Come one, come all as Dior brings the circus to Dubai

The Christian Dior Haute Couture collection fashion show in Paris. (AFP)
Updated 06 February 2019

Come one, come all as Dior brings the circus to Dubai

DUBAI: Just weeks after wowing the world with its circus-themed Spring/Summer 2019 couture show in Paris, Dior has announced that it is set to bring the show to the Middle East in what will be its first show in the region.

The spectacle is set to unfold on March 18 in Dubai, although an exact location has not yet been announced.

The runway show will feature looks from its couture show, staged in Paris in January, as well as a few designs exclusively for the Gulf region.

For Dior’s show in the French capital in January, Italian head designer Maria Grazia Chiuri took the well-heeled crowd to the circus with arguably her most sublimely balanced collection, AFP reported at the time.

A troupe of all-female acrobats of all body shapes led out the show inside a retro big top — complete with harlequin-pattern floor — built in the gardens of the Rodin Museum in the center of the French capital.

Chiuri is the first woman ever to lead the mythic French label, and her feminism is never far away.

All her nearly 70 models wore glittery skullcaps fastened under their chins — think aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart meets commedia dell’arte character Pierrot.

But there was nothing remotely clownish about the muted elegance of the clothes, featuring lashings of embroidery and beadwork, to summon up the spirit of the circus-set 1917 ballet “Parade.”

Chiuri’s designs mixed the romantic and the muscular, cutting her dreamy organza and tulle dresses with whip smart ringmaster and lion-tamer jackets, leather corsets and high-wire jumpsuits.

“Every look has its own personality, just like circus characters,” she told AFP, “brave, funny, happy and sad.”

“The circus is a world of its own, which passes from town to town, changing each one a little as it goes — a bit like fashion week,” the creator added.

The tattooed lady, that staple of the Victorian sideshow, also got a drum roll with a look inspired by Maud Wagner, America’s first known female tattoo artist.

The designer, who sports a few herself, floated surrealist neck tattoos in a previous show.

Critics predicted her silk bandage roll gowns and architectural tutus would also be a hit with haute couture’s super-rich clientele, the only people who can afford the handmade creations.

Previous shows have involved collaborations with women writers, musicians and choreographers.

This time she worked with the female-led British acrobat company Mimbre.

Chiuri said she was struck by how inclusive the circus world was, and how it offered “a possible equality... where beauty, origin, gender and age are no longer important. Only technique and daring matter.”

It was this that inspired the collection’s necklaces and bracelets of interlocking gold hands. An acrobat “puts their life in the hands of another, you have to really trust each other,” she said.

If her Parisian showcase was anything to go by, Dubai’s fashion elite are in for a treat on March 18.


Arab Fashion Week spotlights Lebanese, Saudi designers in Dubai

Jeddah-based designer Nora Al-Shaikh showcased her Spring/Summer 2020 line. (Supplied)
Updated 12 October 2019

Arab Fashion Week spotlights Lebanese, Saudi designers in Dubai

DUBAI: Designers Dhruv Kapoor, Hussein Bazaza, Daniele Carlotta, Nora Al-Shaikh and Rami Kadi showed off their latest collections at Arab Fashion Week in Dubai on Friday.

We take a look at highlights from the five shows that wowed the well-heeled front row. 

Hussein Bazaza – Lebanon

Bazaza showcased his latest collection “Experiment 2020,” which the designer says was created by his imaginary high school friend Portu.

(Arab News)

Dhruv Kapoor — India

Kapoor presented his Spring/Summer 2020 collection. From hyper-feminine silhouettes to oversize boyfriend fits, each piece was wildly different. Patchwork florals temple-inspired rustic prints and grunge-inspired stripes formed this eclectic collection.

(Supplied)

Daniele Carlotta – Italy

 Carlotta specializes in materials and hails from a family with a long history of working in the business.

(Supplied)

Nora Al-Shaikh – Saudi Arabia

Jeddah-based designer Al-Shaikh showcased her Spring/Summer 2020 line, for which she took inspiration from her Saudi heritage. According to the designer, she designs for contemporary women and tries to create clothes that can be worn anywhere in the world.

(Supplied)

Rami Kadi – Lebanon

The Lebanese designer Rami Kadi showcased his Fall/Winter 2019-2020 collection “The Temple of Flora,” in which florals are the main design element. The collection was inspired by Taschen’s reprint of “The Temple of Flora,” a box set portfolio of illustrations by Robert John Thornton that was originally published in 1799. Kadi’s collection features hand-painted plastic leaves and 3D-knitted, iridescent sequins.

(Supplied)