Monday, April 22, 2013

"Filtering the faux..." with Fashion Forward.

If a resident in Dubai, you may have seen the poster boards - everywhere. 

If remotely interested in Middle East fashion, you're bound to have heard about it - a lot. 

If quite the cynic of everything Dubai related when it comes to fashion intelligence, you're probably not interested - at all.

And how can anyone blame you?

Well, how can anyone with any structural, cultural, historical understanding of what it means to be fashion - blame you? 

Dubai's current state of fashionable affairs = generally laughable. Designers claiming the title because they successfully printed a T-shirt (did that in a school competition once - age 8). A couple of tailors in your spare room does not mean you have a production line. A logo doesn't give you immediate notoriety. Basic "clicks" who live for random parties in rented dresses with no linguistic perspective of where it is they are living = Not the leadership criteria for cultivating any kind of 'scene'. Magazine features with nothing to actually say? No honey.  This doesn't make you a 'fashion personality'. Content without a definitive message, cultural affinity, story or vision? Wrong again. Definitely not content

And so, amidst the overwhelming madness that makes up a large and rather irksome chunk of this so-called 'set', there exists Dubai's genuine talent.

A group of the naturally gifted, screaming for structure, yearning to learn, urging to build, while of course, helplessly oozing that unique appeal of star.

They really do have something to offer, they really do have something to say, to show, to artistically and intelligently present. They really are OF Dubai, of the Middle East, of their culture, their history, their language, their style, and their dress.

Fashion Forward is their calling. 

From 26 - 29 April 2013 Dubai's Madinat Jumeirah will see 3 days of superbly orchestrated fashion development. An overdue and glorious leap in education, structural analysis, commercial understanding, definitive dialogue, proper address, and of course... attire. In abundance. 

Now, of all the garment creatives showcasing this FFWD season, there is one we very specifically look forward to...  

"I hate the word flamboyant" - Essa Walla 

He's won Grazia's Regional Designer of the Year award - 3 times. His prowess not only indicative in design, but in an unabashed and honest expression.

The interiors... 

Born and raised in the UAE, Essa isn't a shy man. He idolises women, cherishes good taste, appreciates detail, and has no time for foolery - particularly when it comes to fashion, and the challenges within its Middle Eastern growth. 

"This is why Fashion Forward's so crucial. It's time for us to legitimise, systemise and globalise. It is time to filer the faux in this growing industry and foster our energy properly - into the genuine talents who deserve it".

Amen. All the way. 

As we sit down in his beautifully decorated Sharjah home, one can't help but admire the art pieces, the clashing colours, a rich vibrancy clearly complimentary to Essa's personality, which I first came across via the dearest of mutual friends, BRAG's Saira Mehar, Dubai's defiant darling in all things fashion PR. 

"I need you in one of my dresses tonight" he says. "Try this..." he says. "The portabello girl in me does not do dazzle" I say, as a shimmering gold masterpiece of a gown appears before mine eyes.

"Sweetheart listen, like so many other women I know, you seem to believe that you need to be of no size to wear this don't you? That 'baggy' is some kind of warped solution in your life? Honey. It is not" he says. "Now go put this on and shine..." 


...and voila: bougi's Rozan Ahmed - bedazzled. 

Even I, with all my lovely levels of necessary critique, was left positively floored by the frank ability to hilariously convince - and transform. Truly, Essa Walla's passion for women - and the upkeep of their prime - was mesmerising.

"Florals and fox..."

Then, he ushers his staff to bring forth a few teasers from the highly anticipated new collection. We luckily see. Happily marvel. Obviously congratulate. You too soon will, along with a stellar selection of Dubai's fashion finest. 

Trust that we will keep you best posted on all the activity, most honestly - and fabulously... #FFWD... it's about time. See there. 

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