London Arabia Art and Fashion Week rolled out with full glamour last week in Britain. It was not surprising to see that the show was definitely stolen by many Gulf designers .
The event has now become a regular on the British capital’s summer agenda. This is the time when London is blooming with art exhibitions and workshops. At such a strategic time, the event was a chance for young Arab artists and designers to connect with their British counterparts in the fashion and art industries.
Omar Bdour, the head of London Arabia Organization said in an interview, “The third year running, the Arabia Art and Fashion Week in London is becoming a mainstay on London’s thriving cultural scene, and we hope it helps people from both regions to continue to cooperate, trade, exchange and understand each other.”
The opening fashion show at the Jumeirah Carlton on Wednesday revealed the latest collections of designers from the Gulf region, namely from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.
“We made an effort to select a few designers that have shown special creative and tailoring skills that could be deemed worthy of exhibiting their product at the pop-up shop at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, London,” said Asmaa Al-Jabri, the week’s fashion curator.
Al-Jabri and her two sisters started Velvet Abaya in Saudi Arabia 12 years ago, making a mark in the local industry for modest designs.
Lamia Alsamra, another Saudi designer, thrilled visitors with her collections luxurious royal style. The businesswoman from the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia started her multi-brand outlet in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, adding her own designs that slowly developed into a line in 2016.
“My ‘Royal Collection’ is based mainly on tailored designs with hand embroideries and color,” she said.
The show also featured a “Dress for Our Time” made by Professor Helen Storey, tailored from a decommissioned tent from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as a reminder that the world needs to solve the growing refugees crisis.
Harvey Nichols’ general manager Simon Youden said that he was excited that it is taking part with its pop-up shop, which continues until Aug. 16. “In summer time, London increases its diversity, and hosting this pop-up is part of what we do at Harvey Nichols in pushing the boundaries of retail and welcoming Arab designers in the store.”
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