Fairies, brides in black descend on Arab Fashion Week

A model presents on the catwalk a creation of Louzan during the Arab Fashion Week in Dubai on Wednesday. (AFP)
Updated 16 November 2017
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Fairies, brides in black descend on Arab Fashion Week

DUBAI: Fairies, brides in black and hand-knit dolls take the runway in Dubai this week for the fifth Arab Fashion Week, a five-day affair focused on instantly available “ready couture” and pre-collections.
At the opening shows Wednesday night, ballgowns and evening gowns appeared in full force, with Lebanese designer Saher Dia showcasing a collection inspired by old Hollywood — including a metallic-fringed dress that appeared to be a modern-day tribute to Ginger Rogers.
And in a city that has become a metaphor for luxury, Filipino designer Furone One, of Dubai’s Amato Couture, turned his models into fairies living the high life.
“This collection is inspired by fairies — sea fairies, all kinds of fairies, because as a child I believed in fairies,” Furone told AFP backstage.
His collection did not disappoint.
The celebrity favorite, who has dressed Beyonce, Katy Perry and Heidi Klum among others, sent more than 20 models down the runway in holographic and pearl headpieces.
Embroidered or beaded, gowns in muted blues, blushes and beiges were paired with voile capes and purses made from seashells in a collection that was still wearable for the Dubai crowd. “For me, Arabs are very creative,” One said.
“They love to experiment, they love to explore,” he added. “Here in Dubai, you have the time for luxury.”
While Aiisha Ramadan, the Lebanese designer who has garnered a dedicated following in the Gulf for her traditional abaya robes, did embrace the unisex structured blazer; hers had blue ruffled overlays pouring out of the shoulder pads.
“The Arab client is definitely changing,” Ramadan said backstage, in biker boots studded with crystals.
“She’s changing in the way she’s thinking. She’s becoming simpler, someone who wants to shine more than the dress on her.”
The shows this week will also feature Mua Mua’s hand-knit celebrity dolls, made in Bali by Italian designer Ludovica Virga.


From genetics to fashion design, glamor is in Fidda Al-Marzouqi’s genes

A gown designed by Cabochon’s Fidda Al-Marzouqi.(Supplied)
Updated 18 October 2018
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From genetics to fashion design, glamor is in Fidda Al-Marzouqi’s genes

  • Fidda Al-Marzouqi talks about her label Cabochon
  • The label is known for its elegant evening gowns and fitted looks

DUBAI: She may have studied genetics and public health, but Fidda Al-Marzouqi has found success in a decidedly more creative field in her home town of Abu Dhabi.

The designer and founder of fashion atelier Cabochon spoke to Arab News about her personal style and the challenges she faced while making the transition to the studio.

“I’ve always loved anything to do with design and I’ve also always loved fashion, dressing myself up,” she said, explaining why she chose to test the waters of sartorial design while maintaining her day job as a senior health officer.

“A lot of people would always ask for my advice on how to style a certain look and my friends encouraged that, because I have natural flair — it’s not something I studied — I should pursue it.”

So, Al-Marzouqi hired a team of master cutters, tailors and hand embroiders and set up the brand Cabochon in 2016.

Named after a gemstone that has been shaped and polished as opposed to faceted, the label is known for its elegant evening gowns and fitted looks.

“It’s all about femininity. I love history, I love all aspects of design, traveling inspires me,” Al-Marzouqi said of her creative process.

However, inspiration and a knack for design will only take you so far in a notoriously competitive industry.

“If you have natural flair at designing or creating a look, there’s the other technical stuff that you’re not aware of like running a team of staff, the facts and figures — that was the challenging part,” the designer said, referring to the obstacles she has faced on her journey so far.

But she learnt the ropes and now oversees all aspects of research, design and production and is particularly keen to ensure the women she dresses have the “full Cabochon experience,” including “the attention, the care (and) the fit.

“I create and I design, but obviously every woman has a certain style so you respect the personality that comes in — her style, the shape of her body, her attitude, what she likes and, accordingly, you get inspired as a designer.”