Now this is very interesting.
In the early 1970′s, the political scenario was buzzing with the term black gold, Oil. Oil was scarce, but it ran the American/European machine, and the Arab world… had a lot of it.
The Western world was pressuring Arabia to produce more and more, at the cost of less and less. The Arab-Israel war had been fought, and it became clear to the Arab leaders that US was not a friendly player for the Arabs, especially when it came to Israel.
King Faisal, of Saudi Arabia, threatened to cut off oil supplies to the West on account of any further mischief. The United States, in return, threatened to land their forces on Arab soil in such an event. Now here comes the interesting part. After the US’s counter threat, King Faisal invited Henry Kissinger (then in servise to the US Foreign Office) to a lavish dinner in Saudi Arabia.
The dinner was organized in the middle of nowhere – the dark, cold deserts of Saudia Arab that the Arab lands are so famous for. The dinner, however, showed no sign of remoteness to civilization, with every imaginable luxury and the most delicious meals at hand! It was, afterall, a Royal dinner!
In his autobiography, Years of Upheaval, Dr. Kissinger writes that during the meal, King Faisal leaned over to me, and in a calm tone said (give or take a few words as I write only from memory):
“You must have noticed, nothing in this dinner tonight carries foreign mark. The meat on the table comes from locally hunted camels. The delicacies all made on Arab land, from Arab resources. The lamps that give us light tonight, burn on fuel extracted from camel fat. If you dare come here, we would set our wells on fire and wander into the deserts. We, as you see, would survive. What would you do?”
At this, Kissinger writes, I realized that this was a very dangerous man.
As innocent as is may sound today, it was knee-weakening then. Well-quenching technologies didn’t exist, and setting a well on fire meant almost complete depletion of that well. Even if recovered, a quenched well would give less than half the output of a normally operating well. It ironic how things have gone downhill since, and two Muslim nations have been beaten up severely in the manner that made Kissinger go pale three decades ago.
Dolce & Gabbana: Couture Capri 2015
Dolce & Gabbana’s haute couture, or alta moda, show was molto exclusivo. Staged in a cove on the island of Capri for a select audience of just 200 press and clients, even photography was restricted, except Instagram of course. So, we scoured the accounts of the Instagram-addicted fashion great and mighty to find the best images of the collection. It reminds me of a royal wedding in a Shakespearean play set in Italy. Because, well, it’s regal (just look at the golden crowns and rich textiles), it’s Italian (obviously, it’s Domenico and Stefano we’re talking about here and it’s theatrical (those ballgowns belong in a film or play, don’t they?). It’s beautiful, in a very Italian principessa kind of way. But then Dolce and Gabbana always do Italian principessa well.
Images: Instagram: @irasimonov, @stefanogabbana, @suzymenkesvogue, @fashion_curator
By Ted Stansfield