Regional traditions meet global style at the new fashion venue
Stop right there, Paris/Milan/ New York. West Asia is not going to be left out of the fashion spotlight anymore. Not when the residents of the Emirate are hungry for fashion, and the region’s la-di-da events, which range from parties and polo matches to receptions and regattas, offer local fashionistas endless opportunities to wear the latest trends. With Abu Dhabi already acting as a hub for international luxury brands as well as several local fashion houses, it was only a matter of time before the World Luxury Fashion Week came calling. The inaugural edition will be held in Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Towers on November 25 to 28. Fittingly, as the hotel by the seafront is an icon of modern design and home to Avenue, a boutiques-only shopping centre.
The first two evenings will see haute couture presented by BMW, including the latest collection of Jean Paul Gaultier; the remaining two evenings will see offerings of prêt-a-porter brands such as Carolina Herrera NY, Hervé Léger, Nina Ricci and Paule Ka. Local colour will be provided by regional designers Walid Atallah and DAS Collection by sisters Reem and Hind Beljafla. The latter is a label from Dubai that has set out to update the traditional abaya, by presenting it in different colours, fabrics and forms, thereby allowing its wearers to make a fashion statement without turning their backs on heritage. Reem and Hind say their vision is “to create a must-have dress that combines the most up-to-date fashions with the historical aspect and respectful nature of an abaya.”
Lebanese couturier Walid Atallah, who graduated from the University of Chicago, caters to more Westernised tastes with evening gowns and wedding dresses. And just in case there was any doubt about him being a man on the move, the designer will showcase the interiors of two bespoke Rolls Royce models that he has just designed. The event promises to be a treat for more than just the eyes. A gala dinner awaits guests, with courses being served between the fashion shows. And of course, there will be the after-parties, where guests can showcase their personal style to visiting designers.