Nora and Noor spotted at New York Fashion Week

The Longchamp Fashion show at NYFW 2019. (AFP)
Updated 12 February 2019
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Nora and Noor spotted at New York Fashion Week

DUBAI: British-Moroccan model Nora Attal and Libyan-American journalist Noor Tagouri were spotted on catwalks around the city at New York Fashion Week — and it’s being lauded as a step in the right direction for diversity on the runway.

Attal walked the runway for Brandon Maxwell, whose collection ranged from pantsuits with plunging necklines and caped sleeves to full-bodied skirts that sweep to the ground and cinch at the waist. He designed in black and white and monochrome for some looks, the Associated Press reported.

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A black sports bra with a keyhole was worn under a sleek black blazer trimmed with satin. There were cinched white coats worn over white skirts barely visible from underneath. Maxwell also showed black-and-white leopard print dresses with a subtle “B” hidden in the pattern.

US-Palestinian model Bella Hadid also walked in the show, appearing in a satin white dress that zipped in the front to reveal a white turtleneck. Of the 35 looks, only six were in color.

Hadid also took to the runway for Prabal Rana Gurung, who now has 10 years in the business behind him and looked home for inspiration to Nepal, where he recently spent some time.

The result was a joyful, bright ready-to-wear collection — a theme he had introduced last season after several years of more sober designs, AFP reported.

He played with sari draping, especially in ikat and mandala-inspired prints.

No monochromatics or tone-on-tone ensembles here — purple or mustard yellow and turquoise, red and pink — women should use their imagination in Gurung’s world.
The designer said in his notes that he hoped to create a “multi-faceted, colorful and optimistic place where integrity, purpose, levity and love are our most celebrated virtues.”

As more and more American designers flee New York for London, Paris or Milan, foreign fashion houses are flocking to the Big Apple to take advantage of the style vacuum.

Case in point: venerable French label Longchamp, which is looking to develop its stateside presence and staged its second New York show at the weekend. Attal walked the runway for the brand, which is known for leather goods, handbags and riding gear.

For next fall, designer Sophie Delafontaine kept it classy but sensual — embracing pleated short skirts, black studded leather and lots of looks in black and white.

For her part, journalist Noor Tagouri walked the runway for US brand Rebecca Minkoff as part of the label’s push to highlight inspiring women on the catwalk.

“Storyteller @noor went out of her comfort zone today when she hit our catwalk this morning. She was one of many inspiring women who walked our runway today,” the brand posted on Instagram.


Yousra Elsadig brings her modest style to LFW

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