Vogue Arabia’s September issue welcomes the new fashion season, celebrating creativity and unapologetic beauty as an antidote for a world where war and instability rule. An icon of timeless beauty, Oscar-nominated actress Sharon Stone takes center stage, wearing looks by primarily regional designers, including Zuhair Murad, Ashi Studio, Elie Saab, and Rami Al Ali. In conversation with the Syrian-American former CNN news anchor Hala Gorani, Stone sets an unapologetic tone with unfiltered comments on the demise of women’s rights in the West, stating that after 45, “women become invisible” in a world ruled by ageism and sexism. “I think I can probably speak for you and the rest of the female planet when I say that there’s a giant effort to make us not feel free and to feel oppressed. And I don’t go for it,” she pronounces.
Fashion titans Rick Owens and Schiaparelli’s Daniel Roseberry take readers behind the scenes of their headline-making collections, which proved to be stunning antidotes for desperate times. Owens states, “The winter 2022-23 show had to be violently beautiful to counterbalance the disappointment of war.” Roseberry, who continues to push Schiaparelli to the forefront of fashion’s most exciting houses, comments, “As a designer you have the responsibility of making work that reflects the time. We are living in times of such tragedy and negativity, that I wanted to create something that, more than just an escape, is an antidote to the ugliness of what it means to be alive today.” Meanwhile, beloved duo Dolce and Gabbana take readers to the heart of Sicily, where the designers’ dream of Alta Moda recently celebrated 10 years. “There was not one person who believed in our project and in its all-Italian soul,” they recall of their couture journey that is now a bona fide fashion and cultural highlight.
The September issue also features an inspiring group of Arab entertainers of different generations, including Emirati-Yemeni singer Balqees Fathi, Tunisian presenter and model Rym Saidi, Saudi actresses Aseel Omran and Sarah Taibah, and Jana Diab, singer and daughter of music legend Amr Diab. The DC Comics star of the Netflix hit The Sandman, Lebanese actress Razane Jammal also speaks to Vogue Arabia of her exceptional professional year, along with the recent tragedy of losing her mother. “There was something that I felt when I was in front of the camera, like destiny. It felt like this is where I belong, this is where I feel the most alive, this is where I can express myself,” comments the actress of her craft from Turkey, where she is currently filming a new pan-Arab show.
One of the leading ambassadors of oriental music abroad, singer and songwriter Natacha Atlas offers an in-depth interview in celebration of her decades-long career and 18th album release. Of the record, Atlas comments that it is “a musical reaction to the challenges society has faced since the start of the pandemic.” It manifests, “fear, mistrust, anger, confusion, and the discomfort experienced in a world where we no longer know how to trust our own realities,” she adds, in a feature that covers her expansive career with insight from creative collaborators Christian Louboutin and Youssef Nabil.
Diving deeper into the heart of cultural expression, Abdel-Halim Caracalla, founder of the Caracalla dance theater, showcases his troupe in Baalbek. “When I founded the first Arab dance theater, I used the modern dance technique to serve the Arab heritage and the legends of the East in order to best present them to the public,” he says of his vision that celebrates 50 years following the debut of its first show Lyom Bokra, Mbareh, in 1972.
From dance to art, in Venice, Vogue Arabia experiences and reports on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, a revival of the original Orient Express, the train that inspired the Agatha Christie mystery Murder on the Orient Express. In Paris, the issue offers readers exclusive access inside the Hôtel Lambert. The former home of HH Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, an auction will see its interiors go up for sale with Sotheby’s, benefiting the Al Thani Collection Foundation.
Rounding up the issue is a portfolio of the young movers and shakers of the Arab world driving change everywhere. Journalist Noor Tagouri, comedian Amy Roko, actress May Calamawy, and tennis champion Ons Jabeur show how Arab women are taking space to tell their stories fearlessly and creatively. Jabeur, who made history when she reached the finals at Wimbledon this year, shares, “I want to win Grand Slams and become world number one. It is an honor and a big responsibility to represent that many people; I totally embrace it. It gives me more confidence, energy, and power as I am not fighting alone.”