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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 10/04/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) As the third edition of fashion forward hits the ramp this weekend a few designers tell us what they have in store for the city?s fashion followers

Fashion forward is back with its third edition starting this friday. with the aim to cement dubai’s status as a fashion destination on the global map eighteen designers from across the middle east will come toegther for the three-day gala. city times spoke to designers ezra zareena and velsvoir to find out what local fashionistas can expect from the shows.Ezra
There is no doubt that designer ezra’s show is one of the most highly-anticipated ones at fashion forward. the manila-born designer has a huge clientele in the region and is known for creating dreamy elegant and extravagant couture. for this edition he will present a collection that runs the gamut of couture ingenuity to couture immortality as he takes people on a tour of the magnificent ‘jardin majorelle’ of marrakesh. as he puts it “just sit back and enjoy the journey as you are transported in a sedan-like camel through the cobbled sand dunes of the saharan desert on a warm wintry night into the heart of ‘jardin majorelle’ like a nomad to a full fashion forward awakening.”

You’ve always managed to stand out at fashion forward with your dramatic in-your-face collection. so what do you have planned for this edition?

This collection is my homage to the multi-dimensional beauty and significance of ‘jardin majorelle’ (a tranquil oasis that’s testament to the ingenuity and diversity of the berber tribes of north africa one of the last bastions of traditions of an ever modernizing world) where the venerable yves st laurent chose to have his ashes scattered. the collection is embellished with the suggestive of the berber tribes’ polychrome enamelled pottery in majorelle blue and white and stunning yellow in between. it is in multitude of shapes and geometrics in blending of metals on ceramics bringing to mind zillij tiles derived from byzantine and roman mosaics and set in a repertoire of elaborate patterns that lines the ‘jardin majorelle’.This is your third showing at fashion forward. could you tell us what the show means to you?
It means a lot to me because i believe so much in what they are doing to promote the dubai fashion industry.As a veteran in the local fashion scene how do you find the uae market?
Dubai has given me the opportunity to have my own atelier. i do love the different cultures and traditions here and mostly i am inspired by the emirati women to love fashion more because of their being passionate and unique.With summer around the corner could you share some fashion tips for our readers?
Wear linen and sandals. white is the best summer colour when worn with the right accessories.Velsvoir
Velsvoir is the story of three brothers - zak talha and zubair timol - who accidentally redesigned the bow tie. officially launched in early 2012 velsvoir specialises in luxury accessories for him and her and caters to a clientele who seek exclusively crafted products with a distinguished design. each piece is handmade in london.Tell us about the collection that you are showcasing this season.
Our ethos is based on a classic european aesthetic adapted for the modern dubai man-about-town. our collection reflects the changing landscape of the uae as we aim to draw upon a traditional tailoring heritage mixed with a rakish flair.What does fashion forward mean to you?
As we are based between london and dubai fashion forward (ffwd) is a natural progression for our brand. having shown at london collections: men (lc:m) we believe ffwd is a creative accelerator for emerging designers willing to take risks. ffwd provides an infrastructure that enables the fashion community to contribute towards the growth of this nascent industry within the uae.How have ladies responded to your creation of bow ties?
Surprisingly well! ladies have a penchant for accessories and some of our early press coverage was through influential female bloggers such as lailli mirza and bip ling. within a few months of our launch we had the privilege of working with zayan ghandour and s*uce launching women’s wear collection of bows and shirts. styled correctly the bow tie can compliment a variety of female looks.How important are accessories for males considering that unlike a woman their ranges of go-to-fashionable accessories are limited?
It is a style essential! every gentleman has the opportunity to add a dash of colour via a pocket square or radiate their confidence via a lapel brace adding character to their outfit. be it work or weekend a tie is a staple of your wardrobe. we have created many different textures ranging from stingray eel to pony hair; we cannot think of a better way to upgrade or update your wardrobe.Zareena
While studying business management in india zareena first discovered the ability of luxurious fabric and rich embroidery to enhance a woman’s beauty. this inspired her to begin her worldwide search for exquisite textures adornments and needlework that would one day become the trademark of her internationally acclaimed gowns. in 1994 zareena established her fashion house fasateen in dubai.Tell us a little bit about your collection that you are showcasing this season.
While on a business trip to lebanon i visited the jeita grotto and was awed by this work of art. what amazed me is that it is not man made it is the creation of nature. it was interesting to see how “organised randomness” transformed into a beautiful spectacle taking the spectators into a world of imagination and possibilities. my collection is an embodiment of how random shapes and lines come together to create a picturesque scene. as always my collection is a mix of western and arabic designs the collection will preview 50 creations and includes two distinct collections the florals and the abstract.Since this is your first time at fashion forward what are your expectations from the show?
My brand has been in existence for more than 10 years and we have been invited to participate in several fashion weeks both inside and outside the uae. we were reluctant to participate simply because we were always careful of how the brand would be perceived in terms of positioning. in it’s third season we believe that ffwd has proved to be the most important fashion showcase in the gcc. we believe our participation has two dimensions the first is to get more exposure to the region as well as the international fashion community and the second is to show the world that there are talented fashion designers in this part of the world that could adhere to international standards.What are your thoughts on the current lot of young designers from the region?
For any industry to grow there has to be a growth structure. an integral part of this is the support for local talent and the establishment of initiatives that promote them. we have learned over the years that any upcoming brand that has signs of breaking into the big league will fall short unless there is a robust talent identification process guidance education and finally finance plan. we were fortunate enough to have closely seen the growth of fashion as an industry in india. we undoubtedly have amazing talents in our young generation the young designers need a structured support system otherwise all the efforts will be in vain.

