Category Archives: Diary of a Not-So-Single Girl In Beirut

GAP Styld.by + IvySays = Weekend Walks

Finding the perfect fitting pair of jeans doesn’t come easy for a girl, what works on your legs doesn’t always work on your hips. So when do finally land on the right ones, you hang on to them.

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I loved these GAP 1969 Ashore washed always skinny jeans I wore for my Spring Statements Look for GAP Styled.by so much I decided to wear them down this time with a cream crop pull over from Zara, a pair of sequined-print sneakers from Marc by Marc Jacobs and my calf-skin navy blue satchel by Marc Jacobs. I accessorized the look with my favorite animal print gold bracelet courtesy of Juicy Couture and a statement pair of Dior sunnies.

GAP_IvySays_Spring-900px-19This shoot took place right outside the very Lebanese vintage Beriz Café in Old Souk Jounieh, who were such enthusiasts and really made us feel welcome.

Photos by Mokhtar Beirut.

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Check out my feature on GAP Styld.by Global Page

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GAP styld.by + IvySays = Spring Statements

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My ultimate spring outfit fix is a crisp white shirt and a flattering pair of cut-out blue jeans, it’s a versatile and simple combo that can be dressed up or down. For my most recent collaboration with GAP styld.by I wanted to add as many statement pieces as possible to this classic favorite.

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I chose these GAP 1969 Ashore washed always skinny jeans and styled them with this Zara white netted polo and a statement necklace. I also fell in love with these color blocked, white, pastel pink and black Zara pumps and this embossed snakeskin clutch courtesy of Uterqüe. I accessorized with a gorgeous calf-hair animal print gold bracelet courtesy of Juicy Couture. Finally I completed the look with  a statement pair of sunnies I picked up on my recent trip to Paris, the new “Dior Eyes” in gold and ivory by Christian Dior.

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The shoot took place in the beautiful streets of the old souk in Jounieh by Mokhtar Beirut who’s always such a pleasure to work with.

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Check out more of my looks with GAP Styld.by below

Beirut Street Pop Art

Under The Bridge

GAP styld.by + IvySays = Under The Bridge

Ivy Says for GAP styldby Dana Khairallah

Part Two of my latest collaboration with GAP styld.by took place this time right under the bridge where Souk el Ahad (Sunday Market) sets up every week.

I chose this crimson pleated GAP print skirt and styled it with a casual black DKNY crew neck pullover and opaque black stockings and my cream and black leather Celine Luggage bag and Marc Jacob cat eye glasses. I dressed it down with my favorite comfortable pair of black belted Maria Pino Uggs. To complete this punk-chic look I matched my lips to the crimson on the skirt with MAC’s Dreaming Dahlia lipstick.

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The look transformed into a dressier one instantly as soon as I switched it up with a pair of black Zara platform pumps.

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Photographed by Mokhtar Beirut.

Check out Part One of this collaboration HERE

An Apology Letter To Jackie Chamoun

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Dear Jackie,

I’m a little late to this party, I was abroad amidst the #StripForJackie craze that took Lebanon by storm last week and was too busy to chime in on all that boob business. Actually I made the decision not to take this opportunity to jump on the “let’s milk Jackie” bandwagon. You see I too hail from this backward region we call home and understand:

1) How hard it is to be a fully dressed woman let alone a semi-naked one in the Middle East

2) Just how truly judgmental people can be, so I thought I’d be doing you a favor by just letting this “scandal” pass.

But this incident didn’t just pass, it’s went viral. I can’t hold my silence anymore, so instead I want to apologize to you on behalf of the Republic of Primates, you know the schizophrenic country we like to call Lebanon, the one we’ve been priding ourselves for years for being “The Paris of the Middle East” or for making it on some foreign media’s list of “Top World Destinations” But let’s not kid ourselves this type of moral prosecution shows that we’re no better than the Taliban or Muslim Brotherhood, in fact maybe even worse, at least they’re not pretending to be Paris.

