Saudi princess’ trunk show lights up restaurant with inspiring fashion

Princess Noura bint Faisal Al-Saud, founder of Global Fashion House, said the event was more successful than she expected. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)
Updated 07 November 2018
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Saudi princess’ trunk show lights up restaurant with inspiring fashion

  • Emerging Saudi designers have the potential to be recognized worldwide, say experts
  • I want aspiring or emerging designers to come out and show what they really are, says Princess Noura

RIYADH: Nozomi, a high-end Japanese restaurant in Riyadh, was turned into a mini runway, complete with models, emerging and well-known local and international fashion designers, when the founder of the Saudi fashion community, Princess Noura bint Faisal Al-Saud, held a private trunk show on Monday. 

The participating designers showcased their latest fashion at Nozomi in a private and exclusive show. The princess, who is also the founder of Global Fashion House, and whose vision is to enable Saudi designers to emerge, aims to support them and on Monday had their work displayed.

With background music playing loud and sushi and fancy drinks being served, the five emerging local designers opened the show. Shams hit the runway first with her designs. The one that stood out was a floor-length black chiffon dress that was short at the front and hit the floor with a meter-long train in the back, buckled securely by a red chiffon belt with a large flower at the back.

Khawla Al-Harbi was second, with eclectic designs, and each one different. Her first design was white pants also supporting a top with a train and massive earrings and hold boots. Her designs were dominantly white, the last a long dress adorned in large silver fish scales. 

Mashael Al-Nassar’s designs were a unique blend of see-through fabrics, which was very modern and elegant. Ashwag Al-Mutairi’s collection featured white high-waisted pants and a sequined black top.

Saja Yousef stood out with her all-white attire collection. The first was an ankle-length white dress and jacket which was the same color and length of the dress. But she has designed not only clothes but also bags, which the models showcased during the event. The invitees were impressed by the emerging Saudi designers. One exclaimed that they had the potential to be recognized worldwide, with a little more work and experience. 

Even at an all-female event, the guests were immaculately dressed, wearing exquisite abayas of different colors and designs. It was a fashion trunk show, after all. But most notable was an abaya by designer Nouf G, who was draped in a red Shomakh (red Saudi head cloth) abaya, with the other half of a light grey tribal design. “Each one of my abayas has a story. A unique story. I make one of each design only,” Nouf G said.

After the top Saudi emerging designers finished, the Saudi favorites took over, with names such as Lum by Lama Taher, RE:UNITE, Hindamme and Mashael Al-Rajhi. Each of the designers had a unique and signature look. 

The Lum ball gowns were the essence of sophistication and femininity. RE: UNITE by Noora Al-Harthi was trendy and stylish. Hindamme by Mohammed Khoja featured the famous bomber jackets and cool attire galore. Al-Rajhi was a unique blend of tribal, color and artistic designs.  The night concluded with fashion international stars Lama Askari and Tony Miranda. 

Askari spoke to Arab News about the inspiration behind her beautiful pastel gowns: “The inspiration behind the collection was the butterfly effect, the transformation from the caterpillar to the butterfly. Most of the colors I used had two to three combinations, even in the embroideries. Because butterflies inspired me, I tried to stick to the color scheme I found in real butterflies.”

Princess Noura ended the night energetically as she said: “The attendance was more than we expected. We were getting last-minute calls to attend (the show was private and by invitation only). Everyone was so positive, in a good mood and very proud to show their work.

“I am proud of these Saudi designers. Everyone was so stunned by their work. It was exciting and hectic.” After the show, many of the attendees asked to meet the emerging local designers to buy their designs.

Asked which of the emerging designers was her favorite, the princess said: “Each one of them has their own style. Whatever is inside them came out today, I saw it.

“The event was better than I expected. I want aspiring or emerging designers to come out and show what they really are.”


Dr. Nasser bin Mohammed Al-Aqeeli, vice rector at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

Updated 50 min 55 sec ago
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Dr. Nasser bin Mohammed Al-Aqeeli, vice rector at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

Dr. Nasser bin Mohammed Al-Aqeeli is the vice rector for applied studies and research at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran.

He has been published more than 100 times in reputable journals and given lectures at more than 35 conferences. He has been involved in research grants exceeding SR120 million ($32 million) supported by companies and institutions such as the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Saudi Aramco, KFUPM and Lockheed Martin Aircraft Industries.

Al-Aqeeli has 17 patents registered with the US Patent Office and three with the Gulf Patent Office. He got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from KFUPM and his doctorate in materials engineering from McGill University in Canada.

He worked in the materials, science, and engineering department of MIT as a postdoctoral fellow and was a research scientist at Harvard.

Al-Aqeeli has won several awards, including the Almarai prize from KACST for creative achievement in 2015 and the Arab Creativity Award from the Arab Thought Foundation that same year. He is a member of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society, the American Society for Metals-International, and chairman of the board at the Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering.

Female students of KFUPM represented the Kingdom at Intel ISEF 2019 in Arizona, US. They won five major awards. Shouq Faisal Madani received a scholarship from the University of Arizona. 

Commenting on the achievement of KFUPM students, Al-Aqeeli said: “We are proud of the students of the university.”

He also vowed to take measures to promote and nurture local talent.