In among all the glitzy fashion at FFWD, there is Showcase, a hall dedicated to accessories.
With over 26 designers on show, there is a wonderful, if somewhat bewildering, amount of choice on offer, and more than enough to keep even the most discerning consumer happy. The bar has been set very high in this curated collection, but the standout pieces are (in no particular order):
Born from a desire to be able to personalise her own jewellery pieces, designer Rym of Rym Jewellery created this line of precious jewels, each skilfully crafted to be completely interchangeable. Each has hidden clasps at the back, allowing, for example, a design on a ring to be removed and added to a necklace. Or an earring to be worn on a bracelet. The intent is to make sure that customers are able to wear each piece however they feel like. Offering a sense of order and geometry, the pieces have a strong art deco inspired feel to them. However, their ingenious versatility makes them very modern indeed.
Soon to be available online at www.rymjewelry.com. Prices start at US$310
Vinita Michael offers an intriguing tribal-inspired collection. We're coveting the heavy yellow- and rose-gold folded ring, which is adorned with a piercing bar.
Available at House of Fraser at Yas Mall and priced at $150
Emirati designer Shamsa Al Omaira brings us The O Jewellery. Specialising in high-end diamond pieces (she even has a necklace made of diamond beads, which is, thankfully, not for sale), Al Omaira also has a gold line called 'Her Pulse'. As the name suggests, it takes its shape from a woman's heartbeat. Simple yet striking, she has shaped this into rings, bracelets, and even a choker. My favourite piece? A single elongated heartbeat, hanging down to the clavicle on a chain.
Available from www.theojewellery.com, but watch this space, as The O Jewellery is soon to open an Abu Dhabi boutique
Narinee is a Beirut-based, Armenian heritage designer, who draws on her cultural roots for her designs. She extracts single graphic elements from traditional Armenian architecture, which either repeat around the neck or act as a simple motif on a ring. Created to be stacked together, she uses a palette of silicon, brass, silver and gold plate, as well as gold and silver. She has even created a series of delicate bird brooches especially for FFWD, priced from only $50.
Available from www.narinee.com and priced from $30
Roula Dfouni combines a strikingly broad range of elements in her jewellery. Mashribiya over solid rings, for example, chunks of lava set against matt-hued silver. Her pieces are big, bold, and meant to be stackable to create a personalised look.
Available from www.rouladfouni.com/shop and priced from $80
Artware is a collective for emerging Iranian jewellery designers, all selected for their fresh approach. Look out for bronze rings shaped like spools of thread, by Athena Akhavan, who was inspired by memories of her grandmother. Maryan Khazani looks to Iranian poetry to shape her jewellery, which is carefully cut into silver, while Janan uses traditional techniques from Isfahan, where metal is hand carved with a cross-hatched surface pattern.
Available at Vida Hotel and online at www.artware.com, and price from Dh380
If you prefer handbags, however, two designers really stood out:
Exocet consists of designers from Lebanon and Hong Kong, who are based in Paris, and make their pieces in Italy. Simple handcrafted leather bags are transformed into something strangely beautiful with 3D printed creatures on the front. Rhino heads, or winged Beatles in white, black or grey become the focus.
Available at The Cartel and priced from Dh835
Natalie Trad has a signature shaped clutch line called the Polygonia, to which she adds a new piece every season. Almost organic in its asymmetric, stone like shape, this season it is covered in crushed shell, painstakingly pieced together to create a chic matt mosaic. With the edges picked out in brass, the result is simple and utterly beautiful.
Available at Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdale’s in Dubai, and coming soon to new concept store Tryano, opening in Yas Mall. Priced from Dh3,760