Best Clubs In Dubai 2018

The Best Clubs in Dubai 2018?

Expat, Fashion, Uncategorized

As most of you who reside in Dubai must know ( and for those of you that do not) it is home to a plethora of fun nightclubs and bars that offer not only a wide variety of unique cocktails, but musical genres to serve all fancies. That being said, the door policies are quite another issue all together.

Fashion Elite At Studio 54

Andy Warhol at Studio 54 Night Club.

Having lived in the U.A.E for twenty-three years, I can firmly say that I am not a stranger to the racial biases that exist in the region. They are harmful, unnecessary and counterproductive to the growth of what is otherwise a booming nation. This morning, before I wrote this long overdue article, I was on the job hunt as usual, and came across yet another posting where the candidacy requirements specifically stated the following Kidswear Designer

Nationality : Only western Expats

Turkish,Spanish, French, British, Russian or any other western Expats.

 

Indeed Job Posting

A prime example discrimination based on race/nationality.

Can any of you who are reading this tell me that job postings such as the above are not completely isolating and segregating people of colour, while demeaning them and depriving them of the same opportunities? To deny it would be fruitless, since you can google jobs in the UAE and see numerous faceless employer requests all demanding the same thing; Western expats only. Now, how does this relate to the clubs in Dubai? I’m getting there.

Bouncers of nearly all the clubs in Dubai are of African descent with the occasional Russian or British hostess at the door. These employees have been hired specifically to monitor who is deemed unacceptable to enter the premises under the clubs strict ‘guidelines’ and in the case of bouncers, to stop any troublesome individuals from creating aggravating situations whilst on the premises. However, these ‘strict guidelines’ don’t seem to be as enforced as much on our Caucasian brethren as on the minority ethnic communities, such as myself.

This was proven more so when on the chilly evening of January the 10th, myself and four friends decided to visit the bar called Stables, Dubai. Now, keep in mind I’ve frequented this bar when it opened its doors years earlier, and at the time it had the same warm, welcoming vibe as hotspots like Irish Village; a place known for its friendly demeanour. However, nightclubs and bars do differ in terms of clientele, and The Stables overtime, became a place that was a hybrid; where live music and a rodeo-style mechanical bull meant a wild crowd and a good time. Suffice to say, at this stage, the scene in particular was not for me. But, when with friends, we tend to overlook our various preferences. On this particular occasion I was wearing the outfit below, Bershka track-inspired trousers, H&M leather jacket and a merino wool sweater paired with Christian Louboutin shoes. By all requirements, one would think this was appropriate attire for a bar where the dress code allows cargo shorts, as pictured on the giant banner that stands on the steps right by its entrance. On trying to enter the bar with my friends (and for the purpose of this article I shall mention nationalities: Local, Filipino, Sri Lankan and American) I was denied entry. Now, my American friend, Michael was wearing sports leggings, Yeezy’s and a t-shirt paired with a varsity jacket while my other friend Mohammed, was in Camouflage trousers and long sleeved shirt, paired with a Louis Vuitton satchel.

On trying to enter the bouncers stepped in front of us and said, ‘this is not smart casual’-primarily to me, all the while ignoring a group of Caucasians that breezed out in cargo shorts. So, for the next five-ten minutes we are standing there trying to convince these two bouncers that, I am not wearing track pants and when it became clear that we were making no progress with them, we asked to speak to the manager on shift; Phil. Who was presumably British, walked out for two minutes, looked me up and down, said ‘sorry-those are track pants’ and then without a second word, and without ushering me aside or dealing with us in a manner that befits anyone in the hospitality trade walked away. Leaving me at the door with my friends. But the real kicker is the fact the bouncers and the manager seemed to have no problem with the ensemble of my American friend, Michael. Despite his sports leggings and trainers, he seemed to be included in the invisible unspoken rules of Dubai’s hotspots, which is that their door policies only rarely apply to Westerns or Europeans. Given what the situation was like, I instantly wrote a Zomato review on my terrible experience and took to social media, in order to truly gage why I was denied entry into this establishment.

