Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

In which Saudi Arabia proves itself to be unexpectedly egalitarian

Usually it is women whose immodest dress and flirtatious manner is condemned as leading impressionable men to commit acts of sexual violence.

Saudi Arabia, however has rounded up 57 young men accused of wearing immodest dress, hanging round shopping malls and flirting. And loitering with the intent to buy red roses.

Saudi men arrested for 'flirting'
Young men in a shopping centre in Saudi Arabia (archive)
Relations between the sexes outside marriage is against the law
Prosecutors in Saudi Arabia have begun investigating 57 young men who were arrested on Thursday for flirting with girls at shopping centres in Mecca.

The men are accused of wearing indecent clothes, playing loud music and dancing in order to attract the attention of girls, the Saudi Gazette reported.

They were arrested following a request of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

The mutaween enforce Saudi Arabia's conservative brand of Islam, Wahhabism.

Earlier in the month, the authorities enforced a ban on the sale of red roses and other symbols used in many countries to mark Valentine's Day.

The ban is partly because of the connection with a "pagan Christian holiday", and also because the festival itself is seen as encouraging relations between the sexes outside marriage, punishable by law in the kingdom.

The Prosecution and Investigation Commission said it had received reports of such "bad" behaviour by 57 young men at a number of shopping centres in the holy city of Mecca, the Saudi Gazette said.

The guardians of some of the men defended their actions, however, saying they would regularly get together at the weekend to have fun without ever violating laws governing the segregation of the sexes, it added.

Creme de la Mer handcream

US price $70

UK price £60 (approx $120)

Duty free would be minus 17.5% circa £49 (approx $98)

Oh, land of the free, home of the brave and the unlined.

Hand-cream: readers, please recommend

I am nearly out of my ruinously expensive Creme de la Mer hand-cream and if there's one thing I like to have on long-haul flights it's plenty of hand-cream. So I need to make a purchase at Heathrow duty free on Monday morning, and will accept recommendations.

If you know a fabulous drug store brand only available in the US, do tell, others may take advantage where I cannot.

Smocks - what are they good for?

I nipped down to Jaeger this morning to try on this top, thinking that I might be in need of a cool loose top on my travels.

Who exactly do smocks suit? Not me, and not most of the Jaeger customers, according to the intelligent and helpful saleswoman. 'Most of our ladies find that smocks make them look quite big,' she said.

I went to Cos and found a rather good navy coat, which I'll be travelling in. Click on the hyperlink and check out their SS08 collection on the video. Cos, for my American readers, is the upmarket arm of H&M, only available in the UK, Belgium, Germany and Denmark. Ha! And soon we'll have Banana Republic (20 March) and if ever we get Zappos, that'll be the end of those New York shopping weekends.