We named and shamed you and even publicly prosecuted you like you’ve committed some sort of national honor crime, even the Minister of Youth and Sports felt compelled to take part in this character assassination by calling upon Lebanese Olympic officials to investigate your actions. How dare you expose your breasts in a public space three years ago and think you can get away with it?  Perhaps a flogging or stoning would have been in order.

And though I was impressed with the swiftness, humor and creativity of Lebanese brands and agencies (A for effort guys)  and while I understand that some of their intentions were to show solidarity with you I thought they did you more harm than good. Here’s why:

This is not YOUR cause. You never signed up for it, it chose you. You never thought that posing in nothing but a thong and ski boots for a calendar would suddenly make you the poster child for liberalism in your country. Actually you apologized, expressed your frustration and asked us to move on and focus on the sport. We didn’t.

What we did do instead is insist on using your name (which I’m sure caused you a huge amount of anguish and stress) as the determining reference in this debate. Liberals use you as a yardstick for progressiveness while conservatives vilified you. You on the other hand were busy training for the upcoming Olympic Games.

So I’m sorry,  please accept my apology on behalf of everyone, the people who condemned you, the government that singled you out and the brands and campaigns that used you.

Oh and Good Luck in the Sochi Olympic games.

Ivy

GAP styld.by + IvySays = Beirut Street Pop Art

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Now that I’m no longer anonymous I’ve been having some fun as you can probably tell!

My latest collaboration is with GAP as part of their international styld.by digital campaign which entails a global platform that showcases a catalog of personal/street style outfits and looks by fashion bloggers and artists from all walks of life.

What I loved about this initiative is the incorporation of a few GAP items of clothing into my everyday wardrobe rather than a full look from head to toe, which allowed me to stay true to my personal style.

As someone who favors comfort over style any day of the week, I chose this warm dark powder blue and crimson GAP  mix-stripe boatneck sweater and paired it with my favorite pair of American Eagle distressed jeans and a classic Tory Burch Saffiano belt. It went perfectly well with my Zara Badic Envelope clutch and a pair of color-blocked suede kitten heels also from Zara. I accessorized the look with my favorite ballerina Thomas Sabo Charm.

The pictures were shot by the very talented Mokhtar Beirut and took place right by Beirut’s Art Center.

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I’ll be sharing more looks from GAP’s styld.by collaboration in the upcoming weeks!

Ivy Says is Special Magazine’s Beautysta of the Month

For February’s issue, I had the pleasure of getting selected as Spécial Magazine Beautysta of the month. In this interview (in French) I share some of my beauty DO’s and DON’T’s and makeup tips and tricks, favorites products and more!  Take a look and don’t forget to grab your copy.

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Hair by Riad Khalil at Tony El Mendelek Salon

Follow Special on Facebook and Twitter

Lebanon’s 4 Unknown Heroes Who Deserve Our Respect

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1)      The Delivery Guy

Through rain or shine, hail or flood, this brave man will get on that worn-out zero-safety-measure scooter sans helmet and put his life at risk just so you can get your Kafta wo Jebneh Man2ousheh fresh and on-time. You don’t really think about him or the fact that his scooter almost skid under a sixteen-wheeler truck because his insulated delivery bag is too heavy carrying more than four separate orders, who cares that he’s drenched from head to toe, what matters is your food arrived hot and you feel good about yourself when you hand him 2000LL ( less than 2 Dollars) for his effort. This guy deserves a medal so next time you see him give him a hefty tip why don’t you.

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2)      The Washroom Attendant

This woman has to deal with your shit. Literally. She’s seen it all and most of the time people treat her like she’s invisible, no hellos no thank yous. Sometimes she even has to take the role of a peace keeper especially when two drunken males or females are having a little I was-here-first toilet face-off.  She will work up until the wee hours of the morning wiping barf of toilet seats for a measly $150/month and probably have to clean her boss’s house the next day and babysit the kids. So be nice to her, don’t make her life any harder than it should be and try to aim IN the toilet.

