in the air.. If I can make a suggestion for this kind of musicals, please allow one area where people can stand and dance if they can not hold it. To look too much civilized when you are not, it is so hard! lol

www.whatijustlove.com

Any ways, There are more things to do in Johannesburg. But It will be in another post, because this one it so long already!.

 

One Love from SA!

 

Araceli Gallego

www.whatijustlove.com

Hidaya International Fashion Show in Dubai

Hi dears,

The lovely Shereen Dury, from Coral Coast PR, was the organiser of an event showcasing the new Fall/Winter collection 2015 of Hidaya International. In case you didn´t know about this brand, let me brief you a bit.

About the brand: Hidaya International and the collection

Hidayah Wan Ismail is the woman behind this brand. She was born and raised in Malaysia. She is a lawyer by profession and a fashion designer by vocation. She lives in Abu Dhabi now and from there is from where she started to design and from where she launched her eponymous brand. Now Hidaya already has a flagship store in Kuala Lumpur.  Her unique style is a mix of tradition and modernism. As a Muslim woman her collection has abayas, but not the typical ones. She broke a rule or two. She adds color, shapes, textures, glitter and volume to the abayas.

This is the third collection and it is inspired in the way women used to dress in the 30´s. Those years when the big crisis and economic dificulties had an effect on fashion and frills and trims were reduced to the minimun. The frivolty and glamour of the 20´s turned into practicality. It is the time when suffragettes were fighting for the femenine vote. So many changes were happening or about to happen everywhere. The result is a collection that is really cool, with interchangeable pieces to mix and match and that you and me can wear anytime because they are so elegant.

What I like about the collection is the thought behind. La fuerza -the Strenght in Spanish-is the name she chose for the collection and each design is inspired by a strong woman. The designer asked herself questions like what kind of abaya would Eleanor Roosvelt wear? and Angelina Jolie? Jane Austen? Evita Peron? Grace of Monaco?.. each of them took over virtually the pencil and the drawing pad and are part of the collection.

My favourites..from the Abayas: the Keller and the Angie. Also I love the Hamilton cape and the Austen dress.

There are a lot of strong women and many are Muslim. I like the fact that they are also raising their voices, expressing their thoughts and how they feel about the world surrounding them. Trust me. They have a lot to say. I find them wise, calm, driven and determined. I dare you not to judge the woman in the abaya no matter if you are in Europe, US or Asia. It will be her choice in most of the cases. I have been here 4 years already and the elegance of the abayas is not to be missed. They are flattering, elegant and you feel like a princess. So, if you dont own one yet, try at least one in the shop.. Remove all the prejudices. It is a piece of cloth at the end of the day.

Hidaya herself is a good example of how the Muslim women are today. A lawyer, yes.. a very convenient career and still she decided to pursue her passion. Brave woman indeed. I have not being this brave as yet.

These days we see in the news so much confussion about Islam and terrorism. Let me tell you they are totally diferent. Islam is a religion, it is not politics, it is not militia. Islam is about peace, love and respect. I have many Muslim friends and they are far from terrorists. They are honest, humble, good hearted and respectful people. For them, these terrorists are just not Muslims at all and they dont even understand Islam.

About the event

The event took place in the Cavalli Club at the Fairmount Hotel. The hospitality there was fantastic, having smiling waiters sharing drinks and little tapas and very good music playing before the show. There was a cute photocall and I had a wonderful time with Ritu from FussFree, Julia Baudin from Eventissime, Wael and Wassim from Gem Arabia, Neha and her lovely sister, Aisha and Husnain Minawala. It is such a blessing to meet people this nice!..I guess this is the best place to write my hastags..#love #mydubai

These are some of the pics I took that day. I hope that you enjoy them!

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Lots of Love,

Araceli Gallego

www.whatijustlove.com

 

 

SPECTRE

Hi dears,

I went to see Spectre, the last movie of the iconic 007 agent, James Bond. To be honest, I didnt like it that much. I dont know if it is because Daniel Craig to me is not as charming, as riskier, as passionate.. actually, to me he is mechanical even when seducing.

Not sure if he wanted to portrait the character like that or if it is just the way he is. The cars are there, the explosions are there (one with a  Guinness record even), the ladies are there and the bad man is there too. Lets go bit by bit- as Jack the Ripper said.

The cars were very impresive -I fell in love with the Aston Martin, and the Jaguar of the bad one too.. – of course no matter the make or how cool is car.. in the hands of Bond it doesnt last long. If the ¨00 program¨ would stop being financed and James would lose his job he can always come to Dubai and work as a Taxi driver.

The explosions were omnipresent.. No building was left untouched in this movie.. same the ladies, well in the Dubai cinemas all sexy scenes were cut, but, we know James.. I dont get to see all the noise about Monica Bellucci (the widow of a criminal that just buried her husband and falls to Bond), in reality it was not too much -or too long at least- of a Bond girl. The blonde Madeleine (played by Lea Seydoux) was more the Bond girl in this movie.

The team behind Bond was great this time though.. more passionate and caring than usual. Monneypeny (Naomi Harris) and Q, the geek and inventor (Ben Whishaw) helped Bond even against M, the boss of them all (Ralph Fiennes).

Oberhauser (played by Christopher Waltz) was the bad guy but really he was not that bad, I mean he was mean, ambitious, jealous, cold and scheming.. but was kind of soft himself.. too clinical, too civilized, too … tschuu.. the fact of having a machine to inflict pain (that looked like the ones at the dentist office, just saying!). I dont know if it is me but as the bad it was not that good.  I like better the role that Bardem played in Skyfall.. a bit crazy, very unpredictable and bad person for the sake of being really despicable. By the way Oberhauser is the boss, the brain of the Spectre, a criminal group that was behind most of the bad guys in former Bond movies. What does Spectre want? World domination. How? I give you only a tip.. Information is power.

Conclusion: It is a Bond movie, I wouldn´t have missed it, but truth to be told, it was not what I expected. I give it 2 Shiny stars out of 5.

Regards,

 

Araceli Gallego

www.whatijustlove.com

JAMES BOND

 

NIVEA DOUBLE EFFECT EYE MAKE UP REMOVER

Hi dears,

 

I recently received a suprise package and I wanted to thank Nivea for it. They sent me a product to review together with a lovely kohl. The product is called Nivea Double effect Eye Make Up remover. Normally for my eyes I use the Sephora make up remover or the Bioderm Solution Micellaire, but this new product of Nivea is not behind, actually I feel it is gentler with my eyelids and my lashes.

It has oil extracts and together with the watery solution removes nicely and softly the make up, the eye liner and the mascara  (even the waterproof one!). I have been testing it for a week and I already recommend it. It is important that the product is able to remove the make up in not too many strokes, you dont want to be harsh on your super sensitive eye area or have strong chemicals that might hurt your eye or your vision. This product has my blessings and I think it will do very well in this market. Arab  women put so much effort in the eyes that they will need to remove it gently.

WWW.WHATIJUSTLOVE.COM

The set came with a pendrive that Dora decided to play with- as with everything in the house lately. I guess one day it will appear again or Joy with hoover it!

I took some make up still life pics to add to the blog post, hope you like them.

www.whatijustlove.com

 

Lots of love,

 

Araceli Gallego

www.whatijustlove.com