The inaugural Fashion Week Dubai will commence on Thursday, gathering some of the UAE’s best-known designers for a three-day schedule of shows and events.
Taking place at IMG Worlds of Adventure and promising to “showcase fashion with a twist of theatre”, Fashion Week Dubai is open to all, free of charge. Fashion shows will take place from 3.30pm or 5.30pm onwards, on each of the three days. The roster has been kept to 12 labels, to ensure each gets a star billing, according to show director Kevin Oliver.
"We are going into the psyche of each of them and showcase what makes them special, how they produce clothes and what sets them apart," he says.
In addition to designers from the UAE and wider Mena region, the event will also showcase talent from Asia and includes shows by Indian designers Varoin Marwah and Rocky S.
One of the highlights of the event promises to be the closing show by Amato by Furne One, taking place at 10pm on Saturday. The Filipino designer has become a household name since launching his label in 2002 in the UAE, garnering a reputation for glamorous couture-inspired creations that combine lavish materials with opulent embellishments.
“I have always tried to create exquisite and ethereal designs tempered with a silent touch of strength. My collections aren’t for the faint-hearted woman, but one who is comfortable in her skin,” says designer Furne One, who has dressed Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Shakira and Nicole Scherzinger, among others.
Also presenting their latest collections are Rabia Z and Ameera Ahli from the Omani House of Ikat, Angelo Estera, Behnoode, Atelier Zuhra, Nivedita Saboo, The Victor Closet, Limak by Kamil, Lara Fashion and Muhammad Noman Ansari.
Estera is gearing up to unveil a grandiose collection dotted with his signature embellishments. “The collection is titled the Last Ball of the Tsar, so we wanted to incorporate very fine embroidery, something we call caviar beading. We wanted it to be classic, to be worn by generations to come. When I create clothes, I want every woman to feel like this is the most beautiful hour, or most beautiful day, of their lives,” he says.
Meanwhile, menswear designer Marwah is aiming to present a collection that signals “that life is back on track”, he says. "This collection is about putting your head up and looking out and saying life is going upwards and onwards. I chose stripes and a very signature pattern, which is arrows, which might sound very simple but, on the garment, is very innovative and interesting.”
Complementing the runway shows is a community initiative dubbed Bazaar, which will display unique products from local and small businesses, while the onsite Designer’s Showrooms offer purpose-built spaces where jewellery and fashion brands can also present their creations.
Emerging creatives will be unveiled at a talent show organised by Splash Fashions, where the top three fashion students will get a chance to custom-make a collection. And Omar Sartawi, food artist and molecular gastronomist, will be on hand to showcase some of his innovative techniques.
The event is a new addition to Dubai’s already bustling fashion calendar, which includes Fashion Forward Dubai, Arab Fashion Week, Middle East Fashion Week, Modest Fashion Week and Arab Men’s Fashion Week.