Thanks to its innovative programme of fashion shows, the 7th edition of Arab Fashion Week, the headline of Dubai Fashion Days by Hala China, hit all the right fashion notes.
Arab Fashion Week took place from November 21-25, and the first day of the exciting event was packed with surprises. As well as Rafeea Al-Hajsi, the world's first Emirati runway model, hosting the shows held at Dubai Design District d3, Filipina superstar Maymay Entrada opened the event in glittering style. She walked for celebrated UAE brand Amato Couture, the brainchild of the much-awarded creative designer Furne One.
And when it came to the last three days, Arab Fashion Week, which is co-organised by the Arab Fashion Council and JollyTrust, moved to Dubai’s landmark urban destination, City Walk. Here’s what went down during the first two days at the living concept’s spectacular “catwalk over water”, then the final day at the unique setting of Hub Zero.
Day One: One brand that made the fourth day of Arab Fashion Week memorable was Daniel Wang –WTC. The couture bridal label is known for its breathtaking regal gowns that integrate classic western styles and tailoring and come in the finest fabrics.
Diana Mahrach Couture, which focuses primarily on couture evening and bridal wear, offered another head-turning show. Mahrach is known for her sophisticated gowns with eye-catching elegance and fashion-forward vision.
Swiss born designer Sophia Nubes also presented her latest ready- to-wear collection, which was proudly made in Italy.
Plus, La Cava Primera’s Yoyo Zou, who used to be the head designer for Tadashi Shoji, showcased her beautiful and delicate dresses. The handmade gems always come with an oriental accent.
Shein, ASMARAÏA, CAR|2IE and MODEMENT also brought their own special design philosophies to the catwalk.
Modement, Car2ie, Asmaraia, and Shein (left to right)
Day Two: The day kicked off with an adorable kid’s collection from DKLTJU’s Wen Xihu. The show included Shaikha Abdool, the first young Emirati model to walk a catwalk.
Other Chinese brands to offer See Now/Buy Now were Judy & Julia and and Verragee. Judy & Julia, which has China Cup Gold Medal in Fashion Design winner Judy at the helm, has come to the fore as a leading name in wedding and evening dress design.
Verragee, founded by original designer Wei Honghao in 2010, adheres to the design concept of blending minimalist and modernist, the unconstrained and the elegant.
Additionally, haute couture designer Tony Miranda, who prides himself on the ‘Art of Perfection’, displayed his designs. The Portuguese maestro has dressed the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Sylvie Vartan and Brigitte Fausset among others.
Vro Pardo, which designs according to the needs of culinary staff and their work environment, was another exciting addition. The brand from Paraguay is all about unique and one-of-a-kind designs that satisfy different tastes. Then there was Persian/Swedish designer Nina Zandnia with her creative collection to help today’s busy women look their best, day or night.
Day Three: An impressive array of shows made it a memorable closing day for Arab Fashion Week. Jiangxi Institute of Fashion Technology graduate Xin Si Lu, who launched her namesake label in China in 2013, and Filipino designer Michael Cinco were some of the designers who helped make an impact on the last day.
Dubai-based Cinco’s masterful techniques and intricate designs, with their fresh, elegant and detailed juxtapositions of fabric and Swarovski crystals, have lured celebrities like Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna and Lady Gaga.
Another couture house, Humariff, founded by Tamam Humariff, showcased luxurious statement bridal and evening gowns, while Brazilian-Lebanese Danielle Benicio displayed some of her exquisite wedding gowns, which are just perfect for beachside weddings. They are all made from intricate in-house made fabric and lace.
Emirati-Portuguese Soraya Bacai, who had 20 years’ experience under her belt before launching Soraya B Couture this year, was another listed designer on the roster.
E-commerce platform Jollychic presented the closing show with its three brands: Mooly, Xunruo and Youppie. As well as a dramatic display of a UFO travelling to earth, the looks showed how fashion has become fused with technology under the ‘Fusion and Future’ theme.