Saturday, 16 January 2010


i bought this magazine a couple of weeks ago and only just had the chance to properly look through it.  it's the latest high fashion glossy to come out of the middle east, abu dhabi precisely.  

my first impression was that it was very UAE, but i'll come back to that.  second, that for a magazine's first issue it absolutely dripped with money - dior, calvin klein, lancome, longchamp, estee lauder, valentino - all absolutely dominated the first opening pages in advertising space.  third, that there was quite an interesting discrepancy in the construction of the advertising images produced outside the UAE for their consumption and those produced within it.  

going back to the first point, because of the omnipresence of islam in the UAE, explicit sexuality cannot be used to sell fashion in the way we're so used to in Europe; the  visibility and market presence of western brands and their advertising is largely controlled by the monolithic boutiques who in turn create their own advertising images featuring those brands.  the result is a very surreal world of hyper-luxury where, in a way, the fashion becomes much more the focus as everything is more or less sterilized of sexuality.

i found it quite interesting as well because i was looking through it with an old schoolfriend from dubai and we were just amazed at how differently we saw these images now that we don't live there anymore - they were the kind of images we were so used to seeing and a way of looking at fashion that was just so normal to us.   now being exposed to all that again just reminds me that there are still other ways of seeing that haven't been so strongly affected by the armada of western media.

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