We’ve broken down the runway trends and must-have accessories to tie your look together, now it’s time to find out what pieces will be landing in your favorite boutiques. Kuwait’s Al Ostoura is home to a vast selection of luxury brands, including Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, and Chloé, that are housed alongside cutting-edge names such as Nabil Nayal, Marzook, and Ellery. Tasked with filtering through ready-to-wear and accessories collections for the premier retailer’s clients, Vogue Arabia caught up with Al Ostoura’s fashion director, Sama Al Wasmi, as she outlines her key buys, favorite newcomers, and personal picks for Spring 2017.
What was your impression of the trends and mood for Spring 2017?
Asymmetry ran strong, from sleeves to earrings, as seen at Marni, whereas athleisure got pushed further into the fashion realm with bright Lycra and exaggerated puffer vests at Balenciaga. Fishnet made an impression at Dries Van Noten, where mesh tops were beautifully paired with dresses. The overall mood, however, is defined by the wearer, and this season we see a major reinvention of products to suit the individual’s fashion sensibilities.
Were there any big surprises?
I think people have banished the minimalism of days past and are getting more adventurous with what they wear. We are seeing a lot of exaggeration of sleeves and unique bag shapes. Oversized proportions have really taken off.
Who are your favorite newcomers?
Leal Daccarett is run by two Colombian designers who have super fun eveningwear separates that look seamless when paired together, and equally good for less dressy occasions. For every day, check out CO/MUN for tailored shirts and dresses.
What do you think shoppers are looking for now?
With the advent and growth of fast fashion, shoppers are looking to luxury goods for uniqueness, quality, and creativity. Consumers are not responding as much to the It bags like we’ve seen in the past, but rather the It item that encapsulates their personality.
What are the colors to keep an eye on?
What are the season’s must-haves?
A big thing at the moment is the robe dress, or robes in general. Wear them over denim with heels for an edgy look, or with flats by the pool. In terms of eveningwear, a slight focus on body flattering and tailoring from brands like Brandon Maxwell have overshadowed over-the-top princess dresses.
What has been a key buy for the Middle East?
If you don’t own a babushka mule, you should probably get one. This is by far the most versatile piece you could buy. Sanayi 313 is your best pick for this, and Alberta Ferretti makes fun ones too. Wear it throughout Ramadan for an instant style update and pack it in your suitcase for your extended Majorca Eid holiday. When the cold weather comes around, don’t be shy to pair it with fun socks.
What are your personal picks?
I have my eye on a very cool evening dress from Razan Alazzouni to carry me through 10-plus destination weddings and engagement parties this summer. I am also eyeing the Loewe raffia hammock bag, which is an excellent piece for summer.
What are the key accessories of the season?
Shoes, for sure. There are so many fun shapes coming out from Dorateymur, Toga, and Malone Souliers. Interesting fabrications like scuba-coated shoes were exciting to see. This has been an accessory heavy season. My absolute favorites are the bag charms and straps. I love how you can spruce up your bag to match your style. It goes back to this idea of molding the product into your life rather than trying to jam the trend into your look.
What’s a safe investment for the season?
A maxi shirt dress, like the one by Lanvin. I promise you will wear it no less than 25 times this summer for Ramadan events, vacation sightseeing, and al fresco dinners.
What’s a bold trend to take a chance on?
The exaggerated shoulder trench coat from Balenciaga. If you’re going to get caught in the rain, better not get caught looking basic.