Saturday, January 19, 2013

DAILY DIARY: Muscat Fashion Week Opening Night, credits Nawal al Hooti, DAS collection, Tatyana Aceeva, and Zhor Rais

Abayas in the DAS show finale. All photos are credited to either MuscatFashionWeek's facebook page or Helle Moos for FASHION EXCLUSIVE. If they are not otherwise credited, that means that they are my own, and you must suffer through them;)
Muscat Fashion week opened with the collection of Omani designer Nawal Al-Hooti. The pieces began with Omani-influenced touches on non-traditional separates, such as Omani embroidery on the hem of a skirt or tunic top... local embroidery on the legs of a simple pair of leggings. Below pictured is my favourite look from the collection:
Photo taken from the Muscat Fashion week facebook page, as I did not master the settings on my new camera in time to capture this particular look. Photo originally taken by where it is likely credited to Helle Moos for FASHION EXCLUSIVE.
Also featured, beyond Omani handiwork, were textiles associated with Oman, as apparent in the tunic-top below:
...and Omani silver touches on the belting:
Honestly, as an Omani girl per say, I was a bit disappointed that I did not see any actual regional dress, just the influences of such in the overall collection. If anything could have made up for that fact, it was Nawal's jalabiyia/caftan in muted silvers and golds, and shades of vivid green and a poignant baby-blue.:
The floor-length Arabic styles had a very soft flow to them as the models rushed past, their hair brilliant in coiled coifs.
Photo taken from Muscat Fashion week's facebook page, where it is likely credited to Helle Moos for FASHION EXCLUSIVE..
The only piece of the collection that I'd be likely to purchase was the baby blue number above. I still love Nawal, and I love the red dress she wore herself to fashion week [and I was surprised how much she looks like one of my SILs], but I personally would like to see more Omani dress on the runway.
 Between shows we saw a presentation of gold jewelry by Jawahir I believe? I don't know. The girls where I was sitting were distracted by the wadi dog up on the hill where the Muscat Fashion week lights were spotted that was running back and forth chasing the lights, as well as the fruit bats, also confounded by the show's lights. The bats were winging above, as models swooped past below with wings just as black... but a touch more glamorous.  I don't like bats myself, but could always do with a pair of wings;).
DAS collection storyboard, backstage. Photo taken from Muscat Fashion Week's facebook page.
The next collection up was DAS. ***I also had the opportunity to see the collection up-close at the Opera Galleria***. The opening outfit was mercury-fluid in the DAS trademark cut, which was represented in fabrics as varied as silk green metallic brocade.
 My 2nd favourite look of the collection was the golden-rod-to nigh mandarin coloured waterfall-cut chiffon caftan/jalabiyia covered in totality with tiny white pearl beads:

 Arabic calligraphy via embroidery was featured very artistically in the collection. I thought it was most lovely when paired with lilac inserts. I could definitely see myself wearing the mauve skirt and blouse paired piece, and the show-stopper piece displayed at the opera galleria bore all the trademarks [except a capelet] of the current DAS collection: waterfall cut, Arabic calligraphy embroidery, and small beads spaced evenly through-out the design.
 As I continued to watch the show, I grew bored because I was waiting for the abayas. DAS is all about the abayas.
Thankfully, my boredom [I have a very short attention-span] was momentarily alleviated when a modest gown with a beaded and embroidered capelet trounced down the catwalk. You could tell the model, too, was invigorated from wearing it, as I was from seeing it, because of the delightful lipstick red shade of the garment. Miss Model swept the stage in crimson blushing slashes. I will repeat. I was delighted. More so, when I had a chance to examine the detailing of the capelet up close.
 Finally, the abayas arrived, and then they abounded, surrounded, and were so fast and so many I couldn't get a single good shot. I will blame the models, instead of my inability to change the settings on my camera or hold it still.
Shoulder detailing is a big trend in abayas in general. Nothing new there, but the fabric inserts along the sides of this particular piece give it its DAS character.
 The asymmetrical layering and fabulous handwork marked this DAS abaya to be a crowd favourite.
 Similarly, the side pleated drape from the waist of an abaya embroidered and beaded in the same manner  wowed the majorly abaya-clad crowd.
 Designing new drapes and cuts is what the DAS brand relies on more than finishing touches, which has allowed them to be a leader in the designer abaya business, but a velvet bow at the waist never hurt anyone.
Lace inserted panels and smocking has been big in terms of abaya trends in general, but DAS had a lovely lace capelet style abaya that I personally found charming and fully in line with the rest of their collection, in terms of the collection being well thought-out as a whole. It also was a good transition piece from their last collection modeled by the Angelina Jolie look-alike;).
Pleating at the bottom hem of an abaya featuring black Moroccan-style embroidery on top, is very in line with current abaya trends in general as well.
Photo taken from Muscat Fashion Week's facebook page.
 Some very classic designs along with a few technically difficult cuts made to appear simple. Of all the collections I was interested in, this one's designer was sitting alone, seemingly bored and playing with her phone, but I did not approach her. I was too shy. What a loser, I know;).

