Interview with LCF Senior Business Manager

LCF Art of Dress Exhibition in Dubai
LCF Art of Dress Exhibition in Dubai

I must start by apologizing for not writing in a while. Basically, I was on a break from my University course and I was trying to make the most out of my free time.

Apart from catching up on much-needed sleep and not doing much really, I managed to make a few trips to the beach – like three trips I think! I don’t know about you, but the Dubai winter has made me feel very sluggish and all I felt like doing was stay in bed and sleep! I’ve been feeling tired most of the time too. I think it could be the result of the accumulated stress that I went through in the past term. It’s for the better though, now I can add more skills to my CV – like short video production and editing.

Talking about video editing, you might have viewed my video on the LCF event that was held in Dubai in November. Oh how I miss London and that college! I still plan to go back to finish a course that I started there in 2009 and take another course. Yes, I am a woman on a mission!

If you haven’t seen that video yet, you can find it here.

Today I’m sharing with you my full interview with Senior Business Manager at LCF, Linda Roberts. In the interview, I ask Linda about the Art of Dress Exhibition and her views on the fashion education scene in Dubai and the Middle East. Here’s a video for the full interview that I conducted with Linda Roberts from LCF:

 

LCF will be back with their short courses program in Dubai this February. For a complete list of the courses on offer, visit their short courses in Dubai page:

LCF Short Courses in Dubai

 

Stay tuned for my second interview – with Head of LCF and Pro Vice-Chancellor for the University of Arts London, Professor Frances Corner.

 

Happy New Year X

 

BCBG’s Living the Bon Chic Life Celebrates 25 Years of Style in Dubai

Chief Creative Officer for BCBG Max Azria, Lubov Azria standing against a wall that showcases the company’s 25-year advertising campaigns history. This took place during the “Living the Bon Chic Life” exhibition at Cuadro Gallery, Dubai.
Chief Creative Officer for BCBG Max Azria, Lubov Azria standing against a wall that showcases the company’s 25-year advertising campaigns history. This took place during the “Living the Bon Chic Life” exhibition at Cuadro Gallery, Dubai.

 

This post is another project that I did for my web news production class in University. I had the pleasure to meet Lubov Azria, wife of renowned designer Max Azria, and Chief Creative Officer for the BCBG Max Azria group. Lubov and her team are very professional and talented individuals, and I’m glad that I had the privilege of meeting them and speaking to them about the retrospective exhibition.

In the lines below, you can read my final news story which I did for the social media project for that unit.

 

Lubov Azria, the brand’s Chief Creative Officer opens the stylish event with an A-list crowd

 

On her first-ever visit to Dubai, Lubov Azria – Chief Creative Officer of the distinctive fashion retail brand BCBG Max Azria opens the retrospective “Living the Bon Chic Life” exhibition in DIFC’s Cuadro Fine Art Gallery.

The one-day exclusive exhibition was held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 and brought together the city’s most stylish, VIP and art-loving crowd.

From 7 pm and onwards, invited guests made their way to the spacious gallery and walked through a timeline of events, advertising campaigns and cutting-edge design creations that showcase the brand’s 25 year history.

 

Lubov Azria and I after our first interview.
Lubov Azria and I after our first interview.

 

With famous quotes by the brand’s Founder and Designer – Max Azria – decorating the gallery’s spacious walls, there is no doubt that BCBG is a brand with a strong identity and vision.

Founded in 1989, BCBG was named for the French phrase ‘bon chic, bon genre’ – a Parisian expression meaning ‘good style, good attitude.’

Max Azria’s vision is simple; he aims to create a beautiful dress to make women look and feel beautiful.

Creative Director for the brand’s lifestyle products, Clifford Pershes explains BCBG’s philosophy by saying: “It’s a brand that doesn’t follow trends, it embodies style.”

 

Clifford Pershes, Creative Director for BCBG’s lifestyle products poses to take this photo with me, after his informative tour of the retrospective exhibition.
Clifford Pershes, Creative Director for BCBG’s lifestyle products poses to take this photo with me, after his informative tour of the retrospective exhibition.

 

The 25th anniversary retrospective exhibit takes visitors on a journey throughout the key events and achievements that shaped the company’s history.

Beginning with an events timeline that covers the brand’s entire 25- year journey, visitors get to learn more about the brand, its creators and their vision.

An adjacent space emulates a design studio which stages the evolution of a BCBG dress from idea and pattern design to detailed and careful construction.

BCBG’s design philosophy is inspired by the arts and culture. As Clifford explains: “We feel that arts and culture are part of the brand’s DNA.”

