Tag Archives: Bahrain

Scarlet Segreto

IMG_8024Hey All, If you haven’t already don’t forget to check out my new blog site sojustnice.com I have been posting style looks from my recent time in Dubai. Check it out here and don’t forget to sign up and follow me on bloglovin.

Have an AWESOME weekend. xx

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Yado’z Favourites

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Yado’z means grandma in Emariti Arabic and yesterday I introduced you to Mohammed Harib the creative genius behind the UAE’s favourite grandma’s from the TV show Freej. As I explained yesterday, Mohammed see’s Freej as a brand and Yado’z are the products that were once our Grandma’s favourites but, reproduced for the modern day. I loved the products especially for the fact that they were made in the UAE, yet I could see how they would work in Holland for example. Yado’z produces different Emariti inspired items that also support and give back to the community.

The cushions are perfect for indoor and outdoor use and I love that they have the Arabic calligraphy on them in neon colours. Imagine your white or black garden furniture with a gorgeous Middle Eastern cushion …. coming to a garden or balcony near you soon!

The Smart trays with the intricate details are just gorgeous for home and have been carefully designed for the Bookiyas so you no longer have to worry about spilling your coffee pot all over your poor guests because this tray holds everything in place, and if your like me I would use the Bookiyas for sugar and spices!

The T-shirts were designed for charity to help people who need wheelchairs. All the t-shirts have been designed with the UAE culture in mind but given a modern twist …. I love the super man t-shirt with the Burqa hidden in the logo.

But, now my absolute favourite thing about the Yadoz products is that they all go so well together, the t-shirts can be packaged in the Bookiya. The bookiya can be held in place in the simple coffee trays and can be used for so many other organisational needs. The cushions can be stored in the ottoman boxes that can also be used for indoor and outdoor use. Yado’z produces different Emariti inspired items that also support and give back to the community. If your looking for the perfect gifts for people from the UAE that are different from the usual tourist gifts then look no further than Yado’z.

To find out more about Yado’z follow them on facebook and twitter.

What would you choose to put in your bookiya?

Ciao for Now xx

Meet Mohammed

Mohammed photo (1)Meet Mohammed Hareeb, the creative genius behind the successful TV series Freej. Since I started the blog this year I have met some very inspiring people and the exciting thing for my readers outside of the UAE, these inspiring people have been Emraiti’s. Coming from Dubai I believe our generation has seen the city go from a sleepy port city to a bustling cosmopolitan city that has inspired everyone to achieve their dreams.

When I met Mohammed, I of course had many questions about my favourite show Freej. This show has been so much a part of my life that I have friends we have nick-named after the characters and since the English subtitles I have introduced the show to many of my expat friends. The characters were born from a college in project in Boston where Mohammed was studying animation after swapping from Architecture. Mohammed was asked to create a super-hero that represented the culture of his country. Well, of course his initial thought was a macho character that is typical of Gulf history but, in the end he drew his grandmother and many years later that character would be the inspiration for a show on four grandmothers trying to deal with the modernisation of Dubai.

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When Mohammed was asked to create his super hero he realised there had been much documented about our grandfather’s and their trips for Pearl Diving but, not much was written about out grandmothers. Therefore he drew his grandmother, he named his sketch Umm Saeed which is a sign of pride to be called after their son in this region. Of course, as he developed the character and in turn Freej he did not have a particular audience in my mind. The show was made for  18- 35 and would be cultural, comedy and for female audience because they watch more than 10 hours of TV per week and were more inclined to buy merchandise. “Thankfully though, it captured a wider market, Children saw it because it was cartoon, teenagers saw it because it was animation and cool, senior citizens liked it because it was cultural”.

The interesting part of my conversation with Mohammed was that he found it funny that people really took Freej into their lives and made it like a huge achievement for the UAE. Freej was something new and different for Arabic TV shows and Dubai was riding a successful wave and Mohammed was part of that. He said “I believe the show would not have been the success it is if we had try to launch it a few years later, because at the time I started Freej companies were looking to sponsor something different and creative but, now they are much more careful with sponsorship”.

