Weaving for a Brighter Future.

FMBI collaborates with the New York based award winning designer to create a collection of handmade carpets towards empowerment of Afghan Women.


UAE based FBMI, Her Highness Sheikha Fatema Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Initiative, is proud to launch its latest collaborative venture with internationally renowned designer Norma Kamali. The collection of 12 handmade carpets are designed to draw focus on the plight of Afghan women and to give them an opportunity for employment and empowerment.


Launched in 2010, FBMI is a unique enterprise that takes a comprehensive approach to development leveraging both private entrepreneurship and sustainable social services. It offers women employment in the weaving industry, while also providing them critical social services including training, healthcare and education.


“I am honoured to be part of this wonderful opportunity to design a commercial product for the global market created by the women of Afghanistan. ” – Norma Kamali.


Norma Kamali is an internationally recognised designer who is lauded for a timeless and innovative approach to fashion. Norma’s entire career has been a platform for her life goal which is to help, enhance and empower women. It is this passion that has inspired the collection and the collaboration for Afghan women.



Mathieu Lehanneur for Audemars-Piguet

 Art Basel was the perfect backdrop for the French designer to shine light on the luxury brand’s DNA.

The contemporary art fair Art Basel,  provides Mathieu Lehanneur with an opportunity to literally scan the Joux Valley, the Swiss birthplace of Audemars Piguet, and reproduce the DNA hanging in the air. The French designer once again rose to the challenge of creating a magical and seductive setting drawing from nature without imitating it thanks to extremely innovative resin and fibre moulding technology.

unnamed (1)

Keen to purport good links between technology and nature to achieve a better society free of ecological discourse, Lehanneur went to cast the Swiss landscape. A perfect impression of these rocks was formed, like an alphabetical primal blueprint enabling him to create his own version of the valley on the luxury brand’s stand.


“I am inspired by nature, technology and the design opportunities that they provide. I wanted to take on the beguiling landscapes of the Joux Valley for this project as they played an essential role in the history of Audemars Piguet.”

The convincingly realistic result, catapults the landscapes to the ranks of the most isolated and difficult in Europe, in the crowded realm of the largest contemporary art fair in the world. A valley without gravity, reminiscent of Pandora’s floating mountains in Cameron’s film Avatar, which confirms the French designer’s power to extricate magical images and situations free of any restrictions.



Memories of Turkey

On the 5th June 2014, Turkey, inaugurated its début exhibition, Places of Memory, at its long-term pavilion at the prestigious Arsenale.

One of the newest countries to participate in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, Turkey’s project Places of Memory is a thought-provoking and lyrical exhibition that examines Istanbul’s urban transformation. The exhibition is commissioned by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (ÝKSV), and curated by architect Murat Tabanlýoðlu.

The Pavilion of Turkey_FUNDAMENTALS_Venice Biennale 2014

“Living in a city like Istanbul—which is experiencing an incredible urban transformation, especially in the last decade—it seems vital to look at what really is happening,” explains Murat. “Being aware that architecture and the built environment is not solely related to their subjects, but also related to our own memories about the place.”

The Pavilion of Turkey_FUNDAMENTALS_Venice Biennale 2014

“What if we lose these? Are we about to lose our own memories? Let’s for a while try to relate to the built environment through our own experiences” –  Murat Tabanlýoðlu


The exhibition book, also entitled Places of Memory, was commissioned to accompany the project based on interviews with Murat Tabanlýoðlu, Pelin Derviþ, Alper Derinboðaz, Metehan Özcan, Candaþ Þiþman, Ali Taptýk and Serkan Taycan, conducted by Luca Molinari, the curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia in 2010. Places of Memory is edited by Pelin Derviþ and designed by Aslý Altay (Future Anecdotes Istanbul) who has also designed the communication materials of the project.


Rem Koolhas lights up La Biennale di Veniza

The legendary Dutch architect teams up with Swarovski to create Luminaire, the showstopper at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia.

Luminaire by OMA in collaboration with Swarovski, (c) Gilbert McCarragher (5)

Rem Koolhas is in a league of his own. The celebrated architect, urbanist and the founding partner of OMA made it his mission to bring to light new modalities of architecture and planning; co-founding The Volume magazine in 2005 being a step further in bridging people and their built environment.

Founded in 1975, OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) in a tiny office in Rotterdam, the brain child of Koolhas and his founding partners – Elia & Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp – is today a global design force with presence in Far –East Asia, the Middle East and Central Americas.

Luminaire by OMA in collaboration with Swarovski, (c) Gilbert McCarragher 2

Rem, on his part, through the diverse projects – ranging from creating new cities to designing luxury lifestyle stores, private villas, public libraries and town centers – has enriched people’s lives with meaningful, humane design responses. His collaboration with Swarovski, to create Luminaire,  the dramatically light entry to Monditalia, one of three exhibitions that make up the distinguished Dutch architect’s ambitious presentation of this year’s 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia being the latest.