Dmitri Ruwan Email To Stables Dubai

A screen-shot of my email to the manager at The Stables Dubai.

 

The next day, I received a phone call from the manager Chris, who explained to me multiple times that Stables is not a racist organization, and that he has no idea why I was denied entry based on the pictures of my outfit (which I sent in an email the morning after) between his profuse (and appreciated) apologies, I enquired if it would be possible to meet to discuss the issue further. Because in this day and age of social media, an email and phone call can only achieve so much. I was on a mission, to decipher what truly transpired that night, especially considering my outfit clearly wasn’t the issue.

Bershka Stretch Denim

Bershka skinny athleisure inspired trousers.

Accompanying me on this meeting were Michael and Mohammed, both of whom validated the points that were discussed openly and honestly during our meeting with Phil and Jeff, both British whose spouses I learnt, were Indonesian and Filipino, attesting ( according to them) to their lack of racial-biases. The underlying note seemed to be that the bouncers at the door, are not aware of what’s in fashion, and therefore denied me entry based on their understanding of ‘fashion-trends’, however the bouncer that night had coherently told Michael, ‘you’re alright because you’re in Yeezy’s’. Thus, voiding the no-sense of fashion excuse. In the end, we left the meeting having established firmly that we hoped moving forward no other person of colour experiences the same inexcusable treatment that I was shown that night and that if this occurrence was truly due to an oversight, due to the lack of a hostess at the door, that it was rectified immediately. And I greatly appreciated the management’s acknowledgement of this.

A day after this meeting, I received the following email from Zomato, explaining why they could no longer allow my review to remain. Keep in mind that Chris had explained that a primary reason he was called to attention was due to my Zomato review, which had called out the people responsible for the occurrences of that night. Zomato explains that such reviews aren’t allowed on their platform as showcased in the quote below

‘As per our guidelines, your review is a comment on their operational policy. It talks of a business and management decision that a restaurant has chosen to follow, hence we cannot allow for opinions on their internal policies.’ – Zomato Neutrality Team

Zomato Policies

Zomato prohibits you from calling out any form of bad management at an organisation.

I find it supremely distressing that a website such as Zomato, which has thousands of visitors opting to dine at venues- based solely on the accounts and experiences of other diners, is using their ‘guidelines’ as an excuse to remove what is otherwise a very legitimate commentary on the treatment one might get when trying to pop in to The Stables, Dubai or any other venue for that matter. Since my social media tags, screen-shots and recordings went live, I have had countless messages from people of colour saying they too have experienced the same if not worse treatment from several high-profile establishments. In fact many have been denied tables or entry, while groups of Europeans/Westerners behind them have been ushered in.

This article is to promote awareness of what is happening, and how we can better address the issue. This article is not about inciting hate. It is about trying to negate the lack of certain laws that have created a sense of cultural insensitivity. Stemming from seemingly minor postings such as jobs that only require the faired-skinned. As we approach 2020, and the Middle East gears up to be on the worlds stage, it is imperative that we stand as a united front, and not as one that is segregated and classified as ‘less than’ or ‘better than’ due to our race. As this article goes live, I will also be writing to each establishment to enquire what their various door policies are to insure that moving forward, no establishment can claim lack of responsibility for their actions that are negating the progress of this otherwise wonderful and vibrant city.

 

 

 

 

 

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Times Up- Stop Abuse

Fashion, Life choices, Uncategorized

Let’s take a moment out of our day to acknowledge the systematic pattern of abuse that continues to plague so many men and women out there. Whether it is due to sexual orientation, physical characteristics or religious beliefs there is no justification for any kind of abuse.

Dmitri Ruwan Say No To Abuse

For those of you that haven’t been on social media lately, people across the globe including victims of abuse proudly wore black in support of an era where speaking up against our experiences are encouraged and will hopefully make for a better tomorrow. 

With the majority of women at the recent Golden Globes highlighting the need for equal pay between men and women, (E-News’ male reporters still get paid substantially more than its female representatives) and speaking out again sexual predators who thrive under the glitzy gauze of Hollywood’s elite, there is no time better than the present to take matters into your own hands, and recognize that you are the master of your own life.

