The best of Fashion Forward’s seventh season, and indeed the most inspiring and refreshing was the enthusiasm of all young people who despite the rain came to be part of event. As true fashionistas, they were clad in designer clothes, had carefully styled frisures and thoughtfully chosen accessories. As in the past, they were once again more generous than it was deserved with their applaudissements for the fashion designers.

Young, full of life, well mannered, eager to discover and to belong to – such public deserves a higher standard of experience into the world of fashion.

A general view of guests on day 1 of Fashion Forward Fall/Winter 2016 held at the Dubai Design District. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
A general view of guests on day 1 of Fashion Forward Fall/Winter 2016 held at the Dubai Design District. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

A nearly constant light rainfall in Dubai today did not make a favor to Fashion Forward organizers, participants, and attendees. On the contrary, it served as an affirmation that the choice of a new venue for the event is wrong.

The seventh season of Fashion Forward Dubai is right now taking place in the soon to be completed Dubai Design District – d3. This is the first time when the event is staged elsewhere than in the Madinat Jumeirah’s luxurious, glamorous and very comfortable surroundings. In the past, we have been complaining of the plastic forks offered at the temporary cafes hosted by the five-star chain during the Fashion Forward. But after experiencing today the atmosphere of the refurbished shipping containers where the fashion and style-dedicated event is currently taking place, we will be rather happy to accept the plastic plates at the Medinat Jumeirah once again.

It seems the lack of enthusiasm about the new location was shared among all. A fact of note is that designers, talks moderators and fashionistas bravely accepted the leaking tents where fashion talks are accommodated. One of the jewelry exhibitors mumbled that the new setup is… interesting. It seems the usual participants in the event were also skeptical about the choice of venue because the duration of Fashion Forward is reduced from the usual four days to three days, while the fashion shows are fewer.

Perhaps, Fashion Forward Dubai should be held only once a year and it should be staged only in a high-end fashion style. Hotel ballrooms are definitely much more suitable than temporarily built tents around painted shipping containers.

Change is good, but when change happens for the better. During the past few editions of the event, there have been no surprises. Participants and attendees felt comfortable to mingle in the halls of the Medinat Jumeirah, socialize, discover and learn about new aspects of the fashion industry. It was a pleasure to be there, to be part of the event. Today the atmosphere was unwelcoming and uncomfortable, prompting us to leave sooner.

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On the creative side, also, there is much more to be desired. A few designers demonstrated admittedly better than in the past, more elegant and sophisticated collections. However, some others should really take a break and review their creative visions. It is truly disappointing for fashion devotees to stand in tents to view ugly disproportionate clothes hanging on characterless, although “professional” models. Having into consideration the efforts and expenses of the organizers to provide a platform for designers to showcase talent, some of the “fashion shows” we saw can be described as truly disappointing.

Nevertheless, as Fashion Forward is already an established event, we are looking towards to its next installment this autumn.


  1. So glad to see someone say it like it is. I wasn’t so much bothered by the venue. If anything I thought it was a laid back and more welcoming atmosphere. However I did mind the amount of untrained designers who allowed sub par work to walk down. That’s not to say that was everyone though.


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