What to expect from Arab Fashion Week as it returns to Dubai Design District

A busy schedule offers more than 25 shows from international and regional brands

Saudi Arabia's Death By Dolls will be taking part in Arab Fashion Week in Dubai. Photo: Death by Dolls
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Arab Fashion Week is back once again, taking place at Dubai Design District from March 24 to 28. The five-day event will showcase both men’s and women’s wear. On offer is a busy schedule of UAE and international fashion labels, bringing a mix of ready-to-wear and made-to-order couture.

Given the UAE’s love for dressing up, it is only fitting that there will be a wide array of designers specialising in evening and bridal wear, including Egyptian designer Maram Borhan, sultry glamour by Ihab Jiryis from Palestine, as well as famous gowns by both Michael Cinco and Amato, who have both dressed many famous women around the world.

Presenting more than 25 autumn/winter 2022 collections, it will truly be an international line up. This includes many returning names to the event, including Lebanese brand Emergency Room, which will present looks made purely from deadstock, plus Mada’En from Jordan, which will bring its hand-adorned pieces.

Ihab Jiryis is showing at Arab Fashion Week. Courtesy Ihab Jiryis

Also from the region is Saudi Arabian label Death By Dolls, whose love of fringing, sparkle and trinkets will charm a new audience, while the familiar names of SemSem and Bouguessa — both long standard pillars of the UAE fashion scene — will bring new collections to a loyal audience.

From further afield, there will be the feminine frills from Poland's Poca & Poca, joined by country-mate Gosia Baczynska, whose extraordinary use of patterning and cutting skills will no doubt win legions of new fans.

Another dazzling collection can be expected from Weinsanto, who as this season's guest designer from Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode — the body behind Paris Fashion Week — brings his vivid colours and exaggerated shapes. Other designers who will also showcase their collections include Francesca Liberatore from Italy, Algerian-born Ilyes Ouali and the UAE's American Rag.

Speaking of the coming event, Khadija Al Bastaki, executive director of Dubai Design District (d3), says that d3 is keen to host the five-day event. “Dubai has earned its growing renown as a global fashion capital in large part due to the relentless ingenuity and curiosity of our region’s creative talent," she said.

Gosia Baczynska will be at Arab Fashion Week. Courtesy Gosia Baczynska

"Our mission at Dubai Design District has always been to enhance the visibility of our comprehensive design community and enrich their access to new partnerships and growth prospects. Arab Fashion Week is fast becoming a landmark event for creatives, brands and enthusiasts the world over, and every season reinforces Dubai’s position on the global fashion stage.

"We are confident this year will deliver on the promise of innovative and inspiring runway shows and our district’s commitment to rethink the regular through digital explorations, immersive activations, pop-ups and more.”

With in-person shows, the runway calendar will run from 6pm to 10pm across the five days, with each fashion show streamed live on Facebook and Instagram. Past seasons have drawn virtual audiences of more than 80,000 and this season, with a return to in-person events, is expected to surpass that figure easily.

Updated: March 14, 2022, 2:23 PM