As we witness hundreds of men and women attesting to abuse at the hands of renowned photographers, casting agents directors,etc. It has opened up a wound some of us would rather forget. But forgetting is accepting defeat, your fight is what will keep you sane. As Oprah said, ‘there time is UP’! The hold that these men had over you and your life are over, the people who looked the other way are #irrelevant and the people who tried to convince you that you ‘wanted it’ or were in some way asking for it or are in anyway responsible, are as bad as these predators themselves. I said it once, and I’ll say it again, nothing justifies any form of abuse.

The women and men of the past who suffered at the hands of these monstrosities of humanity, had very few options at their fingertips and were for the most part truly alone in their fight. But as we move into 2018, do not let what happened in your past impact your future, remember that there is no such thing as a one-time sexual predator, these men go on to derail and destroy the lives of countless others, and if we do not speak out as so many men and women are now doing, then we are just as much to blame.

In closing, I would like to commend the men and women whom I have encountered in my life that are brilliantly talented, supremely intelligent and living their best life, in spite of the atrocities that were committed against them. This post is for all of you.

You are in control of your own fate, destiny, life, call it what you will – but never forget it. 

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Do Expat-Designers have place in Dubai?

Expat, Fashion, Fashion Business, Uncategorized

As most of you know I’m the founder behind my own pret-a-couture label Avastave, and a graduate of the French Design School, Esmod, Dubai. Needless to say as with many higher learning institutes the associated costs weren’t cheap and I am lucky to have had the financial backing of my parents that many do not. However as time passed and I graduated with honours, life kicked in, proving that talent or a renowned degree in itself, isn’t all you need to win this game.

Fashion-Forward-Season-9-Day-2-Pictures

As artists, we all believe that our work will create such tremendous ripples to the local scene that it would be impossible to not be recognized or profit from it. I am telling you right now, that the chances of that happening are next to none, and I don’t mean that to dissuade you from pursuing your dream or dim your shine, but to give you a better understanding of the tasks you have ahead of you. They call it a dream for a reason, because it is up to you to make it a reality.

Dubai is booming with opportunities, but let me remind you that they often require heavy capital, and unless you are local, have exorbitant amounts of family money or were lucky enough to find an investor in time for your graduation show these possibilities are not open to you. To give you a clear example, I recently received an offer to show at Paris Fashion Week, with a Dubai based company called Opulence Events, the email went on with the usual encouragement that would make any fresh creatives eyes light up saying things like ‘the show will have renowned press, your outfits will be printed on banners, access to international buyers etc’, you scroll down to the contract; the agreement of your participation, and then you see it, $15,000 is the cost for you to show. If you can afford that, then you’ve had a much better organisational system than me, because that is an unreal amount of money to charge an emerging label. These emails have come to me through the years, each more expensive than the last, and you have to ask yourself, do these business entities really think that local designers have that kind of money? Even Fashion Forward, Dubai’s premiere showcase for new talent charges a whopping 18,000, as participation fee.

Fashion-Forward-Announces-10th-Season2

EMPEROR LONDON at FASHION FORWARD

Let me rephrase my question, do they really think anyone but locals and rich-kids who do this as a celebration of their vanity can afford these programs? The truth is, the programs that are in place to help aspiring creatives are few and far between and they are ninety-nine percent almost always targeted at locals or Europeans. With their being no citizenship possibilities in the UAE to date, this means if you are from an Asian country or aren’t blessed to carry UK, EU, Arab passport, then you will most likely fall into the category that is ignored. Even though the UAE boasts a massive amount of workers from countries such as India, Philippines, Africa and Sri Lanka these countries are yet to receive adequate representation.

The relevance of citizenship is vital here, because a country is most likely to support and push the efforts of one of its own, and as we all know that the UK and US publications will almost definitely support talent from their own countries in the GCC and the Arab world delights in celebrating their own home grown talent, that leaves very little for those whose countries are significantly smaller by comparison. While the US,EU, AUS etc do celebrate diversity and encourage more people to join their communities as equals, privy to equal rights the UAE’s stance on this particular topic, means those of us who have the ability to truly contribute with our business plans are left to contemplate leaving behind our second home, in favour of countries that better recognize and encourage our talents.

