A de­fin­i­tive list of the fresh and for­ward-think­ing lo­cal and global fash­ion de­sign­ers who are on our radar this sea­son. By Hafsa Lodi and Panna Mun­yal

The National - News - Luxury - - DESIGNERS -


Based in: Dubai Best known for: Easy-to-wear, no­madic-in­spired at­tire with ex­trav­a­gant touches Avail­able at: S*uce bou­tiques across the UAE and on­line at www.bedouin­stu­

For her spring/sum­mer 2017 pre­sen­ta­tion at Fash­ion For­ward, Be­douin de­signer An­draya Far­rag dressed her mod­els in white Adi­das train­ers, with peach rib­bon laces wrapped around the an­kles. Jux­ta­posed with the sor­bet-coloured pal­ette of her draped an­kle-length dresses and sep­a­rates, the Cen­tral Saint Martins grad­u­ate re­con­firmed that she has her fin­ger firmly on the pulse of vogu­ish street style. Her de­signs are unique, com­bin­ing asym­met­ri­cal cuts with ruf­fles, lace, sheer fab­rics and tex­tured trims, but main­tain a sim­ple, el­e­gant aura. Ba­sic striped prints and or­di­nary eye­let and satin ma­te­ri­als are re­worked with an im­mac­u­late at­ten­tion to de­tail. The new-sea­son pieces are sure to ap­peal to jet-set­ters seek­ing out ver­sa­tile gar­ments, and the ones from Be­douin can take them from a sea­side brunch to an up­beat a er-party.


Based in: Dubai Best known for: Tai­lored suit sep­a­rates in spir­ited colours and prints Avail­able at: S*uce bou­tiques across the UAE

The life­style blog­ger, who grew up be­tween Saudi Ara­bia and Switzer­land, moved to Dubai in 2012. Here, she si­mul­ta­ne­ously pur­sued her two main in­ter­ests – a ca­reer in bank­ing and de­sign cour­ses at the Lon­don Col­lege of Fash­ion. The for­mer paved the way for the launch of her epony­mous la­bel in 2015, when Al Banawi de­cided to move into de­sign­ing full-time, in a bid to cre­ate wom­enswear that’s both stylish and pro­fes­sional. From dou­ble-breasted suit-in­flu­enced jack­ets and graphic prints to ta­pered trousers and flo­ral kick-flares, Al Banawi dis­plays an aes­thetic that ef­fec­tively com­bines her three great­est in­spi­ra­tions: colour­ful street art, clas­sic Au­drey Hep­burn and an­drog­y­nous sil­hou­ettes. For spring/sum­mer 2017, ex­pect an eclec­tic mix of el­e­ments, in­clud­ing pop­si­cle and rain­bow prints, for­mal Ber­muda shorts and robestyle blaz­ers, ideal for the wardrobe of the work­ing woman who likes to have some fun with her style.


Based in: Dubai Best known for: Up­scale mod­est-wear that takes its cues from cul­ture and ar­chi­tec­ture Avail­able at: Sym­phony bou­tique in The Dubai Mall and on­line at www.bysym­

Not purely an abaya, nor quite a trench coat, a de­sign by French-Al­ge­rian Faiza Bouguessa is ver­sa­tile, func­tional and very much in de­mand. One of her first abayas was ac­tu­ally worn as a shirt dress by Bey­oncé. While many re­gional de­sign­ers reg­u­larly at­tempt to give the shape and sil­hou­ette of the abaya a con­tem­po­rary makeover, very few do it as well as Bouguessa – a brand that’s at the fore­front of the move­ment to glob­alise so­phis­ti­cated, stylish and mod­est ap­parel. Sea­son a er sea­son, her de­signs re­vamp the tra­di­tional gar­ment to give it an en­tirely new look. Her spring/sum­mer 2017 col­lec­tion show­cases min­i­mal­ist el­e­gance in a range of so linen gar­ments, ideal for the re­gion’s warm sum­mers, and equally ap­pro­pri­ate for trav­els abroad. Con­trast­ing lapels, stark black pip­ing and de­tach­able waist belts com­plete with wo­ven pouches give the la­bel’s lat­est pieces an in­no­va­tive edge.


Based in: Paris Best known for: Logo-em­bla­zoned ur­ban-ath­letic streetwear Avail­able at: Har­vey Ni­chols - Dubai

Demna Gvasalia helms this cult de­sign col­lec­tive that’s gone from zero to warp speed since its first au­tumn 2014 col­lec­tion. Gvasalia, who has worked at Louis Vuit­ton and Maison Margiela, dou­bles as Ba­len­ci­aga’s cre­ative di­rec­tor. Dis­play­ing a knack for ath­leisure, Vetements is known for its part-sporty, part-streetwear aes­thetic. The la­bel has col­lab­o­rated with brands such as Ree­bok, Comme des Garçons, Manolo Blah­nik, Juicy Cou­ture and Levi’s to cre­ate its wear­able hood­ies, T-shirts, trench coats, sock boots, denim skirts and jeans, o en em­bla­zoned with bold word­play. For spring/sum­mer 2017, sil­hou­ettes are un­fit­ted, and many are stamped with the logo of Vetements’s most pop­u­lar col­lab­o­ra­tor: Cham­pion. Ex­pect to find the char­ac­ter­is­tic blue and red C em­blem on the back of hooded sweat­shirts or along the slides of draw­string jog­gers. Celebrity fans in­clude Se­lena Gomez, Chiara Fer­ragni, Miroslava Duma and Kanye West, who jok­ingly tweeted: “I’m go­ing to steal Demna from Ba­len­ci­aga.” He’ll have to get in line.