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Walking into the Lammtara office and studios,  its like a creation wonderland, bright colours are everywhere and it reminded me of visiting a pier arcade …… bringing out the child in everyone. Concealing my excitement of being in the home of Freej I had to say “This seems like a dreadful place to work”.

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As I have mentioned before, Dubai is now nurturing and trying to encourage the creative industries. We spoke about this and Mohammed said “If Freej had not been successful then I don’t think other shows would have come out”. Since Season 4 of Freej there has been an off-shoot TV game show, a theatrical production and Mohammed says “We want to be a brand that is associated to the culture of the UAE”.  Although, they took a 2 year gap their audience have stayed loyal and people haven’t forgotten the four grandmothers. I think the fact that every episode is different and you see the characters deal with such a wide range of everyday issues, we don’t get bored with them. Today product placement is still in demand and Mohammed has created the safety video for Fly Dubai featuring the Freej characters and road safety videos for Chervelot. Freej 5 this year comes after a year’s break.

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I had to ask Mohammed if he though there was a big western audience considering all the expats that live in Dubai, well he said “I hear we have a large Western audience, they are intrigued about how we show our culture and that we are making fun of ourselves”. Mohammed never wanted the show to go international and there is no plan to dub the show in English but, at the moment you can buy the DVD’s with English subtitles which of course helps to widen the audience. I told Mohammed, that for me, Freej was exciting to celebrate what our grandmothers had achieved and show the western audience that the women here were brave and perhaps were the ultimate independent women. Mohammed said ” Normally women here are portrayed in documentaries and drama’s and they are either sick or dying and now they were being shown as hero’s”.

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Of course, to follow on from asking about the audience I had to ask how East and West could be merged, “He is happy that Freej found its own style, it’s not too Manga (Japanese) and not too Disney”. Whilst the stories are kept very Arabic themed, they still try to be understood by a wider audience and for example don’t use typical Arabic music but, the music is produced in London. The interesting thing with Mohammed is that he describes himself as very Western thinking ” I really wear my Kandora but I am very western,  I am western educated and my English is better than my Arabic.” I think this really describes the cross over I see in Emariti’s from Dubai and how the city has made itself a business hub in the East.

Tomorrow I will tell you all about the products and the other cultural side of Freej.

Have you seen Freej? What do you think?

Ciao for now xx

P.S Pictures courtesy of Lammtara Studio’s.

Trending Tuesday #6 Freej

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You are all probably trying to understand what this pictures is all about ….. well all over the world Muslims will begin to fast tomorrow for Ramadan. Its a time to reflect, connect with your spiritual side and take time to get back to essentials in life. It also means that Freej is back on our TV screens.

Freej is based on the four grandmothers above, who made their way on to the small screen in 2006. For those of you that don’t know, Freej is about the grandmothers who live in a neighbourhood of Dubai and have to deal with all the changes that are going on around them as Dubai grows as a city. The creation of Mohammed Saeed Harib  the show has been a success with all the family and not just children and was the first animated show in Middle East. I will bring you a “Meet Mohammed” post this weekend so you can hear all about the inspiration behind the show and the what the future holds for our favourite grandmothers.

Since the grandmothers appeared to TV you can now see them trying to take care of everyone appearing in safety video’s ….. so here is a little clip of the safety video to give you a small insight into the show ….. Enjoy!

Travel Thursday #6 Venice and Santa Monica

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Hey all, well this is the first post of quite a few from my recent trip to the West Coast of America. If you follow me on twiiter or instagram then you would know I did a road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Well, I didn’t make it to San Francisco as I ran out of time so I will be back soon and starting from north to south next time.

