Halima Aden, the Hadids take over New York Fashion Week

Halima Aden walked the runway for US brand Sherri Hill. AFP
Updated 10 February 2019

Halima Aden, the Hadids take over New York Fashion Week

DUBAI: New York Fashion Week is in full swing and the Hadid sisters have been spotted all over the city, along with the likes of hijab-wearing model Halima Aden.
US designer Tom Ford opened New York Fashion Week on Thursday with his signature high-gloss swagger, but he is one of a dwindling number of heavyweights showing his stuff in the Big Apple, AFP reported.
New York is the first stop in the world’s runway carnival that heads to Milan, London and Paris, but little by little, the top names in the biz are foregoing a stateside catwalk show.
The 57-year-old Ford, who turned out a fairly restrained collection last season, went for more of the same this time out.
Ford went back to the archives of his fall-winter 1996 collection for Gucci which, by his own admission, sealed his reputation as a major talent.
Long, fluid backless gowns were reminiscent of the series of white dresses the Texan showed in Milan more than 20 years ago.
A red pants suit worn by top model Gigi Hadid recalled a similar ensemble he sent out back in the day.
But the cuts and styles certainly had a modern touch — more cleavage, more tightly cinched waists and cropped trousers.

Gigi Hadid showed off a red pant suit by Tom Ford. AFP 

As for the fabrics, Ford got creative — beyond silk and velvet, the designer showed sultry suits for men in leather, and several fur coats — possibly fake furs, as he had promised a year ago to only use fur in moderation.
Jaunty furry hats made a statement — they looked perfect for New York gangsters in the 1970s.
Ralph Lauren — another reference point in a New York Fashion week lacking some spark — hit the runway on Thursday.
Immaculately dressed young waiters offered coffee and pastries as soon as you sat down at Ralph Lauren’s scaled-down fashion show on Thursday, a stark contrast with last season’s lavish anniversary extravaganza in Central Park, the Associated Press noted in its review.
There was no stage, no spotlights, just models — including a gold-clad Bella Hadid — sauntering casually among the tables at Ralph’s Cafe, Lauren’s recently opened cafe space at his Madison Avenue women’s store.
Guests munched on mini-croissants, egg-white frittatas and bagels with smoked salmon as models glided through the room in simple but flowing ensembles in a limited palette of black, white and gold.

Bella Hadid walked the runway for designer Tomo Koizumi. AFP

Casual looks came first: all-white suits with wide-legged trousers and military-style jackets, for example, or black pants with a shiny gold blazer. There was a series of dresses and jackets emblazoned with large white flowers on a black background.
For evening, it was more black, and especially more gold: a shiny gold floor-length cape, for example, or a shimmery strapless gown. Metallic knits were featured in both casual looks and party looks.
For her part, hijab-wearing model Halima Aden took to the catwalk for US brand Sherri Hill and offered her Instagram followers the chance to win the cyan blue gown she wore on the runway as part of a competition with UNICEF.
“Please be sure to make a donation this month at the designated link in my bio for your chance to win the one-of-a-kind couture evening gown! Thank you in advance for your support of children around the world!” she posted on Instagram.

Yousra Elsadig brings her modest style to LFW

An image from the show in London. (Frederico Velez)
Updated 21 February 2019

Yousra Elsadig brings her modest style to LFW

DUBAI: An independent showcase of emerging designers held during London Fashion Week, Fashion Scout once again lived up to its name — scouting out and presenting talented designers from across the globe from Feb. 15-17.

Arab News went along to a showing by a UK-based designer Yousra Elsadig, whose Boutique De Nana collection paid tribute to her former home country, Sudan.

“I am trying to depict the beauty of my homeland. It’s so heart-breaking to see what’s happening in Sudan. I want to dedicate this collection to my country and to put the focus on freedom, justice and peace,” she said.

Elsadig, who was named “Woman of the Year” by Barclays in 2017 and “Designer of The Year 2016 by the Modest Association of London, designs for women who want to dress modestly, but with imagination and style.

“The modest element is very important to me — women can be beautiful, feminine and modest,” she said.

Her designs have a simplicity, charm and quirkiness that comes partly from the use of recycled fabrics, as sustainability is a key message she wants to get across. 

Elsadig is unusual in combining her designer role with a full-time degree in optometry. In fact, the day before her LFW show, she sat an exam and then drove from her home in Wales to London. 

She is also the mother of two young girls, but if that’s a lot to juggle it doesn’t show. She was a bundle of warmth and energy backstage — calmly briefing the models.

Her family left Sudan when she was very young and she grew up in Canada. Her family then left Canada to live in Wales in the UK.

It was in Cardiff that she met her mentor, designer Sarah Valentin, who was teaching community sewing and textile classes with a special focus on recycling and sustainability. Valentin said she is thrilled to see Elsadig achieving such success.

“I saw her potential and creative ideas. It’s incredible that she is showing here at London Fashion Week.  I’m so proud of her,” she said.

As the models moved gracefully through the room, the clothes gave off a sense of confident, graceful and highly individual style — perfect for the modern, modest woman of today.