A Guide to Vogue Fashion Experience Dubai 20151118T005348 20160314T113832:635935523122100544

As the annual Vogue Italia and Emaar fashion event frocks up, we reveal the top runway shows, exhibitions and things to see. 

The names to know at Dubai’s premier fashion event

Every year in late October, The Dubai Mall plays host to Vogue Fashion Experience Dubai (VFDE), a two-day event featuring some of the biggest names in fashion, runway shows, lectures, special events, emerging designers and limited-edition items for sale.

Now in its third year and with Vogue Italia as the official partner, Dubai takes centre stage once again as the emerging fashion hub of the Middle East. There are some career-altering prizes up for grabs this year, with the introduction of new scouting contest in which three winners will be chosen from Dubai's next generation of fashion talent. With Naomi Campbell and Christian Louboutin among those tipped to be on the guest list, these are the headlining events.

Opening night

Dubai's fashion glitterati and a host of international celebrities dress to impress for the launch night of VFDE at The Dubai Mall , where a red carpet and runway show kicks off festivities.

The glamorous event attracts onlookers from most levels of the mall, and not only for the threads. Past entertainment has included Beyonce's little sister, singer and DJ, Solange Knowles.

Meanwhile, for those fortunate enough to get an invitation, last year's charity gala, held in support of the World Food Program, was the hottest ticket in town. Hosted by Editor In Chief of Vogue Italia, Franca Sozzani , the exclusive dinner took place at the foot of the Burj Khalifa and A-list guests included supermodels Karolina Kurkova and Lily Cole as well as fashion icon Miroslava Duma , designer Roberto Cavalli and singer Janet Jackson.

If the calibre of last year is any indication, this year's opening night is sure to be just as impressive, with Naomi Campbell, Christian Louboutin and Silvia Venturini Fendi all rumoured to be rubbing shoulders here.

Fashion show, 7pm, Thursday 29 October, The Dubai Mall

Catwalk shows

Besides the famous faces, the highlight of the VDFE opening night is a carefully curated fashion show featuring eight emerging designers from around the world.

Handpicked by a panel including Franca Sozzani, last year's participants included Christopher Esber from Australia, Madiya Al Sharqi from the UAE and JS Lee by Jackie JS Lee from South Korea. Seating is invitation-only, though the public can watch the action unfold from the levels above.

Fashion show, 7pm, Thursday, 29 October, The Dubai Mall

Who Is On Next? Dubai

Finalists will be on the edge of their seats to learn the results of this sartorial scouting competition, the first edition ever to be held outside Italy.

First, though, they will need to send their collections down the runway for judging. Open to emerging designers from the Middle East, Asia and Africa, the prizes for 'Who Is On Next?' include a fashion show in Florence and Rome next year, the opportunity to retail in a pop-up store in The Dubai Mall as well as an invitation to the Vogue Talents Corner during Milan Fashion Week. A who's who of industry judges, including Christian Louboutin and Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey , will select three winners from three categories including womenswear, menswear and accessories.

10am to midnight, Thursday 29 October and Friday 30 October, Star Atrium, The Dubai Mall

Fashion lectures

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to listen to some of the biggest names in fashion share their views on topics relating to the industry. Typically held at Armani Hotel Dubai inside the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa, the fashion talks are open to the public and require online registration.

Last year's discussions took on themes including 'New Generation in Fashion', 'The Strength of Tradition' and 'From Denim to Red Carpet' and were hosted by fashion industry elite including designers Alberta Ferretti, Roberto Cavalli, Phillipp Plein and Peter Dundas. Check in with the website for updated information on sessions and timings.

3pm, 4pm, 5pm, Friday 30 October

In-store events

Behind the scenes, some of The Dubai Mall's most stylish residents are throwing their own soirees to coincide with VFDE, offering everything from styling workshops to exhibitions and collection previews.

Last year Alexander McQueen displayed a set of haute couture gowns, while luxury shoe haven Level Shoe District did some incredible footwork to turn its entire shop floor into an interactive exhibition. Inside they offered everything from shoemaking masterclasses, a live demonstration of 3D-printed shoes, a virtual shoe museum and one-of-a-kind designs. Hit the shops to pick up limited-edition products only on offer during VFDE 2015.

Throughout both days, various locations at The Dubai Mall

Vogue Fashion Experience Dubai
29 – 30 October 2015
The Dubai Mall

English Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing
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