Passion for fashion, hunger for novelty or Dubai’s booming fashion industry – you are free to call it whatever you like, but the first edition of Fashion Forward enjoyed full halls and overbooked discussion sessions during its first two days in Dubai.
We were pleasantly surprised to experience a well organised entirely fashion-dedicated event that not only provide the opportunity to overview the latest collections by established and upcoming regional designers, but to take advice and inspiration from top fashion magazines’ editors and fashion gurus about the latest trends in the industry.
And we were not alone! By the invitation-only panel discussion sessions were fully booked not only in advance online, but also in reality. Over 200 fashionistas attended the Saturday’s 3pm panel discussion “Middle Eastern Fashion: An Identity in the Making” with Zayan Ghandour from Sauce, Rabih Kayrouz from Maison Rabih Kayrouz and Louise Nichol from Harpers Bazaar Arabia.
Fashion Forward provides the rare opportunity to professionals from all segments of the industry to collaborate with fashion designers, models, fashion magazines’ editors, reporters and photographers. The crowd we saw during the past two days consisted of mostly young people of all nationalities and religions, who were wearing colorful and diversified designer clothes.
The dress code of the event is rather smart-casual than high-end. Many young women chose to show up in trendy shorts, while just a few opted for designer jeans matched with statement accessories. Gentlemen who plan to attend Fashion Forward would be better forgetting the classic suits and opt for embroidered velvet loafers, colored skinny jeans, plain color shirts and smart-casual jackets.
“Not all designers are born and bred in New York, Paris and Milan,” Fern Mallis once said. The former director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, widely credited with creating New York Fashion Week, may have never heard of Fashion Forward. But judging by the enthusiasm of those involved in the inaugural four-day fashion extravaganza that is now running in Dubai, she may do so soon.