It’s a case of modesty-meets-runway. Fashion Forward, Dubai’s answer to Fashion Week, completed yet another milestone with its biggest line-up to date, marking ten years of regional and international talent. The three-day event, which put the focus on Middle Eastern design talent, featured a total of 28 designers, including five debuts.
Hundreds of looks, from couture to ready-to-wear, walked down the runway. Our favourite part? The modest-fashion looks we just wanted to steal. Here are our top picks.
MADIYAH AL SHARQI
Sheikha Madiyah Al Sharqi, daughter of HH Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah, showcased a plethora of soft pastels on the runway. The ESMOD graduate took us back to the seventies with her tailored silhouettes and printed pastels. So flowy!
Power dressing never looked prettier. Born in Korea, Eduon Choi initially started out as a menswear designer in Seoul, and it’s this training that helped the designer combine fine masculine tailoring with soft feminine silhouettes.
Selected and presented by the Starch Foundation, the 25-year-old designer from Beirut made his Fashion Forward debut with an array of deconstructed shirts, printed tube tops, and ‘mannish’ pinstripe trousers that represent the free-spirited souls of this generation.
This Syrian-born Brit was the first fashion designer in the world to use 3D printing back in 2010. Nabil Nayal was one of the most anticipated designers showcasing at Fashion Forward, and he did not disappoint. The designer’s signature aesthetic, dubbed ‘Elizabethan sportswear’ is the perfect day-to-night look to sport.
One of the very first local designers to emerge in the early 2000s in Dubai, Zareena always stood out with her modest yet contemporary designs. Flowy fabrics, Indian-inspired embroidery and ruffles were all key to this year’s collection.
The Jeddah-based design house aims to universalise the traditional abaya by designing it as versatile outerwear. Barefoot models draped in colour-blocked abayas walked the runway in Utruj’s latest offering at Fashion Forward.
MASHAEL AL RAJHI
We had our first look at the Nike Pro Hijab when it debuted at the Saudi designer’s runway show on the third and final day of Fashion Forward. The show also included a number of sportswear abayas and a variety of modest athleisure wear to sport this season.
SARA AL TWAIM
One of the hardest things about modest dress is picking out the right eveningwear that checks all the boxes. Up-and-coming designer Sara’s presentation had something for everyone.
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