Here is a post on one of my favourite areas of Los Angeles; Venice and Santa Monica. What I love about Venice is the scenery and the people watching. I can spend hours sitting on the Venice boardwalk just watching people and being a little nosy and listening in on people’s conversations. When I go to Venice I love to go to Danny’s Deli as they have the best French Toast….. just so you get the picture, imagine sitting in the sun watching skate boarders go by and surfers coming back from their morning surf and then digging into french toast tossed with fresh fruit …. yes this is the best way to spend a morning!

Following filling your tummy walk along the Board Walk and head onto the beach to do some more people watching. All along the boardwalk there are street performers and plenty of kitch shops to keep you enterained. My favourite thing though about being in Venice is to look at all the houses on the beach front and then walk up South Venice Boulevard and head towards the Venice Canals. In my opinion this is the most architecturally stylish area in Los Angeles, the houses are all so different and it is quiet which makes it the most relaxing place to walk around. If you guys love Californication as much as I do you’ll know Hank and Becca often take walks around the canals …. I guess also because they sometimes need time out from their slightly crazy lives.

After my morning stroll it was time to head to Santa Monica, and I went via Shutters on the beach ….. this is one of the most elegant hotels that has an old colonial feel to it. I like to spend my meal times in hotel lounges and the best thing about this one is that you can sit on the terrace delve into a delicious burger with a cocktail and an uniterrupted view of Santa Monica pier. After lunch, walk up and down the pier and take in the atmosphere and if you have time chill out on a bench and sit and listen to the sea. I don’t know if you guys have a happy place but mine is listening to the rythm of the waves and I also love the salty smell of the sea so for me I could spend a couple of hours doing nothing here.

From the pier you can head onto 3rd Street Promenade which is a mini shopping heaven. Head to Bloomigdales and Barney’s of New York in the mini mall area and then head to Kitson for cute gift ideas and gorgeous t-shirts. Recently I have been going crazy for t-shirts because they are so simple and paired with my skinny jeans they just make the perfect outfit.

After this, cross the road  walk down 3rd street and wonder in and out of stores and try if you can to keep your credit card in your wallet. After you’ve done enough shopping on 3rd, then head to my shopping must-stop; Fred Segal. This must be one of the best concept stores I have ever been too. Whenever, I am in LA I make a bee-line for this store and usually spend at least an hour in the fitting rooms because they are so many amazing brands, IRO, Isabel Marant, Helmut Lang and JET to name a few. This time I picked up some t-shirts and a great pair of limited design Nike’s …. I  m sure you’ll see them on the blog soon.

Aside from these essentials I recommend just walking and cruising in your car around both Venice and Santa Monica. There are so many places to see and the street art in Venice is inspiring and for the European eye it has a retro feel that makes it feel so different. Next time I promise to bring you a whole new set of photos to show you just how diverse the area is. One thing is for sure though I won’t miss my french toast 😉

Have you been to Venice or Santa Monica or do you live there? Send me and other readers your tips and tricks in the comments box.

T-shirt by  Sandro, Hat: Venice Boardwalk

Ciao for now xx

Korean Design

Yesterday I introduced you to the wonderful Faye and Futtaim from The Butik and today I am going to show you a few of my favourite pieces that I picked out from the studio. Also look out this week for a few more outfits that I put together.

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IMG_0101I loved this dress, made from denim its so comfortable to wear yet, I love the kicked skirt and of course the colourful patterns.

Dress: Korean Designers Steve J & Yoni P, Shoes: DKNY

IMG_2673IMG_2673Black and white is always so easy to wear but I do love when you can take easy colours but find textures to mix or silhouettes. With this outfit there was all 3 making it one of the easiest outfits to pick for summer.

Pants: Post Decemeber, Top: Garosu-Gill (Seoul’s fashion street), Clutch: Cres E Dim

Are you impressed by Korean design as much as me?

Ciao for now xx

Meet Futtaim and Faye

Faye_and_FuttaimI am so happy to finally get round to introducing the wonderful Futtaim and Faye. As I mentioned in a previous post Dubai has matured and with this new city comes lots of new and exciting concepts. Well Faye and Futtaim are two of those people who are at the fore front and one might say, pioneers of a fashion cultural wave; they are the founders of The Butik! This is one of the most interesting fashion concepts I have come across in a LONG while.

