With a fashion show inspired by a cultural theme, the Ush collection by Al Suwaidi kicked off with the beats of the African drum. At first, all the models came out together and walked only halfway disappearing again before the appearance of the first face.
The first of her four sequences was inspired by Africa where colours of yellow, green, and red were made evident. Models swayed in black stretch fabrics and wore African hats and hairpieces. The traditional abaya was uniquely created with printed strands of fabric attached to hemlines that stirred with the movement of the models down the catwalk.
“The whole idea was to present the traditional character of the Emirati lady but instead of the usual dark colours and straight cuts, today I was able to show you designs influenced by characters like Bob Marley and the music of the 80s” added Al Suwaidi when questioned about her African/Emirati design collaboration.
The Arabian infused catwalk show took place with the steady tune of an African drumbeat where models wore turquoise and orange headpieces embellished with stones and shells and longs nails attached to their fingertips. Printed fabrics were added to the monotonous traditional sequence, with key pieces in the tailoured leggings and printed white fabric in swirls of pink and green.
We were surprised when a model with a cupcake in one hand and a 60s hairdo walked down the runway amongst the authentic Al Suwaidi design, followed by another in the same design. That’s when we, the audience, realized the birth of the fairytale tea party theme.
The next sequence of models walked in black jersey abayas with cupcake prints on the hemlines and delicate ruffles at the neck. Electric blue hair and geek chic glasses were the final elements that surprised the inquisitive audience.
As Queen played in the final walk though, the models danced and waved their arms in the air, notifying the guests of Al Suwaidi that the show had come to a fantastic end.
WORDS and IMAGES: Hessa Al Flahi, Zainab Al Abbas, Asma Al Bulooki
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Sub-edit: MEGAN McDOWELL