The designers to know, the shows to see, and the events you can’t miss.

It’s that time of year when the region’s sartorial crème de la crème descend on Dubai for spectacular catwalk show after spectacular catwalk show.

Arab Fashion Week is back for its fifth season, turning City Walk into the place to be for style mavens from November 15 to 19.

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The bi-annual event will welcome more than 30 designers to the city, with 24 runway shows scheduled over the fashion-focused five days.

Showcasing the very best of Ready-Couture for Spring/Summer 2018 and Pre-Collections for Autumn/Winter 2018/2019, Arab Fashion Week is a must-attend for those looking for next season’s key pieces.

 

So here, we’ve broken down the schedule to ensure you won’t miss a thing…

Day One

After kicking things off with a red-carpet welcome, the fifth edition of AFW will begin with runway shows from Dubai-raised Saher Dia (7pm), AIISHA Ramadan (7.30pm) and Louzan (8pm).

Dia will offer a glimpse at his classic and elegant aesthetic, while AIISHA blends refined silhouettes with intricate craftsmanship—and has even dressed Jennifer Lopez. Louzan is renowned for its modern yet luxe line of abayas and sheilas, and opening night will close with a bang by Dubai label Amato.

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The label has a knack for the theatrical, with whimsical, dramatic gowns that make this 10pm show one you can’t miss.

Day Two

Designers from India, South Africa, France, Switzerland and Italy will congregate at City Walk for a multi-national day of fashion.

New Delhi-born label KARTIKEYA will start things off at 7pm, with a collection of free-spirited and artisanal womenswear, followed by Parisian-trained designer Christophe Guillarmé (7.30pm), who will send a collection rich in glamorous gowns down the runway.

At 8pm, Swiss fashion house Viola Ambree will take over the catwalk with an eclectic line of contemporary separates, while Mua Mua promises a fun-filled affair at 10pm with a show featuring iconic hand-knitted dolls and accessories.

South African designer David Tlale, respected for his showmanship and elaborate designs, will close day two with an unpredictable collection of fabric, colour and texture.

Day Three

Vietnamese designer Phuong My gets things going at 7pm with her modern reinterpretations of traditional Asian silhouettes, with Zambian label Estelle Mantel (7.30pm) set to shake up things up with punchy hues and unexpected detailing.

At 8pm, Russian couture house Humariff will take to the catwalk with a collection of delicate and ethereal gowns, while Malaysian label MINAZ (10pm) has a focus on modest womenswear with an air of modern femininity.

Italian designer Renato Balestra will close the night at 10.30pm with an ornate line of eveningwear (his clients include the Queen of Thailand and Princess Noor Hamzah of Jordan so expect something particularly regal).

Day Four

Arab Fashion Week’s penultimate day will begin with Dimple.Amrin’s 7pm show, with the Indian label promising a display rich in indulgent tailoring and intricate embroidery.

UAE brand Faspiration will send a cosmopolitan collection down the catwalk at 7.30pm, fusing modesty with modernity, followed by Armenian fashion house eLSi (8pm), which specialises in delicate fabrics, statement prints and romantic details.

A post shared by Tony Ward (@tonywardcouture) on

At 10pm, Lebanese designer Tony Ward will demonstrate why he’s nicknamed “The Architect of Detail” with his sculptural silhouettes and playful embellishments.

Day Five

While there aren’t any shows to attend on the final day, the closing gala and awards dinner will recognise outstanding contributions to the fashion world across the Middle East and beyond.

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We’ll be keeping you updated with all the winners, as well as the highlights from four days of splendour from the runway.

Registration is now open, so head to arabfashionweek.org to secure your spot on the front row.

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Images: Supplied
Top image: Amato/Instagram, Mua Mua Dolls/Instagram, Tony Ward/Instagram