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 3) The Sukleen Cleaner

Never mind the politics behind Sukleen. I’m talking about that poor fellow at the very bottom of the food chain that’s picking up the cigarette bud you so unhesitantly flicked out of your car window. The guy that keeps the city you live in clean so you don’t poison yourself with your own filth, yes him, the one that escaped poverty from his own country to come and become a slave in yours.  The one that’s caught more skin rashes than you know how to pronounce just because your lazy ass  can’t be bothered to wait until you find a garbage bin. Would you throw a can of soda on the floor of your own living room? I hope not, so I don’t see why you would behave any differently outside!

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4) The Red Cross Volunteer

The hero of all heroes. While most of us are throwing back cocktails on a weekend night this altruistic person volunteered his/her time, for no remuneration whatsoever, to save someone’s life because that someone made the stupid decision of drinking and driving and ended up crashing their car into a sidewalk.  The Red Cross Volunteer will administer first aid on you because he/she went through hours and hours of vigorous training while you slept in on Saturdays. All this while he juggles a part-time job to pay his way through college. So instead of spending a $100 on some drinks tonight go donate them to the Red Cross.

 

 

The 6 Annoying Dating Habits of Middle Eastern Women

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You loved The 6 Annoying Dating Habits of Middle Eastern Men, and since I’m all for equality this sequel was only fair.

1)      When you first met her at a club she seemed like the most outgoing fun-loving party girl who wanted to grab life by its horns.  She made Lindsay Lohan look like a homebody. Fast forward to two dates later and she’s dropping the “M Bomb” on you. Yes, already. She brought up marriage so casually, practically implying it’s a condition. At this point you’re completely oblivious to the trap she just set for you. You would have agreed to anything just to get some . Now you’re about to drop a hefty down payment for that 700 plus wedding, jokes on you! Muhahahaha

2)      Excessive complaining followed by a chance of tantrum. Just like Australia is known for its Kangaroos, we Middle Eastern women are known for our soap opera-like tantrums when things don’t go our way. As a rule of thumb, NEVER attempt to win an argument; you will be annihilated for the mere act of trying.  And when all else fails- we’ll call in the tears. As soon as you spot them apologize IMMEDIATELY. If you’re not sure apologize anyway.

3)      Zero notion of Time. Fake lash application is more complicated and meticulous than you know. (anyone else can’t get than hang of it?) So If you need to be somewhere at 10pm just subtract that number by 3. So 7pm means 10pm.  2 mean 5. Simple math and no one’s late. I love win wins.

4)      Drama, we live for it, attract it, crave it, create it, and when all else fails, imagine it. Even if it’s a perfectly nice day and you’re having a stroll in her favourite mall, drama still lurks in the shadows. It could her over-protective mother barraging her with calls inquiring about her whereabouts or some random girl shop girl giving her attitude. They ruined her mood and now you and that unsuspecting waitress are going to pay. Brace yourself, put on your headgear and get ready to roll with the punches . Nod and agree (and nod) with everything she says and pray for the shit storm to pass.

5)      Part of what makes you a gentleman is your ability to finance everything. If you don’t then you’re either cheap or poor and both won’t do.  It’s pretty straight forward

6)      No you can not be friends with your ex-girlfriend or any other female friend for that matter even if she’s married with kids. It’s a territorial thing. And all your male friends need to pass a screen test where she will filter them out and decide which ones will do and which will not. No you do not get to have a say.

Did I miss a few?

Also See

What Men Really Want, Especially Lebanese Men

2013 in Review and a BFCosmetics Photoshoot

I’d like to start 2014 year with my latest collaboration with Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics. As you know I’m a huge fan of celebrity makeup artist Bassam Fattouh who boasts a long list of celebrity clientele having worked on some of the biggest names in the Arab World including Haifa Wehbe, Elissa, Najwa Karam, Nancy Ajram and Majida Al Roumi so when I got invited for a makeup session and photo-shoot with the legend himself and his latest makeup collection I jumped at the opportunity.

