Arab Fashion Week: Key designers who will take to the stage

Updated 06 October 2019

Arab Fashion Week: Key designers who will take to the stage

DUBAI: The Dubai-based event is set to run from Oct. 9-14 at City Walk and features designers from across the world, including these creative talents. 

Hussein Bazaza

Lebanese designer Bazaza graduated from ESMOD Beirut before going on to launch his own line in 2012. The designer is known for his whimsical, fairy tale-like style that often has a dark edge.

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BAZAZA AW 19:20 AMAL | RTW |look 48

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Rami Kadi

Lebanese designer Rami Kadi is known for his unconventional take on high-end sartorial design and often works with unexpected materials like plexi-glass.

Sophia Nubes

The Italian brand, helmed by two creative heads, will show off its latest collection at Arab Fashion Week on Thursday.

Dhruv Kapoor

Indian designer Kapoor graduated from Istituto Marangoni, before joining Etro’s womenswear design team. He moved back to India in late 2013 and showed off his first capsule collection in 2014.

Nora Al-Shaikh

The Saudi designer launched her namesake label in 2012 after studying fashion at Riyadh’s Arts and Skills Institute. “I’m sharing my culture with a global audience while showing one aspect of what it means to be a Saudi in the 21st century,” she told the Arab Fashion Week website.

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Resort 2020 collection

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Dubai-based label ASMARAÏA is all about interpreting traditional Eastern clothing to create modern variations — all while maintaining modesty.

Calligraphy artist Wissam Shawkat seeks to break the mold after mastering classic styles

Wissam Shawkat pictured at Tashkeel in Dubai. (Arab News)
Updated 29 March 2020

Calligraphy artist Wissam Shawkat seeks to break the mold after mastering classic styles

DUBAI: “If you continue practicing calligraphy in its traditional scripts, that’s a limitation by itself,” Iraqi artist Wissam Shawkat told Arab News while explaining the need to master the craft and then innovate to push Arabic calligraphy into the future.

“I mean I am not against learning traditional scripts. I’ve been doing calligraphy for almost 35 years, but I arrived to a point that if you continue like doing only traditional scripts at the end you are just copying what's been done 100 years ago,” Shawkat, who is based in Dubai, explained.

'Lost in Love' by Wissam Shawkat. (Supplied)

The artist’s passion for calligraphy started in 1984, when his art teacher decided to, for a day, teach them the skill instead of drawing, he said. “So, he held the chalk on the side and wrote four letters of Ruqa’a style, which is (a) very basic style in calligraphy, but as a kid this has a very big impact on me,” Shawkat said. It was then Shawkat learned to appreciate the beauty of the Arabic letter — “aalligraphy became an obsession,” he said.

'Quad Love' by Wissam Shawkat. (Supplied)

After training as a civil engineer, Shawkat decide to switch careers and dived into life as a calligraphy artists. And he achieved fame along the way, having worked with the likes of Tiffany & Co. and Hermes.

'Something' by Wissam Shawkat. (Supplied)

“Usually, the traditional way of learning calligraphy comes with the relationship of the master and the student. You have like a master, you study with him, (and) he guides you in certain forms.” But as a child, Shawkat did not have the “luxury” of having an educator. So, according to him, he had to depend on himself to learn the ins and outs of the notoriously laborious and strict art form.

'Loving Heart 3' by Wissam Shawkat. (Supplied)

In 2014, Shawkat broke the mold by creating his own calligraphy style, Al Wissam, which references a number of traditional scripts, including Sunbuli, Jali Diwani, Eastern Kufic and Thuluth.