Featuring top models and talented photographers, BCBG’s ad campaigns cover the walls of the brand’s campaign history section in both print and digital platforms.

“There’s a timeless, effortless chicness that goes throughout the years.” – says Clifford of the brand’s innovative, yet timeless designs.

 

An extensive collection of BCBG’s advertising campaigns covers the walls of the brand’s campaign history section in both print and digital platforms.
An extensive collection of BCBG’s advertising campaigns covers the walls of the brand’s campaign history section in both print and digital platforms.

 

Upon stepping into the ‘Runway Collection’ installation space, a selection of exclusive, fashion-forward designs can be seen adorning the mannequins.

As Creative Director – Clifford Pershes states: “There are only around 200 pieces made of each piece; so it’s definitely a little more exclusive.”

 

A beautifully curated selection of archive favourites from the BCBG Max Azria Runway label. The collection is exclusive and is launched at the global fashion week runways – where the timeless and elegant label regularly opens the New York fashion week shows.
A beautifully curated selection of archive favourites from the BCBG Max Azria Runway label. The collection is exclusive and is launched at the global fashion week runways – where the timeless and elegant label regularly opens the New York fashion week shows.

 

From fashion week runways, to celebrities’ closets and the renowned red carpet, Max Azria’s Atelier creations are featured in a beautifully colour-curated collection aptly named ‘Max Azria Atelier’.

Launched in 2004, the brand’s most exclusive collection embodies couture eveningwear and special-event dresses for socialites, celebrities and the elite.

The one-of-a-kind dresses worn by A-list stars and royalties including Alicia Keys, Angelina Jolie and Michelle Obama, are limited edition creations.

 

Max Azria’s Atelier collection was curated by colour, and is displayed on a red carpet with a paparazzi wallpaper in the background. Worn by Hollywood’s elite and royalties, this is the designer’s most exclusive collection.
Max Azria’s Atelier collection was curated by colour, and is displayed on a red carpet with a paparazzi wallpaper in the background. Worn by Hollywood’s elite and royalties, this is the designer’s most exclusive collection.

 

When asked about the main concept of BCBG’s retrospective exhibition, the brand’s Chief Creative Officer and Max Azria’s wife, Lubov Azria explains: “The exhibition is really 25 years of my life; it’s called ‘The Bon Chic Living’ and it really showcases the work and my passion.”

Lubov describes the exhibit’s walkthrough design by saying: “It starts off with the history, with when the company started. Then it goes to how we make the clothes. Then it continues to the ad campaigns, to the actual clothes, and then to the one-of-a-kind dresses that we make for celebrities.”

 

BCBG Max Azria’s 25-year mark in fashion history showcased in its retrospective exhibition is a genuine portrayal of its founders’ passion for success and achievement.

As Lubov Azria states: “It’s really without passion, innovation and vision, there is no success.”

 

The window display of Cuadro Fine Art Gallery in Dubai’s DIFC area looks vibrant with contemporary visuals from BCBG’s stylish collections – at the opening of the brand’s retrospective exhibition in Dubai.
The window display of Cuadro Fine Art Gallery in Dubai’s DIFC area looks vibrant with contemporary visuals from BCBG’s stylish collections – at the opening of the brand’s retrospective exhibition in Dubai.

 

For more photos from BCBG’s retrospective exhibition event, click here.

 

Here are some additional photos from the event:

 

The exhibition visitors are welcomed by the brand’s timeline as they enter the gallery. Spanning a total of 25 years, the timeline showcases the company’s pivotal moments that shaped its vision, since its inception in 1989.
The exhibition visitors are welcomed by the brand’s timeline as they enter the gallery. Spanning a total of 25 years, the timeline showcases the company’s pivotal moments that shaped its vision, since its inception in 1989.

 

Kimberly Concepcion (left) and Bettina Micu (right), Fashion Design students at Heriot Watt University Dubai viewing the exhibition for some inspiration.
Kimberly Concepcion (left) and Bettina Micu (right), Fashion Design students at Heriot Watt University Dubai viewing the exhibition for some inspiration.

 

Diana Chipar, Fashion Stylist from the site dcstyling.net wearing a BCBG dress from the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection.
Diana Chipar, Fashion Stylist from the site dcstyling.net wearing a BCBG dress from the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection.

 

Saira Mehar, New Business and PR Director for Dubai’s Fashion Forward event networking at BCBG’s VIP-packed exhibition opening in DIFC’s Cuadro gallery.
Saira Mehar, New Business and PR Director for Dubai’s Fashion Forward event networking at BCBG’s VIP-packed exhibition opening in DIFC’s Cuadro gallery.

