Arab Fashion Week brings together fashion talent from across the region and beyond and wedding gowns are firmly in the mix. Here are some of our favourite runway looks from this autumn’s fashion shows
Images: Arab Fashion Council
Arab Fashion Week has just concluded its five-day run at City Walk, Dubai. This event brings together over 20 designers from around the globe and is organised by the Arab Fashion Council, a non-profit that unites 22 Arab countries and seeks to promote the best talent and craftsmanship from the region and beyond. There is a rich seam of talent here, both established and emerging – and with wedding gowns firmly in the mix. This autumn’s shows reflected many of the trends we’ve seen on the bridal runways of Barcelona and London, especially when it comes to embellishment and high glamour. Here are 20 gowns that stood out on the runway.
1. Charbel Zoé
Charbel Zoé is a Lebanese designer who trained at ESMOD in Paris and has worked with the likes of Givenchy, Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad. This showstopping gown showcases his fine use of embroidery, combining a slinky gown with illusion panelling and a full overskirt.
2. Mia Couture
Established by Mali-born Assa Sacko, French label Mia Couture specialises in custom-designed bridal and evening gowns. This flower-bedecked dress with dramatic train was a standout-glamour wedding design from Arab Fashion Week.
3. Valeryia As’ad
Homegrown talent Valeryia As’ad showed a collection of elegant gowns with fine detailing. This romantic design was a great example, with its embellished cap-sleeve bodice and flattering lightweight skirt with soft pleats and slouch pockets.
4. Nora Al Shaikh
Jeddah-based designer Nora Al Shaikh took to the runway as part of the Vogue Italia ‘Vogue Talents’ day. She is inspired by her Saudi heritage and architectural lines and always features deconstructed elements based on the tailored shirt within her collections. This flowing off-the-shoulder gown with fantasy sleeves and black detailing was a highlight of her runway show. You can already find her collections across the Middle East and at Threads Styling in London.
Malliny is a Moldovan label founded by mother and daughter duo Lilia and Marinela Bezer. Specialising in evening and bridal collections, it features fine fabrics and luxe details in collections that are gloriously feminine. It included this chic short dress with baby pink trim and feather fringing in its runway show at Arab Fashion Week.
Established by Laila Aziz, a Netherlands-born designer with Moroccan heritage, Kayat draws upon both eastern and western traditions and its collections include details such as hand-sewn embroidery and beading. This on-trend split-front gown with feature puff sleeves offers effortlessly glamorous red-carpet style.
7. Sophie Couture
Azerbaijan label Sophie Couture specialises in evening wear and bridal, and we think this blush strapless number with oversized bow and feather detailing (both of which are key bridal trends for 2020) would be perfect for a grand ballroom wedding. The designer behind the label Gunel Babayeva places great emphasis on strong lines and fine detailing and this was evident across the collection.
8. Marmar Halim
Egyptian designer Marmar Halim showcased his ‘Betterfly’ collection for 2020, inspired by butterflies. This ethereal gown is in gossamer-light spotted tulle with fine draping and floral waist detail.
9. Naja Saade
Naja Saade offers the classic hallmarks of Lebanese bridal and occasion design – fabulous craftsmanship and incredible details – and this full off-the-shoulder wedding gown was a masterful example from his runway show.
10. Rami Kadi
Rami Kadi is a Lebanese-American with an atelier in Beirut. He held his first Paris Fashion Week show this January and was picked as part of Vogue Talents for autumn’s Arab Fashion Week. We love the curved off-the-shoulder line and ruffles of this romantic gown.
11. Jonathan Marc Stein
Jonathan Marc Stein is based in the US and has a distinctive and edgy aesthetic. This was his first appearance at Arab Fashion Week and we think this slinky metallic gown with front split ticks all boxes for glamour at a destination wedding or after party.
12. Baravia Couture
UAE label Baravia Couture offers bespoke and RTW gowns and separates. The elegant line of this off-the-shoulder silk gown is perfectly in tune with the coming season’s focus on bold shoulders. We love the scrolled embellishment on bodice and skirt.
13. Naja Saade
We couldn’t resist this elegant long-sleeve gown from Naja Saade. The marine hue is one of the coming season’s favourites (much in evidence at runway shows in Barcelona) and makes a flattering alternative to white and blush. We also love the golden embellishment redolent of coral branches.
14. Sophie Couture
With a bold bustier-style tailored bodice, layered translucent split skirt and silken top coat with ruffles, this party number from Sophie Couture cut a dash on the runway on day five of Arab Fashion Week.
15. Marmar Halim
Offering sophisticated and sculptural lines, this gown from Marmar Halim was one of our standout styles from the five days of Arab Fashion Week. We love the flattering wide neckline, kimono-style sleeves and tie belt with silvered tassel.
16. Mia Couture
This Mia Couture design caught our eye as a look for brides who don’t do white. With refined high-neck beaded bodice and full skirt with soft pleats and train, it has old Hollywood allure. Gorgeous in pink, we think it would be just as stunning in pale blue or old gold.
17. Rami Kadi
Cut to flow beautifully, Rami Kadi’s iridescent strapless gown comprises a lavish sequinned bodice and fine pleated skirt. This is a pared back design that would be stunning for a destination bride.
18. Ezra Tuba
Turkish couture label Ezra Tuba is known for its work with wearable technology. This one-shoulder gown with fabulously detailed peacock and branch pattern captures the current botanic vibe, and with a distinctive east-meets-west design aesthetic.
Slinky and form-fitting, this glittering Malliny high-neck gown with fitted sleeves, front split and silver belt offers a distinctively pared back and contemporary take for cool brides or occasion goers.
20. Mia Couture
Assa Sacko of Mia Couture wowed with a wedding dress designed for making an entrance. With classic – almost period – lines and rich embellishment, it is a stunning example of this young designer’s craftsmanship.