Mimi Raad lives in one of the most talked about cities in the Arab world: Dubai. She's a Lebanese image consultant. Her clients vary from TV hosts channels to celebrities in the Arab world to any regular man and woman looking for restyling. Mimi will share with you an insight on fashion and trends in this part of the world.
It's Autumn. Temperatures are dropping and the sky is changing color. "What to wear" becomes more critical under uncertain skies.
During my travels, I noticed that cities, depending on the varying weather conditions -- have different color skies. A grey sweater turns ashen;and bright colors may sour under others.
Growing up in Lebanon, with four distinct seasons, mother always made sure to store every season's clothes separately. In Beirut getting dressed elegantly is a must. Even for a trip to the supermarket, men and women will make a sartorial effort. No track pants and flip flops worn nonchalantly. Beirut is known for that!
I moved to Dubai and realized that this vibrant city bathes in the sun almost year round. Hmmm, my seasonal fashion routine got a serious breach. Am I going to have to wear my summer clothes and shoes year-round? God forbid! So I decided to create my own seasons' rhythm, and as an image consultant, I imposed that gracefully on people around me. I kept the ritual of storing past seasons' outfits twice a year regardless whether the temperatures dropped or not.
Autumn imposes a certain style and mood naturally inspired by the weather change and the latest fashions strutting down the runways. For this autumn, tick the following items on your list: A scarf, closed shoes (loafers and brogues), a sweater (it's a must-have this season), a cardigan, a jacket (this autumn's trends: varsity, blazer, bomber, biker) and the must-have item: Jeans! (Bare in mind its color(opt for off-white or grey) and cut (cropped fitted straight) can make or break your look).
When I travel to certain cities I make sure to get the right colors that suit the city's particular mood.It's important not to look completely out of context -- like a tourist lost in sartorial translation. In Paris, I make sure to pack a colorful coat and lots of scarves; in London, I carry my furs and in New York my leathers and cashmeres. For new undiscovered destinations I always carry either white or black outfits. You cannot go wrong with these two colors. Anyway, the monochrome trend is one of the best trends, and I sincerely believe I'll carry it for some time. Black and white absorb and reflect light like no other color. My advice for you: Make sure to pick the right shade of white (take your skin, hair, teeth and eye colors into consideration).
So what to wear in a city, like Dubai, where the temperature variation is mild? Where the city colors aren't vivid or bold, reflecting the desert around us? I like to ask myself questions that may sound superficial and trivial. Why not? Layering is the answer. It gives a more personal approach to getting dressed and for me this is what style is all about.
Be it summer, winter, autumn or spring, under blue skies or grey, I see women and men looking alike. Few have a distinctive touch. If we just give ourselves a chance to think about who we really are, what image we want to project to others, what the strengths and weaknesses of our silhouette are, what we want to show and what we want to hide, how to choose the right color that suits our skin, hair and eyes, the street scene would be a different one. It'll be a regular fashionrunway!
Having a trademark that belongs only to you under any sky, temperature and in any city is priceless. What woman isn't pleased when people turn their heads as she passes by?
As for me, my leopard print booties are awaiting. It's 38 degrees Celsius outside and I just got back from the pool, but I'll sure find a way to wear them as per the fine layering process to stay true to the autumn concept and my own private style!