Based in: New York Best known for: De­con­structed shirts, shirt dresses and off-the-shoul­der blouses Avail­able at: Har­vey Ni­chols - Dubai

De­sign­ers Laura Kim and Fer­nando Garcia worked at Os­car de la Renta as se­nior de­signer and stu­dio di­rec­tor be­fore a twoyear break, but they have since re­joined as co-cre­ative di­rec­tors – even while hold­ing fast to the la­bel they launched in the in­terim: Monse. Last month, the new­bie brand and 50-yearold fash­ion house shared the same ex­alted plat­form dur­ing New York Fash­ion Week, with a joint run­way show. Monse is also emerg­ing as a red-car­pet power player, pop­u­lar with Amal Clooney, Mar­got Rob­bie and Thandie New­ton. The la­bel started off spe­cial­is­ing in de­con­structed shirt de­signs, but its lat­est of­fer­ings in­clude asym­met­ric and tuxedo dresses, half-and-half striped py­jama blouses and jump­suits with de­tach­able sleeves. The spring/sum­mer 2017 col­lec­tion is a play­ground for those who find joy in eclec­tic lay­er­ing.


Based in: Paris Best known for: An art­ful ap­proach to tai­lored, fem­i­nine sta­ples

Avail­able at: Sym­phony bou­tique in The Dubai Mall and on­line at www.bysyym­

Evo­lu­tion has al­ways been key to Le­banese de­signer Rabih Kayrouz’s cre­ative sen­si­bil­i­ties. He went from his na­tive Douma to the ate­liers of Dior and Chanel in Paris, re­turn­ing to Beirut to cre­ate evening gowns for the Mid­dle East’s most dis­cern­ing clients for a decade. He launched his maison in Paris in 2008, and then swapped cou­ture for prêt-à-porter in 2012. But in true Kayrouz style, and in a bid to make the for­mer more ac­ces­si­ble, Maison Rabih Kayrouz in­te­grates haute cou­ture codes into its mod­ern ready-to-wear lines. Cases in point: side vents with ar­chi­tec­tural cuts added to jack­ets and trench coats; cas­cades of raf­fia in vo­lu­mi­nous dresses; and hand-stitched but play­ful em­broi­dery on taffeta gowns. From switch­ing cities to swap­ping mod­els for dancers on his spring/sum­mer 2017 run­way, Kayrouz con­stantly broad­ens the ap­peal of his de­lec­ta­ble, wear­able and ac­ces­si­ble creations, which this sea­son in­clude la­dy­like bow adorn­ments.


Based in: Paris Best known for: The­atri­cal sep­a­rates that ex­per­i­ment with vol­ume and pro­por­tion Avail­able at: Bou­tique 1 stores across the UAE

If you look closely, you’ll no­tice sub­tle Ja­panese in­flu­ences in the col­lec­tions of Si­mon Porte Jacquemus, who launched his la­bel in 2009 a er his mother passed away, and used her maiden name for the name of his brand. The de­signer at­tended fash­ion school in Paris from the age of 18, and worked at the Comme des Garçons bou­tique in Paris, which helped shape his Ori­ent-in­spired flair. Com­bine that with a gen­er­ous dose of asym­me­try, vol­ume and an over­all larger-than-life ap­proach, and you’ve got the mak­ings of a fash­ion de­signer who’s truly ahead of the game. With its on-trend shirt­ing tech­niques that fea­ture tie-up laces, un­even neck­lines, mis­matched lapels and ex­cep­tion­ally poofy shoul­ders, Jacquemus has al­ready built up a cult street style and celebrity fol­low­ing that in­cludes the likes of Ri­hanna and Alexa Chung. For spring/sum­mer 2017, the brand’s range of ready-towear of­fer­ings com­prises pin­stripes, corset bodices, off-shoul­der neck­lines and ul­tra­w­ide trousers with up­turned cuffs.


Based in: Mi­lan Best known for: Rain­bow-hued hand­bags and, now, com­ple­ment­ing ready-to-wear Avail­able at:

There’s a fla­grant retro at­ti­tude to the de­signs pro­duced by Sara Battaglia, who has just made her foray into cloth­ing, six years a er launch­ing her hand­bag line. The over­sized leather flo­ral ap­pliqués, in­verted rain­bow stripes and ex­u­ber­ant drama en­cap­su­lated in her bags are eas­ily trans­lated into readyto-wear. En­vi­sion this: a pleated palazzo and dress ensem­ble, cra ed purely from mus­tard pleats. Or: a bell-bot­toms and blazer set, all­white, save for a striped lapel. The Ital­ian de­signer, who tar­gets risk-tak­ers with her hand­bags – which are o en decked with fringes and bold colours – presents a slightly more stream­lined vi­sion with her de­but cloth­ing line. But while it may seem like an un­der­stated adap­ta­tion of her fa­mous leather goods, the gar­ments are state­ment-mak­ers in their own right.

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