Monday, September 27, 2010

Tale of Two Galleries

Art Gallery Visits are a great way to open yourself up to a new world. In the DIFC Gate Village, its known for its fine art culture which is a mix of shops, businesses and art galleries. I was invited by Elie Domit owner of The Empty Quarter to view “Fashion the Story of A lifetime” and happen to pop into Quadro Gallery by coincidence. The Empty Quarter event was about photography of fashion and an explanation of Parveen Shaath's fashion in the inner circle of Saudi Society from 1950s up until the late 1990s. With such a blend of fashion, history, and beauty, this particular gallery visit opened my eyes to a world filled with exciting beauty. I was startled to see how in the yesteryear fashion was photographed With such a limited resources but delivered enchanting master pieces.

At the Quadro Gallery, Marc Sijan's work can be viewed and appreciated for all art lovers. Finding this gallery and the amazing work hidden inside was found by chance as a security guards vision towards a certain direction has my eye following his line of sight and that is where I noticed a particular stunning sculpture by Mark Sijan. Once inside, I was amazed at the beauty Marc Sijan can accomplish with his artistic hands and vision. Having Michelangelo’s David for inspiration, he gravitated towards his works of art being a tribute to the realism of people and the honest emotions. To view his work is a treat anyone can appreciate.

You will find some of the pictures here

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mystery Mystic

MysteryMystic is a very appealing combination if applied imaginatively! This is what I was set to accomplish in styling this photoshoot mixing the Arabic Abaya wear with the Japanese restaurant setting. The beautiful Arabic traditional clothes were so beautiful. The colors blended in with the colors in the Japanese restaurant . The fashion integrity that they bring to the industry of fashion is wonderful. I’m glad I did something refreshing and true to its notion MysteryMystic.

Photographed by Hussain Jian. ©2010 Al Bayan Publications. All rights reserved

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tropical Rainforest Dubai!

If you have a tight budget, (well that means thumbs down travel) and determined to shoot an Amazonian rainforest theme, what do you do?
Well I kept asking myself many times driving around Dubai city for days figuring out how I will execute this task!
Dubai has neither that type of climate nor the rainforest we needed. Until I found the perfect location;
Believe it or not it turned out to be the ground floor lobby of Grand Hyatt hotel in Dubai.
After several trial runs, with the help of the amazing team and the maverick Hussain Jian we were able to keep the glamour of the evening wear and crystal body make up in what appeared to be an exotic place. The photo release in 2005 was so original kept the audience guessing what a treat she had. It turned out to be the most demanding of them all but I wouldn't become out of the box thinker, had I.
Photographed by Hussain Jian.
©2010 Al Bayan Publications. All rights reserved.

ITALSUISSE 2010: A Holiday to Remember

If I told you that I spent a great deal of time in a car during my Italy and Switzerland holidays, you might be inclined to feel sorry for me. Please don't, because although I did spend  a lot of time peering through the glass of a windshield, I was gazing at the breathtaking Alps in Switzerland as I traveled between Lugano, Switzerland and various Italian cities.
I chose Switzerland, and more superficially the Villa Principe Leopoldo Lugano, because I was looking for a cool mountain location to serve as my home base, it did not disappoint.  The hotel sits on a mountain overlooking a lake affording gorgeous views that not only provided me inspiration as I prepared for my morning commute to Italy, but also relaxation and rejuvenation after a long day.
Being in Lugano is amazing thanks to the easy access that I was able to get to Zermatt, St. Moritz and Interlaken. St. Moritz was as beautiful as people had led me to believe. Being that close to the Alps left me breathless. Same goes with Zermatt, which made me constantly feel like I was in a painting. It was mind blowing to be walking around the main streets of the town, shopping in amazing shops, eating amazing food and being able to look up and see the Matterhorn no matter where I was standing. Interlaken was green, wet and was full of mist.  It was like being in a countryside that you had only read about in a novel. Well you can say I read it twice since it’s my second visit.  Plus, I got to try beef fondue, which was as amazing as it sounds. A visit not to miss in Interlaken is Mount Jungfrau, travelling by Jungfraubahn cog railway up to 3,454 m (11,332 ft), the highest in Europe.  Once out you gaze at the clouds below! Simply heaven on earth.
During my Italy and Switzerland holidays, I had extended stays in; Milan, I stayed at the Bulgari hotel which was totally worth it. Where I enjoyed the shopping and the dining, Florence, where I took in art and architecture, I stayed at the Savoy, which was a very nice hotel in a strategic, central location.
Sardinia, loved every moment spent, where I delighted in the emerald waters of the Mediterranean Sea (big props to Cala de Volpe most, a great hotel); and the beautiful mountain town of Corymayeur. I explored the harbor town of Portofino and visited a castle that was 700 years old in Sirmioni.  In Como, I took to the lake and saw George Clooney's extraordinary villa. I also saw a fascinating villa that was built for a Russian prince in 1870, access to the villa requires a long ride down the hillside in an elevator that clings to rocks next to the villa. I visited Venice and rode the gondolas that I first experienced as a child, I truly hope this unique city never sinks as that would be an undeniable loss to Italy and the world.
Overall, my Swiss-Italian holiday was one that provided much nourishment to my mind, body and soul and I cannot wait to return.  I experienced so many unforgettable and inspiring cities and natural settings that I left Switzerland and Italy feeling refreshed, but also a little bit melancholy as I knew I would miss it all.
Posted some images of the trip at

Saturday, September 11, 2010

(IF-BSS) Crystallized Intelligence

Ilham's Fashion & Beauty Shoot Series (IF-BSS)

(IF-BSS) Crystallized Intelligence

© 2010 Al Bayan Publications. All rights reserved.

In 2004 &2005, the idea of using crystals on eyelid, cheeks and lips wasn't the most popular choice for many fashion directors & designers. However, I opted to give it a try and it made such a difference. The models came to life with various features being played up because of the use of this type of accessory. I challenged myself to apply it to different cultures trying it out on Indian traditional wear as well as western gowns. It was something that caught the eye of other designers as well as photographers. For me, it was the beginning of a new era. The focus being on drawing out a new theme and creating a unique look.

Photographed by Hussain Jian. © 2010 Al Bayan Publications. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ilham's Fashion & Beauty Shoot Series

Where else you can throw an idea and get the job done in a day or two. Yes it sounds simple yet it’s not. Each fashion and beauty shoot takes hours of conceptualizing, styling, short listing models, and last but not least supervising the photography. I’m not finished yet! It was weekly. You can imagine how I managed my agenda then as a Fashion & Beauty Director but that’s not new to my diary! Advantage, you rarely have a boring moment in your life.

Introducing Ilham's Fashion & Beauty Shoot Series (IF-BSS); Enjoy!

(IF-BSS) luscious Fruit

I styled Marcella into a splash of luscious fruit, freshly picked next to contemporary polished steel grip.

Photographed by Hussain Jian, Model: Marcella, Make up: Sarah Baldry.

© 2010 Al Bayan Publications. All rights reserved.

© 2010 Al Bayan Publications. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Latest Trend is Not Hot!!!

Yes we are talking about Ice sugar, creamy, and cold "Branded Cakes."
Do you have a Diva Sister that loves fashion and will "just die" if she did not get the latest pair of Jimmy Choo heels? Or, are you into the latest fashions of Birkin, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and others? Fashion cakes or branded cakes are the hottest thing these days some cost as same if not more than the brand it displays. Many women are using cakes to display their personality and using them as a showpiece. Cake designers are listening to their clients and creating masterpieces! Check out below Elham Rabi cake creations.