Dana Khairallah for Bassam Fattouhphoto by MSeifPhotography

2013 was definitely my year.

After 4 years of blogging anonymously I finally took the decision to come out of hiding one at of the year’s hottest fashion events #IvysBigReveal staged by RAGMAG and VEROMODA back in August at Le Gray.

Not only did I get to meet avid readers who’ve been following my blog for years and fellow bloggers, I formed great friendships along the way. I also got invited to have my own segment Talk of the World on MTV Lebanon’s prime time hit show Talk of the Town alongside Mona Abou Hamze.

I am so thankful and grateful for all the good things that have come my way and I learned to never take things for granted. I learned to accept and let go of the things/people I can’t change. I learned that dreams do come true if you’re willing to go the extra mile for them. But above all I learned about that golden virtue called patience. Good things come to those who wait- and work hard. I don’t know what 2014 holds for me, but I do know it’s going to be hard to top 2013 off.

Finally, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year, three words people have been reluctant to use given the recent turmoil and tragedy in the country and the region. I understand the hesitation, but today I choose to be optimistic because when things hit rock bottom, the only way to go is UP.

Ivysays Bisoux

What’s With Lebanon’s Cruelty Towards Animals?

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I spent a lot of summers in Lebanon as a kid. A good number of homes in villages had dogs. Large dogs that were never vaccinated and lived on their owner’s doorsteps or caged in the back yard. They’re main purpose was to deter strangers or thieves or entertain the household’s children.

It’s a very common arrangement here, the kind where the family claims to have a dog but under no circumstance whatsoever would that dog ever be allowed to set paw in the house. The dog slept outside, ate outside, played outside and died outside, come rain or shine.

I always tried to secretly sneak the dogs into the house, would spend all my pocket money on buying them canned corned beef while everyone laughed at me, some even told me to go feed the hungry children instead. I had to get treated myself after I attempted to shower Whiskey, the village’s alcoholic’s dog with the garden hose. You see Whiskey had never had a shower in his life, he was flea-ridden much to my mother’s dismay.

I fought other kids when they threw rocks at the poor dogs or tormented them. When I asked adults why kids in Lebanon hurt animals I was always given the same absurd answer along the lines of “ Lebanon went through years of civil war were people killed each other,  we have more important issues than animals rights”

Well, kids the war is over, and  guess what, it ended in 1990 so some of you don’t even recall it, and even if you did, how on earth does that justify animal cruelty? Really?

And why can’t we multitask? Why can’t we deal with ALL our issues at once, why does it have to be either/or? Why can’t I have compassion for both animals AND humans without feeling guilty?

I write this post after we rescued a cute dog we named “Lucky” from a dumpster next to a residential neighborhood last week. She was a sweet little soul who was clearly starving with protruding bones and weighed no more than a kilo despite her medium size. It was obvious Lucky wasn’t always a stray; she looked like an older dog that wouldn’t have been able to survive in the cruel cold Lebanese streets on her own.

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We gave Lucky a hot bath and her own little blanket while she cuddled up next to the heater and wolfed down 3 bowls of food. The next day I reached out to Animals Lebanon who told me to put her in a dog motel and pay for it myself since all their fosters “who are expats have traveled”, while the amazing folks at BETA (Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) told me to drop her off at the Animal Hospital where she was examined by the vet and then handed over to BETA.

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Turns out Lucky was indeed an elder dog (10-12 years) and like many cases they have seen she was most likely abandoned because of her old age and all the “nuisances” it ensued.

So many Lebanese kids are going to receive pets as gifts this Christmas. By new year the novelty will wear off when they realize that the pet is not that cute anymore and will have to be housebroken before it serves it’s “purpose”, as a result most of these pets will most likely get abandoned. Please don’t get a pet if you aren’t 100% certain. BETA’s shelters are at over-capacity and they need all the help they can get.

And please don’t lecture me on where I should focus my compassion and instead redirect that energy on doing some good this Christmas.

Donate here to BETA which now accepts PayPal: donatetobeta@gmail.com