Fashion Forward: Trend Setters & Catwalk Drama

fashion forward 2015What is Fashion Forward? Concluding it’s fifth season this year, Fashion Forward (or FFWD) is a platform for topnotch designers of the Middle East region to showcase their talent.

The catwalk was ablaze all weekend with show-stopping creations by the Middle East’s finest designers, many debuting for the first time round. Each lent a different element of drama to the show. From folklore and fairytales, to new-age symmetry and grunge, FFWD Season 5 was a feast for the eyes.

Amber Feroz - Presentation - Dubai FFWD April 2015

Below is a pictorial summary of some of the jaw-dropping catwalk creations seen at FFWD. All photography used in this post is courtesy Getty Images.

Ezra Santos: The Maria Clara Collection

Philippine designer Ezra Santos took inspiration from the Maria Clara, the traditional gown worn in old Manila in the 1930’s during the Spanish occupancy.

The collection is very organic. Ezra uses Piña (Pineapple Fiber), a fiber made from the leaves of a pineapple plant mixed with silk to create the textile being used. Piña is commonly used in the Philippines for formal wear (e.g. for the Barong Tagalog, the Maria Clara as well as wedding dresses). Piña is a hand-woven fabric made by weavers, and is very precious and scarce. Ezra’s pieces also include inabel, another organic fabric native to the Philippines, and the rest is all tulle, jacquard, crepe silk and neoprene.

Ezra - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015

Mauzan: Russian with Love

Designer Rafia Helal Bin Drai embraces feminine elegance “From Russia With Love”, and takes inspiration from the classical Russian style of Orenburg patterns, ceramic florals and dreamy, whimsical style. The collection combines the graceful lace of vintage fashion icons with the modern edge of geometry. ‘Russian with Love’ is a play of clashing extremes.

Mauzan - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015

Three Fifty Nine: Beyond Borders

The ‘Beyond Borders’ collection by designer Marwa Sayed explores the world of imagination where poetry meets the canvas.

Three Fifty Nine - Presentation - Dubai FFWD April 2015

Yousef Al Jasmi: Aphrodite

Using mesh and intricate beaded work, Kuwaiti designer Yousef Al Jasmi gives the goddess of love a stylish new-age makeover.

Yousef Al-Jasmi - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015

Zareena: Peace

Zareena’s collection entitled ‘Peace’ symbolizes inner peace, a tranquil world of the mind undisturbed by the chaos of the world surrounding us.

From the angelic whites, washed-out muted pastels, coupled with gold and silver, to crystals and florets, the collection reflects serenity, a message of tranquility and inner contentment.


Aiisha Ramadan: City Lights

Aiisha Ramadan can be considered a veteran of the UAE fashion scene. Her latest collection entitled ‘City Lights’ is a relaunch of the brand’s core aesthetics, and explores Aiisha as an individual; each piece reflects what she wants to present to the world – simple, refined, elegant, effortless and timeless.

‘City Lights’ takes inspiration from the geometry, the colours, the darkness that reflects from the buildings and the shadows that create shapes, which play on imagination.  A million lights flickering and the simple lines that define them, like jewels cast in the finest settings.

Each look is perfectly finished with exclusive jewelry, courtesy of Dhamani.

Aiisha Ramadan Presented By Dhamani - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015

Hashe: AW 15/16

Designer Ava Hashemi’s Autumn-Winter 2015-16 collection is made of the finest taffeta and cashmere wool. For Ava, a concept is more inspiring than a person or object. This particular collection takes inspiration from silence, from nothingness. After all, it is in silence that we hear many things.

Hashe - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015

Arwa Al Banawi: Memories

Debuting on the catwalk for the very first time at FFWD Season 5, Arwa’s collection entitled ‘Memories’ is inspired by the art of story-telling.

Clean cut tailoring with a nod to classic icons like Audrey Hepburn are remixed with colorful pop culture and modern street-wear. The collection is bold yet beautifully wearable.

Arwa Al Banawi - Presentation - Dubai FFWD April 2015

Jean Louis Sabaji: Floriography

Floriography is the language of flowers. Jean Louis plays with floral color schemes, and adds a touch of Victorian romance to changing silhouettes.

Jean Louis Sabaji - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015

Amber Feroz: Another Aspect

Amber’s latest collection ‘Another Aspect’ captures the designer’s current obsession with falcons; their fluid geometric shapes, and a feminine desire for flexibility and modernity.

Amber Feroz - Presentation - Dubai FFWD April 2015