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.


TheFace: Dr. Lama S. Taher, the successful fashion designer whose one dream was not enough

Dr. Lama S. Taher (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 20 April 2018
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TheFace: Dr. Lama S. Taher, the successful fashion designer whose one dream was not enough

  • Lacking in financial assistance but armed with grit, perseverance and passion, a young Saudi woman fashion designer launches her own brand while pursuing further studies, and succeed in both

I was born and raised in Riyadh and moved to London in 2004 to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, followed by a Master’s degree in Mental Health.

Eight years ago, when I started on my Ph.D. in Psychology, I felt compelled to go into fashion design. Armed with grit, perseverance and passion, I took the plunge and launched my own brand, LUM, in May 2010.

I had no financial assistance and no fancy business plans — but I believed in it. No one else did, except my older sister who stood by me.

In spite of its humble beginning, the brand was well-received in the Kingdom and the Gulf region. But my father, a physician, was not convinced. I placed a bet with him, vowing to make substantial sales and revenue within one month. On July 1, 2013, I won that bet, making him my number one supporter.  In 2016, I achieved my academic dream, obtaining a Ph.D. in psychology at City University London.  

But it was not easy. Enduring sleepless nights and homesickness, I persevered to meet high academic demands. Meanwhile, the LUM business continued to flourish.

People asked why a successful fashion designer would pursue a doctorate in psychology. I was constantly asked to pick one — but my heart was in one and my mind was in another. 

Few believed I could achieve both. At times, I too doubted myself.

Today, I am an assistant professor at Dar Al Hekma University in Jeddah, supervising award-winning researchers. I am also a Saudi designer and manager of a successful fashion brand sold in the GCC, New York and Los Angeles.  I share my story to empower women to pursue their dreams, to believe in themselves, to fight for what they want.

People still ask: “Why both?” 

I reply, smiling: “Because one dream was not enough.”