"Making a collection a commercial success is the aim for any designer."
Fashion Forward presented its third season of fashion shows in Dubai. The organisation aims to give a platform to emerging designers from the Middle East to present their latest work.
From 10 to 13 April, in the exotic surroundings of Madinat Jumeirah hotel, attendees of Fashion Forward Week (FFWD) were treated to eighteen exquisite runway presentations.
Fashion Forward has a long tradition of nurturing and supporting local talent: “Making a collection a commercial success is, of course, the aim for any designer,” said Bong Guerrero, Founder and CEO of Fashion Forward.
“It is important for us to help the designers not only showcase their pieces on the runway or in The Garden, but to also help them translate this to sales afterwards,” he adds.
To achieve their core goal, the organisation offers partnerships with key investors and supervisors. Website eureeca.com aims to assist designers in raising funding, while Galeries Lafayette offers the opportunity to fashion newcomers to present their products in a physical space.
Swarovski and Azza Fahmy also teams with Fashion Forward to give personal mentorship sessions to emerging talent.
Over the three days, FFWD’s catwalk showcased a whirl of dramatic clothing and innovative designs. Undoubtedly, one of the key shows was Emperor’s.
The Golkar brothers, founders of the brand, presented a collection, inspired by Scottish traditional attire. The materials- wool, tweed and tartan, integrated in a purposeful and subversive clothing, all taking the audience to a journey through the wild moors of Scotland.
Even the occasional chiffon dresses were equipped with leather belts, that transcended into a dog leash with a slight kinky imprint. Male models strutted on the runway in sharp dark suits and and printed coats.
Colours were kept to a minimum; the collection was held primarily in black, white, grey and navy. The hair resembled last season’s Valentino’s staple do – a pleat, complemented by a black headband, inspired by a Dutch artist’s portrait.
Couture maestro Ezra’s work was influenced by established French designers such as Erte and Christian Lacroix, the controversial John Galliano as well as by the legendary Christian Dior.
The collection showcased a selection of pastel-coloured chiffon gowns, richly adorned with lace and silver accessories, inspired armoury of the Knights Templar. Some of the ensembles were complemented with giant earrings. The makeup consisted of simple bun, smoky eye and a nude lip.
Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection celebrated the vibrancy of spring. Shapes of florals and insects were incorporated within the rich designs. Colours ranged from sugary pastels to vivid coral and crimson.
Materials encompassed the richness of the flora and fauna of spring time; ranging from chiffon that implied the fragility and delicacy of flowers, to PVC, which signified the subtle blend of blessing and danger bees suggest.
The maximalism prevailing in the clothes was contrasted with a notion of minimalism in the beauty look. Hair was tied in a plain tie, while make up accentuated the natural beauty of the models.
Asudari’s collection combined masculine tailoring with effortless A-line dresses. The clothing incorporated an array of prints, varying from pinstripe on the body-con denim pieces, to crazy digital and floral shapes and, undoubtedly, Asudari’s trademark emblem: four interfacing A’s.
All the clothing was held in a range of blue shades. The hair was turned into a platinum bob, and the make up combined dove grey shade on the eyes with pale pink lips.
Starch presented a fresh collection, showcasing babydoll dresses in prints depicting lemons and melons, plate skirts, bright turquoise skinny pants and graphic crop tops. The ensembles are teamed with natural make up and loose hair.
KAGE’s show gave a darker mood to the whole day. She gave a dramatic edge to primary cuts, with shiny materials combined with black and clean designs. Each look was complemented with textured hair and staple dark lip.
The event also featured Amato; Arwa Alammari, a winner of Grazia Style Award 2014; Bashar Assaf, a Lebanese designer, famous for integrating geometry in his designs; House of Ronald; the Lebanese designer Rami Kadi; Said Mahrouf, whose work has been presented in Amsterdam, New York and Sydney museums; Tahir Sultan; Taller Marmo; Velsvoir and Patrick Hellmann; and Zareena.
Sally Edwards, director of Dubai Calendar, commented:
“Alongside its world-class culinary, sporting, music and community offering, fashion events such as Fashion Forward complement Dubai’s dynamic events calendar and encourage guests the world over to visit the Emirate each year.”
She praised the fashion week for giving local designers a platform to present their creative work and get internationally acknowledged. She expressed her hopes that Fashion Forward would soon elevate Dubai to the status of a worldwide fashion capital such as London or New York.
Towards the end of the event, Founder and CEO of Fashion Forward, Bong Guerrero promised: “FFWD will continue to find new and fruitful ways of helping our designers get the recognition and success they deserve.”
Fashion Forward was a celebration of the talent of local designers. It treated its attendees, including the creator of New York Fashion Week Fern Mallis and fashion blogger Bryanboysuch, to breathtaking designs and dramatic runway shows.
With Dubai’s fashion industry growing day by day, we look forward to seeing what is next from this Middle Eastern fashion hub.