Amato // Toned-down romance A Shakespearean rebellion on the desert landscape

Attempting to enter the venue for Amato’s closing catwalk show for this season of Fashion Forward was nerve-racking, to say the least – even guests with a VIP or press pass had to battle through the chaotic queue.

A model walks the runway during the Amato show at Fashion Forward Spring/Summer 2017 held at the Dubai Design District on October 23, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Images courtesy of Getty Images / Fashion Forward
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Attempting to enter the venue for Amato’s closing catwalk show for this season of Fashion Forward was nerve-racking, to say the least – even guests with a VIP or press pass had to battle through the chaotic queue. But, the UAE-based couturier’s Shakespearean take on desert glamour left those watching on feeling whimsical and uplifted, even at 11pm on a weekday evening.

The designer, best known for his complex and at times avant-garde works of couture, shed much of his signature decadence in favour of a much calmer, but still every bit as intricate, approach.

The catwalk was covered in sand, from which green cacti emerged, pricked with hundreds of silver nails. Viewers who were expecting Amato’s elaborate brocades, architectural silhouettes and bizarre face masks were surprised to see a catwalk filled with romantic ruffles, delicate tiers and pastel embroidery instead.

The desert landscape was all over the clothing – printed, embroidered and beaded with cacti, suns, snakes and birds featured on gowns and canvas bags. Pieces were belted with traditional brown leather belts, knotted casually off-­centre.

Models wore veils thrown over the backs of their heads, huge hoop earrings and layered rosary necklaces.

The toned-down drama ­certainly wasn’t a disappointment, and the traditional makings of couture were all there – three-­dimensional florals, beadwork, embroidery, ruffles, sheer layers – and in ­Amato’s ­typical flair, a few pearl-embellished ­faces, plus, a grand finale.

While some guests may have assumed a rather risqué olive green lace panty-and-bodice ensemble was the closing look, seconds later, a trio of children emerged, ahead of a glorious white gown covered in glistening bird appliqués and chiffon ruffles so fine they looked like feathers.

As the model, whose face was framed by a white spiked contraption and brushed with glitter, floated down the catwalk, we were reminded why Amato’s show is the highlight of FFWD, season after season.

hlodi@thenational.ae

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