Could you tell us based on your observation as a designer how have arabic women changed their way of dressing over the years?

The arab woman and specifically those from the gulf region have a unique fashion taste. if we go back in time we will see that there was nothing but the arabic jalabiya and thoub. if you look closer you will notice that the intricate embroideries were very much sought after and appreciated from early times. also the sense of using expensive fabrics were embedded in the culture for in celebrations and important occasions the most expensive fabrics were worn. as the economy grew and the world came closer we became exposed to international fashion and then the fusion happened. i would confidently say that the arab woman is one of the best dressed women in the world today and even as we seek the best products in terms of quality as well as creativity and appeal we have never shied away from letting the world know that we have a culture and an identity that we will always be proud of and preserve. so although we seek international brands we also are proud to wear and showcase our tradition and culture. the uniqueness lies in our broad sense and awareness of fashion from both worlds and also our ability to combine both. (arti?khaleejtimes.com)Thrice the style
The three-day fashion forward event is not just about the models sashaying down the ramp. the shows will be interspersed with talks presentations and panel discussions as part of this season’s ‘d3 fashion talks’. “ffwd with the support of dubai design district (d3) is committed to bringing high calibre experts to the region and each season we work together to curate a diverse roster of talks and discussions to complement the sartorial side of the event” said bong guerrero founder and ceo of fashion forward (pictured below).

“we have some of the most influential names in fashion joining us from internationally acclaimed designers to esteemed academic experts and innovators in e-commerce. we are certain that this season’s ‘d3 fashion talks’ will further highlight the need for learning and discussion and help us to continue to evolve as an event and an industry as a whole” added guerrero.

Here we pick out our selection of the top three talks:

1. the creator of new york fashion week fern mallis will share her incredible experiences and advice through her talk fashion week: going forward? on sunday at 4:30pm. mallis created fashion week in new york city in 1993 dramatically changing the face of the industry and went on to lead the introduction of fashion weeks in miami los angeles berlin and mumbai and added sydney and melbourne to its portfolio among others.

2. designer and creative director of costume national ennio capasa will discuss the design concept behind the brand through his talk the deep italian brand; the design concept of costume national’ presented by domus academy on saturday at 4:30pm.

3. locally created level shoe district will host a panel discussion on how home grown brands can make it on an international scale through their talk: ‘the shoe business: emerging talent to a global player’ on friday april 11 at 2pm. panellists will be: rania masri- general manager level shoe district; alberto oliveros- head buyer level shoe district; ghanim al shamsi – co- founder private collection; anas shanaah- shoe designer aennis eunis and amanda navai- shoe designer.

*shop: guests can enjoy 18 catwalk presentations browse and purchase pieces from over 70 accessories designers in the garden and take the opportunity to network with fellow members of the fashion community.


Khaleej Times

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