A Look Back at Arab Men’s Fashion Week 2022
The Men’s Arab Fashion Week was hosted in Dubai. The three-day event, held in collaboration with the Arab Fashion Council, included 15 young and experienced designers exhibiting their latest collections. As a vital component of the d3 community, it was always lovely to see the home-grown talent presenting their work, according to the executive director Khadija Al Bastaki. Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Jordan, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, and the United States have also presented their international talent at this event. Stars and influencers, including British artist Conor Maynard and Bollywood actress Urvashi Rautela, expressed their support on and off the runway as the event offered everything from traditional clothing to contemporary technology.
Amato Couture covered the theme of extravagance. Eden, designer Furne One’s autumn/winter 2022-23 menswear collection, did not fail to impress. Most of the outfits in the presentation were robes, capes, and trench-like coats in gold and leopard print. Many famous personalities walked the catwalk like Urvashi Rautela, Nadia Ferreira, the current Miss Universe first runner-up Laura Olascuaga, Miss Universe Colombia 2020, and TikTok star Elvir Aljicevic.
Emergency Room is a clothing company founded in 2018 in Beirut by Eric Mathieu Ritter after a realisation of both the urgent and emerging nature of fashion today. It employs a sustainable and ethical approach to apparel manufacture, originating from the notion that fashion production systems desperately need to change. It creates one-of-a-kind items using unusual vintage materials and dead-stock fabrics obtained locally, offering a mindful and genuine ready-to-wear brand.
All items are made in various workshops and cooperatives throughout Lebanon, encouraging various talented artisans to join in the process while fighting for major changes in the industry in their unique way. The Lebanese label debuted a fashion film filmed in Beirut that pays homage to Lebanon’s current scenario and street behaviour amid recent developments. It has pushed the boundaries and established its voice, advocating for creatives and highlighting how the fashion business evolves in tandem with what the globe is going through.
Velsvoir, a London-based business, unveiled “The Archive Therapy” at the Arab Fashion Week, stating that tailoring is the ultimate expression of defiance in an era of athleisure. The collection investigates the relationship between the senses, leading viewers on a voyage of self-discovery through the past, present, and future. The value of sound cannot be overstated. It is a medium for internal alignment, establishing a personal journey, and tuning into oneself in a sea of pictures. While it can be uncomfortable at times, it fosters discovery through diverse frequencies, with each stanza telling its story.
With sustainability in design at the centre of Velsvoir from the start, this exploration highlights the significance of developing just for consumption. The brand debuted a fashion film that tackles the above concepts as well as their interaction with modernism – the contrast of want and need. The film segments depicted a tribute to the brand’s legacy, coupled with futuristic tones to demonstrate that the archives still live and breathe in an era of athleisure when tailoring appears to be the ultimate expression of defiance.
Behnoode, an Italian designer, debuted a collection named “Masculine Femininity” on the second day of the Men’s Arab Fashion Week, emphasising the acceptance of inclusivity and diversity. 2020 has taught us that togetherness is more vital than separation, according to the label. Its collection focuses on neutralising gender and cultural acceptability. Human power and resilience were accelerated in 2020. The triumph of humanity uniting during these tough times inspired Behnoode’s current collection. This season’s collection included both men’s and women’s clothing.
Michael Cinco, a Filipino designer, titled his autumn/winter 2022-23 menswear collection ‘The Impalpable Dream of the Voyager’. It felt like a throwback to the golden age of flying, with models walking the catwalk in luxurious suiting and tailoring inspired by travel. The colour choice was bold, with shades of blue, cherry reds, and joyful plum combined with turtlenecks in similarly cheerful colours. The most eye-catching items were embellished with layered feathers and sequins, taking 50 to 80 hours to construct.