As a designer, I have had the privilege of being acknowledged by several publications, but I have definitely not been provided with the opportunities that would have been afforded to me should I have possessed another passport. So, how do you make it work in a place where everything seems to stunt your growth?

You can work a day job and try to do a collection on a commission basis, however if you are planning on even small scale production it will cost you upto 17,-20,000AED, and if it doesn’t sell, that is another issue entirely. My words of advice would be, to save your money until you can migrate to a place where equality is the name of the game, and even though you will still struggle to get to the top, for the most part the race there will be on a level plane field. And, if you are to remain in Dubai, a few stores offer commission based options to showcase your label, however I for one am yet to see a designer truly benefit from these stores, whose profit sharing methods often mean you will be left with less than half of what you spend on production.

The truth is, every individual is different and you can most certainly find a way to make the most out of where you are based. It is not the lack of support that is the primary issue in the advancement of the middle-class Dubai based designer, it is the complete rebuttal of the predicaments faced by said designers that are holding back what could possibly be one of the newest thriving fashion capitals of the world.

Christmas Style

Fashion, formal, Style, Uncategorized

Hi guys! So the latest Youtube video spans across three days leading up to my first Christmas dinner party of the festive season. Follow me as I get some much needed grooming at my favourite men’s salon 1847, have some fantastic pesto at Carluccio’s and finally, walk you through three of my favourite party looks.  Click here to watch the full video.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year!

Outfit credits: Coat, SQUAREVILLE Vintage, LA, Trousers, ICONIC,Dubai and Shoes, CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN

 

Wearing Women’s Clothes

Fashion, Fashion Business, Life choices, Love, Style, Uncategorized

So, gender neutrality has been a hot-topic of late, especially within the fashion community, since our clothing is strictly segregated based on our physically assigned gender roles. But, fashion shouldn’t be a crutch, if anything it is there to help us fully express ourselves. Watch the full Youtube video here.

 

As mentioned earlier on this blog, I think it is crucial for us to accept that what we have been taught about gender, is based on the limited understanding of the complexities of human beings, at the time gender-based rules were formulated i.e not acknowledging the very real existence of intersex, transgender and gender-fluid and gender-less people.

It is in fact the perfect opportunity to address the issue with a little video, on how we as people can enjoy fashion regardless of gender/sexual orientation, while borrowing some great clothes from the girls. So, without further ado, here’s how to style some sick women’s pieces into your look. Hit me up on Instagram or comment down below and let me know which look is your favourite. #1 , #2, #3 or #4.

Love you guys, and let’s stop limiting ourselves.

Brands: Valentino, Gucci, Just Cavalli, Zara, H&M , New Look, Forever21, Mango and Adidas.

What is Prêt–à-Couture?

fantasy, Fashion, Fashion Business, Love, Style, Uncategorized

Many of you know that Kiian, the LA based musician, unofficially marked the debut of Avastavé pret-a-couture menswear, in his most recent shoot for Unclear magazine. Now, with special access to a one-of-a-kind image from the shoot, I thought it would be an informative way to explore what makes a custom-made Avastavé piece so special, and what the terminology pret-a-couture really means.

DiorHauteCouture1987

Naomi Campbell in Christian Dior Haute Couture 97/98 by John Galliano

Firstly, lets identify the fashion terminology: 

Haute Couture: Every bit is constructed by hand and no sewing-machines are involved. Only one piece in the world. Created to follow every line on your body, with any changes you desire to the original style i.e fabric, colour, seams, etc. A typical Haute Couture show displays the height of a brands fashion artistry and opulence, and is best exemplified in the works of designers such as John Galliano for Christian Dior in the past, Atelier Versace and of course, Chanel. Tap here for video.

