Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

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Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

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Saudi Arabia

Map, flag and data from Wikipedia.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2015 v9p0115

Saudi Arabia is the second largest Muslim country (Algeria is the largest). Its population of 27 million does very well if a citizen is one of the 7,000 princes who can do whatever they like, and less well if the citizen is a man, men can travel freely and divorce without reason but cannot say a syllable against the absolute monarch or sharia law; and horrible for women who are treated all their lives like children or useful beasts of burden.

The very look of a woman is offensive; in public they must be covered completely. So poisonous is a woman that if she is raped she must be executed, even if she is only 6 years old. Because the law insists it was her fault. Always.

Saudi Arabia gets away with massive human rights abuses because it is swimming in oil, and ridiculously wealthy, and a major buyer of weapons, which the United States falls over itself selling to totalitarian regimes.

The success of religionists in planting the idea that cold-blooded murder of little girls and bloggers is holy has been widely noted. Religionists in neighboring countries have convinced young unemployed men lacking skills that shooting cartoonists and Jews and Syrians and Nigerians is good. And Saudi Arabia responds by building walls around its country, to keep out the fighters they so happily groomed.
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News sources from Saudi Arabia all spew out stories about men and the greatness of the cruel despots who think nothing of lopping off body parts including heads. This news feed is about fashion, and I like it.

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Magnum’s Islamabad gala celebrates fashion, chocolate
Sanah Bano Malik
Mon, 2017-10-16 10:13

ISLAMABAD: Magnum’s fifth year on the fashion calendar was a lesson in events dripping in sophistication while upping the bar on combining different worlds with fashion.
Fashion and food have come together more and more over the years with the food revolution, particularly in Pakistan, leading international chefs to take up residency in the country and its own culinary background lending to delicious gastronomic creations.
Understanding the marriage of the arts, ice cream and chocolate, Magnum celebrated this union in a lavish night, aptly titled the Magnum Chocolate Party. The who is who of the fashion and entertainment world, including musicians, artists, models, designers and merely the fashion inclined with the style chops to prove it, gathered for a night of decadent creativity and, of course, yummy gratification.
The approach to chocolate and its place alongside fashion in the world of creativity and art is what has made this event a must attend on the fashion calendar year after year. Beyond the fashions that are shown on the ramp in the especially curated fashion showcase, the entire event, though heavily planned to a tee, embraces the aspects of fashion that sometimes get left out of the narrative: fantasy, transformation and whimsy. The event takes seriously both chocolate and fashion but found a way to make the combined taste one that was pleasing to feast on both literally and aesthetically.
This year’s ‘A Chocolate Affair,’ held last week, brought a guest list that could not have been sweeter with award winning chocolatier Paul Joachim, and with him an extremely literal combination of chocolate and fashion. In collaboration with highly celebrated Pakistani fashion designer Ali Xeeshan, they created a life sized sculpture of a dress made completely (from based to embellishment) out of chocolate. Paul whose nickname leaves no room for argument on his aptitude with chocolate (he’s called the Chocolate Genius) created a diverse chocolate installation that was displayed throughout the event. Including chocolate faberge eggs, trays of crowns, dramatic masks and table top sculptures.
The runway show itself was a list of some of the most innovative design houses to come out of Pakistan to date, and was orchestrated and directed by one of them, The House of Kamiar Rokni, headed by Kamiar Rokni and Rehan Bashir, and was hosted by the charismatic and stunning Zara Peerzada. The duo produced one of the most magical moments of the evening with their one of a kind dress worn by Pakistani rockstar and muse Meesha Shafi, serving as a backdrop for fashion imagery through projections lighting her up center stage. Meesha, who herself is a combination of arts with a career that encompasses singing and acting, sang (beautifully) Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good.’
The collective of designers who drew inspiration from the product of the night, chocolate, approached their collections with the artistic eye that Magnum aims to celebrate. Powerhouse Élan, sleek menswear Munib Nawaz and contemporary master Hussain Rehar’s creations hit the ramp with capsule collections created exclusively for the event. Élan’s gowns were delicious confections made of sparkles and tulle flowing effortlessly with their signature expert cuts. Munib Nawaz produced a collection inspired by chocolates varying hues from dark and rich tones to flecks of gold. Hussain Rehar seemed to bring a box of your favorite cocoa nibbles to life with textural and 3D pieces that like Munib were made in dark, milk and golden chocolates.
The night of fashion, and have we mentioned chocolate, solidified its place as a respected and celebrated platform for the industry’s creatives to bring to life not only their imaginations but inspire a touch of playful thinking in all those attending.

