Inaugural Red Sea Fashion Week wraps up in style

Tima Abid, Sara AlTwaim, Hadia Ghalib and Yasmina Q were among designers featured at the event

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The first Red Sea Fashion Week has come to an end. And despite some blustery weather, has been an overwhelming success.

As the first such event staged at the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia, among the guests were Burak Cakmak, the chief executive officer of the Fashion Commission of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Culture, as well as Brenda Bellei Bizzi, the chief executive of the fashion trade fair White Milano. No doubt there to enjoy the shows, their presence also underlined how important the event is for the country.

To kick off the event was a show by Tima Abid, a designer already well known both across the Middle East and in Europe, having shown at Paris Haute Couture week. Presenting a collection that mixed her Arabian heritage with fashion, Abid's looks arrived in ivory, silver and pale nudes, each embellished with interesting detail.

Diverting away from her signature strict tailoring, these looks instead were loose and flowy, offering a more relaxed proposition. Some had loose hoods, some were edged in silvery beading and it was all unashamedly glamourous. The stiff breeze may have foiled the intended drama of looks cut to billow gracefully, but in the end it hardly mattered. In the sunshine, the looks were still fabulous.

The label Eau brought its resort swimwear to the runway that snaked around the pool. Made to be noticed, swimsuits and bikini's swept past with cut outs, two tone panels, wooden beading, wrapped elements, and bared midriffs in tones of burnt sienna, periwinkle blue, tomato red and mustard that felt perfect for a summer spent aboard a yacht around the newly launched The St Regis Red Sea.

Also showing swimwear was Hadia Ghalib, who presented a modest wear approach, with full coverage body suits, long sleeve rash vests and leggings. Complete with matching colourful wraps and nifty waterproof hijab's, Ghalib has designed for women who love spending time in the water and prefer to be covered while doing so. Notoriously underserved by most companies, its good to see a designer offering well-crafted alternatives.

Sara AlTwaim delivered a beautiful collection in her favourite fabric – lace. Showing off her cutting skills, the looks arrived as cold-shoulder crop tops over tiered maxi skirts, deep fronted dresses and with a touch of goth as a dramatic black dress with a high neck and fish net sleeves. Best of all was a high-waisted, button front maxi shirt in periwinkle blue, which was a delight. Worn with a roomy white shirt, it captured the spirit of resort perfectly.

Rebirth meanwhile brought its intricate macrame to the runway as trailing necklaces, clever belts and body pieces in natural string, twine and in a clever nod to the region, in barasti palm leaf. Yasmina Q paraded her impeccable lightweight knit wear, in soft pastel tones of pale blue, lilac, apricot, ivory and one that was a lovely shift from blue to aqua. Whether as kick flare sleeveless dresses, long sleeve body con, or as a breezy belted shirt top and trousers, these are looks that are as elegant as they are effortless.

Updated: May 19, 2024, 10:27 AM