Luminaire by OMA in collaboration with Swarovski, (c) Gilbert McCarragher 3

The majestic structure, resembling a grand stage set, measures 6 metres in height by 20 metres in length and is made up of thousands of vibrantly coloured glass light bulbs and 15kg of Swarovski Crystal Rocks, all set on an elaborate wooden framework. Together the crystal and light highlight the traditional Venetian archways, evoking the elaborate Renaissance façades of Venice’s palazzos. Luminaire also references the grand-scale urban lighting installations that are an integral part of Italian culture, often associated with celebrations and religious feasts, even forming a centerpiece in several of Federico Fellini’s films.

Luminaire by OMA in collaboration with Swarovski, (c) Gilbert McCarragher 4


 “The topics of Monditalia are the current state of Italy… perfectly introduced by a special entrance gate which we developed with Swarovski.” Rem Koolhas


Constructed in a traditional workshop in Puglia by a family-run business with generations of manufacturing experience, Luminaire is a gateway into a very different Biennale, one where the established order of contemporary architecture is investigated, upturned and chronicled, with art, science and entertainment coming together to decipher the legacy of a century of Modernism. This year’s International Architecture Exhibition, entitled Fundamentals, is a major re-staging, renewing the Biennale’s emphasis on the history of architecture and architectural culture. Luminaire brilliantly illuminates the past, present and future.

14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia / FUNDAMENTALS / 7th June – 23rd November ’14.


Chanel Cruises into Dubai

How can we not veer into fashion when Chanel’s 2014/15 Cruise Collection is about to be unveiled in Dubai in less than 24 hours? Special contributor and Dubai based fashion design educator Yohann Proux gives a  low down on the collections from the past. If there is any red thread through the years, its unapologetic luxury – which in itself suits the Emirate perfectly.


MAY 13, 2009 / VENICE

“Coco on the Lido,” as Lagerfeld called it, the collection was staged at Coco’s favourite summer haunts. Reinstating the long-lost leisurely sensation of a fashion show as an exceptional one-off experience, silent movie era hair and make-up strung along a collection featuring tricorne hats and cloaks, dresses fashioned in plissé knit, shimmery sequins and glass embroidery imitating the play of light on Venice’s water.



Nostalgic like a Riviera movie, the ambience was leisurely as models sauntered in bare-feet, with relaxed hair and barely-there face paint, wearing seventies-esque diaphanous caftans, long crocheted dresses, ruffle-lapelled silk jersey trouser suits and patchwork denim skirts. Bronzed tans, visible midriffs complimented witty nods to the past from a designer who famously is known to not give the heed to eras gone by. Surely Coco’s love for the balmy location weakened Karl tough stance on sepia memories.



“Too much may not be enough,” Lagerfeld mused at show’s end. But when you book out arguably one of the most expensive hotels in the world – the Hotel du Cap – for your show, excess is of the essence. Inspired by the likes of Rita Hayworth and Aly Khan, the lean silhouette he opted for was more relaxed, less in-your-face sexy. The opening streams of broom yellow and lilac hinted of the local summer flora as models marched to the beat of Prince.

RS12_Cannes, Chanel, Cannes


“Frivolity is a healthy attitude,” Karl said after the show. “I know people who were saved by frivolity.” His muse for the Cruise Collection this time, was not as lucky. As models stomped the grounds of Versailles, Mary Antoinette’s influence was indelible. Formal eighteenth-century details, like exaggerated hips etc. were re-imagined in casual twenty-first-century materials —chambray, tech denims, even plastics. Frothy lace ruffles and cuffs, even a beauty spot by the way of the double C on the cheek – Mary was alive and well.

chanel cruise 2013a

 MAY 09, 2013 / SINGAPORE

Karl took Chanel on a holiday and his troop celebrated at a disused nutmeg plantation mill in Singapore. Cricket culture played a huge role in the years’ collection as sweaters with shoulder-wide, deep V-necks worn with shirt and tie, accessorised with shinguards and cricket bats made quite the theatrical impact. Chanel’s signature palette of cream and black might have been a nod to the black and white bungalows of colonial Singapore, but decked in a lounge suit – easy wide-legged pants with long belted sweaters – the quintessential Chanel woman made a statement very much of the times.

chanel cruise 2014
May 13, 2014 / DUBAI

A nod to one of the biggest luxury markets in the world, Chanel lays anchor by a private island off the coast of Dubai to host its latest Cruise Collection at a rumoured budget of USD 2.5 million. Going by the ivory and gold invitation’s essence of Islamic iconography with an Art-Deco twist, the Dubai edition of the long standing Chanel tradition (Coco debuted the first cruise collection back in the 1920s), is sure to be dripping in luxury.


