Dorraj by Jarrod Grossberg – Interview

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I recently had the honour of interviewing unique and talented shoe designer Jarrod Grossberg for D-Journal Dubai about his debut collection for his brand Dorraj. Jarrod Grossberg, a graduate of the London College of Fashion re-interprets the sophistication and old-world glamour of the pre-war French Riviera into strictly limited runs of hand-made styles, which can easily be dressed up or down. His collection uniquely uses beautiful exotic skins such as python and ostrich which has been inspired by his love of travel. At the moment, Dorraj offers two classic styles in a range of colours and skins, so there’s definitely a shoe for everyone!

Enjoy! 🙂

  • Tell me little about yourself.
    • I was born in Sydney and moved to London where I graduated Fashion Management at the London College of Fashion. My biggest non-professional interest ironically turned into my career. I love to travel and admire cultural and aesthetic differences between places and people. It is these experiences that help inspire Dorraj.
  • You have been called Australia’s answer to a male Carrie Bradshaw, why do you have such an interest in shoes?
    • In my opinion shoes define a person. They’re a means of expression and can completely change how an outfit looks as well as how a person feels. I suppose my interest stemmed from this notion. I love to feel good. And look good.
  • What inspired you to turn your interest into a career and start designing shoes?
    • I found that there was a lack of quality handmade everyday shoes on the market. It was because of this that I started Dorraj.
  • What made you decide to start your own line instead of going the more traditional path of designing for an existing label?
    • Control.
  • We love that your brand is your name your backwards! Is there another reason your brand is called Dorraj?
    • Not really – I wanted a name that was unique yet not too foreign sounding. Dorraj works.
  • What are your main inspirations for your collection?
    • The 1930’s Rivera period. Slim Arrons captures a lot of this in his photography.
  • You use such exotic skins to create these beautiful shoes, tell me a little more about your brand Dorraj.
    • Exotic skins are unique, rare and beautiful, characteristics that are too reflected within Dorraj.
  • Why do you use exotic skins and material?
    • I love the texture and effect of exotic skins. The detail on every piece is unique as there are no two skins alike. And of course their quality and durability are unparalleled.

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  • How long does it usually take to create a piece? From inception to completion? What is the process?
    • Usually around 6 months. The designs have to be created, then the skins have to be chosen and coloured. Once this is done sampling takes place and once approved production begins.
  • Why have you chosen those two particular styles for this collection?
    • I wanted my first season to cater to both informal and formal environments.
  • What has been the most difficult part of this getting this collection from concept to completion?
    • I believe the shoe should be perfect inside and out. Sometimes aesthetic has to be compromised for comfort. Finding a healthy balance can be challenging.
  • What makes Dorraj shoes different from the rest?
    • They’re casual and cool without being overly embellished. They’re comfortable and of an extremely high quality being handmade in Italy.
  • Dorraj is being designed by a lover of shoes, rather than just from the commercial eye of a shoe designer, how do you think that affects the final product?
    • I’m a consumer designing for other consumers. I know what someone who loves shoes wants and that’s what I’ve aimed to portray in this brand.
  • Who is the Dorraj customer? What are they like?
    • The fashion conscious quality-seeking consumer. They are like what the rest of this world should be more like.
  • What are your criteria for well-constructed and well-designed shoes?
    • They have to be aesthetically pleasing, confortable and of a high-quality.
  • What do you love about your work?
    • I love it all !
  • Can you tell me about a pair of shoes you’ll never forget?
    • My first pair of Dorraj – Petrol Green Ostrich High-tops. A very proud moment.
  • If you weren’t designing shoes, what would you be doing?
    • Wearing shoes I’d be far less happy with.
  • What’s next for yourself and Dorraj?
    • Bespoke services and an accessories line.
  • Where are you selling your collection?

Dorraj luxury footwear exotic skins smoking slippers

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Officially Back

*WARNING* This post is text and image heavy! 🙂

Hi again!

It has been ages since I sat down and wrote a proper blog entree, I feel there is much explaining to do. Two major things have happened in my life, I got married and moved to Turkey and I lost my phone. Okay, so maybe they’re not equally major but losing a phone for someone who’s a social media addict like me is quite tragic!

