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A Recap of the Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience 2015

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As with its previous editions, the Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience (VFDE)—a joint venture of Vogue Italia and Emaar Properties—brought industry heavyweights, designers, models, and celebrities to Dubai to celebrate fashion in the Middle East. The largest annual event of its kind (in the region) is now in its third year and took place on October 29th and 30th.

With model Carmen Kass as the presenter, the event kicked off with a fashion show at the Dubai Mall. Eight emerging regional and international talents were chosen by Vogue Italia to showcase their Spring 2016 ready-to-wear collections to guests, which included Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, Büro 24/7 founder Miroslava Duma, and designer Christian Louboutin in the front row.

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Lebanese designer Krikor Jabotian, who’s dressed a number of socialite brides and celebrities on the red carpet, was among the regional talent featured. The Starch Foundation alumnus presented his first ready-to-wear collection, which offered voluminous silhouettes, dramatic pleating, ostrich feather embellishments, and 3D embroidered dresses.

Meanwhile, Qatar-based label The Kayys, by sisters Hend, Ghada, and Maha Al Subaey, showcased its Spring 2016 collection. The lineup included silk bomber jackets, bell-bottom pants, and carwash pleated tunics and shirtdresses in marble prints and a soft color palette of sand, peach, and robin egg blue. Hailing from Saudi Arabia, Reem Al Kanhal, who participated in last year’s VFDE talent showcase, returned this year to present her Tunis-inspired Spring 2016 collection. The designer, who counts style influencer Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller among her clients, offered flowy cutout back numbers, striped skirts, and a striking red tassel-embellished jumpsuit. International talents that presented their collections included Arthur Arbesser (Austria), L72 (UK), Melitta Baumeister (Germany), Studio 189 (Ghana), and Xiao Li (China).

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The Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience 2015 also introduced “Who is On Next?” to Dubai; the talent scouting competition open to designers from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa features three different design categories—womenswear, menswear, and accessories. The winners, selected by an international committee, will have the opportunity to sell their collections on and at a pop-up store in the Dubai Mall. In addition to the retail opportunities, the winning designers will also get the chance to present during Pitti Uomo, AltaRoma, Milan Fashion Week (MFW), and Palazzo Morando during the September edition of MFW.

From our region, Lebanese accessory designer Nathalie Trad, Palestinian womenswear designer Faissal El-Malak, UAE-based womenswear designer Maryam Omaira, and Lebanese designers Hussein Bazaza and Elio Abou Fayssal took part in the competition.

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To wrap up the two-day fashion affair, VIP guests and other invitees made their way down a white carpet at the Armani Hotel’s outdoor pavilion to the gala dinner. The lavish affair, which called for an all-white dress code, was attended by Alberta Ferretti, Erin O’Connor, Ingie Chalhoub, Diala Makki, Bryan Boy, Peter Dundas, Eugenie Niarchos, and Bianca Brandolini. Amid a frosty set up that overlooked the Dubai Mall’s dancing fountains, guests were entertained with special live performances by Carla Bruni and Cheb Khaled, who had everyone on their feet.

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