After its roaring debut last year, Fashion Forward is back with a second season, showcasing the very best in local fashion and style. Running from October 15-18,  this year’s event is predicted to be bigger and better than last year’s extravaganza. From mesmerising catwalk shows to A-list parties and high profile smoozing, Emirates Woman’s Style Director, Sarah Joan Ross provides her to-do list:


Showcasing 40 of the best local accessory designers – here are my top three picks and must-buys

Bil Arabi Jewellery 

Calligraphic shapes, semi and precious stones handcrafted with personal and cultural messages have ensured there are many adoring fans worldwide. I’m on the waiting list for one of her diamond-studded cuffs.

Poupee Couture Accessories  

They’ve been weaving magic into bags since 2007. In fact, I’ve put my name down for one of their Najwa totes. Hard-wear, matt and patent faux leather, plus a touch of gold creates an interesting twist to the classic handbag. Check out their clutches too with a flash of neon – totally fun and affordable!  

Aina Home

I’m always looking for new stylish objects for my villa that won’t cost a fortune to ship home, and Aina is perfect. The brand offers the cutest homewares, all hand embroidered with symbols of local and international culture. From the sweet cushions featuring Indian  ‘Kohlapuri’ sandals to the embroidered Arabic calligraphy teapots, I’m hooked on this brand.


Catwalk show to watch: Amato 

I’m normally fashionably late to everything, especially when it comes to a catwalk show. However, knowing Furne’s popularity, I’m going be uncharacteristically early and settle in, front row, before the frenzy begins. I hope to get a chance to pop backstage to give the designer a personal round of applause – his collections are always a fantastical journey and he’s a firm friend and favourite of EW staffers.

Dina JSR 

I had a sneak peek at the A/W13 collection – all graphic lines, Arabesque and paisley detailing and laser-cut leather. I’m loving her architectural gowns.




• Catching up with celebrated Lebanese designer and FFWD mentor, Rabih Kayrouz.

• Talking fashion and taking high tea with designers and buyers in the Fashion Café.

• Attending Glam Hour at 7pm and sampling the FFWD signature mocktails and nibbles.


Illustration: Sarah Bromley