One of the most cosmopolitan cities in West Asia, Dubai saw a reflection of this thriving multi-culturalism on the runway of the Dubai Fashion Fiesta 2009, presented by Emirates Vision.
Arab women designers sent out models in clothes that displayed everything from exhibitionist European sensibilities to more modest but still playful takes on the traditional abaya. Nigerian designers carried out an all-out colour charge in their use of sequins and combination of African prints and solid hues. Designers from Europe veered between Parisian chic and a fairytale gone a little mad. And the Indians, past masters at putting just the right amount of shimmer and shine into their clothes, made their mark with creations that catered to both bling-lovers and more understated tastes.
Three Indians were in the fray for the most promising young designer award. While they were pipped to the post by London’s Anna Unger, Ludhiana-based Raman Vij came very close to a win, a source who knew the jury well revealed later. A white body-hugging gown in knit fabric was the highlight of Vij’s fresh, contemporary collection.
Noida-based Sulakshana Monga showed heavily embroidered lehenga-choli sets paired with gossamer dupattas and a very clever ensemble of an empire-line kurta with a flaring hem worn with embellished semi-transparent tights. Pratima Pandey, of the label Prama, made brilliant use of natural fabrics like Bhagalpur silk to create relaxed sophistication.
The established Indian designer brigade included Anita Dongre, Asif Shah and JJ Valaya, who closed the four-day event.