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Certainly the most memorable moment in the Fashion Forward line-up was the conclusion of Filipino designer Furne One's epic finale to his Amato show. The collection was inspired by the Harajukus in Japan. After Furne One’s visit to Japan, he decided to render this inspiration by combining a geisha and queen feel to his designs. “They exist in different worlds but they have similarities. They both have restrictions and crave freedom,” said Furne. The colours were derived from the world famous macarons of Paris’s Ladurée.
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Celebrated for his natural ability to craft extravagant and artistic designs, Furne One, is renowned for his creativity and natural ability to transcend everyday trends. Originally from the Philippines, the designer and owner of Amato Haute Couture, Furme One has worked with a long list of international clients, including Heidi Klum, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopes and Nicki Minaj.
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This was the brand’s first prêt-a-couture collection. In 2002, Furne opened his first boutique, Amato, meaning "beloved", to provide his elite clientele with an array of hand-stitched designs and intricately detailed creations.
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Voted Designer of the year three times in a row by Grazia, Essa Bhagoorwala is of Indian origin, but with Arab sensibilities, as he was born and reared in the UAE.
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Essa’s collection this season was titled ‘Alabaster Box’. “My inspiration was to take something so fragile and make it into something strong and impactful,” said Essa. The juxtaposition of the mint condition vintage lace against technology advanced bonded fabrics lead to an intriguing outcome is the realisation of his unique vision.
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Essa’s designs consistently weave together the traditional and modern by relying on vintage fabrics sourced from Asia and Europe and cuts that flatter the feminine form. From the first ever comprehensive integration of the ghutra in futuristic seams, desert paradise neon kaftans to volumetric neoprene, Sssa always finds a way to reintroduce and innovate tradition on his own terms.
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Born in Manila, Ezra studied fine Arts at the Philippine women’s university. He embarked on further studies at Central Saint Martins in London where he honed his craft and traveled around the major capitals of the world. Before coming to Dubai in 1993, the designer found himself in Saudi Arabia wherein he flourished by creating clothes wealthy, fashion conscious women.
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Ezra’s latest collection ‘Divine Romanticism’ tell the journey of a woman who loves passionately and is loved in return. “Each and every collection is a modern take of the 1920s. I love that era because that’s where fashion was developing a lot. It was changing and becoming very experimental,” said Ezra.
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For inspiration, Ezra looks up to French designer Christian Lacroix, John Galliano, and Christian Dior. He opened his Dubai based atelier in 2004 and has been consistently making his mark by creating dreamy and extravagant couture.
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Three brother, Babak, Haman, and Farhan Golkar founded the line in 2007. The Emperor 1688 is an innovative luxury menswear brand that prides itself on using the finest fabrics.
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The Emperor 1688’s collection titled ‘Brideshead Re-visited’ was inspired by Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel. Fusing classic lines and sharp tailoring, with prints and colours inspired by the aristocracy during the summers of the early 1930s. The menswear collection sees bright blazers mixed with classic shorts and printed shirts punctuated with gold hardware.
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The womenswear selection featured jackets which kept with the classic menswear lines, but added feminine touches such as applique flowers and lace detailing.
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In 2009, KAGE was launched by childhood friends Arwa Adbelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, who put their creative forces together and created this contemporary womenswear fashion label.
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KAGE create waves with a laid-back, artfully undone look that belies a natural and unfussy approach to directional fashion. Bohemian in spirit, this Spring Summer surfer chic meets catwalk cool.
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Dual texture and directional carefree styles find their vibe in slouchy teas, crop tops, knee length skirts, racer backs, soft curved hemlines and sporty shorts and jackets. Coastal paint shades were frequently seen throughout the collection, paired with colour solids in ocean-esque blues and sunset red.
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Of Kuwaiti and Indian heritage, womenswear designer Tahir Sulan is a graduate in Fashion Knits from Central Saint Martins, and has also interned with designer John Galliano before starting up his own fashion label.
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Tahir Sultan’s latest collection is intriguingly titled ‘It’s not me – it’s you’. “The collection deals with the notion of us as individuals. The people we are and the people we long to be. It is a celebration of inner strength, and beauty, yet has undertones of where we come from and where we long to go,” stated Tahir Sultan.
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Tahir Sultan’s luxurious pieces pay particular attention to detail, are determinedly glamorous yet conservative, allowing women to feel empowered and sexy.
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Lebanese by origin, Dina Jsr was raised in Saudi Arabia and moved to London where she completed her BA in Jewelry design from Central Saint Martins.
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In DINA JSR’s latest collection, ‘Crystal Waters’, Dina takes her inspiration from the organic looking One Water pavilion, designed by the architects Soma for the Yeosu universal exhibition in South Korea.
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With cocktail and evening dresses celebrating grace and style, Dina Jsr’s collections tend to be inspired by fine lines and geometric architecture.