Fashion Forward Dubai SS18

Fashion Forward Dubai SS18

Arwa Al Banawi, Lara Khoury, Madiyah Al Sharqi, Hussein Bazaza

Text: Meeran Mekkaoui

Image: Fashion Forward Dubai - Getty Images

Four designers showcased their must-have seasonal collections during day one of Fashion Forward Dubai and Buro 24/7 Middle East has the first look at the collections...


elcome to season 10 of Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD). The Dubai-based fashion platform continues to welcome new talent this season but on the first day of the shows, Buro 24/7 Middle East shines the spotlight on four notable names: Arwa Al Banawi, Lara Khoury, Madiyah Al Sharqi and Hussein Bazaza...

Arwa Al Banawi

As the first Middle Eastern designer to collaborate with Adidas, Arwa Al Banawi has carried over the active wear attitude, complete with an '80's edge, into her eponymous label this season. Blending influences from prominent individuals including Michael Jackson and David Bowie, the new collection, aptly titled Banat, sees a selection of prints — think polka dots, stars and grids — injected into the designer's iconic "suitable woman" aesthetic. Also expect Arabic calligraphy, a nod to the ready-to-wear pieces' aim of celebrating women and the importance of their roles today. 

Lara Khoury

It was a golden era for Lara Khoury, as the Beirut-based designer unfolded a collection that is a FFWD must-see. While speaking with Buro 24/7 Middle East exclusively backstage, the designer said: "The inspiration comes from the Golden Ages of Beirut. It's really about inspiring people of today to live in the golden ages, like in the '50's and '60's. I was inspired by the black and white vintage images of a photographer from Saida (Lebanon), Hashem el Madani. It's also a way for me to get my message across that Beirut is still beautiful, amazing and you can really be happy again. I'm trying to target the women that are trying to be unique and who want to stand out in a different way" Khoury continued.

Madiyah Al Sharqi

While Madiyah Al Sharqi is known for her elegant evening looks — think the ensemble worn in Layla Kardan's new music video — her new Spring/Summer '18 collection sees the Fujairah-based designer turn to a juxtaposition of fabrics this season. Designed in the UAE and crafted intricately, discover the powder-like colour palette in a combination of lace, ruffles, frills and  hand painted prints. 

Hussein Bazaza

Lebanese designer Hussein Bazaza — who recently spoke at the 2017 Arab Luxury World Conference — created a Spring/Summer '18 collection that was as blushed as it was bold. With pink at the fore of the colour palette, the 40-look collection came complete with shimmering silvers, ravishing reds, bold blacks and glimmering golds, that were then accented with intricate detailing and colourful beading. The designer's signature structured pieces were too contrasted against geometric lines, colour blocking fabrics and an elegant aesthetic. 

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