The 9th season of Fashion Forward Dubai, the definitive fashion platform for Dubai and The Middle East, took place from the 23th until the 25th of March. Couture and ready-to-wear designers from the region presented their latest collections at the event. Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco‘s collection was top favourite on the first day of FFWD DXB, everybody was talking about his collection inspired by the Versailles palace in France. The show concluded with breath-taking Marie Antoinette style ball gowns.
Images: Michael Cinco
It has become a tradition that Amato Couture closes the Fashion Forward Dubai season with a grand finale. The designer, known for his natural ability to craft extravagant and artistic designs, impressed the audience with a collection of gowns inspired by old-world glamour. I love his use of colour; from dusty tones & pastels to earth and jewel tones. The intricate details of each gown tell a story, almost as if they explain the character of the woman wearing the design.
Images: Amato Couture, Abed Mafouz
Other collections that really impressed were those by Lebanese fashion designers Abed Mafouz and Lama Jouni. Lama presented her Fall/ Winter 2017 collection which is inspired by the French colonization in Lebanon. She wanted to embody the cultural change that happened to her country post colonization and how such a tragedy can have a positive impact. The collection celebrates the modern Middle Eastern women in a very subtle and minimal way.
Images: Lama Jouni, Hussein Bazaza, Kristina Fidelskaya
Designer Hussein Bazaza is also a Fashion Forward Dubai regular, this time presenting his Fall Winter 2017 collection AKANE (which means deep red, or ‘angry child’). The collection tells the story of a Japanese girl Akane who seeks to avenge the deaths of her loved ones. The tale involves WWII, Japenese sorcery and Akane shapeshifting into dangerous monsters. The collection focuses on the power of revenge with as primary colour deep red. Bazaza took inspiration from the era of the 40s and 50s with a modern twist; classical shapes with puffed sleeves, edgy shoulders and flared skirts. I adore the vivid reds and embroidery details of the gowns, displaying the World War II story of Akane featuring military aircrafts and the beasts of the tale; dragons, tigers and peacocks.
One of my favourite collections from this seasons FFWD DXB is Kristina Fidelskaya‘s ‘Liberta’. The designer used the notion of freedom as a source of inspiration – playing with different styles and textures; flowy dresses, trumpet sleeved shirts and oversized coats. I love the fierceness of her designs.
Image: Kristina Fidelskaya
This FFWD DXB season I spotted a trend; female designers celebrating the independent woman, the power, freedom and fierceness flowing through the designs. Hessa Falasi‘s collection ‘Horizon’ included a few powerful designs which I would love to add to my work wardrobe; loose-fit pants with knot belt detail, simple white shirt combined with long coat, all made of soft flowy fabrics in feminine colours. LOVE! Her collection is inspired by the horizon, winter colours, celebrations & stylish travels.
Saudi-born Arwa Al Banawi also represented this trend. Her spring summer 2017 collection tells the story of a fictional 1960’s boutique hotel called ‘Casa Maläna’. A place where creative minds meet and all inhibitions are let go. She designs for the suitable woman, who she explains as a woman who possesses enviable style and charming wits.
Images: Hessa Falasi, Arwa Al Banawi
My final three picks for this Fashion Forward Dubai highlights post is a design from the 6Degree talent platform (showcasing Indian talent), a sporty design by fashion label Bedouin (a fashionable interpretation of the tracksuit with a touch of sparkle) and a design by Ghudfah by Sarah Albaz. Her collection ‘Parallel’ includes traditional Arabic designs; modest gowns made from silk, flowy fabrics. I adore this soft grey/black number with belt detail because it looks extremely luxurious, the style of the coat is very fashionable and chic!
Check out the gallery for my personal favourites from Fashion Forward Dubai Season 9