Fashion Forward Fall 2017 opened its doors at Hai d3, Dubai and kicked off with an energetic presentation that played with of-the-moment silhouettes from Nafsika Skourti. Arwa Al Banawi captivated attendees with a live performance, and Hussein Bazaza received a round of applause for his drama-infused creations. Read on to catch up on the show highlights from the first day of Fashion Forward, and check back tomorrow for a recap on day two.
Nafsika Skourti’s Cityscape
Jordanian-Greek designer Nafsika Skourti added a touch of glam for Fall. The first presentation to spark the new Fashion Forward season opened with calf-grazing paillette skirt reminiscent of glittering skyscrapers, before easing into her contemporary territory of cool numbers. Flame embroidered, high-water pants reading “Ambition” and “Hotel Corridors” on the hem were showcased alongside a bevy of graphic printed shirts and sweatshirts worded with “Cash Slave”. For some of the strongest pieces the designer made a pit-stop to explore tailoring. Wide-leg velvet pants and backless asymmetric tops had a certain ease. Meanwhile, a sultry-gazing Haifa Wehbe printed sweatshirt will certainly make the rounds on the social media.
Hussein Bazaza Looks to the Far East
Fashion Prize winner Hussein Bazaza set his sights on Japan to weave together his Fall 2017 collection. Bazaza dreamed up a narrative set during WWII where his Japanese protagonist seeks revenge from the enemy via a mythical half tiger, half dragon beast. “I wanted something very dramatic this season,” Bazaza tells Vogue Arabia about his inspiration after the show. “I wanted to reflect on the unrest and conflict that’s happening during recent times in an indirect way.” He continued his thread of fit and flare frocks and gowns that featured his signature collage of fabrics and embellished mythical motifs. This season the Lebanese designer grounded his eclectic eveningwear creations by exploring wool and tweed. Going beyond his trademark cuts, he tried his hand at tailored pants, blazers, and coats.
Arwa Al Banawi’s Suitable Woman
Those who attended Arwa Al Banawi’s presentation were in for a treat. The Saudi designer tapped singer and songwriter Layla Kardan to perform an original song, aptly titled The Suitable Woman, for the showcase. “I like that she goes against social convictions, which is what I stand for in my music,” Kardan tells Vogue Arabia about the collaboration. “When she approached me to write a song, it was really natural for me to come with the words.” For Fall 2017, Al Banawi navigated graphic t-shirts and robe-like jackets worded with “I studied in America” and “Her Life” in Arabic, which Vogue Arabia exclusively revealed here. Her signature blazers were not lost in the process. A metallic gold rendition and needle-point floral print number added a sleek top layer to the athleisure-driven lineup that was styled in collaboration with Adidas.
Hessa Falasi Looks to New Horizons
The only Emirati designer showcasing on the schedule this season was ready-to-wear designer Hessa Al Falasi . For the brand’s first Fashion Forward outing, Al Falasi drew inspiration from the colors of a winter sunset dipping below the horizon. Deep tones of navy and burgundy were contrasted with soft shades of blush pink and peach that splash across her fluid silhouettes. Al Falasi turned out a series of velvet numbers that took shape in cropped pleated pants, relaxed suiting, and overlays aimed at the wardrobe of a modern and modest woman. Speaking to Vogue Arabia on the sidelines following the presentation, Al Falasi shares: “I think modest is powerful. I want women to feel beautiful, stylish even when they’re wearing long dresses. Modest dressing is gaining recognition internationally especially from social media, and it makes me very happy to see that.”