May 2, 2013

My SnapShots of Fashion Forward Season 1

I spent the past weekend in Dubai attending Season 1 of Fashion Forward (FFWD). FFWD is a three day event filled with fashion shows showcasing up and coming designers from the Middle East, inspiring talks and panel discussions led by global industry experts, and tons of social events. It will be held twice a year with the aim of encouraging new regional designers to showcase their collections and ultimately drive forward the fashion industry in the Middle East.

I thoroughly enjoyed the three days, learned a lot, met plenty of people in the industry from designers to bloggers and PR people, got introduced to many new regional designers, and had a blast. Everyday there was a 'Glam Hour' for people to mingle, after parties, brunches, lunches, lounges, and live music playing. It was a different world- one which only revolved around Fashion, my favourite topic! 

Here are my highlights of Fashion Forward

 The Fashion Gallery showcased iconic pieces from each of the designers' FW 2013 collections
There was a FABULOUS pop up store with very original jewellery, bags,  and scarves by emerging Middle Eastern designers that I previously never heard of.  I especially loved the jewellery by designer Dalia Hamdallah (Link) and shell clutches by Nathalie Trad (Link)

I bought this cute LOVE bracelet from By Sophie (Link) to add to my collection of arm candy. 
I haven't taken it off since I bought it!! 

My fav panel discussion was by Louise Nichol of Harpers Bazaar Arabia, Rabih Kayrouz, and Zayan Ghandour. They discussed the identity of Middle Eastern Fashion from the different perspectives of a person working in media, a designer and a buyer

 The shows were jam packed with regional Socialites and big media personalities. Every half an hour there was a new show and we were usually running between shows and getting stuck in the huge line up at the doors to the halls. It felt like a mini-version of the Fashion Weeks in London, Paris, and NYC with Dubai's own FROWers

My Favourite Fashion Shows

 I loved the KAGE show. The collection consisted of many clothes that are super easy to wear and very versatile for both day and night. I'm looking forward to buying some pieces for Fall!

 The ZAYAN show was the most fun, playful and girly with tutu skirts and polka dots. 
Models went down the runways smiling, having a great time, and interacting with one another. There was a long bench at the beginning of the catwalk and two chairs throughout. They would start by sitting on the long bench, dance down the runway and sit on one of the chairs, then twirl at the end for the photographers.
There was a big focus on the fact that the clothes were stitched in Satwa, an area in Dubai, highlighting the fact that great fashion can be found just around the corner in the Middle East 

 The most theatrical show was by AMATO. It was based around a dark and sombre circus theme with models going down the runway in back embellished dresses and capes. Then the mood changed and a ballerina danced in the midst of strong light beams, followed by models with stunning white dresses. 
AMATO is Filipino and his clothes and embellishment are very similar to the style of Alexander McQUEEN. I wouldn't be surprised if this designer is the next big thing! 
My favourite piece of the collection was the wedding dress at the end which was hand painted and dip dyed with black paint all around the bottom. STUNNING!!!  

On the final day of FFWD, there was a lunch for industry professionals. The CEO of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) spoke about creating a governing body for designers of the Middle East and was accompanied by Reem Acra, a member of the CFDA. 

Being held in Dubai, it was very stressful for me to choose fashionable outfits to wear each day! Everyone was so effortlessly stylish with both men and women dressed amazingly, each with their own personal stamp to the outfit that they were wearing. It made me realize how important the Fashion Industry is to the Region and how much we need initiatives and events like Fashion Forward.

My Favourite quote of the whole three days was "Where there is a will, there is a Way... and the only way is FORWARD" 

The next Fashion Forward will be held in October, Click here for more details 

Do you think you will be attending Season 2 of Fashion Forward??

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