Originally scheduled to run from the 24th to the 28th of March 2021, Arab Fashion Week organized by the Dubai based Arab Fashion Council© (AFC) just ended today. Following the success of the previous virtual editions and the continued restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19, Arab Fashion Week presented the 5-day programme virtually and in line with the Council’s strategy to provide the world with a platform through which to view and access the exceptional creative fashion talent that exists in the Middle East.
As the world continues to live through the pandemic, digital technology enabled the Council to continue its mission without any interruption and accelerate its support to designers at a time when they need it most.
Under the theme “Dream Big, travel beyond”, designers were encouraged to dream big and to travel beyond conventional boundaries by embracing Microsoft’s pioneering digital advances, its services, and devices. MIcrosoft partnered with the Council on this edition of the Arab Fashion Week.
“It has been a year since the tremendous success of the first ever digital Arab Fashion Week, and what started off as an interim solution is now recognised as a viable platform for broader audiences to enjoy large scale events such as this one. A year into the pandemic, it is more vital than ever to find ways to keep the creative industry connected with its designers, creators, and all that contribute to its success by thriving through innovation,” pointed out Ihsan Anabtawi, COO and CMO of Microsoft UAE.
And that they did. The event was a joy to behold and while confined in our own countries' various degrees of lockdowns, watching inventive fashion films and elegant displays of the latest fashions from and popular in the Region was a way to escape the doldrums.
Arab Fashion Week went live, starting the 28th of March, exclusively on Facebook Inc platforms, Facebook, and Instagram. Viewers can shop their favourite runway looks through Instagram’s and Arab Fashion Week’s shop-the-runway e-commerce with digital transformation complete courtesy of “Nikon” as the shows imaging partner.
Arab Fashion Week Fall-Winter 2021/22 featured 25 fashion designers from across the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and America. And as part of the AFC’s Green Label initiative, three designers who each placed sustainability at the heart of their brands showcased a capsule collection. Taking part of the calendar, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM), the organization which coordinates Paris Fashion Week, featured 6 Parisian designers.
Following are our favorite five lines from this season's featured brands.
Amato Couture designer Furne One is always spot on, with his moods. This time around he visits the darker recesses of our minds, further developed during lockdown of course, with this goth-inspired collection, in a film featuring Miss Universe titleholder Pia Wurtzbach. Too bad these aren't available for this year's Oscar ceremony, as they would be perfect!
Globe conscious brand Bav Tailor is all about sustainability and of course, wearable fashions. We have seen versions of this new lockdown-to-freedom transition from sweats to suits during European fashion weeks but this one is our favorite. London-born, of Indian heritage with her collections fully Made in Italy, Bav Tailor is a designer to watch -- mark our words.
Belgian duo Balthazar Delepierre and Ester Manas founded and design Ester Manas, the brand, which was a 2020 LVMH Prize semi-finalists. This was one of the brands from Paris Fashion Week, which was included thanks to the collaboration of the Council with the FHCM. Ester Manas is also all about sustainability, and their latest line feels a little bit Marni, and a lot Dries Van Noten -- and very wearable. So we like, yes we like it very much indeed!
Brazilian jewelry designer Andrea Conti is becoming very popular in Dubai and this collection should cement his status symbol position there. Although all his creations are made with gemstones, they have a rockstar feel and can be worn just as easily with a pair of jeans as with a ballgown. Favorites include the gem-studded initials collection and those rhinestone rings -- made with real diamonds of course!
Amman-born Ziad Farouki was raised between Jordan and Saudi Arabia. But his schooling took place in Washington D.C. and Milan, Italy, where he learned how to make his designs a reality. His atelier is based in Dubai now and you can order his creations online, from his site. There is a whimsical hint of a young Elio Fiorucci to his creations and we love the unmissable details -- on the pockets of his seemingly simple, plain white trousers, which are anything but simple! Simple elegance, maybe... His Instagram profiles calls his creations "wearable one-of-a-kind pieces" and we agree.