My wedding took place August 8th 2014 and was truly amazing. I know people always say that their wedding was amazing, but mine really was. It was relaxed, beautiful and so much fun. My dress was made by my husband’s (still getting used to saying that) family friend and although was not exactly what I had wanted was still gorgeous and honestly, on the night it made no difference! I had a gorgeous fresh flower crown and the most gorgeous shoes (which I actually bought two days before the wedding!!)

Everyone always asks me how I feel now that I’m married, and my answer is always “it feels normal”. Although I feel happy and excited to start my new life with my gorgeous Turkish man, I feel like nothing really has changed in our relationship except that sometimes people call me Mrs. Karasu. But I do love waking up to him every morning and going to sleep with him by my side.  🙂

As for moving to Turkey, I’ll save that for another post!

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Shoes from Erol – Turkey

 

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M.I.A

I must apologise for not posting in ages!! A lot has happened since my last post but I’m officially back! 🙂 

I’ll explain everything tonight! 

P.S – Here’s an outfit of the day! 🙂 

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Top – H&M 

Leather Skirt – Forever 21

Ballet Shoes – Steve Madden

Bag – Chanel

 

 

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Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Trend: Prints!

Although the summer sun still may be scorching, it’s never too early to look ahead and plan for Autumn and Winter. One of my favourite trends this year is Prints! Prints are one of the most important trend indicators of every season, depending on how bright and unique the new season print trends are, we can evaluate the mood of the new season. This AW14/15 print trends are bold, expressive and varied, ranging from abstract motifs and optical prints to some of the already traditional and popular patterns. Bold, Strong stripes were prominent in Marni and Matthew Williamson while floral prints get subdued and more autumn-ready this season at the Dolce & Gabbana show. Geometric, unique prints were popular as Chanel and Prada sent models out in brightly coloured patterned outfits injecting a touch of novelty and a positive attitude to the cold season’s wardrobes.

Fall 2014

 

Here are some (affordable) gorgeous on-trend pieces! Links below!

Prints Highstreet

 

1. Collarless Check Throw on Coat

2. Plaid Fit & Flare Dress

3. Maisie Printed Cape Back Top

4. Margotta Floral Button Up Playsuit

5. Satin Stripe A-Line Dress

I LOVE PRINTS! 🙂

xx

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Dawn of the Planet of The Apes

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The other night I was invited to the premier screening of the movie Dawn of the Planet of The Apes and I was super excited! I loved the last one, and generally I am a fan of the whole Planet of the Apes series. 

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If you haven’t heard about this movie (to which I say..how is that possible!?) the idea behind this one is the growing nation of these genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by human survivors of the virus that was unleashed a earlier. At first they get along but it’s a short-lived peace, as both sides are brought to the start of a war.

I really loved this movie, this is the kind of movie that really reminds me why I love movies, or more specifically why I love Sci-fi. It’s intelligent, deep, passionate, thought provoking as well as action packed, generally a good all rounder. 

The special effects are amazing, and there are a couple of great fight scenes thrown in, but what makes it great is the general storyline doesn’t just depends on looking pretty, it’s a interesting story with characters who are well thought out. 

Although we watched it 3D, you could probably do without. I actually don’t like 3D very much, it makes me feel very cross eyed. In this particular movie there was nothing really that the 3D added too, I like to called it 3D foliage. I would recommend however to watch it in the biggest screen you can – bring on the IMAX.

So to round my mini review up in four words: Go. Watch. This. Move

4 stars out of 5 for me! 🙂

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The Model Life

 

Ok well perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself with that title!

Yesterday was a super exciting day! A week ago I saw post on Instagram from an online shop in the UAE called Namshi. (Namshi an online website which is slowly becoming the ASOS of this region! They provide stylish clothes from brands like Glamorous, Ginger, Ella, Finders Keepers and more at quite an affordable price.) As a regular online shopper it was only natural that I started ordering from them! I think my first order from them was a pair of Jeffery Campbell Litas so it’s safe to say that I am a fan!

Well anyway I saw this post:

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They were looking for someone to be the face of the Plus Size range that slowly has been growing on the website. I thought that it would be a fun experience but I NEVER thought I’d actually get it. I’m quite short and have zero modeling experience but regardless I chose some random instagram shots, selfies, full length and sent them in. A few days later I got an e-mail saying they wanted me!! I was so excited! We organized a date and time and then I began to get nervous while I waited for the days to pass.

