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Flag-inspired manicure.
Flag-inspired manicure.

What we're loving: Best ways to wear your national pride

From dhallas to tutus, we round up the best of the National Day offerings out there.

Special edition sunglasses

Chopard is getting in on the National Day action with a beautiful pair of sunglasses. Their UAE special editions are hand-crafted with a laquer finish, and come in 24 carat white or rose gold plating. The double bridge is covered in soft Nappa leather. Available at leading optical stories for Dh3,500.

Free falafel meals for uniformed forces

We love the made-in-UAE brand Just Falafel for thanking the nation's uniformed forces - and recognising its residents - today by filling their bellies with delicious wraps. The chain's 18 outlets are offering each member of the police, army or civil defense in uniform one free meal. Residents can get one of its most popular offerings, the Emirati meal (falafels on a bed of roasted eggplant, mixed with cucumber pickles, with a spicy yoghurt dressing in samoun bread), for half-price.

Perfect little pots

Al Khayalee Boutique is celebrating National Day with a series of special edition, commemorative dallahs. Available in white or the UAE flag colours of red, green, white and black, the pots are perfectly suited to storing coffee, tea or sugar. Prices start from Dh350. For more information visit the boutique on Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road or go to www.alkhayaleeboutique.ae.

Navi National Day tutu

Who doesn't love a tutu? Little girls can get into the spirit with this six-layer soft tulle NAVI UAE National Day tutu (and matching T-shirt) from Navi. Available at Db Babies in Al Wahda Mall and Jumeirah Town Centre, Favourite Things in Dubai Marina Mall and Bloomingdale's in The Dubai Mall. Dh265 for the set.

SoBe Tech watch

You will never forget National Day 41 with one of these Sheikh Zayed Glam Rock Limited edition SoBe Tech watches on your wrist. Only 100 of the collector timepieces were produced, and they are available exclusively at Mohammed Rasool Khoory & Sons in Abu Dhabi. Each piece is made in the UAE's national colours, engraved with an image of Sheikh Zayed, founder of the nation, and comes with three interchangeable click-on covers as well as two extra straps: one in leather and another in more sporty silicon. Dh8,000 each

Flag-inspired manicure

What better way to show your UAE colours than with a flag-inspired manicure? Check out all the staff sporting them and get yours at Tips & Toes branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The nail painting takes about an hour and costs Dh160.

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 Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Thoughtful tailoring at Asudari

The womenswear label Asudari showcased a collection that featured sharp masculine tailoring, but with feminine silhouettes.

Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games.

Designer Lamia Asudari says she was influenced by Delftware ceramics from the 16th century, as well as the imagery of weaponry and artillery. Indeed, pistols, grenades and guns were emblazoned over jackets and dresses.

 Several of Jo Baaklini's pieces featured fruit prints. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: At Starch, watermelon shirts, anyone?

“We need to cultivate our own fashion heroes — our own regional brands,” stressed Fashion Forward’s honcho Bong Guerrero in a press con two weeks ago.

Aptly, the slot for this season’s opening runway show was given to two newbies: Jo Baaklini and Timi Hayek, whose talents were scouted by Starch, a group dedicated to launching emerging Lebanese designers.

Between the two, Mr Baaklini had a stronger showing.

 Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece. Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Jean Louis Sabaji’s debatable debut

Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece, the floral crop top, and the radiant yellow pleated skirt.

But most of the time he went too far. There were bell-bottoms, separates that looked like costumes from The Jetsons, and a yellow dress reminiscent of Bjork’s infamous Oscars swan dress — several disparate elements in one multicoloured, multilayered show.

 Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all.” Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Kage pleases all palates

Did the designers of Kage aim to showcase every type of basic clothing on their latest show?

Because there were skirts, shorts, trousers, off-shoulder tops, short dresses, cocktail dresses, long flowy dresses, spaghetti straps, jackets, hoods — and even pyjamas, which with the incoming summer heat, looked especially appealing.

Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all”, they said in their statement.

 The standout was a grey hooded cape that created a tension between edge and elegance. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Polish, craft (and fur!) at The Emperor 1688

The best show of Day 1 at Fashion Forward was delivered by the three Golkar brothers behind The Emperor 1688.

The coats and capes were the clear winners: they came in all sorts of interesting colours and sizes — and featured exceptionally tailored proportions. There was a lot of volume, but also stiffness.

And whimsy: two favourites were a green double-breasted suit and a blue overcoat with a red clover pattern and gold buttons.

 Midway through Ezra's show, snow started falling from the ceiling. Ian Gavan / Getty Images for Fashion Forward

Fashion Forward: Ezra stuns in snow-covered show

Turns out the Filipino designer Ezra, known for his dreamy couture, still had a few surprises up his sleeve.

Midway through his show, snow started falling from the ceiling.

It created a starkly beautiful atmosphere for his intricately constructed gowns that seemed to be designed for an Ice Queen transported back to the 1950s.

He showed a collection that had a lot of technical firepower behind it: glittering iridescent fabrics paired with head and neckpieces that were moulded and stiffened to stand out in odd angles.

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