It’s that time again! International fashion weeks have begun, kickstarting today at New York. While the fashion focus will be in New York, London, Milan and Paris over the next few weeks, the UAE will still play a huge role, with an impressive amount of designers representing the region this season.
This is the Emirates Woman definitive guide to the Middle East designers who will be participating in fashion weeks and what to expect from their latest collection.
New York Fashion Week: February 11-18
Runway shows: February 10 – 18
Bahrain-based womenswear label Noon by Noor was founded by designers Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa and Shaikha Haya Al Khalifa in 2008. The brand’s style is contemporary and uncomplicated, focusing on clean silhouettes with striking prints and obscure embellishments. Their refined aesthetic embodies playful femininity.
What to expect at fashion week: Their ready-to-wear autumn/winter 2016 collection should be a departure from the brand’s ‘sporty meets dressy’ spring/summer 2016 look. Expect a return to simple silhouettes and modest sophistication.
Runway show: February 15
Fashion designer Reem Acra, from Beirut, Lebanon, is known for her meticulous attention to detail, her modern conceptions and her distinctive tailor work. After conquering the bridal gown industry, she branched out her label into ready-to-wear and evening gowns. Her designs have been seen on red carpets around the world, worn by A-list celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry.
What to expect at fashion week: Expect nothing but the best from her ready-to-wear autumn/winter 2016 collection. As Reem Acra recently explained in an interview with Emirates Woman: “I feel that I can make a difference for others.”
London Fashion Week: February 19 – 23
Designer showroom: February 19 – 23
BEDOUIN will be shown from February 19-23 as part of the BFC Designer Showroom for London Fashion Week 2016. The brand was designed and developed by Central Saint Martin’s, London graduate Andraya Farrag who went to school in Dubai and now lives between the two cities. The contemporary womenswear label creates ready-to-wear collections with a confident and impulsive style. BEDOUIN’s less-is-more approach is inspired by the nomadic existence of the Bedouin tribes – symbolic of Andraya’s well-travelled life.
What to expect at fashion week: An on-brand continuation of the BEDOUIN ethnic style, as loved by everyone from Rita Ora to Selena Gomez.
Paris Fashion Week: March 1 – 9
Ready-To-Wear Presentation: March 2 to 9
Sandra Monsour studied Fashion Design in Paris before returning to her hometown of Beirut, Lebanon to open her workshop. Her two product lines, bridal and ready-to-wear, are showcased twice a year in Paris and this season is no different. The brand is renowned for its opulent designs, fabrics and finishing with modern embroidery techniques and a radiant aesthetic.
What to expect at fashion week: Above is an exclusive sneak peek picture of what Sandra Mansour will be presenting at Paris fashion week.
Showroom: March 3 – 9
Mochi has been handpicked to showcase their autumn 2016 collection at the Polly King & Co showroom from March 3 – 9. Founded by Palestinian born, Dubai-based designer Ayah Tabari, Mochi is the worlds’ most sought after ethical brand today, providing ongoing support for stitching communities all over the world. Its influence from different cultures is evident in its eccentric use of traditional fabrics and signature pompoms offering an urban look.
What to expect at fashion week: Expect a lot of off-the-shoulder, bell-sleeves and floral motifs.
Showroom: March 5 – 10
Georges Hobeika is a haute couture and ready-to-wear designer from Lebanon who has made a name for himself through the sensuality and femininity that his creations exude. Hobeika has fast become a Hollywood fave with Eva Longoria wearing his gown to the recent Golden Globes. He has been presenting his collections at Paris Fashion week for over a decade.
What to expect at fashion week: A departure from his trademark pastel, overtly feminine colour scheme through bigger and brighter bursts of colour.
Runway: March 5
A-lister favourite Elie Saab is a leader in haute couture with a trademark explicitly feminine style – his gowns are often adorned in crystals, flower appliques and Chantilly lace.
What to expect at Paris fashion week 2016: A collection inspired by Victorian and Edwardian fashion with a white and grey colour code and an emphasis on chunky accessories.
Words: Jennifer McNeil
Main image: Elie Saab