The next designer up to show her creations was Jordanian designer Tatyana Aceeva. There were a few pretty pastel and nude toned party frocks and citron hues remained another overall Muscat Fashion week staple. If you want to read more about this particular show, I suggest you read someone else's blog because only the second dress I have pictured below was to my own taste.
The last designer for opening night was Morocco's Zhor Rais. I had the chance to interview her daughter at Muscat's Opera galleria about the construction and textiles for the garments. None of that mattered during the actual show of course, when a series of fairy-tale worthy Moroccan dejellaba and takchita [otherwise known as caftans] streamed down the Riyam park runway, serenaded by nigh mystical and haunting traditional music that I had to resist swaying back and forth to. It was my favorite show.
 Caftans of the utmost simplicity in snowy white, and the occasional winter fabric opened the show.
 Mauve, succulent but tart citron hues, and darker shades of green seemed to be part and par for all of the collections that evening.
 My favourite piece of the Zhor Rais collection happened to be a timeless little 'sea-foam' coloured number though, that being just a personal matter of taste:
 From sweet white innocence the caftans featured evolved quickly to extravagance in thick teal and yellow velvet, brocades hand-woven in Morocco, and through silk chiffons and satins sourced from Europe.
 The yellow velvet dress pictured below [photo taken by Helle Moos for FASHION EXCLUSIVE] was the crowd favourite after the finale's show-stopper [all detail shots are my own]:
The rich tones of the velvet seemed so suitable to the near chilled air [at least, for any of us locals] of Riyam that night. Maybe that's why red capelets, or velvet were so bewitching?
 Honestly, almost any Moroccan caftan seduces me so I can't be a good critic, but the collection (and it's soundtrack) did convince me that I have to visit that country later on this year. I need a chance to escape, where it is ok to wear a red cape. Also, any Zhor Rais piece takes anywhere from around 2-3 months to complete, and every design is only made once. So I am thinking, if you are craving individuality, a trip to the Casablanca [I believe] workshop of this particular designer might be in order?
Photo credited to Helle Moos for FASHION EXCLUSIVE
 I heard women in the crowd catching their breath when the Zhor Rais finale piece sought the end of the catwalk.
 Beyond the high impact of the red cape [I personally wasn't a fan of the fabric when examined up close] against the white of the dress, the detailing on the takchita is exquisite if you are to witness it in person. Apparently there is just one old man left in Morocco who still makes the all the traditional fastenings in the traditional way [how true that is I have no idea] and I love how the piece came with a pair of princess-perfect slippers.
 As for this being the first Muscat Fashion Week I have personally attended, I have to say that I really enjoyed myself. I think I enjoyed even more the opportunity to see the workmanship that goes into the clothes up close, and speak to the designers about their methods, inspiration(s), and aspirations for their respective brands. I don't know about my readers, but I have been perfectly content about life in Muscat, since the first fashion week was announced;). I intend to follow the event every year, even if I am unable to attend the runway shows myself. I love the recognition it gets for our young Omani designers, and I love how it shines the spotlight on Arabic region fashions and trends.

Please stay tuned for my thoughts on the collections of Dibaj, Endemage, Jizdaani, and Mauzan, as seen at Muscat Fashion Week.


Shurooq Al Haremi said...

It was a lovely collection, is it okay if I post the close up pictures and i'll tag you for the source :) so sad I didn't see you though :(

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Of course, me too. I did look for you;) in the pre-show. But you wouldn't know what I look like so it's hard to meet up wearing an abaya in a crowd of abayas lol unless you've met in person before.

I also want to ask you if I can use your photos once you post them (linking back to you) on another site I write for of a more Islamic content? Just jalabiyias, abayas, ect... You are a much better photographer than I. I am only good at objects that are standing still. Forts, dresses on a rack lol.

Layla said...

wow I love the collections! Are they really expensive?

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Layla: It depends. Some of the DAS pieces are like 300 OMR. Most are a bit more. The Zhor Rais caftan in seafoam that I loved was 1000 OMR so I personally can't afford it right now. Some of Mauzan abayas were 100 OMR, which isn't bad for anything that goes on a catwalk. That means when and if they go one sale they'll be around 66-75 OMR.

The Jizdaani lambskin clutch I loved in orange was 100 OMR I believe.

On the Endemage catwalk was an organza blouse that was so super chic and classic. It was only 50 OMR.

So prices are pretty much in line with most international designer collections.

Designer equals a bit more cash involved.

Shurooq Al Haremi said...

lol ofcourse you can dear =) some of them aren't that clear but i tried my best to take a lot of snaps from my iphone's camera!

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Shurooq: I wish I'd turned my flash off and mastered the sports setting lol.