Designers Showcase Cutting-Edge Collections at Chic International Catwalk Show in Doha
Ladylike 1950s circle skirts shared the catwalk with cutting-edge abaya-style kimonos as the rising stars of Qatar’s fashion industry collaborated with British designers for a unique Doha show.
It was standing room only for latecomers in the courtyard of Mathaf, the Arab Museum of Modern Art, on the evening of Monday 9 December as Qatar designers Fathiya Al Jaber, Hessa Al Mannai and Elham Al Ansari sent everything from traditional Arab dress to eye-popping neon coloured evening gowns down the catwalk.
Standouts included Al Ansari’s rich gold boat neck evening gown, nipped in at the waist and finished with a hot pink embroidered sash, and Al Mannai’s flowing pleated turquoise dress with silver embellishment at the sleeves and neck.
The Qatar designers were followed by British women’s ready-to-wear designer Emilia Wickstead, who nailed the ladylike trend with pastel coloured skirts and matching cute-as-a-button jackets, interposed with screamingly bright dresses in hues such as vivid turquoise and tangerine.
The designer that most of the VIP crowd had come to see – L-Wren Scott – disappointingly did not put a show on the runway. However, Scott, known for her exquisite attention to detail and beautifully tailored dresses, did make a brief appearance with celeb milliner Stephen Jones OBE at a display of Scott’s gowns and Jones’ hats that included designs worn by the likes of Naomi Campbell, Nicole Kidman and Scott herself at red carpet events. The hand-embroidered dresses, complete with feathers and sequins, were topped by Jones’ incredibly creative millinery, from classic pillboxes with a twist to one that looked like an over-sized cookie cutter.
The Fashion Exchange event, the highlight of the fashion calendar for Qatar UK 2013, also included a display of jewellery by Robinson Pelham, the designers appointed to make Kate Middleton’s wedding earrings, and shoes to die for from fellow Brit designer Nicholas Kirkwood – think eye popping neon orange and hot pink sandals along with leather boots with floral motifs.