Fashion Forward Dubai – Day 3

Can’t believe it has taken me so long to get this post up, it’s been so busy! However I am really going to try and make an effort to be more consistent with posts. Bare with me!

Anyway Sunday April 12th was the final day of the fashion forward event that was open to the public (on Monday it was hosting a press and VIP’s only panel discussion day at the D3 campus location). After the busyness of day 2, I was quite glad that the first catwalk show wasn’t until 2pm so that I could have a bit of a lie in. They did have a workshop and presentation prior however I decided not to attend these.

So like day 2, the final day consisted of 8 catwalk shows as well as a couple of brand presentations and industry talks. The talk I attended was about visual merchandising and store displays by Gianfranco Olivotto from Domus Academy in Milan. It was a very interesting talk and he gave us a great insight as to how important this topic is for fashion retail.

Anyway, I am sure you are much more interested in the fashion I saw that day. Once again it was amazing to see so much artistry and skill go down the runway and in particular the final show which literally blew the entire audience away. So here we go…

Lama Jouni

The first catwalk show of the day was by the designer Lama Jouni, whose label was founded in November 2013 in Paris, France. This was her first debut at Fashion Forward Dubai and it was interesting, although no my favorite. The collection was chic and had simplistic designs. If I had to choose one word to describe it, minimalism is the word that would spring to mind.

(To see the full collection click here)

Lama Jouni

Daneh

The second show I saw was Daneh, which is designed by Daneh Duahmad who began the label in 2010. Daneh, who is from Saudi, designs clothing that are practical, chic and easy-to-wear for women who are busy and on the go. And I really think she has stuck true to this aesthetic with this collection, and I really like it. The pieces looked so comfortable and easy-to-wear, but still stylish and feminine without being too fussy. In fact my favorite look was the combination of a sweatshirt and A-line skirt, which just looked so chic but super comfortable for everyday wear as well. This was definitely one of the most wearable ‘on-a-daily-basis’ RTW collections of the weekend. Here are several of my favorite looks from her collection.

(To see the full collection click here)

Daneh

Taller Marmo

Taller Marmo is a Dubai based women’s wear brand founded by Riccardo Audisio and Yago Goicoechea in 2013. The concept of the label actually began in Italy when Audisio and Goicoechea were studying fashion design in Milan but decided to base their company in Dubai. The brand is really growing and in fact I have just read today that they are nominated for the 2015/16 International Woolmark Price with many other designers from around the world.

This was actually the most controversial show of the weekend, and got a lot of negative press for the black face make-up that was used on some of the models. And unfortunately I really didn’t like the collection that much either except for maybe one or two looks like the short silver dress with the masquerade mask at the neckline which looked super cute. The rest of the collection kind of looked like a jumble of different collections in one and some pieces even looked like pajamas. Suffice it to say, not my favorite collection from the weekend.

(To see the full collection click here)

Taller Marmo

Said Mahrouf

Said Mahrouf is a Moroccan designer who actually began his career designing costumes for dancers and has had his work displayed in multiple different museums around the world. The collection showed at Fashion Forward was one of the few collections to use so many really bright and vibrant colours & fabrics. It has a very geometric feel to it and was inspired by the Polish-Russian painter Kazimir Malevitch’s color blocking technique. Mahrouf is known for his draping and you could definitely see that in the pieces, but at the same time, and even with the bright pops of color, they are simplistic in their design which gives the whole collection a very fresh feel.

(To see the full collection click here)

Said Mahrouf

Madiyah Al Sharqi

The first of the big catwalk shows was Madiyah Al Sharqi who is the daughter of the Ruler of Fujairah, U.A.E. Since a young age she has been surrounded by fashion and particularly high fashion, which has been a huge influence on her and her career in fashion.  There’s no guessing as to why I love this collection …. all the pastel colours! Al Sharqi’s collection was bursting with the most beautiful pastel blues, greens and yellows. And lets not even start on the exquisite beading, embroidery & lace, which are to die for! I truly am in love with this collection and I really like how it feels light and feminine with modern sophistication, all with the use of some color. Here are just some of my favorite looks from the show, and I am excited to see where Al Sharqi is going to go as a designer!

(To see the full collection click here)

Madiyah al SharqiMadiyah al Sharqi 2

House of Nomad

After the Madiyah Al Sharqi show, the House of Nomad catwalk show was a complete contrast! House of Nomad is a Dubai based brand founded by Ahmed El-Sayed and Saleh Al-Banna. This is an innovative new label with an ‘athleisure’ concept which uses a lot of silk jersey and neoprene fabrics. The collection showed at Fashion Forward was their first full RTW collection and I think that it was a great success. The collection has a real sporty feel to it but still the women’s wear had a very feminine look so that it wasn’t too harsh. The fabrics the used looked so comfy & cozy and definitely something that would be great to wear for a more casual but chic look in a cold European winter. I was surprised how much I actually really liked the collection as its not normally what I would go for.  Anyway, here are some of my favorite looks from the show.

(To see the full collection click here)

House of Nomad 1House of Nomad 2

Mauzan

The second to last catwalk show of the day was Mauzan, designed by Rafia Helal Bin Drai. Her collection is definitely influenced by the Middle East and the cultural traditions when it comes to women’s clothing. The collection was full of stunning elegant gowns, coats and outfits. Once again the use of color, embroidery, appliqués and detail were gorgeous. The clothes looked really luxurious and sophisticated and are the perfect evening and occasion-wear for those special events.

(To see the full collection click here)

Mauzan 1Mauzan 2

Amato by Furne One

The final catwalk show of the whole Fashion Forward Season 5 was Amato by the Pilipino designer Furne One. This show was unbelievable and you felt like you were transported straight into the middle of a Tim Burton movie. There was so much drama with the lighting, the music, the way the catwalk was decorated and the styling of the models in combination with the breathtaking haute couture pieces. Furne One knew how to put on a show, and this was the definition of haute couture and what one would imagine a catwalk show would look like. The fabrics were so luxurious and rich, the colours were dark and moody, and the designs reminiscent of vintage tailored women’s wear with hourglass figures accentuating the waist, broad the shoulders and full skirts. Looking carefully at some of the pieces, there is definitely a sense of those early collections from Christian Dior, in particular the Bar suit in how the pieces were tailored to accentuate the women’s body. It was a fantastic way to end this amazing weekend.  I was taken aback by the beauty and talent behind Furne One’s incredible collection, which in my mind deserves to be on the Haute Couture runways in Paris.

(To see the full collection click here)

Amato 1Amato 2Amato By Furne One - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015

(All photos used are courtesy of Getty Images and Style.com/Arabia)

And with that the weekend was over! It was an unbelievable experience and I am so glad and lucky that I was able to attend while I was in Dubai. This is an event that I will definitely be attending again in the future, and possibly even as soon as October for Season 6! What I can say though that the fashion and designs coming out of the Middle East are definitely on par with those in Europe, and so I would not be surprised if some of these names become much better known globally. I for one am excited to see where they go next!

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