What’s New at Fashion Forward Autumn 2014 in Dubai


The autumn edition of Fashion Forward 2014 kicked off yesterday with the usual variety of fashion shows, intellectually stimulating talks about what works in the fashion industry and a variety of eat and drink opportunities. Fashionistas from all walks of life gathered together to experience an infusion of style. The number of visitors was impressive, but it is the first day of Eid Al Adha and expats in Dubai have a few days off work.

Although, Dubai Chronicle’s editor was disappointed from the previous edition’s visit, fashion is passion, and the curiosity to find out what has changed drove us to the already established venue for the event, Medinat Jumeirah, a little earlier than 5 pm when the The Emperor’s fashion show kicked on.

So, what’s new and not new at Fashion Forward Autumn 2014?

As for the start, media treatment did not get better, but rather worsened. Online media registration closed a few weeks ago, but on the event’s website it is written until today that there will be an onsite registration. Well, there was no such thing, but instead one of the event’s organizers was turning photographers away explaining that their registration wasn’t approved. No worries media folks, you can still buy a ticked for fifty Dirhams and get in. Either the organizers are trying to boost revenues from admission fees, or they have become more selective who will photograph and distribute the content of the event. Still, the queues in front of the ballrooms where the fashion shows are staged are too long and even media representatives end up waiting for half an hour to get in.

But are the fashion shows worth the wait? Fashion Forward is a spectacular event and to newbies may appear somewhat grandeur. However, if you are a regular visitor, you might feel a little bored and tired from the repetition of the same scenario again and again. Moreover, when most of the acts lack substance, it might feel even a little disappointing. Most of the often seen during previous editions devoted popular Dubai’s fashionistas were absent from the front rows. However, a fresh inflow of foreign, mostly European, fashion admires was really notable.

As in previous editions, the fashion shows are running round the clock. And as usual, a very few designers presented unique and up to high international standards collections.

The Emperor’s latest collection can be characterized as ready-to-wear, salable variety of clothes in hues of dark blue, white and beige. As in previous years and maybe because the three designers behind it are men, the men’s clothes are better and more likable than the women’s line. This comments were made about The Emperor’s collections also in previous seasons.

The second fashion show we attended was the one of the House of Ronald, which did not impress with an unique style or perfect cuts. Unfortunately, impressive fashion shows is somewhat of a tendency at Fashion Forward. Most of the new collections of the regional designers are not really remarkable for devoted fashionistas. From another point of view, if everyone was remarkable, the likes of Gucci and Chanel wouldn’t exist.

Later on, Michael Cinco’s runway was definitely well received, although most of the outfits resembled pieces by Ellie Saab seen during Paris  Spring/Summer 2014 or even a few seasons earlier. A few dresses closely resemble Cavalli’s lace gowns seen on the catwalks in recent years. The color scheme of the collection is definitely spring/summer and this is perfectly excusable in Dubai where summer lasts whole year long. Without a doubt, Michael Cinco’s collection has a great selling potential in the Middle East.

A balm for the soul was the seminar or lecture by Jessica Michault of Nowfashion.com, named “Life Lessons in Fashion.” It was very informative, engaging and really worth attending it. It seems, many people felt this way as the auditorium was full. Unfortunately, this was the only discussion during the first day of the event, while the fashion shows were six.

Dubai Design DistrictAmong the few improvements we have noticed at Fashion Forward Autumn 2014 are the redesigned marketing materials and the nicer uniforms of Madinat Jumeirah’s staff.

However, the fashion-dedicated book corner disappeared and it is replaced by a project display of Dubai Design District where sales representatives explains how many buildings will be ready in different stages from 2015 onwards, so you may set up business or buy a home.

All together, Fashion Forward seem to move forward towards commercialization and this fact is not really surprising.


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