Harper’s Bazaar World of Fashion

For some, October conjures up memories of crisp cold air, crunchy sepia leaves and trick or treating on Halloween.

Well that’s all very cute, darling, but here in Dubai, we celebrate October with launch parties, hitting the beach and of course fashion, fashion and fashion!!!

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As we bid an eager adieu to the slow, sleepy and sticky days of the summer, a plethora of popular outdoor venues re-open for the season. As the evenings get cooler and more pleasant, the Dubai social scene is once again in full swing with a myriad of events, particularly for fashion.

I always look forward to October – which features both Harper’s Bazaar fashion week and, more recently, Fashion Forward which is smack in the middle of the month. With the two events coming one after the other, it’s like Christmas coming early!

This year, Harper’s Bazaar had many notable attractions. International shoe designer Gianvito Rossi and Arab pop star Nancy Ajram both made appearances.

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The Tommy Hilfiger show was smart and sophisticated with a preppy New England style feel to it. Bow ties and sweater vests made the men’s collection seem very American and frat boy-like. A spicy Autumn colour palette mixed with tactile textures such as heavy knits and leather dominated the runway with some interesting geometrical prints breaking it up.

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The DKNY show was minimalist chic, juxtaposing solid brights against more neutral tones like charcoal, beige and black. The odd peep of houndstooth fabric in monochromatic shades kept the collection fresh alive and unexpected.

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The label Salsa had a youthful,sexy and edgy collection, particularly the mixing of floral prints onto ensembles. It wasn’t all flowers and hearts, though, for it was toughened up by some pretty fierce leather pieces which gave it the perfect balance. Synonymous for their amazingly flattering jeans, their denim made appearances throughout the show – paired with a supermodel strut, of course.

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90’s grunge sprung to mind when I saw Berksha’s collection, but with a twist of Hawaiian hibiscus floral prints. I loved the statement sweaters with catchphrases like OMG and FYI on them – maybe it’s a satirical play on social media.

Bebe’s collection featured glamorous gowns and animal print frequently reoccured. Personally, I’m not such a fan of leopard print, but what I did like was the gorgeous sleek jumpsuits and metallic maxi dresses.

Lastly, Etoile la boutique’s collection was by far, my favorite. Gorgeous textures, exquisite beadwork and dramatic silhouettes fit for the red carpet. I particularly loved this metallic one, which seemed to be the piece de resistance for me. Contrasting a heavier crinkled fabric with lighter delicate tulle and the mixing of steely gunmetal with a greenish tone of gold. Who said you couldn’t wear gold and silver together? Judging by this piece of art, rules were meant to be broken!

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Here are a few outfits I illustrated from Harper’s Bazaar fashion week. As usual, the event was a treat for my eyes and a fabulous start to my Fall!

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All photographs courtesy of ITP images.

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Gianvito Rossi Event

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They say a woman can conquer the world – provided she’s wearing the right shoes!

I, (along with most women I suspect) am guilty of being somewhat of a high-heel hoarder. You know The Little Mermaid and her 20 thingamambobs? Yeah … I can relate!

Anyhoo …so when I found out that famous Italian shoe designer Gianvito Rossi was coming to Dubai as part of the Harper’s Bazaar Fashion Week line up, I was just a tad ecstatic!! Even more so when I was asked to illustrate live at the in-store after party event at Harvey Nichols Dubai.

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To start off the evening, Gianvito Rossi was first interviewed by Harper’s Bazaar Arabia editor-in-chief Louise Nichol on stage at Mall of Emirates in front of an audience. He spoke a little bit about his experiences in Dubai, what his thoughts were of the glamour of Middle Eastern women and a bit about his new collection. His designs are known to be sleek and contemporary yet feminine and functional.

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His signature speciality are the patent leather and perspex heels (also known as the plexi pump) which are the most sought-after design from his collections. It’s very cleverly designed so it highlights part of the arch of the foot in a sexy flattering way, giving the illusion of elongated legs – just perfect for the days where you yearn to stroll around in your skinnies feeling like Gisele Bundchen! Mr Rossi had mentioned that he had designed a selection of 3 perspex heels in metallic shades exclusively for Dubai, which is what the in-store event was all about.

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I was told to illustrate the event as it was happening and basically capture the general ambience. It was a glamorous exclusive affair, with the glitterati of Dubai stopping by to nibble on canapes whilst having an impromptu chat with the man of the hour himself.

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I was inspired by, not just the shoes, but the beautiful outfits the immaculately polished guests were wearing. The party was sprinkled with women in metallic knits to high low pleated skirts to peplums – decisions decisions! I had to work very fast as there was only an hour and a half to draw, so I went for a more abstract illustration, with washes of colour and finally, inked in with a dark pen.

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Here’s the finished illustration!

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During the event, one of the guests won a personalised illustration of herself by me as a prize. Here’s how it turned out!

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My illustration is still displayed at Harvey Nichols’ shoe department where you can see it just chillin’ on an easel.

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Personally, I have been coveting Aennis Eunis shoes for a while, but after seeing Gianvito’s super-sleek black plexi pump, I’ve discovered I have a brand new shoe crush!!! Hey! No judging my extravagant vice!! Atleast they’re cheaper than diamonds…

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