What to wear in 2019: The fashion trends that will dominate the next 12 months

Snakeskin is a major trend in 2019. (Getty Images)
Updated 17 January 2019
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What to wear in 2019: The fashion trends that will dominate the next 12 months

  • The top fashion trends of 2019
  • From Popcorn sweaters to patchwork pieces

DUBAI: Here are some of the top fashion trends that will rule in 2019.
POPCORN SWEATERS
One of the best ways to identify trends these days is to keep an eye on Pinterest. And pom-pom covered sweaters and cardigans — created using circular crochet bobbles known as popcorn stitches — showed a serious surge in (p)interest toward the end of 2018, with pins featuring the kitsch-y style increasing by 1,395 percent in a short space of time — according to the online bulletin board’s “Pinterest 100” report — marking it out as one of the new year’s major trends and the coolest way to stay warm in the region’s cooler months or on trips to colder climates.

RUCHING
It’s an American designer with Lebanese roots, Norma Kamali, who’s often credited with bringing gathered fabrics into the mainstream and popularizing ruching in the 1980s. In 2018, an American model with Palestinian roots — Bella Hadid — was one of numerous runway walkers sporting ruched clothes on the catwalks to promote 2019 collections. Versatile, flattering and easy-to-wear, ruching is one of this year’s most popular ways to make a silhouette sizzle.

SNAKESKIN
Forget leopard- or zebra-print. This year, for those wanting to take a walk on the wild side, the big game is snakes — at least according to several fashion tipsters (including the “Pinterest 100”) and based on the runways of the Spring/Summer 2019 shows, from Gucci’s snakeskin cami dress to Gigi Hadid walking in a snake-print skirt for Versace at Milan Fashion Week. Stay on-trend by shunning the real thing and opting for an eco-friendly faux-snake piece.

YELLOW
Just as Coldplay predicted before they blanded themselves vanilla, it’s “all yellow” this year. Marigold (or “Gen Z,” if you want to get all millennial about it) yellow, specifically, will continue to surf the wave of popularity it grabbed last year, thanks to young celebs including Millie Bobbie Brown (“Stranger Things”) and Yara Shahidi (“Black-ish”) putting it in the spotlight. But lemon yellow, too, will be brightening up the streets this year, as suggested by designers including Marc Jacobs and Chanel at their Spring/Summer shows.

NEON
If yellow isn’t quite bold enough for whatever statement you’re looking to make, you’ll be glad to hear that even-more-eye-searing color — in the form of neon — is also riding high in 2019’s trending fashion lists. After years of pastel design dominance, vibrant tones are going to be big this year. From Off-White’s combo of the snakeskin and neon trends at Paris Fashion Week to Jasper Conran’s doubling-down on neon in London, the Spring-Summer runways were full of them.

TIE-DYE
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a trend long-ridiculed as hopelessly out-of-date will one day be repurposed as bleeding-edge fashion. In 2019, it’s the turn of tie-dye. The style beloved by hippies and psychedelic-rock fans is returning with a vengeance, kickstarted by getting much love shown to it at New York Fashion Week. Admittedly, the 2019 version looks a bit tidier than the retro DIY done-in-my-bathtub styling that was popular last time around, but the kaleidoscopic, flowery patterns at its heart are straight out of the Sixties.

PATCHWORK
Forget the homely, rustic/frumpy vibe traditionally associated with patchwork — in 2019, mismatched patterns will be everywhere, from coats to shoes. High-end designers including Libertine and Isabel Marant (who went for patchwork denim — a fabric that will also be big this year) gave patchwork with a modern twist serious exposure on the catwalks at the major fashion weeks, and that’s already started to rub off on high-street retailers, ensuring patchwork blanket (!) coverage in the near future.

OVERSIZED HATS
If you follow Instagram fashionistas, then this is one trend you’ll definitely have already identified. Big (but, like, BIG) hats were all over social feeds last summer, and brands aren’t going to miss out on the chance to shift a few units this time around — meaning we’ll likely see a swing from cult status to mainstream approval for massive headwear this year.

 


Pakistani tailor adds former US president to star-studded list of clients

Updated 15 February 2019
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Pakistani tailor adds former US president to star-studded list of clients

  • The 36-year-old outfitter has built a customer list of famous names from the sporting, show business and political worlds
  • His family enterprise was established more than 100 years ago and operated from large shop premises in Kolkata, India

KARACHI: It is probably safe to say that tailor to the stars Sarfraz Akbar has the market for celebrity clients all sewn up.

The 36-year-old outfitter has built a customer list of famous names from the sporting, show business and political worlds through his reputation for making high-quality garments.

And now Akbar, who works for his family business at shops in an affluent neighborhood of Pakistan’s port city of Karachi, can add a former American president to his star-studded client base.

During a trip to the US in July last year, he was invited by an American-Pakistani friend to meet with George W. Bush.

“I was super-excited when along with my wife and daughters we boarded my friend’s private jet and flew from Houston to Dallas,” Akbar told Arab News.

After taking measurements of the former US president, he returned to Pakistan and made several suits for him, before dispatching them to Dallas in December 2018.

“My happiness doubled when I got a call from the US informing me that the former president had appreciated my work after wearing the suits,” Akbar said.

Akbar’s father Mohammed said his son had built up a distinguished list of Pakistani personalities he has worked for. 

“By earning praise from George W. Bush, my son has not only made me proud but it’s also a matter of pride for all Pakistanis.”

The youngest of three brothers, Akbar has brought fame to the family name and business, his father added.

The family enterprise was established more than 100 years ago and operated from large shop premises in Kolkata. The family moved from the Indian city after the inception of Pakistan.

The business now has two shops under the “Ambassador” brand name in the Zamzama district of Karachi. 

“We could have opened dozens of outlets, but we believe in quality. The materials we use are imported and we focus on precision,” said Akbar. 

“It’s handmade, customized work. We don’t sell readymade stuff.

“However, we’re now getting people coming to us from other cities wanting to have their wardrobes from the tailor of George W. Bush. Some clients even ask to have their photos taken with me.”

Akbar said he has always had big ambitions. Following matriculation in 1999, he continued his studies but opted at the same time to focus on the family business with a view to taking it to new heights after his graduation.

When the Indian cricket team toured Pakistan during 2005-2006, Akbar made clothes for all the Indian players. 

“Almost all the Pakistani players including Wasim Akram, Misbah-ul-Haq, Sarfraz Ahmed and Shahid Afridi — the latter being a regular customer – have worn our wardrobes too,” Akbar said.

He also designed kurta shalwar clothing for West Indian player and Peshawar Zalmi skipper, Darren Sammy, during the last season of the Pakistan Super League.

Akbar also has a long list of political clients including Pakistan’s former leader Pervez Musharraf, incumbent President Dr. Arif Alvi, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and Sindh Gov. Imran Ismail. “I made a waistcoat for Imran Khan after he was sworn in as the premier of Pakistan,” he said.

Summing up his achievements to date, Akbar said: “You can be proud of yourself and your family, but you just need to focus on your work and work hard.”