Class of ‘22: introducing the next wave of fashion talent in the UAE

Designs by a new crop of UAE fashion graduates are shot for The National's 'Luxury' magazine

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In search of the next crop of UAE design talent, Luxury singled out five students from Esmod Dubai, the famed French school that has had a presence in the region since 2008, and four from Fad Dubai, a leading fashion institute in the region.

The designers

Fad’s Rakshana Krishnan, Kalistar, Tijani Adebimpe and Dhara Sheth collectively delivered some dynamic ideas. Krishnan’s sassy dresses were made from tiered lace and chequered cloth, while Sheth offered a simpler take, with a graphic 3D bodice added to an LBD. Kalistar showed a silver suit with net gaters worn under cropped, flared trousers, while Adebimpe created dazzlingly inventive gowns that presented a twisted alternative to eveningwear.

New talent from Esmod includes Janta Kumari, Taruni Kottakota, Arjun Naveen, Alaa Elghrabli and Fatima Saad, who all crafted their collections with skill and passion.

The team

Fashion director: Sarah Maisey
Photographer: Greg Adamski
Hair and make-up: Ania Poniatowska
Models: Nyajouk and Kristine at MMG, and Mitchell
Stylist’s assistants: Nihala Naval and Sneha Maria Siby
Videographer: Nilanjana Gupta

Kumari worked around the idea of a young Pakistani woman in New York, fusing hip hop with traditional embroideries to create contemporary, transformable pieces, while Kottakota embraced a Victorian Gothic aesthetic, creating looks from dried flowers and crinolines that evoked the formidable Miss Haversham from Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations.

Naveen deconstructed denim, using rust, laser etching and latex to create unique fabrics cut into curved seamed jeans and jackets, while Elghrabli, who is also a painter, created looks centered around the practical needs of artists, with pockets, flaps and surfaces to store, hold and clean brushes.

Saad, meanwhile, revealed a rare talent for couture, with cocktail looks garnished with oversized bows as trains. In a field brimming with raw talent, she displayed a skill far beyond her years, making her a name to watch.

For behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the designers, follow @luxuryexplained on Instagram

Updated: September 08, 2022, 7:41 AM
The team

Fashion director: Sarah Maisey
Photographer: Greg Adamski
Hair and make-up: Ania Poniatowska
Models: Nyajouk and Kristine at MMG, and Mitchell
Stylist’s assistants: Nihala Naval and Sneha Maria Siby
Videographer: Nilanjana Gupta

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