Arab Fashion Week opens in Dubai

Models walk down the catwalk wearing designs by Abdo Aoude during the Arab Fashion Week in Dubai on Friday. (AFP)
Updated 18 May 2017
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Arab Fashion Week opens in Dubai

DUBAI: Designers, buyers and influencers have descended on Dubai for Arab Fashion Week, a five-day event dedicated to ready couture and resort wear for women, men and those who refuse a label.
The show opened Tuesday night with Jordanian-Canadian sensation Rad Hourani, Palestinian-American Jenanne Filat and her menswear lineup straight out of Arkansas, and runway darlings Marchesa.
Hourani sent his models down the catwalk in geometric, binary-transcending designs “based on style preference rather than gender,” with men, women and gender non-conforming models in layers of dark boiled wool and poplin, and all in pastel slip-on shoes.
The week will also showcase designers specializing in abayas, a traditional robe-like dress that is gaining popularity among major labels as they move into regional markets. The International Dwarf Fashion Show will also host a show by American Wardrobe featuring models living with dwarfism.
While listed as an international fashion week alongside Paris and Milan, the twice-yearly Arab Fashion Week offers exclusively see-now-buy-now collections and pre-collections — an issue that has been met with some contention by traditional gatekeepers in the world of high fashion.
Marchesa’s trademark fairytale pre-fall collection was an instant hit with the Arab Fashion Week crowd, some of whom put on their Marchesa best for the occasion. Many were still snapping selfies on the catwalk moments after the lights dimmed and music started.
With three-dimensional floral appliques, layers of tulle, long beaded fringe and intricate embroidery in blush, blue and metallics, Marchesa’s collection of gowns was met with nods and excited whispers.
Marchesa co-founder and designer Georgina Chapman said: “We’ve always had a strong clientele base here and I think it’s because the Middle Eastern woman, the Arab woman, appreciates fashion.”
“She’s not afraid of trying something ... She’s bold, and she’s glamorous, and she’s feminine, and she’s unapologetic about that.”
The Muslim fashion industry is booming, with spending on modest wear — which includes both traditionally feminine and gender-shunning designs — expected to top $480 billion annually by 2019.


Prince William visits Jordan’s Roman ruins at Jerash

Updated 25 June 2018
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Prince William visits Jordan’s Roman ruins at Jerash

  • Britain’s Prince William visited the Roman ruins of Jerash in northern Jordan

AMMAN: Britain’s Prince William visited the Roman ruins of Jerash in northern Jordan on Monday, accompanied by his host Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah as part of a historic Middle East tour.
The two princes met children from Jordan and neighboring war-torn Syria during their visit to the site, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Amman.
The visit to Jordan by the second in line to the British throne has been billed as a chance to bond with Hussein, a fellow graduate of Britain’s Royal Sandhurst Military Academy.
William was also due to meet British troops based in the kingdom, before heading across the River Jordan to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The Duke of Cambridge and the heir to the Jordanian throne strolled along Jerash’s Colonnaded Street, a paved promenade lined with towering columns.
They also visited the Temple of Artemis, built on an elevated part of the site in honor of the goddess believed to protect the city, which was at its most prosperous in the third century.
When they reached the ancient site’s theater they were greeted by Syrian and Jordanian school children in traditional dress, who gave a performance including music and poetry.
The show was organized by the Makany Center, a UNESCO-backed program providing health and education to both Syrian and Jordanian pupils.
Some 650,000 Syrian refugees have registered with the United Nations in Jordan since fleeing their country’s seven-year war which was sparked by peaceful anti-government protests in 2011.
Amman estimates the actual number is closer to 1.3 million people and says it has spent more than $10 billion (8.5 billion euros) hosting them.
William paid tribute in a speech on Sunday to “the way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees,” even as Jordan said the same day that it would be unable to host any new wave of asylum seekers.
His Middle East tour will see William become the first British royal to pay official visits to both Israel and the Palestinian territories.
William, who is president of the Football Association, was flying into Jordan as England thrashed Panama 6-1 in the World Cup on Sunday, but he caught a recording of the match on television at his host’s home.