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Avastavé pret-a-couture is only available to shop exclusively on our website

Pret-a-couture: A term used to describe clothing with couture-esque elements. Born from the traditional term pret-a-porter, meaning ready-to-wear; the typical clothing sold at designer boutiques including spring/summer, fall/winter, pre-fall and cruise collections. Pret-a-couture was formed to address the fast paced consumer need for couture like garments without the exorbitant price tag. Brands like Fausto Puglisi, Iris Van Herpen and the famous, Alexander McQueen are all examples of pret-a-couture.

Differences between Pret-a-couture and Haute Couture:

  • There is only one piece worldwide assembled from a Haute Couture style, but there is a set-stock of pieces for each style in a pret-a-couture collection, depending on the label.
  • All official Haute Couture pieces are 100% hand-made( this includes, the side seams, zippers and overall garment construction, not just the handwork). Pret-a-couture pieces however, are not 100% hand made, they may contain details that reference Haute-Couture garments like expert hand embroidery, one-of-a-kind textiles and unique embellishments, but they are not hand-made as a whole.
  • True Haute Couture pieces can take up to 300 hours per piece to construct, whereas pret-a-couture takes less than half of this time, dependent on the piece and the label.

Avastave Pret-a-couture

AV-1233f

A cascading river of crepe-satin and silk form this sleeveless coat dress that can be worn with trousers or skirts. Available on Avastave.com

  • What makes Avastave pret-a-couture unique? We only have three sizes in one style. For example, the dress above, is only available in UK 8, 10 and 12. If you are lucky enough to purchase a piece in that style, then you will be the only woman(or man) in the world to own it, with the exception of the clients that purchase size 10 & 12. But, there will only be two other people in the world to own the style.
  • Pricing: We are an emerging label, but one that only creates pret-a-couture and custom pieces. Therefore we are expensive, but through extensive market research and customer feedback we’ve created pricing that is every bit worth your dollar. Especially considering you’ll be one of the only people to own the piece. Did I mention we also provide worldwide free shipping?

Kiians Garment:

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Kiian photographed for Unclear Magazine

Kiian’s garment was created three months ago and took about a month to complete,between emails, design changes, textile finalization and shipping. Custom made pieces require more time and attention and as with all aspects of the business, are primarily handled by me. Kiians top, is crafted in opal pink silk/satin and has elasticated ribbing at the collar, cuffs and lower-hem. The back contains a curved seaming, reminiscent of the jackets of 80’s rock-stars and firmly holds two layers of hand-made, hand-dyed fringing in matching opal pink. The back also contains the initials KIIAN.

 

 

Youtube – The Creative’s Future

Fashion, Style, Uncategorized

Gone are the days of endless posts and countless images, at least for the majority of fashion bloggers. Tap on the links of your favourite ‘influencer’ and chances are their written content is a maximum of 300 words or usually less. We are a visual society. And consume information voraciously; faster than ever before. It is only natural then that bloggers and writers around the globe slowly evolved their technique, a method by which to reach their audience while captivating them in a way that the images and written content did years ago. Enter the millennials favourite video hosting platform; Youtube.

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Denim jacket, ZARA |Polo, Supermart find(yes!) | Jeans and sunglasses, H&M | Trainers, Adidas.

Through Youtube we’ve connected with colourful makeup gurus like Jeffree Star, followed the stylish musings of fashion bloggers like Aimee Song and Gallucks and viewed Chanel couture as if we were sitting front-row with Kirsten Stewart. The possibilities and sense of connectivity Youtube provides birthed a new generation of social media influencer’s, and as such it is time to take lifeandotherstories.com towards the light!

The new vlog will take you on an uncensored journey behind my everyday life, complete with tips on fashion brands to shop, ungendered style, places to dine and the life of a middle-class creative. In all honesty, producing non-written content is going to be tough, as I feel I’m much more myself when I can jot down my thoughts in neat little paragraphs, but I am also a big believer in modernity. Moving forward is imperative to growing, and life is not lived till we challenge ourselves to the fullest. That being said, I hope all of you enjoy the first edition of my vlog. Tap here to view the complete video.