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Mon, 16 Oct 2017 04:30:57 +0000

Beauty queen hopefuls dazzle Dubai in Miss Europe Continental competition
Saffiya Ansari
Thu, 2017-10-12 16:44

DUBAI: The glittering city of Dubai was treated to a show of beauty and fashion Wednesday as a segment of the Miss Europe Continental competition was hosted at the glamorous Palazzo Versace hotel.

During the competition in Dubai, 19 contestants from across Europe — from the UK, Russia, Germany and more — were whittled down to three finalists who will go on to compete in Spoleto, Italy, against 30 others from all over Europe. The glittering finale will be held on Nov. 25.

The Dubai competition, which began with a stunning dance performance by light-adorned dancers, was made up four segments in which the women walked the stage in various outfits.

Judges included high-end Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran, beauty entrepreneur Joelle Mardinian and last year’s lucky winner, Russian contestant Anna Semenkova.

The 26-year-old flew into Dubai fresh off a whirlwind modeling tour of Europe, which she began soon after her win and when asked what advice she would give to the next winner, she said they should have a sense of purpose to “show people that you can be beautiful and strong, smart and intelligent.”

The beauty stars took to the stage in a variety of black evening gowns, complete with glittering jewels, perfectly curled hair and Hollywood-style make up.

The contestants then graced the catwalk in typically Emirati outfits — jalabeyas in a rainbow of colors. Dripping in gold, the women glittered under the spotlight as their red, green and cream flowing dresses wowed the crowd.

After taking to the stage in a plethora of colorful evening gowns, eight semifinalists went through a question and answer round. Then the final three contestants were chosen to head to Italy.

In November, the pageant hopefuls will compete for the chance to earn the Miss Europe Continental crown, which this year is a tiara ringed with gem-encrusted hearts, in a finale that will be broadcast around the world on Fashion TV.

Speaking at a press conference in September via Skype, Alberto Cerqua, owner and creator of the pageant, explained why he had chosen Dubai as the first non- European city to host the event.

“Our main goal is to create a strong bond between Italian fashion and UAE fashion,” he said via a translator.

“We love women who love fashion, who specifically love ‘Made in Italy’ fashion… Our goal is to scout beauties who can bridge the cultural gap and to scout people who love fashion.”

The organizers say the pageant is a platform to allow European women to display their artistic skills, intelligence, confidence, cultural pride and leadership skills in order to further advance themselves in the European fashion, movie and beauty industries.

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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 11:32:45 +0000

Italian fashion house Gucci to stop using fur
Thu, 2017-10-12 12:02

PARIS: Italy’s Gucci will stop using fur in its designs from next year, joining a growing number of fashion houses looking at alternatives amid pressure from animal rights activists and changing consumer tastes.
Gucci, part of Paris-based luxury conglomerate Kering , has seen its sales rise over the past two years under creative director Alessandro Michele.
Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s chief executive, said the brand would drop fur starting from its spring and summer 2018 collection, adding that the decision had been taken alongside Michele.
“In selecting a new creative director I wanted to find someone who shared a belief in the importance of the same values,” Bizzarri said.
Gucci, which has produced fur-lined loafers and luxurious mink fur coats in the past, is the latest label or major retailer to stop using fur.
In June, Yoox Net-A-Porter, a multi-brand online luxury retailer, adopted a fur-free policy on accessories and clothing sold on the site.
Anti-fur protesters have been known to demonstrate outside catwalk shows at fashion weeks around the world to call for an end to practices many see as cruel to animals, and luxury goods buyers have become more sensitive to environmental issues, too.
Many top end labels are tightening their policies on how leather is sourced from tanneries and how they obtain furs, after a series of scandals over how animals are treated in breeding farms.
Animal rights campaigners welcomed the move from Gucci, saying it could have a knock-on effect.
“Gucci’s decision will radically change the future of fashion,” Simone Pavesi, manager of animal-free fashion at Italian campaign group LAV. “As fashion becomes more and more ethical, supply chains that revolve around animals will be a thing of the past.”

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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:39:14 +0000

