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.


‘Selfie Saad’ Hariri launches app to share selfies with followers

Updated 25 April 2018
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‘Selfie Saad’ Hariri launches app to share selfies with followers

DUBAI: Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri has launched a selfie application that allows users to share their selfies with him online.
In a tweet that’s been liked more than 500 times, Hariri said “download the application to share the selfies that brought us together.”
Hariri has become known for his selfies, posing for several with the likes of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Morocco’s King Mohammed IV, France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

A post shared by Saad Hariri (@saadhariri) on


Hariri doesn’t only pose with world leaders, but also citizens and fans from across the country.
Many have replied to his tweet and Instagram post supporting the application and calling for more pictures with him.
“The best selfie with you Mr. Prime Minister, God willing!” one user posted.
Others replied with selfies they took with Hariri.
The launch of the applications comes at a peak time, a little over a week before the Lebanese parliamentary elections are set to kick off for the first time in nine years.

A post shared by Saad Hariri (@saadhariri) on


Hariri is a candidate running with the Saudi-backed Future Movement in the Beirut 2 district, competing with eight other lists including Hezbollah and a civil society group.
The Lebanese prime minister is not the only leader who is known for his social media presence.
US President Donald Trump is notorious for his barrage of tweets that he sends on a daily basis, while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has amassed the largest Twitter following for any world leader, at 97 million.