As we enter phase two (three? four? I’ve lost count) of, as Jess Cartner-Morley so brilliantly put it in The Guardian, “whatever this is”, we’ve probably learned more about ourselves in 30 days than in the last few years put together. The naïve questions we asked a month ago seem like a quaint distant memory lost in a fog of banana bread and lapsed good intentions. Now, stuff’s got real. Well, real-er. Could this, right now, be the hardest part? The reckoning with the new reality that lays before us?
The conversations I’ve been having with my team, and with a group of 12 incredible designers including Elie Saab, Alice Temperley and Mary Katrantzou, have riffed on this, with one big, central question recurring: what now? How do we rebuild, having been given the unprecedented opportunity to rip it up and start again? How do we create our future selves – and our future world – in the best way possible? And how do we evolve to meet the next chapter, keeping the human touch in this “new world of remote everything”, as CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella described it. Read their thoughts, sent straight (and yes, remotely) from their workspaces at home, in The Great Indoors.
Looking back to look forward is another way we have found ourselves navigating the storm. Throwbacks have proliferated social media (psychologists say nostalgia is both stabilising and comforting, both of which sound pretty good right now), and we, too, have taken to rummaging in the archives. In The Covers That Never Were, we celebrate our most iconic shoots and reimagine what the covers would, could, or even should have looked like.
From there to Saudi Arabia – a country whose bold power moves have been speeding towards its brave new world for far longer than we’ve been thinking about ours. With a foreword by the indomitable HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, we feature the follow-up to KSA’s street-style book Under The Abaya, and proudly watch the stereotype-shattering unfold for the second time.
It’s more than fitting that this global-scale self-reflection is occurring during Ramadan – the most introspective month of all. What have I learned? Just how resilient we all are. That, and we mustn’t fear change, as challenging as it may feel. We’re standing at the crossroads of the future. We’d better make the most of it.
Sunglasses, Dhs1,375, Loewe at Matches Fashion
T-Shirt, Dhs815, Christopher Kane at Farfetch
Blazer, Dhs7,325, Altuzarra
Jeans, Dhs2,070, Maison Margiela
Serpenti Seduttori Watch, Dhs85,000, Bvlgari
Sandals, Dhs1,575, Paris Texas at Browns Fashion
From Olivia's (WFH) Desk
There’s still a Tiger King-shaped hole in my life, but it’s been filled at least somewhat (no, not by Too Hot To Handle), but by Defending Jacob – Apple TV’s latest highly addictive mystery-thriller.
Pico Baguette Charm (to hold my Air Pods), Dhs2,590, Fendi
Berber Killim Rug, Dhs1,550, Beldi Bazaar
34 Boulevard Saint Germain Candle, Dhs1,020, Diptyque
Harper's Bazaar Arabia May 2020 Issue