Metro is just the ticket for Paris fashion show
Sat, 2017-09-30 18:58

PARIS: Paris Fashion Week went underground in more ways than one when a rising young avant-garde designer held her show on the city’s Metro.
Berlin-based Andra Dumitrascu had to think quickly when the venue for her show late Friday fell through at the last minute.
So she directed fashionistas to the nearest Metro station, Rambuteau, where her models used the platform as a runway.
“I didn’t like the idea of doing it in the street, I thought a Metro station might be a better place,” the Romanian-born designer told AFP.
“I love the adrenaline and the instability of the situation,” she added.
But the organizers had their work cut out to clear a passage, with the models sometimes being swallowed up by passengers getting on and off the trains.
While Dumitrascu did not have official permission for the show, she said “it was worth taking the risk” — and fashion critics and passengers alike seemed to enjoy the spectacle.
This is not the first time the designer has gone off-piste — her last show took place in a sex hotel.
This collection, called “Kebaby,” had a youthful rave vibe with clothes mixing sportswear with Islamic influences.
Earlier in the day the Japanese brand Issey Miyake used dancers to kick off a remarkable collection drawn from the landscape of Iceland, with dresses and capes summoning up ice floes and ice cubes that you could see Bjork drooling over.
Tokyo master Yohji Yamamoto’s spring-summer collection on Friday night was almost entirely in black with flashes of vampire red in the lining of his trailing capes and scarves, with one model wearing one of his labels on her skin.
Another Japanese institution, Junya Watanabe, wowed critics in the first of the Saturday shows with his bravura punky hook-up with the Finnish textile house Marimekko.
“Now that’s a collaboration,” The New York Times’s Vanessa Friedman tweeted of his startling sculptural black and white creations.
Haider Ackermann, who also designs for Berluti, brought that razor-edged tailoring into play for his own brand, with shimmering red and gold lame tuxedos and tightly wrapped strap tops in collection that oozed power.

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Mon, 02 Oct 2017 08:43:06 +0000

Fashion world shaken by #NoFreePhotos row
Sat, 2017-09-30 06:24

PARIS: Photographers have risen up in revolt at the way fashion labels and influencers are using their street style images without crediting them, highlighting discontent about the “work for free” culture in the multi-billion dollar industry.
More than 40 photographers who follow the fashion circuit and snap its top celebrities and bloggers as they arrive for shows in New York, Paris and Milan have formed an unofficial union, and have threatened to shame brands and influencers who use their images without permission.
Influencers and bloggers are often paid by labels to wear their clothes and promote their lines in social media posts, mostly on Instagram.
And the photographers claim that some influencers with hundreds of thousands of social media followers are making money from their photos while they get nothing in return.
The row raises questions about how the fashion industry works in the digital age, with many people prepared to work for little or nothing to get a foothold in such an outwardly glamorous world.
Most models, particularly young ones climbing the catwalk ladder, are paid “peanuts”, with one 17-year-old model at Paris Fashion Week telling AFP: “It is pocket money for doing something that I love.”
The protesting photographers have begun adding the hashtag #NoFreePhotos to images uploaded to their Instagram accounts, which have more than three million followers.
And they have threatened to refuse to tag rogue influencers and instead call them out with the #NoFreePhotos hashtag.
One of the group’s leaders, Nabile Quenum, told AFP that the protest was “not about shaming anyone. We are in this together. We are just asking for respect.
“Girls get famous because of the photographers. We take pictures of the people we judge cool. When we shoot someone it says they are cool and people look for inspiration from cool people.
“Brands can see (from what we do) who is hot, who is marketable... and who they can pay to lead them to the consumer. Somehow (the influencers) have forgotten that we make them.”
Quenum, who has been on the circuit for eight years, said most brands and influencers respected “copyright-protected photos”.
But a “growing minority” did not, using their images for commercial gain without paying.
A Japanese photographer called Koji outside the Issey Miyake Paris Fashion Week show on Friday said he had stopped uploading his images to Instagram because of rampant piracy.
“Why should I so people can steal my work and not even credit me. I have had enough,” he added.
But the claims that influencers were making a “disproportionate gain” from cheerleading for brands drew a sharp response on Instagram from some bloggers.
“The notion that many influencers are being ‘disproportionately’ paid to wear clothes is quite laughable,” said top blogger Bryan Grey Yambao, aka Bryanboy, who has more than 640,000 Instagram followers.
“Do these photographers know how absolutely cheap many of the brands are? A lot of the girls I know are not being paid to wear clothes. Many spend money to go back and forth for ‘fittings’... and are often dressed by brands to be on their ‘good graces’. All for free!
“Influencers are happy to do all that to develop a (usually disposable) relationship with brands who are more than happy to move on to the next girl with even more followers,” the Filipino style guru insisted.
Yambao said he understood that photographers had to be paid. “But then again, when was the last time an influencer demanded a model release form from photographers who sell their images to magazines, retailer websites or the brands directly?
“Imagine if every influencer or editor or fashion person started complaining that their images are being taken and sold without authorization?” he added.
But American photographer Jennifer Graylock said the relationship was “lopsided in favor of the influencer or celebrity. If a photo runs of you wearing designer X you get exposure. Which leads to more followers which leads to more interest in your favor.
“However (if the photographer has been credited) they only get the 10 cents and never benefit further.”

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Sat, 30 Sep 2017 04:12:18 +0000