Even the drizzling rain couldn’t stop showgoers from taking in the collections at Fashion Forward Fall 2017. Saudi designer Sadeem Alshehail kicked off the second day with a smart collection, while Ghudfah offered a lineup of sharp abayas. Lebanese designer Abed Mahfouz made his debut to the platform with a parade of charming evening gowns in rainbow hues. On day three, the season wrapped up with Ghain Ghada’s tulle creations. London-Dubai-based brand Bedouin explored desert themes, while Lama Jouni presented her take on military-inspired silhouettes. Read on for the biggest takeaways from FFWD.
Ghain Ghada’s Mille-Feuille Frocks
With an accessory line of python handbags and a new lipstick range called Stained under her belt, Kuwaiti designer Showg Al Mudhaf took her brand Ghain Ghada to the main stage for the first time by presenting her label’s Fall 2017 collection at Fashion Forward. To open the show, Al Mudhaf took the traditional sheer thoub and gave it a contemporary update by churning out shredded organza-trimmed dresses with a sheer overlay. Her mille-feuille detail continued to breeze through the offering on asymmetric cuts, roomy tunics and maxi styles reminiscent of mermaid silhouettes. While the gingham-printed jumpsuit felt out of place in the lineup, takeaways include inviting loose-fit, shin-grazing kaftans that can be dressed up or styled down.
Bedouin’s Journey Through the Desert
Central Saint Martins graduate Andraya Farrag is the brainchild behind Bedouin – one of the strongest contemporary ready-to-wear labels to present at Fashion Forward. Showing against a desert backdrop, Farrag steered away from a somber palette and instead explored warm hues that ranged from terracotta to brick red for Fall 2017. The designer is known for her cool bomber jackets, and this season they were bathed in speckle prints reminiscent of a desert night sky; cut from inky velvet; and detailed with pull ring zippers, which were paired with matching pants.
Cultures Collide at Lama Jouni
Opting for a presentation this season, Lebanese designer Lama Jouni unveiled her eponymous label’s Fall 2017 collection, which she also debuted at Paris Fashion Week. The story draws inspiration from the French colonization in Lebanon, which is evident though military-inspired blazers detailed with gold buttons and belted trench coats. The collision of two cultures took shape through an updated version of shirwal pants, she sliced with slits down the side. Moving away from her signature body-conscious silhouettes, Jouni loosened up this season with soft ruffles that cascaded on lace skirts and one-shoulder embroidered tops.
By Sadeem Gets Down to Business
Art deco details and architectural shapes were key at the By Sadeem Fall 2017 presentation. Saudi designer Sadeem Alshehail celebrated her first Fashion Forward outing with a collection that echoed corporate-themed silhouettes. Monochrome looks in dove gray, chocolate brown, and black mingled with pleated-peplum details, skinny-fit suiting and loose-fit cuts in fluid silk. The offering mixed in straight-cut maxi dresses that nod to kaftans. Linear panels and pinstripe patterns packed elongating power, while circular metallic motifs danced on sheer fabrications.
Emperor’s New Groove
Sharp tailoring and clean silhouettes were the calling cards for the Golkar brothers’ – Babak, Haman, and Farhan. For their return to Fashion Forward this season, the designer trio behind Emperor skewed towards a luxe streetwear aesthetic with mean cuts that embraced their signature hand. The show unfolded with an energetic live performance by Pepstar, with menswear looks styled in collaboration with the new Reebok Zoku sneaker ranging from mesh t-shirts, zipper-detailed shorts, and sweatshirts painted with the brand’s emblem and logo. An added bonus is that, the offering is currently up for grabs, as the designers showcased the label’s Spring 2017 collection under the see-now-buy-now model.
Ghudfah’s Sharp Abayas
Elegance and ease was at the heart of Ghudfah’s Fall 2017 presentation. Saudi abaya designer Sarah Albaz made her first Fashion Forward appearance with streamlined overlays in black and white that concluded with a sampling of pastel pieces. Drawing inspiration from her environmental surroundings, such as clouds, orchids, and skyscrapers, her latest offering riffed with flowing silk abayas that effortlessly drape over belted dresses, pussybow maxis and pantsuits. Piping details contrasted on large cuffs and double-breasted cuts reminiscent of blazers grounded the lineup, while beaded fringing added a touch of glamour. “I wanted to offer real abayas that women can wear. Practical pieces for the day and luxurious options for the evening,” Albaz tells Vogue Arabia. “We wanted to capture the character of a conservative Gulf woman, who carries a bold and creative spirit.”
Abed Mahfouz’s Captivating Colors
It might have been pouring outside the show tents but inside, colorful gowns rained on the catwalk at Abed Mahfouz Fall 2017. The celebrated Lebanese designer infused his collection with intricate embroidery that traced across gowns and sheer silhouettes in a kaleidoscope of powder blue, orange, yellow, pink and pistachio. Ruffles snaked down sleeves and the sides of dresses, and shot upwards on shoulders. The designer showcased a heavy hand with the ruched detailing on the skirts of cocktail dresses. His strongest pieces were the flowing numbers, cape styles and jumpsuits, which felt sleek.