 

BCBG’s Dubai Marina Mall shop manager, Andreea Pirvuleasa standing in front of the brand’s ‘Runway’ collection in a unique ‘Runway’ label creation. The new collection dress reflects a highly detailed and carefully embroidered, hand-made finish.
BCBG’s Dubai Marina Mall shop manager, Andreea Pirvuleasa standing in front of the brand’s ‘Runway’ collection in a unique ‘Runway’ label creation. The new collection dress reflects a highly detailed and carefully embroidered, hand-made finish.

 

A great networking event for people from the fashion industry, BCBG Max Azria’s 25-year birthday bash was well received by the stylish and VIP crowd. A memorable evening for catching up with old friends, making new ones and celebrating an iconic and visionary company’s success.
A great networking event for people from the fashion industry, BCBG Max Azria’s 25-year birthday bash was well received by the stylish and VIP crowd. A memorable evening for catching up with old friends, making new ones and celebrating an iconic and visionary company’s success.

 

Sheida Fashionista, blogger and make-up artist covering the remarkable event for her next blog post at sheidafashionista.com.
Sheida Fashionista, blogger and make-up artist covering the remarkable event for her next blog post at sheidafashionista.com.

Event Review: London College of Fashion “Art of Dress” Exhibition in Dubai

LCF Art of Dress Exhibition showcases the work of LCF students
LCF Art of Dress Exhibition showcases the work of LCF students

 

When I received the invite for the private view event for London College of Fashion‘s “Art of Dress” exhibition, I was so excited and knew that this would be the perfect topic for my next video journalism University project.

I had attended LCF back in 2009, as a first step towards changing careers into journalism. The course that I took was a foundation course in fashion media and communication. It was an intensive one year course, equivalent to the UK A-Levels. At that point in time, I wasn’t ready for an intensive study program. Mainly because I had been working in IT support for the past 4 years before starting that course. So it wasn’t easy for me to go back to education and to take an intensive course.

However, I did manage to successfully complete one term of that course. And I still plan to go back to LCF one day to finish that course and maybe take a post graduate course too! I always believe that it’s never too late to achieve your goals and follow your dreams.

The last time I met with the lovely LCF people was two years ago at Okku restaurant and lounge in Dubai. It was an alumni event organized for the college’s alumni in Dubai and short courses’ students and graduates.

You can read about that event here.

As expected, attending the private view event was a great decision made by me, and deciding to cover the event for my project was just as interesting as I thought it would be. I had a wonderful time meeting everyone from the College and conducting the interviews with my lovely and professional talents.

I will leave you now with the video, that was filmed, reported and produced by me. I researched the story, arranged for – and conducted – the interviews, filmed the footage at the event and at the interviews, and edited and produced the short video.

Here’s the link for the short video about LCF’s Art of Dress exhibition private view event, held in Dubai’s AlSerkal Avenue.

 

 

I will be sharing the full interviews with Professor Frances Corner and Linda Roberts on the blog soon. So stay tuned for that.

 

LCF magazine, showcasing the work of students and alumni
LCF magazine, showcasing the work of students and alumni

UD Profile Post: Savannah and her One-off Art Creations

Savannah - A Talented Young Artist
Savannah – A Talented Young Artist

 

Today’s post is all about showcasing a highly talented and incredibly sweet young French lady. Savannah is an abstract Artist and professional Actress. I was delighted to see some of her art work being displayed at The Life & Style Show exhibition that was held in ADNEC, Abu Dhabi earlier this month. I’ll be writing a post on the show soon…but in today’s post, I introduce to you this lovely young Artist through a short interview that I had done with her over a nice lunch at Sushi Art in DIFC.

Savannah paints on different types of material, but her most recent creations are her one of a kind artistic greeting cards. At the Life and Style Show, Savannah got to introduce her cards to the people of Abu Dhabi. She is based in Dubai though and can be contacted by e-mail and mobile (details below).

Interview with Savannah – the French Artist:

Full Name:       Savannah Frammery Passagne du Quercy
 
Savannah, as the youngest female CEO in the UAE, how old are you?     18
 
Apart from acting and painting, what are your hobbies?   I like to read poetry, plays, classics, and fiction. I also like photography, running, and eating sushi 🙂
 
 
Me and Savannah conversing over sushi :)
Me and Savannah conversing over sushi 🙂

 

How long have you been making your cards?   About a year and a half.

