Rounding up Fashion Forward Season 9 with a strong selection of regional and international design talent, the who's who of the sartorial industry still came out in force to support the event despite dealing with less-than-ideal weather all weekend. Reflecting on the future of fashion in a retail and consumer capacity the final Fashion Talks of the season shared a theme of sustainability, encouraging budding or established designers in the crowd to focus on building a brand that lasts.
The Kuwait-based brand focused on heavy hemlines with frothy layers and and fun detailing like feathers and beads at the bottom of maxi dresses. Focused on a loose fit with billowing sleeves and soft-to-the-touch fabrics, the collection moved effortlessly down the runway.
6 Degrees Presents Vidika M & Birdwalk
Vidika M focused on not one, but a rainbow palette of colours with a distinct focus on longer dresses and skirts, all hand-painted in-house at her textiles department.
In contrast, Amrapali Singh showed a deeper, darker collection at Birdwalk that was made for after-hours partying with distinct 1920s influences and plenty of light-catching metallics.
Oversized separates in a neutral, earthy palette created the foundation for Tair’s unisex collection. Focused on drop waists and cinched ankles, the separates looked as chic as they were comfy.
Reserved glamour was the name of the game at Anaya where eveningwear created by Sri Lankan designer Chathuri Samaraweera was embellished with feathers (a recurring theme for A/W17 at Fashion Forward) and brocade for a luxe finish.
Cultivating winter looks in a summer climate, Central Saint Martins graduate Andraya Farrag brought a strong sense of wanderlust to her presentation set against a desert landscape, with accessories bearing phrases like ‘Stay Wild, Moon Child.’
Channeling a strong Parisian sensibility the high-end ready-to-wear label took risks with cut-out paneling and figure-hugging shapes, clearly designed for women who embrace bold fashions.
Design is, and always has been an art form for Furne One who used cutting-edge techniques and tailoring for his strong ‘Flower Of War’ collection. Heavily influenced by Japanese culture, models navigated a path strewn by dirt, tires and mock telephone poles as they unveiled one breathtaking look after another.
Second generation designer Amina Gahli at Azza Fahmy relayed her message of following your heart and passion as the only creative outlet that will truly resonate with customers. She also stressed the importance of evolving to meet the current consumer whilst still acknowledging your heritage, highlighting that the key to this coveted balance is surrounding yourself with those from 'Generation z' and never being afraid to ask for help. The influence and importance of millennials was also stressed at 'Data is The New Black: Technology and Fashion,' where Eddie Mullon, Founder and CEO of Launchmetrics and Google's Acile Sleiman noted that in order to succeed as a business as well as a brand, entrepreneurs in any retail category need to build their data pools from day one and allow modern metrics to help guide them into an international platform.