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Editor’s Letter: Why Great Fashion Should Always Feel Comfortable Too

Manuel Arnaut

Vogue Arabia Editor-in-Chief Manuel Arnaut. Photographed by Ethan Mann

As I reunite with my team every week, we often discuss the fashion tone that our issue should have. There’s no doubt that we are living in complicated and unstable times, when so many people have lost jobs and loved ones,  so we don’t want to look out of touch by presenting pages that are not in sync with the new normal. I often wonder, is a blander and more pared-down aesthetic the elixir we need to get through all of this? I understand that while we are at home, we will probably put forward comfort and practicality instead of sartorial delight (although great fashion should always feel comfortable too), but we still need to keep our senses stimulated.

As the revered fashion editor Diana Vreeland once said, “The eye has to travel,” and that’s really how I feel at this moment. More than ever, I want to see beautiful things, produced by the hands of skilled artisans, that elevate my mood and spirit. My most recent “I’m walking on clouds through fashion” moment happened exactly the day before I wrote this letter, when I had the opportunity to rediscover the high jewelry collection of Pierre Hardy for Hermès that had just arrived at The Dubai Mall. Besides showcasing the highest levels of craftsmanship, reflected in big yet light pieces that are able to adapt to the body, the statement necklaces were jaw-dropping and such a pleasure to look at.

Lily Collins, Emily in paris, Vogue Arabia November 2020

Lily Collins stars on her first-ever Vogue cover. Photographed by Thomas Whiteside for Vogue Arabia November 2020

On the topic of traveling – or should I write “traveling” – as I contracted Covid-19 last month and had to quarantine, I was able to find some much needed comfort in the hit series Emily in Paris, which catapulted this month’s cover star, Lily Collins, to fame and trended at number one for weeks around the world. With two of my favorite Hollywood veterans behind it – Sex and the City’s Darren Star and Patricia Field – this show was my passport to fashion week, to the buzzy restaurants, and to a world of fun fashion. In this issue, Collins opens up about battling with eating disorders and anxiety, shares how she took the reins of her career, and also addresses the critics that accused the show of being shallow and stereotypical. “Globally, we’ve been through so much in 2020. We’re all connected so much more, having gone through this together,” shares the actor and producer in our interview. “What I’m proudest about Emily in Paris is the fact that it comes at a time when it’s needed. An American in Paris isn’t a revolutionary idea but, more than ever, people want to travel, to experience new things, and to see something pretty and remember what it was like to go out and have fun. If I can be part of something that does that for people, it’s the most important thing.” In a moment when I was home alone, it was all I needed.

Read Next: 8 Things You Didn’t Know About November Cover Star Lily Collins

Originally published in the November 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia

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