Despite being only its second season, Dubai Fashion Week pulled out all the stops for its spring/summer 2024 offering, calling in a host of international brands.
The week kicked off with a presentation from American house Carolina Herrera, which brought over a selection of looks from its recent spring/summer 2024 show at New York Fashion Week.
Then there was the handmade haute couture of Valentin Yudashkin, the first Russian designer to join the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode over 30 years ago. Yudashkin died in May this year, making this showing all the more poignant.
The week ended with none other than supermodel Naomi Campbell walking the runway for Malaysian luxury fashion house Rizman Ruzaini.
In between these moments, there were plenty of shows from a wealth of well-known names from the region. BLSSD delivered a well-put-together show, while sustainable sportswear brand The Giving Movement unveiled its latest collection.
There were excellent collections from Dima Ayad, Yaspis and Slimi Studio, while Designers And Us embraced some serious glamour. Emergency Room reworked second-hand pieces into new looks, while Viva Vox served up oversized tailoring. Michael Cinco, meanwhile, delivered a plethora of romantic, dreamy looks that we have come to expect from this talented house.
Across the event some clear trends have emerged, making it easier to plan your style choices.
Bold colour was seen at many of the shows, from tomato red sliced into an asymmetric, 1970s era dress at Lama Jouni and tangerine at Weinsanto, to a clash of orange and red chiffon wrapping the bodice and hanging in panels at Slimi Studio.
Lili Blanc presented its signature tailoring as a long double-breasted coat in neon green, while The Giving Movement delivered a sporty body and matching coat in bright blue. Erick Bendana sent out an embroidered body suit with long chiffon sleeves in purple, while Cinco offered a trio of flowing looks in zesty lime green.
At the other end of the spectrum were soft ice cream tones that included a long column dress with a draped neckline in pistachio by Anaya, to a sweep of pale rose skirting over a cream beaded sheath at Ihab Jiryis.
Poca and Poca presented a simple off-the-shoulder, midi dress in lemon yellow, while Selfmade offered a pair of utilitarian multipocketed trousers and matching shirt in lilac.
Fluid metal featured on many runways, as a minidress with an oversized corsage on one shoulder in molten gold at Zeena Zaki, and as a tidy asymmetric dress in gleaming silver by Selfmade.
Dima Ayad sent out plisse pale gold, which draped from one shoulder and caught at a drop waist, while Carolina Herrera gave us a pencil skirt dense with dazzling silver sequins.
Bright in white
This crisp colour showed up on almost every runway especially at BLSSD, where is was best seen as a high-waisted skirt, the hem hiked up to make a split and matched with a cropped jumper. Dima Ayad offered another beautiful one-shouldered, drop-waisted goddess gown, now in buttermilk, while Emergency Room – which repurposes dead stock and old clothes – offered a slick minidress with a longer, sheer underskirt, worn with a deconstructed jacket.
Pipatchara, from Thailand, offered a pair of white, high-waisted and wide-legged trousers, worn with a hand-knotted, macrame halter-neck top with long fringing.
Emergency Room had plenty of denim – perhaps not surprising for a label that reworks old clothes – but this was all left faded and supple. Oversized boyfriend jeans had an extra panel on the outer seam for even more slouchy comfort, while over at Domenico Orefice a long dress and zipped waistcoat were pieced from offcuts of distressed denim, resulting in wonderfully haphazard seams and shredded cloth.
At Slimi Studio, stiff, dark-wash denim was carved into new shapes, so that a dungaree bib was now a backless top, while shorts had extra-wide hems, almost like a skirt, with the waistband doubled.
There was plenty of sharp cutting on show, which made for some great 1980s-era big shoulders. BLSSD had squared-off shoulders – complete with external pads – to finish off a sleek fluid dress-top worn over trousers, which felt fresh and modern. Over at Lama Jouni, an oversized blazer was teamed with a cropped top and shorts, tights and pop socks.
Viva Vox nailed this idea best, with an unstructured suit jacket and matching floor-length skirt. Made in teal satin, a material too soft to hold the shape of a jacket, the result was a delightful look that collapsed on itself, but with huge shoulders.
The most prevalent takeaway from DFW is surely complex tailoring, which was seen at Anomalous x Schwarzkopf as a cropped, asymmetric top that spiralled around the torso, and as a keyhole purposefully removed from a shimmering evening gown at Erick Bendana.
Another look missing a patch on the torso was by Designers And Us, with a swimsuit-style bodysuit, with floral pompoms on each shoulder and a trailing skirt in sheer organza. BLSSD upped the ante with a splendid one-armed bodysuit, worn under a one-legged pair of what could have been trousers or a skirt, tied on one hip.
At Ihab Jiryis, meanwhile, dresses were intricately cut with bare midriffs, single shoulders, boning and slanted hemlines all held together with an overlay of beaded tulle. Slimi Studio, meanwhile, presented a showstopper dress, of leopard-print chiffon that felt like it had been directly knotted and wrapped around the body before falling away in a long fluid skirt.