What type of art is it?  Abstract, modern art.
 
What materials do you use in your card creations?   My choice for the materials is usually spontaneous. Sometimes I would use a paint brush with loads of water dripping. Other works might involve the use of different materials such as a toothbrush, my hands, sponge, and other various materials.
 
The cards are vertically painted on a canvas at first, then the details are added horizontally.
 
 
Savannah's Artistic Creations
Savannah’s Artistic Creations

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?    People, stories, personal experiences, thoughts, my life. My paintings are not just random. All cards have meaning, soul, depth, and they represent a part of my life.
 
In a few words, how would you describe your artistic style?   It’s just me. Sometimes it can be described as feminine or colorful. And at other times it can be labelled as dark. My sense of style can be described as impulsive…it’s a blend of different styles. Since it all comes from the heart, my pieces are not planned.
 
How long does it take you to create one card?   From 10 minutes to one hour.
 
 
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Do you customize the cards for individuals?    The cards can be personalized for various occasions such as weddings, and anniversaries.
 
What is your aim behind creating and selling them?   I love giving people the pleasure of receiving a unique and original card that is affordable.  People need to see the card as a piece of art, rather than just a greeting card.
 
Who is your target market?   People who appreciate art and see the value in it. Art lovers basically…people who understand that with a card you can buy a gift.  As opposed to just attaching a card to your gift, the card becomes a gift in itself.
 
 
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How much do the cards cost?   For 20 pounds – 100 AED, they can own a unique card that no one else will have. Since each card is an original creation of art.  The prices for the cards range from 50 AED and above.
 
How can people contact you to purchase or order cards?
People can reach me by e-mail. A web site will be available shortly.
 
E-mail:   [email protected]
 
 

Savannah is a truly inspirational and creative soul with great talent and such a warm heart.  At her young age, I’m sure that she has a bright and successful future ahead of her. I wish her all the best in her creative career and education and I look forward to seeing more of her amazingly talented creations.

Leaving you with some images from the show and of Savannah, with more to come in future posts. But for now, don’t hesitate to drop this talented young lady an e-mail to inquire more about her art work and card creations.

 

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Savannah's Stand at The Life & Style Show
Savannah’s Stand at The Life & Style Show

 

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Savannah - A Beautiful and Talented Soul
Savannah – A Beautiful and Talented Soul

 

Savannah - Youngest CEO in UAE
Savannah – Youngest CEO in UAE

 

 

Savannah - a true inspiration
Savannah – a true inspiration
 

Event Review: The UAE International Coffee & Tea Festival

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“Did you know that the UAE is the only country that has a coffee pot on its currency?”

I never really paid any attention to this fact until Sofia Khan, Marketing Manager at the International Conferences & Exhibitions organization told me about it as I sampled a freshly brewed cappuccino at the espresso and brew bar.

The espresso bar was one of many stands at the fifth edition of the Dubai Coffee & Tea Festival. An event that brings together coffee and tea exhibitors, talented baristas and caffeine addicts like me 🙂

The cappuccino made from Nicaraguan coffee beans was not my first coffee cup for the day. In fact,  from the time that I had arrived at the caffeine-infused trade show and while waiting to meet with the organizers to get quotes for my journalism feature story, I had been sampling various types of coffee from the different exhibitors. So by the time I had met with the organizers, I was already in an extremely hyper and high-energy mode! The caffeine high left me with no choice but to attack the organizers with my endless questions on everything from the event aim and vision, to the coffee industry in the UAE, the types of coffee and tea and the coffee roasting and brewing process!

 

I even sat in a corner of the hall near the organizers’ section and I had what one of the organizers called “my own office”!

I greatly enjoyed my conversation with the event director, Ryan Godinho. Ryan had so many interesting facts to share with me about coffee and about the event.

For example, did you know that there are more than 50,000 types of coffee? and more than 200,000 tea varieties?

Ryan, who started his career as an apprentice barista in Australia, also spoke to me about the progressive coffee industry there, the developed cafe culture and the highly-respected and well-paid barista profession.

The event wasn’t only about exhibitors promoting their coffee products or coffee machines though. The event hosted SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) certified training workshops. These programs covered coffee grading and evaluation techniques, coffee preparation and craft roasting skills.

Another main feature of the show was the National Barista Championship. In which local baristas compete in front of an International panel of judges who came from various destinations. The winner of the UAE Championship gets the opportunity to represent the country at the 2014 World Barista Championship taking place in Rimini, Italy.

