Arab Fashion Week opens in style with collections by Egyptian and Palestinian designers

Maram Borham and Ihab Jiryis bring couture to Dubai Design District

Ihab Jiryis on the catwalk for the finale of his show at Arab Fashion Week. Photo: AFW
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Women’s Arab Fashion Week 2022 kicked off in style on Thursday, with shows by Egyptian designer Maram Borham and Palestinian talent Ihab Jiryis.

Taking place until March 28, Arab Fashion Week is showcasing many of the biggest names in the region, as well introducing emerging international names to the region's discerning clientele.

A tiered bridal look by Maram Borham at Arab Fashion Week. Photo: AFW

Maram Borham

On opening night, Egyptian couturier Maram Borham, known for her lavish wedding gowns, brought a range of looks in eyelet lace to the Dubai Design District catwalk.

Pastel tones on the Maram Borham catwalk at Arab Fashion Week. Photo: AFW

Shifting through a discreet palette of silver, pink, lavender and cornflower blue for spring/summer 2022, the pastel shades were contrasted with pops of dazzling fuchsia and electric blue. A collection of largely sleeveless gowns, these arrived with embellished bodices scattered with floral details, aimed at Borham’s core audience. Two-piece dress sets felt younger and fresher, eyed for a more youthful crowd. The stand-out of the range, however, stayed close to Borham’s DNA as a layered gown that faded from bright fuchsia to black.

Ihab Jiryis

An embellished, nude dress at the Ihab Jiryis show at Arab Fashion Week. Photo: AFW

Closing out the opening evening was Ihab Jiryis from Palestine, who also delivered a spring/summer collection. Called Royal, the range featured elaborate, golden headdresses, followed by structured, long-sleeved gowns, many of which had daring side splits. In a clear nod to the 1980s, Jiryis also delivered body suits, gowns with ruffled, deep V necks, and even the odd power shoulder, dished out in silver, with red, purple and a baby blue variation.

Tunisian model Ameni Esseibi, named the first Curvy Ambassador to the Arab Fashion Council, walks for Ihab Jiryis

The stand-out look was undoubtedly a curve-hugging dress that seemed to be made of shattered mirror, reflecting dazzling gem tones of purple, blue and red. In a clear sign that Jiryis is a modern thinker, despite the nostalgic feel to his show, the catwalk was opened and closed by Tunisian model Ameni Esseibi, who has just been named as the first Curvy Ambassador to the Arab Fashion Council.

Updated: March 25, 2022, 1:04 PM