FFWD Season 5 kicks off with the opening of The Garden
Friday’s Fashion Forward Dubai opening kicked off with the launch of The Garden, a retail space for accessories apparel designers. Newcomers this season include Neon Edge, offering an array of colourful abaya-inspired capes, contemporary urban wear brand Army of 1 and a pavilion introducing the services of stylist and colour consultant Fatima Al Shirawi of “The Gracious F,” along with a pop-up by RESID3NT, showcasing designers as part of Dubai’s new D3 community.
Upon entering the Madinat Jumeirah Conference Centre, it was clear from the outset that crowds would be tough to tackle, with long queues outside hall doors. Once seated, most were unphased by an extra 30-minute late start to both of the day’s shows, taking selfies in the dim blue-lit hall to pass the time.
Cameras stayed high in the air once Ezra’s couture show began, as guests were enamoured with his extravagant Victorian-inspired lace necklines, fairytale illustrations peeking out from beneath tulle skirts and tea pink palette of wedding gowns. The Emperor 1688 had an equally filled turnout, with some guests having to stand behind the rows of seats to catch a glimpse of the runway. Taking a simple start with monochrome tweeds, exposed zips, white furs and relaxed, flouncy skirts, designs matured in depth and texture as the show went on, culminating in a show-stopping cape with a pleated panel, and black feather embellishments on navy blues.
In terms of standout style, one male guest was spotted wearing a glittery tuxedo blazer topped with 3D butterflies, while another wore a puffy white vest resembling a down comforter. Women were not so adventurous, though one was decked out in a gold suit perhaps inspired by Beyoncé’s Austin Powers Goldmember character, and another was seen wearing black lace veiled bunny ears with a leather body harness.
There seems to be an increased influx of Dubai-based fashion-loving females in the blogosphere, as girls with Digital SLR cameras in hand and press badges labelled “blogger” were a dime a dozen.