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20 catwalk shows. Over 50 labels. From Haute Couture looks and punk jewellery to local treasures and regal creations, the fourth edition of Fashion Forward brought a myriad of talent under one roof. Here we take a closer look at the top looks and the designers behind them:
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Day One of the three day fashion extravaganza started on October 4 and on the itinerary was the The Golkar brothers of The Emperor 1688. This season the Golkar brothers look specifically to Monsieur Yves Saint Laurant and his adventures in Morocco and his lifelong obsession with the North African climate. He returned home to Paris with a sense of romance he attached to Morocco.
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MARAL believes that "life is in colors"… she has been adept in playing with colors and its hues, and their interplay has fascinated her. This is amply displayed in her collections which are bright and with rich. The effective use of a neutral white base allows the rich colors to stand out and make a statement in her entire collection. Her Persian roots can be witnessed, as she blends its traditional and royal designs with a contemporary touch.
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The scenario Jean-Louis Sabaji planned out this season was far from being romantic; but concentrated on birds, their plumage and the skin beneath all the feathers.\nThis is the point where an outbreak of Jean-Louis’s famous techniques in one collection which simultaneously included silicone, unfinished organza, beading and braiding.
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Hasan Hejazi’s collection for Spring/Summer ‘15, presented in partnership with Audi, features a clean fresh colour palette in luxurious embroidered fabrics and silks. The show will feature some of Hasan’s favourite archive pieces, famously worn by his celebrity clientele, as well as an all-new collection for his inaugural show at Fashion Forward. The show’s highlight will be the premiere of a unique dress inspired by Audi to mark Hasan’s debut.
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This season, House of Ronald has turned its eye to nature for inspiration. Artfully transforming wood textures and patterns into motifs for printed fabrics, he has created designs heavily influenced by architectural shapes. The outfits are very structured, with sharp edges and cutouts, while the overall silhouette is 1970s inspired. The overall feel of the collection is very feminine and airy, yet bold and seductive. It features a range of silks, cottons, crepes, and satins, in a palette of neutrals, gold, aqua, and greys.
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''Smoke and Mirrors'' is the inspiration behind Dany Tabet Couture collection titled METAL SAND SUN AND FOSSIL. It is a journey to a modern-world desert, but not one full of magical stories of traders and treasure hunters. The DanyTabet Desert is a place where the harnessed energies of precious metals is ruling the world, where Mother Earth is ravaged every day in hope of discovering fossil energy, where humble caravans leave to provide room for the tanks, and where shy stars lose their sparkle behind the mirror effect of bombs.
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This Season, Endemage draws inspiration from Zanzibar, famous for its beautiful beaches and tropical scenery, which was the main brilliance for this collection. Zanzibar was part of the Sultanate of Oman and has strongly influenced the Omani culture through the beautiful vibrant colors, prints, and fabrics, which the Zakwani sisters have elegantly incorporated into their SS15 collection. The collection features a range of off-shoulder garments, ruffles and flowy hemlines composed of white, lilac and teal colour palette.
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This season Madiyah Al Sharqi follows the signature influences of the 70s by introducing elegant off-shoulder pieces, ruffles and billowing sleeves, drawing inspiration from her muse; Marie Antoinette. Her Spring/Summer collection features an array of garments, from gowns to sleek separates by incorporating effortless silhouettes composed of a fresh color palette in lavender, peach, khaki and white tones.
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After wowing in Season One with his beautiful couture creations, Michael Cinco returns for Season Four. The Dubai-based designer is best known for his fabulous gowns, demonstrating innate creativity and masterful technique and has amassed an army of international celebrity clientele.
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This collection by Bashar Assaf does not claim to be ethereal but it attempts to capture all that is. Prints of rock formations and plastic wrap on cotton and silk, flowing floor length skirts in magic mint and bra tops in air superiority blue, wrap dresses in crêpe or wide leg pants in sheer georgette. Men in straight silhouettes, women too. Ethereal Spring 2015 is a collection inspired by all that is “too perfect for this world”.
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Starch Foundation brought three design talents to the limelight: Jo Baaklini, Bird on a Wire and Timi Hayek. Atelier Jo Baaklini blends artful storytelling with crafted production, producing Prêt-à-Porter clothing with an appeal to both men & women. Inspired by an eclectic range of sources, from Japonisme to 80s aesthetics in cinéma, this collection explores juxtaposition; contrasting light cottons with heavy wools, dark hues next to bright colours, and playful painted patterns on functional, straight cuts to create an ensemble that is simultaneously nostalgic and forward looking.
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Bird on a Wire tests the relationship between hunter and prey. Rooted not only in the animal kingdom between two different species, the label explores the transformation from hunter to pray. A clash of frailty and power is analyzed through transparencies versus stiff, shiny fabrics and spikes and softness whilst keeping a silhouette of a creature ready to either run or jump from its opponent.
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Timi Hayek explains that Viento y tierra, wind and earth, describes this collection in two words. There are no colors, and no prints. Just layers of translucent flowing pleats juxtaposed with rough textured surfaces, all in different shades of off-white, cascading from the body: “Taking inspiration from dance and forest nymphs from my previous collection, as well as my travels to Sri Lanka where the school children wear all white uniforms to keep cool in the hot breeze and most are barefoot, Viento y tierra consists mainly of unique one-of pieces, made to enjoy in the sun or in the rain, with dancing feet and a free spirit.”
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Tahir Sultan’s Season Four represents Tahir Sultan’s fourth consecutive FFWD season. The Kuwaiti / Indo designer launched his own label in 2008 and in 2012 became the first Kuwaiti designer to show at London Fashion Week. His new collection, named “Infinite Days & Infinite Nights” is inspired by the W Retreat & Spa - Maldives.
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A Ceremony woman has always been a cosmopolitan character. The collection is evening-centric, fluid gowns, cigarette trousers, ladylike cocktail frocks and swooshing floor-length dresses. While dreaming up spring colours and silhouettes, shades appeared in romantic nude silk and silk chiffons, Royal Blue and Russian Rolette Red raw silk, and of course white and black both in tulle, silk again and French Lace.
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Ava Hashemi drew the inspiration behind this collection from the Middle-Eastern art and architecture. The mirror-like embellishments resemble the mirror works on the ceiling of her grandparent’s house. Since this is the first collection Hâshè is showcasing in Dubai, it aims to capture the spirit of Dubai. This collection is named “Reflection” since Ava believes it’s a reflection of her background and childhood.
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For her Spring Summer 2015 collection, Dima Ayad offers a range of options and garments that come in a variety of feminine cuts. Her range includes a combination of gazar organza, jacquard and jersey in fresh block colours such as sunny yellow, lilac, silver, navy blue, and hints of nude undertones. The silhouettes are a combination of voluminous skirts with matching fitted tops and of course her signature crop top re-introduced in this collection with a twist.
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This Spring/Summer season, Asudari explores notions of untying the past, playfulness and freeing the self through their signature digital prints and geometric patterns. Throughout the collection, bows provide a strong motif illustrating the human desire to unlock memories, process past events and unbind the chords that keep us tied to repressive emotions. The bow appears in various guises, proportions and states of formality.
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Furne One describes the inspiration behind this collection from his line Amato as coming from “a space odyssey, neo classic imagery, cloning and sci- fi movies but also from love stories. It is like a waltz in space.”
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“I looked at alien-like deep sea creatures with transparent bodies, droid space soldiers and cloning and mixed them with drama and romance.The colour palette is mainly white, with various textures such as lace, tulle, linens, ribbons and ceramics creating an effect that is futuristic and minimal yet romantic and intricate at the same time,” he adds.