Well yesterday was the day, and it was an amazing experience!! Getting my hair and make up done, wearing all these outfits. I’m so used to being on the other side that at first I felt super self conscious. Eventually I got really into it and began to feel confident and beautiful. I think it’s a great thing that more and more websites and online fashion retailers are catering to plus sizes, and not only that but are presenting a nice selection of fashion forward clothing for curvy ladies.

I had a great time (and so did my sister who came along for moral support and to take some behind the scenes shots – Pics are below)! I also recieved a voucher for Namshi so I’ll be ordering some gorgeous clothes soon!

Stay tuned for a Namshi Haul post but in the meantime, check them out yourself.

http://www.namshi.com

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Summer Essentials

 

I LOVE the summer! Tanned skinned, light flowy summer dresses and perfectly tousled hair, (with a little help of a few products here and there) what’s not to love! Here are a few of my favourite summer products to keep you looking and feeling like the beach goddess you are..whatever the weather!

Summer Essentials

1. Golden Touch: Create the healthy look of golden, sun-kissed skin without the damaging effects of the sun! Laura Mercier’s Bronzed Pressed Powder is a two-tone silky smooth bronzing powder that glides on evenly, giving the skin a healthy radiance

2. Beach Bronze: This he-she One Day Tan is a wash off bronzer PERFECT for those last minute tanning emergencies (we all have them!). Drying in just two minutes, the refreshing, non-sticky moisturising formula will leave you with a golden glow just in time for your special event.

3. Fresh Faced: Inspired by the passion for freedom of Gabrielle Chanel, the Chanel Make up Creation studio have designed Les Beiges! Les Beiges aims to reveal the natural healthy glow of each woman and provide a sensation of lightness, well-being and freshness. The range includes Healthy Glow multi-colour compact powder and an all-in-one healthy glow fluid with added SPF. Although slightly on the more pricey side, it’s definitely worth the money. A little goes a long way!

4. Glamorous Kisses: Illamasqua are doing something slightly different in the form of the Glamore collection. Taking inspiration from the 1920s glamour, Glamore focuses on lips, tips and bold brows. This collection is all about bright, intense shades and textures. Three new shades of lipstick have been introduced, this time in a colour intense, satin finish formula which applies easily and has a long lasting quality. The lipsticks come in three intense shades: Luster – A blue-based candy pink with a luminous sheen, Glissade – A vibrant deep fuchsia with cool undertones and Soaked – A brilliant orange with strong red undertones. Perfect for summer nights out!!

5. Spring Fever: Last but not least and still one of my favourites from Spring is Clinique’s Happy in Bloom fragrance. Everything we love about spring in a bottle! Clinique’s upbeat floral fragrance with muguet, white freesia and mimosa will make your world sweeter, softer and brighter. But just like the season, it won’t be here forever! Snap it up while you can!

 

 

 

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I am Nadia

Hello! Welcome to the official first post of my blog! That first one didn’t count by the way…

I’m going to start by introducing myself with the 5 W’s.

Who?
My name is Nadia Hamidi, I’m 26 years old from Libya. I was born and raised in the UK but have been living in Dubai for the past 10 years where I work as a fashion journalist. I have a lovely family, beautiful friends and a gorgeous fiance. I am happy.

What?
This is my blog. I think following the natural route of social media lead me here. I love instagram, I love facebook.. not so much twitter but I found myself craving more. I’ve always dabbled at the idea of having a blog and so it feels good to have one that I might actually follow through with. I’ll be reviewing beauty products, talking about fashion, posting my outfits, writing about film, music and anything that makes me happy that I think might make you happy too! 🙂

When?
Ok.. well I’ve had this blog registered for a while, at least a month but I only finalised the name today, so I’m going to say today! 16 July 2014. 🙂

Where?
I currently live in Dubai but as of August 24th I’m moving to Ankara Turkey with my husband (I’m getting married on August 8th). That’s partly the reason I’ve decided to start a blog, a way to help me settle into this new adventure and life in a completely different country.

Why?
Well one reason I mentioned before, the move. Another reason is probably to keep me consistently writing. Moving to a country where I don’t speak the language will give me a lot of restrictions when it comes to work and so my job here (in Dubai) as a Fashion writer won’t quite work there for me, this will be my creative outlet.

PS. This is a picture of me…

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I (Finally) Like This

It took me ages to finalise a blog name and address. I think I must have deleted at least 5 different blogs over the space of one month, then I realised I could actually change the name and address of the site though the settings!! I’m happy with this though, I like this.

 

 

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