Fashion Boutiques is the next generation shopping
Paris, London, Milan, and now Dubai? The city of gold may just reinvent itself as the city of golden threads, thanks to the fresh-faced next generation of inspired Arab fashion designers. From modern modest-wear to lavish luxury, here’s a shopper’s designer guide to 2015:
Zayan The Label
Designed by: Lebanon-born Zayan Ghandour, who first started off designing one-off t-shirts, before moving to Dubai and launching her design empire.
What is it? A contemporary luxury ready-to-wear line that appeals to local fashionistas and international style mavens alike. Focusing on delicate, feminine detailing and ruffled silhouettes, the line of ready-to-wear pieces double as Dubai's version of resort wear.
Find it at: S*uce. Zayanis also the co-owner and founder of this award-winning fashion and lifestyle retail concept and its various spin-off S*uce stores.
Designed by: a collective of inspired minds. Want names? This group prefers to keep some things to themselves.
What is it? Modest wear like you’ve never seen it before. Blurring the line between the traditional abaya and 2015’s alternative trends (think plastic panelling), KBT Koncept's designs are innovative, fashion-forward and more than a little offbeat. Inspired by “Dubai's hidden industrial areas” the cut-out abayas with their signature red-threaded collar have been spotted on the region's envelope-pushing Emirati trendsetters.
Find it at: The cARTel Showroom (Alserkal Avenue, 17th Street, +971 4 388 4341).
Designed by: Dima Ayad, who won Grazia Middle East's award for best regional designer for 2014.
What is it? Evening wear that's more haute couture than bar-hopping. The label's long gowns are an elegant pick for a special night out, while Ayad’s colour-blocked shifts elevate the usual brunch frock. Visiting during Ramadan? Her holiday Abaya line is both beautiful and easily adaptable for mosque visitors.
Designed by: childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh.
What is it? Fun, fresh and a little flirty. KAGE's designs are perfect for the young and young at heart. With a bright colour palette and flattering cuts (their trapeze dress is particularly suited to long brunches), the young label specialises in pretty party wear and comfy casuals that don't slack of in the style department.
Find it at: Boutique 1, with locations around Dubai.
Designed by: Fatema Al Fardan, a graduate of London's American Intercontinental University, the London College of Fashion and Central St Martin's, and daughter of the Al Farden Jewellery dynasty.
What is it? One of the newest labels to hit the Gulf, but Fatema Fardan is already making waves. Launching her first collection late last year, this season saw her debuting her second at New York Fashion Week, making the designer the first Emirati to show at NYFW. Her presentation drew in fashion heavyweights like host Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Rachel Zoe and Leigh Lezark to inspect the hand-stitched pant-suits and pastel prom queen-style dresses Farden specialises in.
Designed by: Khulood Thani. The first UAE national to receive an education from the original French fashion school college, ESMOD Paris, Khulood's label is always a stylish choice.
What is it? A post-modern label that makes use of cut-outs and sheer panelling and structured, boxy shapes for a too-cool addition to a European-inspired wardrobe. Popular with the city's indie scene, Bint Thani embodies the fashion-forward It Girl. Look out for the companion collection of modernist turbans; the signature turban was snapped up at launch by Dubai's alt socialites.
Find it at: boutiques ValleyDez (Sunset Mall, Jumierah Road, +971 4 380 9024) and The cARTel Showroom (Alserkal Avenue, 17th Street, +971 4 388 4341).