Maison Du Mec
The design director and owner of Lebanese label Maison Du Mec, Joseph Achajian, believes in being unorthodox. The collection appeared to give classic tailoring and suiting but aspired to bring so much more, encouraging guests to “explore new waters.” Jackets, pristine white shirts, and trousers had been designed to let wearers live their lives to the fullest. According to the brand, it meant “rebels in business suits, astronauts at the cashier, and mad artists masquerading as the guy next door…”
Barmo, a new participant in the Middle Eastern fashion market, was founded in 2021 by Bardiya Mortezaei. The house’s collection was inspired by the great artists of the Modernist era and was led by creative and brand manager Behshad Bordbar and concept designer Sima Ahvaz. In this design, they were influenced by seven contemporary artists, with the core notion being imagery based on the Last Supper. Hoodies and pants made of sport fleece and thick sweaters in bright primary colours were standout styles at the Arab Fashion Week 2022.
Ahmed Amer, a Lebanese designer, debuted ‘Am I Floating Or…’ outside of Beirut for the first time. The audience was able to see most of the presentation via the designer’s eyes, thanks to illustrations displayed on the runway. Suiting, jackets, and athleisure wear were among the looks, with several pieces incorporating original graphics, patterns, and hand embroidery.
Asher Levine, an American designer, is noted for his avant-garde approach to fashion. He demonstrated why superstars such as Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, and Doja Cat are admirers of his work by using cutting-edge materials, illumination technologies, and digital fashion. The collection featured soft tailoring and outwear, with a 3D-printed vest and leather jacket taking centre stage.
Womenswear was also showcased, including a biomorphic outfit inspired by dragonflies and artificial intelligence. Asher also wore NFTs, allowing the audience to experience his innovative virtual AR fashion in real-time using their mobile devices.
After receiving the Saint Laurent Couture Institute Prize in 2020, Pierre-Francois Valette established Valette Studio. As a fan of precise tailoring, his work showcases the highest quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. The collection, dubbed Classix Nouveau, paid homage to “quirky elegance à la Anglaise.” This included styles that fused formality and streetwear and were inspired by British icons such as David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. Tartan patterns abounded on the runway, with non-constrictive forms and shapes fashioned with couture-like perfection.
In the Men’s Arab Fashion Week, Jordanian artist Zaid Farouki’s namesake label featured six looks inspired by the Arab region’s heritage, land, and history. The brand’s unique taglines, which mix English and Arabic lettering to spell out statements like “I am oriental,” “I am Arab,” and “Being Arab Is My Pride,” were splashed on modern versions of traditional clothes. He hand-painted the final look on the runway, which included the slogans.
Born In Exile
Ibrahim Shebani, the creative director of Born in Exile, is from Libya and wanted to illustrate the impact of the country’s oil boom on the economic and social landscape. The collection, dubbed Blood, Sweat, and Oil, was made out of a variety of materials, with many of the patterns splattered with an oil print. Traditional Libyan designs were also included, as well as white flowing knitwear reminiscent of the country’s traditional robes.
LGN, Louis Gabriel Nouchi
This season’s LGN collection is based on Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial, which was published after the author’s death. It tells the story of Joseph K., who wakes up one morning and is arrested and taken before a judge for an unknown reason. The neutral colour scheme evokes the atmosphere of a cold, administrative office workplace. The blacks and khaki of the courtroom dress code are accented by camel and blue-grey cinder hues. The smokey green is reminiscent of the neon lights that hang over administrative waiting rooms.
The shapes are influenced by the elements mentioned in Kafka’s work: hard coats, neat vests, and fluid white shirts. The cuts are large and comfy, making the lengthy wait in line more palatable. These new clothes enable men and women to face challenges both inside and outside the home. The beautiful sweatpants serve multiple functions.
The Men’s Arab Fashion Week is a testament to the region’s united vision and dedication to the ideals of equality and progress for creative talents. Together with d3, the Arabic Fashion Council establishes Dubai as the Middle East’s fashion epicentre. Men’s Arab Fashion Week returned triumphantly to Dubai, offering the finest of what the industry has to offer. Following the virtual success of last year, the much-anticipated event has returned to in-person display at Dubai Design District.
Although a means of creative expression, the fashion industry is not without flaws. The centuries-old sector must become more agile while remaining sustainable, data-driven, and transparent. It must brace itself for a future in which trends are always shifting, dangers are constantly emerging, and sustainability is a top priority.
Fashinza is a varied group of people who share a passion for technology and sustainability. Their management team has over 15 years of experience in the fashion and IT industries, serving as a link between the current industry and the future.
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