Fashion Forward Illustrations


Only in Dubai can you wear electric blue pleated trousers to a casual trip to the mall and feel somewhat underdressed.

It’s what I love about the city. Others may whine that it’s superficial, flamboyant and OTT, but as a small town girl from Scotland who loved to play dress up and never quite fit in, I say over here La vie en Rose!

I love jumping into all the events this city has to offer with a hungry sense of fervour and gusto. My absolute favorite event being Fashion Forward. If you haven’t heard of Fashion Forward, you must be living under a rock. In a cave. In the desert. Across the sea.

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Although it’s a relatively new event (the first Season started in April this year) the popularity of Fashion Forward has grown to epidemic proportions attracting glamazons from near and far like bees to honey. Not only are there sensational shows during the 4 day event, but extremely educational panel discussions and seminars from successful experts in the design and fashion industry.

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The event is held at Medinat Jumeirah twice a year, and aside from the shows, seminars and snacks – it’s a great opportunity to take out that special little dress bashfully hiding in the corner of the wardrobe just waiting for just the right occasion to come out and play.

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This year I have illustrated some outfits from my favorite collections and a brief summary of each.

The Dima Ayad show featured a striking Indian Summer colour palette mixed with monochrome aztec-like motifs. Rich shades of fuchsia, saffron and cerulean dominated the runway resulting in some gorgeous pieces including billowing silk trousers, and high low ruffled skirts. Wearable, eye-catching and bold – certainly not for wall flowers!


Pakistani designer Amira Haroon showed exemplary craftsmanship in her stunning collection. She used coloured lace innovatively with peekaboo cut-out design features, fringed detail and just the right about of crystal work paired with bejewelled sumptuous colours. I noticed her collection had a 20′s Gatsby-esque feel to it with the little feather details and make up and hair. Love!

The House of Fattam was another elegant collection, using rich shades with velvet and beautiful embroidery – particularly on the trousers (I’m totally coveting those and need to get a pair!)It was clear that the designers have drawn inspiration from Eastern culture judging by their attention to detail on the embroidery but fused the western design aesthetic in a wonderfully wearable, contemporary and creative way. The models were styled with interesting tribal like hairstyles and the overall look was ethereal yet exotic.


Ezra’s mesmerizing show included both the dramatically voluminous and the sleek and statuesque. Floor sweeping gowns in solid brights peppered with pearlescent accents sashayed the runway. Other top picks include figure hugging metallic dresses which gave the appearance of being carved straight from blocks of bronze and innovatively designed sculptural outfits made from a foam like material. All in all it was an amazing show with a gob smacking bridal piece de resistance.



Essa’s show had a Victorian feel to it with tea stained lace, brooches, bows and ruffles paired with diaphanous chiffon and textured floral embellishments. The collection started off in gothic dark tones like charcoal and black and later on moved into the most beautiful delicate colourful (painted?) printed dresses. It was classy, indulgent and just the right amount of bling!



Dina JSR’s collection had some great pieces that were interesting and some of the draped silhouettes almost had an origami delicate paper-thin feel to it. Her barely there muted coloured outfits in particular were stunning. I love the really subtle feather motif embroidery layered with delicate fabric. Very pretty and feminine!



Lastly, official title of “rock star of the fashion scene in Dubai” goes to Amato.

First of all, the que for his show got almost VIOLENT with pushing and shoving by eager and pushy fashion victims up to forty minutes prior to the show.

Hot and bothered, I settled down in my seat – huffy from my “traumatic” ordeal. What followed was nothing short of spectacular (and that’s an understatement). It was a unique twist of Marie Antoinette meets Memoirs of a Geisha with all the drama of Cirque du Soleil. The show was sensationally choreographed and felt more like performance art. The outfits were not only exciting and theatrical, but they were exquisitely beautiful too and successfully accomplishing both qualities can be very challenging, so kudos to the designer.


I could clearly see the origami-like structures juxtaposed with delicate tulle piled high high high in yards of volume. I was curious about the teddy bears attached to the back of each outfit which offered a kitsch-like element. Perhaps it symbolised childhood or purity?



The models did not just strut ..they performed…and in the most artistic entertaining and delightful way leading to a climactic showstopping finale. The excited appreciative murmurs from the audience said it all. As they say in Mortal Kombat…Flawless victory.

I couldn’t resist posting a little cheeky “look of the day” thing. Here’s photos of my sister and I enjoying the show.



And that concludes my article for Fashion Forward. I am now experiencing withdrawl symptoms and do not know what to do with my life now that it’s bereft from the from the exciting razzle dazzle of Fashion Forward. If you need me I shall be in the fetal position in my room rocking back and forth and dreaming of lace, crystal and tulle. *sob*