One of my favourite things about Hong Kong is the street style. Everywhere I’ve been this week, I’ve cooled my eyes on knee-high socks and Dr Martens and Converse trainers, topped with shorts, skirts and T-shirts and accessorised with scarves. Laid-back and chic, it was such a welcome sight after the sky-high heels, designer labels, 24-carat gold and over-the-top style that is the norm in the UAE.
Seriously, can you remember a trip to the mall when you haven’t had the urge to knock some slow-walking member of the Louboutin/Louis Vuitton/Hervé Léger clan out of your way? Six-inch heels are hardly appropriate footwear for The Dubai Mall, especially when they force you to walk at the rate of two centimetres per hour.
At the other end of this spectrum are the ones who seem to be making a sport out of dressing in their drabbest. It’s these extremes that seem to be my biggest grievance against UAE street style. Why can’t we find some nice, middle ground? Some stylish middle ground, like Hong Kong has?
I’ve spent a disproportionate amount of time people-watching and am developing a serious case of “street style envy”. I want to take all these people – dressed exactly the way they are – and put them on the streets of Dubai. That would make me feel so much better.
And amid all this came a big blow from my beloved Dubai in the form of the Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha and her colossal fashion faux pas.
The Bollywood starlet was recently in town to promote her new film R … Rajkumar opposite Shahid Kapoor.
I was going through my Facebook feed looking at pictures taken at the event and couldn’t believe what I was seeing: there she was, a film star, flashing her pearly whites at the media – wearing a bandeau top upside down.
Yes, upside down. She was dressed in a cobalt blue dress that seemed to consist of a sheer full-length, full-sleeved sheath slipped on top of a two piece skirt-bottom and bandeau top – and her top was on upside down. I looked again to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I scrolled through other pictures to make sure the first picture wasn’t just taken at a bad angle. Nope. There was no doubt about it: this celebrity was at a press event to promote her film and she had her clothes on upside down.
Surely I couldn’t have been the only one to have noticed? Maybe Sinha herself was too preoccupied to worry about her clothes, but surely her hair or make-up artist should have spotted it? Unless they did but were too embarrassed to mention it to her? Or maybe – as someone pointed out – they thought it was a new fashion statement?
All I know is that right now, there are an awful lot of pictures of a Bollywood actress out there that make her look downright sloppy. It makes me want to rephrase one of Coco Chanels’s most famous quotes: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and make sure your clothes are on the right way up.”
The writer is an honest-to-goodness desi living in Dubai
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