The sartorial event made history – and the clothes certainly lived up to the momentous occasion.

It kicked off fashionably late, being held a few weeks after its scheduled date back in late March.

But Saudi Arabia’s first-ever Arab Fashion Week was certainly worth waiting for.

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The kingdom welcomed big-name designers, models and the fashion industry’s movers and shakers last week, as the event officially launched on April 12.

While the women-only shows, held in Riyadh’s Ritz Carlton Hotel, weren’t open to photographers, there are some images available that give a sneak peek of what paraded down the catwalk.

 

Headlining the event were Roberto Cavalli and Jean Paul Gaultier, the latter of which showcased a collection rich in fluid femininity and avant-garde silhouettes.

It was the first show for the legendary French designer held outside of Paris, Arab Fashion Week later revealed.

Saudi Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al-Saud, honorary president of the Riyadh branch of Arab Fashion Week, said ahead of the event that fashion has always been important in the kingdom.

“It has not been something that wasn’t on the table or in the picture… Our fashion council is trying to bring the fashion industry in Saudi Arabia to a whole new level, a whole new industry,” she told The National.

arab fashion week

HH Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud, Layla Issa Abuzaid and Jacob Abrian.

The moment was connected to larger changes in the Kingdom, she said.

“This historical movement is not exclusive to Saudi Arabia, but to the whole world. Fashion is a universal language that the whole world speaks,” Princess Noura added to Arab News

We completely agree – and to celebrate, we’ve rounded up some of the best looks seen on the Riyadh catwalk over the weekend…

Arwa Al Banawi 

Saudi’s own womenswear designer is famed for her cutting-edge suiting, and she certainly delivered with her collection of urban separates. We particularly adore her use of feather-light fringing against breezy silks.

We’re also feeling this slouchy jacquard co-ord that we think we might have to add to our workwear wardrobe.

Bibisara 

The label founded by Kazakhstan’s Asem Altynbekova sent out a line clad in rich velvets and ornate embroidery, such as this romantic Gothic-inspired number.

Tony Ward 

The Lebanese designer is nicknamed “the Architect of Detail”, and you can see why in this elegant couture gown, speckled with measured embellishments and a cascade of ruffles.

Yanina Couture

The Russian label (which has dressed celebrities including Kate Hudson and Gigi Hadid) further proved why it is so beloved by the A-list with its structured yet fairytale-worthy dresses.

Jean Paul Gaultier

Aside from the scarlet gown above, the French designer also sent out mesmerising prints and diaphanous silhouettes.

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Naja Saade

An ultra-sweet palette and frothy fabrics created an elegantly feminine finish at the Lebanese designer’s show.