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Dubai Modest Fashion Week Was Unconventional

Dubai Modest Fashion Week
Nighat Ahmad is showing me some of the design she really likes, including a butterfly on the back of one silk Jumpsuit

A blog about the first Day at Dubai’s Modest Fashion Week. The week wasn’t what we had expected!

There are a few surprising factors in Dubai that a tourist doesn’t see in other Middle Eastern cities. The city is very well-versed in English. Almost everyone, including taxi drives, janitors, waitresses, and people of different walks of life were able to communicate with us some way or another. The other pleasantly unusual factor about of Dubai is its unconventional cleanliness. At the same time conventionally hot.

On day one, Michaela Corning, Goltune News account executive and style adviser, and I arrived at the City Walk, a European style area for entertainment and lounge at the Northwest of Downtown Dubai. We were there around 10 AM. We both underestimated the feeling of 93-degree heat on our body. By 12 noon, and after many conversations with designers and booth-holders, we showered ourselves in cold drinks. We needed about one hour to cool down.

When we returned around 7 pm, the temperature was more bearable. The sun was disappearing and making room for a pleasant night.

Our reflection on the event after day one was a mixture of shock and uneasiness. According to the press release we received by the organizers a few weeks ago, we were expecting a very large show with numerous exhibitions. Instead we were faced with an unexpected reality. All the booths were in the open air, some of the designers had to bake in the heat, and there were no catwalks.

I would say that the Pret-A-Cover, Buyers Lane (PAC-BL) organized by the Islamic Fashion Design Council, IFDC, used an innovative approach to showcase designers’ collections. According to what they claimed in their press release, “PAC – BL introduces the first ever technologically advanced fashion show enabling the designers to immerse their audience into their universe through video mapping and video projections screened every evening from 7 to 9 PM.”

Every evening, a group of people gathered around the fountain on the red carpet to see some of the designers’ collections. Each designer had about 90 second to show his or her collection.  A very loud male voice covered the loudspeakers around the fountain with his American accent to explain some of the details for the collections.

“Today, what the consumers want, they want to be told stories they can related to. I think the designers we have here completely get that,” said Charlotte Chedeville, projects and strategy officer at IFDC.

PAC – BL tried to accomplish many goals including some of the issues Charlotte mentioned above. However, the modest fashion industry is very young. And, IFDC has a very long way to go to claim a substantial space in the industry.