Since the evening hours of Day One, Fashion Forward has been buzzing about a trio of sisters who appeared with camera crew in tow. They sat front row at nearly all of the collections, and sported looks by the designers whose shows they were clearly honored guests at. The problem is no one knew who they were, at least not out of the dozens of press, PR, and guest attendees that we quizzed about their identity. In fact, we can’t even count how many times we were asked, “Do you know who those three girls are?” Yet, everyone was talking about the mystery sisters. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we cracked the code! They are known as “The AA Sisters”, or more accurately Alice, Nadine, and Farah Abdel Aziz, three Lebanese siblings with a “hit” reality series on LBC, according to their Instagram fan page. Clearly, they’re gunning for the position as the new Kardashians of the Middle East.
As much as FFWD is a place to see and be seen, its primary function serves to elevate the profiles of regional designers, some of whom have worked incredibly hard to break into a difficult Middle Eastern market. Bedouin is an example of a brand that has been hitting the bricks to drum up interest, and it has been successful at it, with press coverage that spans global publications. After today’s lovely show, it’s easy to see why women are snatching up Bedouin’s uncomplicated, subtly glamorous clothes. Orkalia and Zena Presley are also charging up the ranks. Orkalia’s aesthetic offers beautiful gowns and separates touched with exquisite embroidery, while Presley has a more artistic flair with her array of watercolor-printed garments, which are created in collaboration with a multitude of artists.
In between the line-up of collections, audience members were also invited to hear words of wisdom from The Sartorialist, Scott Schuman, and the founder of Business of Fashion, Imran Amed. Both delivered excellent talks that brought a global perspective to fashion, with a critical eye toward the work being done in the Middle East to elevate it up the fashion ladder. It was certainly an illuminating evening for those in attendance at the respective talks.
Madiyah Al Sharqi absolutely lived up to expectations with a gorgeous, breezy collection filled with bishop-sleeved bodices, cutout shoulder looks, and plissé chiffon dresses that had been spliced together with opaque tuxedo elements. It was a feminine, romantic, and beautifully sensual collection.
Although Amato was granted the coveted final slot of Day 3, and delivered on high-drama, with an insane collection and pink confetti cannons shooting off at the finale, the best show of FFWD belonged to House of Nomad. It was perfection — flawlessly constructed, pristinely finished, and absolutely gorgeous. We want every single piece from the collection (yes, even the neoprene men’s track suits). Never have comfort, elegance, and modernism looked better than on the HoN runway. Bravo. It’s no wonder people were fighting for a seat at the show.