I stumbled across The Butik on Instagram. As I tracked Faye and Futtaim going around Seoul picking up cutting edge designers I knew I had to meet these girls. My luck came when I saw they were having a pop up shop at The Magazine shop in DIFC. I went a long, wanted to buy nearly every piece and managed to pin the girls down for an interview.

I can not really share too much of the interview as we ended up just clicking with so much in common and so an interview that should have lasted 2 hours…… Max, ended up as a 4 hour chat including an impromptu dinner. If you were to visit their studio to browse the collections you would immediately realize how relaxing it is there. Set within the grounds of the girls residence, the studio was custom designed and constructed to reflect their taste towards the clean-cut but aesthetically pleasing.

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The girls established The Butik in February 2013 and have already been causing a stir in the fashion scene in GCC. The Butik is a Dubai based online fashion retailer but, here comes the difference; Its packed with high-end unique products from all around the world. In addition to the amazing products Faye and Futtaim also made sure The Butik online is a site that makes you want to linger ( a lot like visiting their studio). Through their editorial section under the name of “Journal” they impart their style and travel knowledge to their dedicated and ever-growing fans! Faye says “Fashion is not a mere industry; it’s an art form, its culture and we aim to highlight this and explore fashion in this light one city at a time”.

The Butik first went to Macedonia to source their first collection of cutting edge designer brands. Macedonia would have not even been on my fashion mind had I not seen the wonderful pieces being created in from this small Mediterranean country. That is exactly why I love this concept because these girls really know what style is ….. to me as a person who loves to travel I have always enjoyed trawling small shops and adding unique pieces to my ever busting wardrobe that demonstrates my international style. Now I can browse the designers of countries I haven’t been lucky enough to visit yet right from my laptop! Now my wardrobe can have a piece of Macedonia in there without leaving my home. Their next stop was Seoul ….. let me tell you that South Korean style is amazing! Just visit butik.ae and fall in love just as I did.

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I am guessing that by now you can probably tell I m in love with The Butik and wonderful founders to bringing one of the best unique concepts to our front rooms, boring desk jobs and for shopping on the move. Aside from the wonderful fashion that you can browse on the site. You also have the opportunity to travel with the girls and get an insight into the designer brands. Therefore, to me The Butik is about style and mostly importantly design. Faye and Futtaim have an eye that is so unique its hard for them to say what their style is. The girls said “Travel is important because it gives you a chance to explore the ins and outs of each city and experience their way of life, their food, their art, their history as well as the current trends of course and fashion. Each city has its own charm and by exploring we appreciate every little detail and understand how its reflected in their fashion”

Art is also an important part of The Butik culture and they demonstrate this not only in their editorial content online but also how they display the clothes. Both in the studio and at the pop-up store they merchandised the garments on a orginally designed, custom-built art installation architectural structure.  I think the girls could actually export this concept as it is one of the best ways I have seen clothes and especially dresses displayed. You guys can see below but if you’re in Dubai I would highly recommend going to see this for yourself at the studio or catch their up coming pop-up in the autumn.

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Faye and Futtaim have now started their own blog where they curate content that inspires them. I think this is why The Butik is so different and unusual because both girls take in everything around them and want to share all those things. Futtaim says “By exploring, we aim to be a platform by bringing key collection concepts that we think will be appreciated here in the GCC and introduce new ideas and fashion to our audience and therefore bridging east and west”.

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My advice to you all is check out The Butik, save it in your bookmarks because this is a concept you want to keep up with and when you’re looking for something unusual and different that you don’t need to rob a bank for, this is the place to “add to your cart”. If you are able to visit the studio then do so, meet the girls let them share their enthusiasm with you and tell you all their great stories.

What do you like to buy when you travel?

Ciao for now xx