Exclusive: Net-A-Porter To Launch Gown Capsule Collection For The Middle East

BY Maddison Glendinning / Nov 3 2016 / 16:14 PM

The collection is available on the site now

Exclusive: Net-A-Porter To Launch Gown Capsule Collection For The Middle East
From left: Soraya wears dress, Dhs15,710, Oscar de la Renta; shoes, Dhs1,637, Sophia Webster. Nora wears dress, Dhs15,757 and earrings, Dhs2,255, both Dolce & Gabbana. Rania wears dress, Dhs16,888, Elie Saab; shoes, Dhs2,930, Jimmy Choo. Dana wears dress, Dhs19,072, Alexander McQueen; earrings, Dhs8,997, Monica Vinader; shoes, Dhs2,278, Jimmy Choo, all available at Net-a-Porter
Exclusive: Net-A-Porter To Launch Gown Capsule Collection For The Middle East
Silja Magg

RANIA FAWAZ, 21, IRAQI

Perhaps not your average 21-year-old, Rania juggles studying fashion design at Esmod Dubai and her duties as an influencer, with running her eponymous fashion line RF, telling Bazaar, “it can be rather hectic, but it’s worth it.” She describes her personal style as somewhat unpredictable, “It all  depends on my mood, ranging from denim on denim (her most treasured jacket coming from a vintage store in Venice Beach), with Balenciaga shoes, to a little black dress paired with a heavy choker.” Obviously proud of her heritage, she is continuously inspired by her mother Zeena Zaki’s eveningwear label Julea Domani, with established Arabic designers Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab providing inspiration on an international platform. “I have nothing but admiration for these designers and only hope to be as successful and creative as they are one day.” In terms of style, what does she think differentiates the Middle Eastern woman? “We often choose to wear heavier gowns as eveningwear with intricate embroidery and embellishment – more so than other cultures do. We dress up to show our curves and you can never go wrong with that.”

Rania wears: Dress, Dhs16,888, Elie Saab; shoes, Dhs2,930, Jimmy Choo both at Net-a-Porter

Exclusive: Net-A-Porter To Launch Gown Capsule Collection For The Middle East
Silja Magg

SORAYA PENA HENNESSY, 27, VENEZUELAN

In addition to writing the popular  fashion and travel blog Chic Flavours, Abu Dhabi-based Soraya works closely with a group of female artisans from her hometown of Maracaibo in Venezuela, designing luxury handmade pieces exclusively for the Middle Eastern market. Inspired by the elegant and often bold style of dress in her adopted home of two years, she explains that despite eveningwear in the region often being considered conservative, with its long sleeves and high necklines, it remains the most eye-catching she has seen. “It’s a great example that you don’t have to show a lot of skin to get the right attention or to feel beautiful,” she says. And while she always tries to keep a “latin touch” in her own personal style, she ultimately believes that fashion “should enable us to feel elegant, feminine and powerful at the same time. Can any other designer do that besides Oscar de La Renta?” she says of the exclusive dress she wears for Bazaar

Soraya wears: dress, Dhs15,710, Oscar de la Renta ; shoes, Dhs2,278, Jimmy Choo both at Net-a-Porter

Exclusive: Net-A-Porter To Launch Gown Capsule Collection For The Middle East
Silja Magg

NORA HABBAL, 26, LEBANESE

Growing up in Lebanon, Nora studied psychology at The American University of Beirut, while working on her shoe line Nora Aytch, followed by a Masters in fashion media and communication at the London College of Fashion before making Dubai her home. “I’m not at all a classic or simple person when it comes to my personal style, I like to mix and match colours and prints and to experiment,” she says. A huge supporter of Middle Eastern talent, Nora believes designers such as Elie Saab and Krikor Jabotian are changing the face of fashion in the region. “There is a certain charm that you simply don’t see in any other international designers’ collections. There is a sophistication and love for fabrics and movement, and the most exquisite use of embellishment throughout Middle Eastern design.” Internationally, she favours designers such as Giambattista Valli, Oscar de la Renta and Marchesa, as well as Dolce & Gabbana, which she wore for Bazaar’s shoot. “I have to admit, the lace, emerald green Dolce & Gabbana dress with embellished buttons is an absolute favourite. It is sexy yet sophisticated, conservative yet dreamy. I absolutely love it!”

Nora wears: dress, Dhs15,757, Dolce & Gabbana; ring, Dhs1,858, Erickson Beamon, both at Net-a-Porter

Exclusive: Net-A-Porter To Launch Gown Capsule Collection For The Middle East
Silja Magg

DANA AHMED, 28, PALESTINIAN 

Often working long hours, dividing her time between her family’s company and running her blog, Dee for Dana, Dana leans toward outfits that allow her to move from day to night with ease. “I tend to find myself looking for something unique and different more than anything else; it’s the little details that usually go unnoticed that I enjoy most about style,” she explains, and cites the experimental street style she sees at international fashion weeks as her main inspiration. “People tend to let their creativity run wild with fewer boundaries and restrictions than normal, and that’s what I love most. Fashion is an art, after all.” Her most cherished possession comes in the form of a Palestinian handmade abaya that her father once gifted to her mother. “It’s treasured because it represents my culture and I will always have a part of my mother with me wherever I go.”

Dana wears: dress, Dhs19,072, Alexander McQueen; shoes, Dhs2,278, Jimmy Choo;  earrings, Dhs8,997, Monica Vinader all at Net-a-Porter

Bazaar can exclusively announce that Net-a-Porter has created a custom capsule collection of eveningwear specifically for the Middle East. 

Five of the site's most highly sought-after designers, including Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabanna, Elie Saab, Etro and Roland Mouret have created limited edition pieces that will be available to shop from November 11.

"Our Middle Eastern customers are polished and sophisticated with a penchant for statement gowns, so launching a dedicated capsule ahead of the wedding season was an absolute must," Lisa Aiken, the retail fashion director for Net-a-Porter said. "We chose designers who are continuously bestsellers in the market and we worked closely with them to design something special that we know our customers in the market will just love."

Bazaar shot four of the six one-off designs for our November issue on four of the region's new generation tastemakers - Soraya Pena Hennessy of Chic Flavours, Rania Fawaz, Dana Ahmed of Dee for Dana, and Nora Habbel

Click through the gallery above to see the pieces, and what the ladies had to say about their eveningwear style. 

Prices approximate. Styling: Gemma Deeks. Photography: Silja Magg. Words: Katie Trotter. Make-up: Shindesu and Toni Malt at Things by People. Hair: Lorna Butler. Fashion assistant: Jihane Hajby. With thanks to Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach