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

 

 

Stylish Flamingos in Dubai

 

Hi dears,

If one weekend you feel the need to be in nature and see wildlife and you are in Dubai, I have a proposal for you. It is not close to the metro, so you will need a car. It is the Flamingo Sanctuary at the Ras Al Khor area. The sanctuary has shallow waters  like mangroves that are great for these gorgeous birds, but watch out as there are more than just flamingos in Dubai. You can find many other species.

Mangroves are also a bit smelly sometimes specially when the weather is hot, just avoid the wind blowing your way if it is one of those days.

WHAT I JUST LOVE

There are a pair of entrances to the sanctuary. Each of them will take you to a little house with a guard inside and plenty of pictures and info on the wildlife as posters. There are also some binoculars you can use. I took my camera and while they were busy, I used my own zoom to observe.

On the day we went, there was quite a lot of people. This and the fact that there are property development even taking over the mangrove area, made me think… it is true that everybody wants to be close to the little nature we have here but, where is the limit?. This for example, shouldn’t be allowed. Already the area is surrounded by an industrial area and plenty of roads with quite a lot of traffic. Do we really need to build right there? (This is a subliminal message to those nonexistent Dubai Urban planners). 

Anyways, back to the flamingos… Did you know?

About their beak

Flamingos filter-feed  their food ( shrimps and algae) with their beaks. They  are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food and are uniquely used upside-down. The filtering of food items is assisted by hairy structures called lamellae which line the mandibles, and the large rough-surfaced tongue. Only one of the jaws moves, the other is fixed.

WHAT I JUST LOVE

About their pink

The pink color of flamingos comes from the betacarotenes in their diet. The more healthy, the pinkier.. and that is something the females take into account when mating. Who says guys can not wear pink now, eh??

WHAT I JUST LOVE

About their size

They can measure from 80 cms to 1.40 cms.. they are BIG! and for some reason they like to stand on one leg only..who knows why.

WHAT I JUST LOVE

About their name

They say it comes from their color… like of a “flame”.

WHAT I JUST LOVE

And now some pics to show you my visit!!

 

WHAT I JUST LOVE

AND THE VIEW FROM THERE.. AMAZING HORIZON EH!

WHAT I JUST LOVE WHAT I JUST LOVE WHAT I JUST LOVE WHAT I JUST LOVE WHAT I JUST LOVEHoping that this post inspires you to go, visit and enjoy the Dubai Flamingo Sanctuary anytime soon!

 

 

Lots of luv,

 

Araceli Gallego

www.whatijustlove.com

www.thebagedition.wordpress.com

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHOEMART!

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Hi dears,

Dubai is so full of events, some times it is hard to keep up with all that happens here. For example, Shoemart celebrated just recently its 25 years. This shoe company has been already quite a while in Dubai, right? They have shops in most of the malls I like. For this anniversary, they organised an event to show their new collection for Spring / Summer 2015 with their new face, Maya Diab. She is a Lebanese actress, singer and fashion icon.

The event had two violinists playing amazingly and the music of the Dj’s after it was not bad at all. The collection was very fresh, with very bright colors and some of the very chunky soles in white plastic that are so in vogue. They also showed ballerinas and sport shoes in futuristic silver and golden shades.

There were shoes shown for every occasion… for the office, for dinner out with your better half, to go to the beach with your gang, for your day off lazing around doing nothing.. What I like most about Shoemart is that their shoes are very affordable, so you always end up buying an extra pair even if it was not on your initial list. And even if they are cheap, they don’t look cheap, which is I think the secret to their success in sales.

Well dears, I have put together some of the best pics in the collage above to be able to show you a bit of what the night held.  I fell in love with the metallic with diamond appliques shoes of the presenter -also from Shoemart- and the black transparent sandals from Maya Diab…I would say they are part of the Fantasy collection if I would be asked. They are both gorgeous don’t you think?

 

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Hope you like the shoes and the inspiration!!

Araceli Gallego

www.whatijustlove.com

www.thebagedition.wordpress.com

 

FASHION FORWARD 2015 DESIGNER : AIISHA RAMADAN

Hi dears,

 

In case you didn’t know her as yet, let me introduce you to Aiisha Ramadan, the designer, the fashion guru in this side and in the other side of the Atlantic Ocean ( actually also on the other side of the Pacific Ocean too!.. L.A.).

She has dressed some of those celebrities every designer dreams to dress.. Jennifer Lopez, Charlize Teron, Paris Hilton, Raya Abichared.. and even a blogger fellow of mine.. Simone Heng. And all this, in really a very short time. That is due to what I call – either you have it, either you don’t -Talent. 

Born in Lebanon, she followed her instinct and launched her brand AIISHA in 2006. Ever since, she has won a lot of prizes and awards. The one that I find cooler ..when she was named as one of the 30 Most Awesome Women in the Arab World in 2009 ( Yallah!)  and at the recent Women Leaders UAE2015 she won in the category of Contemporary Fashion designer. There is many more..kind of like karma.. She dresses the beautiful people going to the Oscars, the Grammy’s etc..and all that effort to make them shine, pays back.

Aiisha Ramadan will be showing her collection in this coming Fashion Forward (Register if you havent already. This year is from the 10 to the 13th of April). The collection is called Queen of Scotts and let me tell you it is simply beautiful and clean. The silhouettes are straight, embracing the models bodies and to me, they are very elegant and timeless. She picked strong colors: Purple, reds, blues, blacks, greens.. all in perfect harmony with the embellishments. Not too much, not too little.. just perfect.

Here you have some of the pics of this gorgeous collection.. Let me know your thoughts. Do you like them? When would you use them? Which one is your favorite?

Lots of Luv,

Araceli

 WHAT I JUST LOVE What I just love What I just love What I just love What I just love What I Just Love

 

AWESOME UAE: SNOOPY ISLAND

What I Just Love in Snoopy Island

Hi dears,

UAE is the amazing little country that I call home now and I am enjoying to go to around and learn new places. Having lived in so many countries, this one has corners that have such an unique beauty that it feels like poetry… the desert, the mountains, the sea, the souks..

Just recently we went to Snoopy Island in Fujairah. There is a little independent hotel there called Sandy Beach Hotel & Resort. There are others close by in Aqah but we chose this one as it is right in front of the rocky island of Snoopy Island.

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Driving from Dubai to Aqah takes more or less 2 hours (around 180 Kms) and the drive is worth a few stops. The Hajar Mountains took my breath away. They are truly amazing, powerful, mysterious and with almost no vegetation.

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What is special in Snoopy Island is that there are around the island many fishes and sharks.. Yep! Sharks.. The island stops the currents and is shelter of many different species including sharks.

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The distance from the beach of the hotel to the island is almost nothing, so you can easily swim and at the hotel you can rent the goggles and the fins. I took my GoPro for a first dive. It was really cool! Dont miss the snorkeling or the diving while being here.

If you feel like touring around there is another stop close to the hotel that is worth the visit. It is the Al Bidiyah Mosque. The oldest mosque in the entire emirates ( 1446 AD). It was built with stone and mud almost in front of the sea. Beside it, on top of the hill, there are two watch towers. In the night the pictures are beautifully dramatic.

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As I am not Muslim I can not enter the little mosque but the roof and the shape of it it is really graceful. The four domes remind of the Ottoman empire and that is why it is also called Ottoman Mosque.

And if you keep on driving a bit more you end up in the capital of the emirate: Fujairah. It has a great park to walk right beside the sea and in front of the port. I have something with ports. I love the structures, the movement of all those cranes like in a ballet, their colours, the lego-containers all piled up.

I hope this post inspires you to visit this amazing place so close to Dubai!

 

Araceli Gallego

www.whatijustlove.com

www.thebagedition.wordpress.com

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GOING TO THE MOVIES: KINGSMAN- THE SECRET SERVICE

Hi dears,

 

I am in love with the DU Tuesdays! If you have a Du number just send the message “Movie” to 9979 and get your 2 tickets for the price of 1. There are many other offers to go half price to the cinema, depending  if it is VOX or Reel they have special agreements with many of the credit cards : HSBC, Mashreq etc.. So there you go, no excuse to go with your friends or your special one to the cinema.

And the movie that I saw last time was Kingsman- The Secret Service. I was waiting for it just to see again Colin Firth. He is in my humble opinion a great actor.. yep! and I must admit also very sexy. I guess Bridget Jones is the one to blame.

The movie is long – over 2 hours- but I didn’t wanted it to finish at all!. It is an awesome film and it made me laugh most of the time. It is action packed, but also comedy. Like Samuel L. Jackson- impersonating the super villain- having a lisp and some of the situations.. like a special gala dinner with McDonalds. (Well, why not?).

There is a new kid on the block too.. His name is Taron Egerton and he acts as Eggsy (not sure what kind of nickname is that, I never heard it before!). He is the son of one of the deceased Kingsman and mentored by Colin Firth will become one of them. The training is uff!.. I am glad we dont have this kind of programme in my gym.

If you get dizzy by the sight of blood or you have children maybe it is not your thing but for the rest,  there you have my full recommendation to watch it. This is the trailer!

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Enjoy the PopCorn!

 

Araceli Gallego

www.whatijustlove.com

www.thebagedition.wordpress.com

FINALLY URBAN STREET STYLE IN DUBAI.. At SOLE DXB

Hi dears!!

This last weekend at the site where our awaited D3 -Dubai Design District- is being built there was a rather unconventional event. What made it different was that, for once ,it was not totally glamorous and bling bling! It was street style but not with high heels and Gucci bags in the middle of Dubai Marina.. It was urban street style as in New York, London or Madrid ( yep!  we also have!).

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V. I. S: Very Important Sneakers

The total king of the event were the sneakers.. all over, there were shops selling or just displaying them. The other king was the sun.. high up on Friday morning and we were all missing some shade. At the Ray Ban booth we even helped a girl that was feeling dizzy because of too much sun and heat.

Me and my partner in crime, Maria Elena,  walked all the booths.. we saw the shoes, the sneakers, the clothes, the bags, the sunnies,  the bicycles, the puma shop, the food stalls, the caps, the Minis.. I love the Minis, and the reinvention of the gipsy van using them was so cool!

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WWW.WHATIJUSTLOVE.COMWWW.WHATIJUSTLOVE.COM URBAN STREET STYLEUrban Art

There were some graffiti artists working to give the total alternative urban look to the event.. Remi Rough was working on a quite high wall and needed a lift to create his abstract griffitis. Antoine Tavaglione or Tava was having fun with a pink Garfield close to our soles.. we also had fun as you can see!

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WWW.WHATIJUSTLOVE.COMWWW.WHATIJUSTLOVE.COMBooths & more

Right in the center, there was a basketball field where people could play and also areas to skateboard around. The shops where hosted in containers, versatile, mobile, easy to transport and with the total urban look. The Puma and the Reebok were my favorites. The Puma because of the bikes. The Reebok one because it was bringing all the nostalgia back to me.. see why?.. Who didn’t have one of these babies in our teenager years?

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WWW.WHATIJUSTLOVE.COMMy thoughts

As usual I have some comments on Sole DXB.. The price was ok ( 50 Dhs) but it was quite difficult to reach. If you do not have a car with an updated GPS, all I can say, is Good luck!. The D3 is all mystery for me and I really wanted to see the insides and heart of the Design district but all of it is blocked as it is still in construction. I understand the restriction to enter as there is still a lot of works going on and it would be a liability and a risk to allow visitors in. As it was not as ready, I would have maybe chosen a different location.. closer to Dubai.

The sun and the heat was an issue. For next year please some “sunbrellas” or some more shade. Water and drinks were available for free and that was a big plus!. People were nice and ambiance was really great. There were supposed to be talks, but they were delayed and we decided that we will skip them because the place looked really “in the process” and we were not sure how long would it take to get finished. Same thing happened with The Level Shoe District.. Not even close to ready by the time we left.

I know we know that all the visitors to any venue or event in Dubai tend to come late ( actually very late), but I still find it too bad that the organizers are not ready when they are supposed to.

Well, that is all for now. If you have any questions or comments you would want to add, please feel free in the comment section.

Lots of luv,

 

Araceli

www.whatijustlove.com

www.tWWW.WHATIJUSTLOVE.COMhebagedition.wordpress.com

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REAL MEXICAN FOOD… WORD!

Hi dears!

Just a brief note on an amazing place I just discovered even though many friends have recommended it to me tons of times.. Why I got it recommended so many times? Because I am a fan of mexican food ( and mexican culture) and well, I really had to go to Maria Bonita. It was my destiny.. It was written somewhere.

Maria Bonita has a restaurant in Green Community and another in Jumeirah. I went to the Jumeirah one with my lovely friends. We had lots of fun and lots of food.. and it was just delicious!

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I tried the Enchiladas and I recommend them very much.. but ask Edgar or Christian for advice if you are not sure about what to order. They are real chilangos ( from Mexico DF) and they are just so friendly and nice.. like in Mexico. I have traveled to Mexico like 6 or 7 times.. I lost count.. and the warmth and hospitality of these people is just amazing and to me is one of the best assets they have  as a country. Ok also the food, the art, the history, the beaches, the culture, the colors, the landscapes,the tequila, the music.. even the desmadre (chaos) is so colorful and vibrant in Mexico that it makes it beautiful.

I tried the salads of my friends -with nopales (cacti)- and it was also delicious but the best of the best.. the cream of the cream, the top of the top.. was the dessert I choose… some might disagree in this one choice of mine but it is something not so easy to find outside Mexico and it brings me just so many good memories. What is it? .. Chocolate!.. You might know Chocolate is coming from the Americas and that the indigenous used it to do xocolatle.. mixing the cocoa beans with milk or water with a molinillo.. mmm.. hot chocolate. This chocolate is called .. de la Abuelita (literally from Granny).. The flavor is different to what you are used to.. this chocolate doesn’t have as much sugar and it is a bit bitter, the aroma is from outside this word. This totally conquered my heart. What to say now? Viva Mexico C@Br*nEs! Ups!

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Leli

www.whatijustlove.com