fashion forward. this is our take of fashion week out here in the sandpit. and although i was not able to attend this much awaited event, i never fail to feature it every season. as much as i love playing dress up, i have learned to not go to an event for the sole purpose of being there just because it is a fashion event. or to be photographed. i have no problems with that coz i surely am one of those who supports a fabulous streetstyle image but most of the time it is not about the growing industry of fashion but more of the theatrical display of oneself  (this being one of the main hot topics around fashion week in new york, london or paris every season). and as much as that is what the industry is a lot about right now, i stand by my respect for the industry and believe that being a proper insider is far more important and rewarding. being properly invited to a show by the designer themselves or the organizer themselves. having proper assigned seats so you can actually capture the best coverage and see the collection first hand without battling for that front row seat or squeezing in between heads so you can snap a photograph or video to post on your instagram. i mean seriously…who wants to see floating heads?! and why post it at all if you cant even give justice to the creations being shared?! at the end of the day, this event was made to support and give our designers a platform to showcase their creations so they, and we out here in the middle east can make our mark in the industry. and so lets give worth to the hashtag shall we? and get on to the true support by being there to witness the creations, give life to the industry and the talent of our designers…

and so, not having shown face at the event (thus me in the photo above) and reporting from the comfort of my own seat (to this day though i still get asked why i was not there), let me give you a rundown on fashion forward. oh and by the way, this is not the complete listing of designers. i just handpicked my personal favorites. please have a read. and do share some love by letting me know what you think of the collections and who are your favorites. im sure that a growing industry like ours here in the middle east region would appreciate to hear what you think.

photographs courtesy of arabia

Madiyah Al Sharqi


i have been an avid fan of this designer ever since i stumbled upon her collection. i am yet to meet this inspiring designer who graces the runway with such beautiful creations. i must admit, i actually dream of wearing one of her pieces. the intricate, and romantic detailing in each piece is always present. she never fails to produce a beautiful silhouette with soft and refreshing color palettes that can surely be perfect for an addition to any woman’s closet. i know i surely want one.

Amato Furne One


having met him years ago and worked with him on several occasions, i have grown to love this very proud filipino designer. and he is honestly one very inspiring designer. this season i was amazed at the refreshing change in his collection, having used denim and bringing it to a whole new level. by far, one of the best this season who brought in something different, something new, and something truly only the one produce. now i think a visit to his atelier is in order so i can convince him to let me wear one of these. what do you think?!

Dima Ayad


i have been a huge follower of this designer ever since i met her and every now and then, have fallen inlove with several pieces of her collection. and as the years progress, this designer has truly grown to more mature, having created a more inviting silhouette. the choice of classic black, white and burgundy was surely going to be a hit for the season, along with her fringe and knit detailing. the collection is inspired. and i must say, sexy chic.

The Emperor 1688


i have not seen any of their collection up close and personal but as every season goes, i have been itching to actually go see it. simply because they have never once failed to impress me. this season, they concentrated on womenswear and honestly could not have been more excited because their ability to produce great tailored pieces is surely note worthy. i am absolutely inlove with the color palette, the structure and detailing that perfectly finishes off each piece. this is one collection i know i would love to wear, any time of the day.



having lived in dubai all my life, i have grown to love the traditional abaya. in all its form and glory. and as the industry grew throughout the years, it did not fail to inspire local designers to put their creative take and spin around the abaya into something western women can relate to. this is the first time i heard of bouguessa and i must say, it is refreshing to see something more relaxed and simple, yet so unbelievably smart in combining the traditional abaya with western staples such a classic trench coat. and would have to be honest in saying, i want one in my closet.

House of Nomad


their spin on the school uniform was surely something i knew i would appreciated. having gone to an all-girls catholic school, i am not new to the idea. although i hated my uniform back then, this collection would have made me wake up with a smile every morning, excited to dress up for school. their choice of color is a winner and i cannot say more love to the fabrics that range from wool to neoprene. let the class begin shall we?!



my love for this filipino designer has grown every single time i see his collection. this selection is by far one of my favorites from his long line of creations this season. the collection entitled “maria clara” is inspired mostly of the traditional frock from the philippines. he introduced the use of piña which is a very famous fabric made of pineapple fiber mixed with silk (commonly used back home in the philippines) was impressive and the color palette of blush was a beautiful choice. i would have loved to see more use of the piña in the collection which is one of my favorite fabrics, and hopefully one of these days, he recreates a more modern take of the barong tagalog for women. lets see how he can work his magic again shall we?

to the entire team of fashion forward, most especially to bong guerrero who has made it a mission to create a huge platform for the fashion industry in the region, congrats for another successful season. may we open more opportunities and find more creative and inspiring talents in the region.