The Invitation to the Chanel Cruise Collection showcase in Dubai.

For more information visit Chanel here




Air Travel #Reimagined with Etihad Airways

On May 4th 2014, Etihad Airways made one of the most important presentations in it’s 10 years history. If will, quite simply, change the way we fly.

The Double Bed featured in The Residence aboard the Etihad A380

The Double Bed featured in The Residence aboard the Etihad A380

Some of the biggest names in aviation interior and high end furniture design joined hands with the best in hospitality to create a unique flying experience aboard the new reincarnation of the Etihad flight. We give you a sneer peek into the future of civil aviation.

The Residence / A380 – Designed for up to two guests travelling together, it has been created to offer a truly bespoke travel experience. A private butler, in-flight chef and a VIP Travel concierge will help you make the most of the 125 Square Feet, only 3-room suite above the skies.

The First Class Suite / A380 – Upholstered with the finest Poltrona Frau leather and featuring a wide armchair and an ottoman that opens into an 81 inches long bed, there is no excuse for a jet-lag any more.   When travelling with a partner the divider between Apartments can be lowered to join rooms.

The First Apartment / Boeing 787  – Enjoy un-compromised privacy behind closed doors and exquisite features such as a Poltrona Frau leather seat, stylish fabric and finishes, and ambient lighting. Each First Suite has a personal wardrobe, chilled drinks cabinet and space that allows you to entertain another guest.

The Business Studio / A380 & Boeing 787 – The modern design and thoughtful features create a sense of space and freedom, with direct aisle access, convenient storage spaces and mood lighting.  The seat converts into a comfortable fully-flat bed of up to 80.5-inches. Relax on all ultra long-haul flights on special mattresses for bedtime comfort in complimentary loungewear.

Economy Smart Seat / A380 & Boeing 787 – Etihad’s Economy Smart Seat is the ultimate in clever design, with a unique ‘fixed wing’ headrest that will make the journey even more comfortable. The ergonomically designed seat also has adjustable lumbar support. The seat has a convenient entertainment and connectivity hub with all the accessories within easy reach from the seat-back.

Let brand ambassador Danni Minogue give you a quick over-view of the the real thing!


For more information and bookings please visit the Etihad Airways site here. All videos and information – courtesy Etihad Airways. All rights reserved with Etihad Airways.



Hotel Vernet, Paris – a makeover.

The French institution get a new lease of life at the hands of famous French designer and architect, Francois Champsaur.


The designer’s love for arts, artists and the unique leads the iconic hotel into the future. Chandelier designed and made by Eric Schmitt. Bracket lamp in folded copper designed by François Champsaur and made by Pouenat.

Owned the by Besse Signature family group, Hotel Vernet is a veritable secret garden that maintains the traditions of great Parisian institutions by paying tribute to French elegance and savoir-fair. The hotel celebrates its 100th anniversary, entering an age of modernity heralded by  French interior designer Francois Champsaur’s renovations.


Lobby: The classic Carrare marble floor is stunningly updated with an abstract carpet by Jean-Michel Alberola and Blue by Rodolfo Dordoni/Minotti. Blue leather bench: designed by François Champsaur Ceramic coffee table, French-made circa 1950


The Restaurant: Benches designed by François Champsaur and made by l’Atelier Philippe Coudray sit besides tables designed by Lievore, Alther, Molina. Surrounded by drawings and prints by Katrin Bremermann, Gérard Traquandi, Alain Deswarte and Jean-Pierre Bourquin creates a gallery like experience as you dine.

restaurant 2

The designer’s eye for detail, love for flowing, curved walls, natural materials, bold coloirs and the unusual runs like the proverbial red thread throughout the hotel.


The Bar: Armchairs by Larforma and coffee tables designed by François Champsaur sit atop carpet designed by Jean-Michel Alberola. Armchairs in tan leather designed by Scott Fellows, Craig Bassam. Deconstructed bar in Carrare marble, designed by François Champsaur. Ceiling fresco by Jean-Michel Alberola.

As is with all projects fronted by the passionate art collector, Hotel Vernet too, boasts of original drawings, watercolours, engravings and installations – all handpicked by Francois – creating an intimate, personal setting that could rival the best of French galleries.


Copper room numbers placed on small steel brackets and individually lit, Desk in white lacquer integrating a blue writing desk designed by François Champsaur and made by Viriato. Chair designed by Sami Kallio. Bedside tables and lamps by François Champsaur flank the headboard, also by the designer.

bedroom 2

Headboard reading lamp by Astro lighting. Floorlamp with watercolor paper lampshade designed by François Champsaur and made by Pouenat.


Faucets in crude solid brass by Stella Roma offset Carrare marble floor and walls as curved oak screens create a serene space.

For more information on the hotel visit there website here. For More on the designer go here.