I was also delighted to speak to Anselm Godinho, Managing Director at the International Conferences & Exhibitions organization. Anselm explained to me about the event and the coffee industry from a rich business perspective. He gave me insight on a lot of topics including the original route of coffee history. He said: “Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia, then moved to Yemen, Turkey, Austria and finally London.”

Anselm helped answer my query about the lack of organic coffee exhibitors by explaining to me that there is no certifying body for organic coffee. In addition, organic coffee looses a lot of its positive effects through the heating process. That’s why it’s not very common to brew organic coffee.

After noting down a total of 23 pages of quotes and information at the show, I think I can confidently say that I was undoubtedly alert with extremely high energy levels from all the coffee that I sampled at the event!

With a gold-trimmed box containing an exotic selection of Swiss luxury organic tea blends and highly informative and interesting conversations with friendly event organizers, who wouldn’t want to return to the UAE International Coffee & Tea Festival next year?!

I know I definitely will…if not for another blog post or feature story, at least to gratify my uncontrollable coffee addiction 🙂

 

Event Director; Ryan Godinho
Event Director; Ryan Godinho

 

UAE Barista Competitor
UAE Barista Competitor

 

Delicious Iced Coffee!
Delicious Iced Coffee!

 

Boon Coffee: Ethiopian Beans Roasted in the UAE
Boon Coffee: Ethiopian Beans Roasted in the UAE

 

My Complimentary Luxury Organic Tea Blends :)
My Complimentary Luxury Organic Tea Blends 🙂

 

 

 

 

Destination Unknown

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The Arabian Travel Market is a travel focused exhibition that is held annually at the Dubai World Trade Centre exhibition hall. This year, the organizers focused the content from the show into five main areas:

  1. Industry updates, trends and social media.
  2. Air travel.
  3. Accommodation and hospitality.
  4. Inbound and outbound travel.
  5. Travel agents and technology.

I found the layout of the stands at the travel show very creative and innovative. Most stands that took up a relatively big space had two story built stands with counters and seating areas where clients can sit and have something to eat or drink while discussing their business or personal inquiries. This made for a more relaxed and casual trade experience, and an unconventional way of networking with the exhibitors.

Honestly speaking, it was my first time to attend the Arabian Travel Market. I think. At least it was my first time since I moved to Dubai a little over three years ago. But walking in the busy exhibition hall – and getting annoyed at people pushing and brushing at me – took me down memory lane to the mid-90’s when I used to visit Dubai with my family. My mom being a highly active business woman in those days used to drag me and my sisters along to every single exhibition that was of interest to her and her beauty salon business. Of course, I didn’t always enjoy attending those shows since I had no personal or business interest back then. I was only a high school student at the time! Now though, I’m a lifestyle blogger who is covering main and interesting events in the city. So attending an exhibition wasn’t such a bad idea.

Back to our topic, the stands at the show represent different countries across all the continents. So you won’t be disappointed no matter what country you have on your hot list of places to see before you die 🙂  There were even some talks held at the Google stands on various technology related topics.

On my list (which is the same list that I’ve had since I was living with my parents and dreaming about traveling alone or with friends) were these three countries:

  1. Turkey
  2. Cyprus
  3. Greece

They are not far away places from the Middle East region. But, I haven’t been to any of them yet. My main concern when approaching the exhibitors at the stands was the visa requirements. I’m a Saudi passport holder and therefore I require a visit visa for most countries. I was told that I would need a European visa for both Greece and Cyprus. But luckily, I know that an advance visa is not required for me to enter Turkey 🙂

Since I have great friends in Turkey, I didn’t bother going to their stand at the show. I did however have a nice chat with the lady at the Cyprus stand who later gifted me a lovely key chain and beaded souvenir (we call it mesbah in Arabic). Please correct me if I’m wrong.

As a last thought, I can confidently say that anywhere you go in this world depends in a great part on the company that you have with you and the times and moments shared with other loving people and friends.  So as I walked down the exhibition hall alone today surrounded by a crowd of strangers, I couldn’t help but remember my Hong Kong trip and the loneliness some of its days brought to me. That’s why, the next time I plan on traveling, I will make sure to share that trip or at least most of it with a friend. I think the majority of you would agree that traveling alone for leisure can be an interesting experience, while a lonely one at the same time.

Where do I plan to travel to next? I think the answer is simple: to where the opportunity takes me. But essentially somewhere with a relaxed pace of life, a white sandy beach, where good friends reside (or live close by), and preferably where a prearranged visit visa is not required 🙂

The Arabian Travel Market is open until the 9th of May this year. Happy travel shopping and happy holidays!

 

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