DUBAI: The Saudi pavilion at Expo 2020 in the UAE on Wednesday hosted a fashion show to celebrate the Kingdom’s designers.
Three homegrown labels, ArAm, Tima Abid, and Abadia, presented their collections to a packed audience in Dubai against the backdrop of the pavilion’s unfolding rectangular facade.
Each brand showcased 10 pieces from their recent collections.
ArAm, founded by Riyadh-based fashion designer Arwa Al-Ammari, kicked off the show presenting traditional designs with a modest twist, inspired by the Kingdom’s heritage.
Besides her colorful flowy skirts and printed abayas, Al-Ammari’s pieces also featured patterns of sadu weaving.
Next in line was Dubai-based Saudi label Abadia, which Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Alicia Keys recently championed during her first concert in the Kingdom, staged in AlUla.
The family-owned brand was co-founded by Shahd Al-Shehail and her aunt Naeema Al-Shehail. The brand’s name is derived from the Arabic words for desert (badiah) and timelessness (abadi) and is a nod to its commitment to preserving culture, supporting craftsmanship, and creating ethically made products.
The fashion house’s designs featured earthy hues, harness belts, and multi-layered oversized coats. The creations also integrated traditional crafts such as sadu and naqda, which is a technique of pulling thin metallic threads through cloth.
Abid, who founded her eponymous womenswear label 18 years ago, closed the show.
The Jeddah-born couturiere presented a number of show-stopping designs, from form-fitting gowns to structured puffy dresses.
One dress in particular that got the audience clapping was a golden palm tree embroidered gown. Inspired by several elements existing within the Kingdom’s natural landscape, the velvet featured Swarovski crystals and golden-thread embroidery.