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Travel news and deals: from luxury in Kiev to a new train route in India

A luxurious and stylish boutique hotel has opened in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, close to the National Opera House.

Take in the sights of Ukraine's capital

A luxurious and stylish boutique hotel has opened in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, close to the National Opera House. A design hotel, 11 Mirrors is currently running a "sparkling winter special" offer with three nights for the price of two on stays from December 20 to January 15 inclusive. A double room costs from €212 (Dh1,005) per night, including breakfast and taxes. The offer is based on two people sharing. For further information, visit www. 11mirrors-hotel.com.

Celebrate the season on Saadiyat Island

Check into the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort here in Abu Dhabi this Christmas and take advantage of one of the hotel's festive offers. Stay the night of December 24 in a double room, which costs from Dh1,600, and enjoy a festive buffet for two at Oléa, its Mediterranean restaurant, as well as breakfast. An additional dinner or lunch at Oléa will cost from Dh300 for adults or Dh100 for children aged from 5 to 12 years old. Father Christmas is set to make an appearance with presents for children, and there's carol singing to set the mood. To book, visit www.stregissaadiyatisland.com.

What's new at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

Scott's, a British seafood restaurant, is the last of the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers' eateries to open. The original Scott's, an oyster warehouse, was established in London in 1851 and the Abu Dhabi incarnation has art-deco styling as well as its own private jetty; the restaurant sits at the end of a short pier over the Arabian Gulf. On the menu is Shetland mussels, dressed Cornish crab and Scottish smoked salmon. To book a table for lunch or dinner, call 02 811 5666.

A new beach resort opens in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's "first six-star hotel", the Ritz-Carlton Dorado Beach opened this week with 100 rooms and 14 one-bedroom suites, plus Su Casa, a renovated 1920s beachfront hacienda that will serve as a VIP villa. If lazing on the shores of this Caribbean island, once the hang out of John F Kennedy and the 1960s jetset, begins to pale, the hotel has created the Rockefeller Nature Trail, a 17km paved path around the area for walkers, cyclists and electric carts. Double rooms cost from US$1,600 (Dh5,875) per night, including taxes. Book at www.ritzcarlton.com.

Tour India's golden triangle in comfort

A new and convenient rail service linking two of India's most visited destinations - Jaipur and Agra - has just started. The Shatabdi Express has fully air-conditioned carriages and departs on a convenient daily schedule, leaving Jaipur at 07.05, arriving in Agra, 241km away, three-and-a-half hours later, and departing Agra for the return journey at 16.20. A single fare costs 430 Indian rupees (Dh29). The same express service also links New Delhi with Jaipur. For more information, visit www.indianrail.gov.in.

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 Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Thoughtful tailoring at Asudari

The womenswear label Asudari showcased a collection that featured sharp masculine tailoring, but with feminine silhouettes.

Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games.

Designer Lamia Asudari says she was influenced by Delftware ceramics from the 16th century, as well as the imagery of weaponry and artillery. Indeed, pistols, grenades and guns were emblazoned over jackets and dresses.

 Several of Jo Baaklini's pieces featured fruit prints. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: At Starch, watermelon shirts, anyone?

“We need to cultivate our own fashion heroes — our own regional brands,” stressed Fashion Forward’s honcho Bong Guerrero in a press con two weeks ago.

Aptly, the slot for this season’s opening runway show was given to two newbies: Jo Baaklini and Timi Hayek, whose talents were scouted by Starch, a group dedicated to launching emerging Lebanese designers.

Between the two, Mr Baaklini had a stronger showing.

 Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece. Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Jean Louis Sabaji’s debatable debut

Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece, the floral crop top, and the radiant yellow pleated skirt.

But most of the time he went too far. There were bell-bottoms, separates that looked like costumes from The Jetsons, and a yellow dress reminiscent of Bjork’s infamous Oscars swan dress — several disparate elements in one multicoloured, multilayered show.

 Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all.” Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Kage pleases all palates

Did the designers of Kage aim to showcase every type of basic clothing on their latest show?

Because there were skirts, shorts, trousers, off-shoulder tops, short dresses, cocktail dresses, long flowy dresses, spaghetti straps, jackets, hoods — and even pyjamas, which with the incoming summer heat, looked especially appealing.

Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all”, they said in their statement.

 The standout was a grey hooded cape that created a tension between edge and elegance. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Polish, craft (and fur!) at The Emperor 1688

The best show of Day 1 at Fashion Forward was delivered by the three Golkar brothers behind The Emperor 1688.

The coats and capes were the clear winners: they came in all sorts of interesting colours and sizes — and featured exceptionally tailored proportions. There was a lot of volume, but also stiffness.

And whimsy: two favourites were a green double-breasted suit and a blue overcoat with a red clover pattern and gold buttons.

 Midway through Ezra's show, snow started falling from the ceiling. Ian Gavan / Getty Images for Fashion Forward

Fashion Forward: Ezra stuns in snow-covered show

Turns out the Filipino designer Ezra, known for his dreamy couture, still had a few surprises up his sleeve.

Midway through his show, snow started falling from the ceiling.

It created a starkly beautiful atmosphere for his intricately constructed gowns that seemed to be designed for an Ice Queen transported back to the 1950s.

He showed a collection that had a lot of technical firepower behind it: glittering iridescent fabrics paired with head and neckpieces that were moulded and stiffened to stand out in odd angles.

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