HIGHLIGHTS OF DAY FOUR OF WOMEN’S ARAB FASHION WEEK  READY-TO-WEAR FALL WINTER 2022/23

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The fourth day of Women’s Arab Fashion Week – RTW – Fall Winter 2022/23 kick-off with the Lebanese sustainable brand Emergency Room followed by Algerian label Ilyes Ouali, Dubai-based label American Rag, German label ALL’S, Polish designer Gosia Baczynska, Saudi designer Sara AlTwaim, and Libyan label Born in Exile.  

Sustainable, Energetic, Bold, Unique, Exceptional, and Vintage are the keywords of the fourth Day.  

North African Arab designers take central stage at Arab Fashion Week.

EMERGENCY ROOM 

They’re not just a cool brand, it’s the perfect collection for energetic and bold fashion enthusiast. EMERGENCY ROOM was launched by Eric Mathieu Ritter. It’s a brand that utilizes sustainable methods of garment construction. Vintage materials and dead stock fabrics are sourced locally and provided to create authentic ready-to-wear pieces. As a Lebanon based brand; EMERGENCY ROOM strives to appoint differently skilled artisans to help make their line stay true to its grass roots.

The Fall/Winter 2022 collection is a sight to behold. Completely urban-cool, and trendy. The tapestry and patchwork inspired designs are upbeat and fresh. Starting from head to toe, the hats carried the ever-present tassel theme that is represented throughout Arab Fashion week. The styles that followed were complementary, and scantily clad: strapless corsets, bralettes, cropped tops, mini-skirts, and wide-leg trousers. The color palette of the collection has a deep undertone, with vibrant pops of white, red and orange making its emergence on bodycon dresses, through color accents. 

The rustic and metropolitan style of Ritter’s ready-to-wear collection is clear in the cuts and relaxed styling. The floral elements seen in patches on the various deconstructed skirt and pant sets act as a softening to the hard inner-city street looks.  

The longer garments, such as the full-length dresses and wide leg mid-waist styles feature African inspired prints. They come in an assortment of animal prints and geometric patterns. Sweatpants on models are a true acknowledgment of the times. The conservative styles adhere to the trends of now and were layered. For example, the two-piece denim set with overlapping skirt and lightweight denim is on point and modestly styled. Ritter’s collection is not just fabulous, it speaks of an awareness, and ‘moving forward’ of fashion. Whatever is underground or unappreciated, he brings to life in all its glory.  

ILYES OUALI

A brand that stands out for ingenuity and classic Algerian design; Ilyes is a designer with a bold vision. Ilyes Ouali is a brand known for their signature piping and rope details.At the heart of his clothing lies diversity, inclusivity, and sustainability.  

Ilyes Ouali is very imaginative in his approach to the various popular silhouettes for Arab Fashion week. The fabrics are very lightweight, if not transparent. His calf-length dress with intricately placed sparkling rope-like detail, is enchanting and formal. The contrasting grays and lime green color made the collection visually balanced. Exaggerated lengths are present in the collection, as he styled an extra-long sleeved white blouse, with a fetchingly sweet lime green micro skirt. A bodysuit in the same bold lime green color is featured, and with creative cutouts on the busts.  

Frequently seen are the cropped blazers, during Fashion Week. Ilyes Ouali’s version came in a purple shade, with curved pockets, and a zipper closer. The matching pants-like leggings are a nice touch to the already chic styling. Another bodycon dress followed and had a zip closer. The piping on the seams of the dress elevated its solid tone. 

Asymmetrical black tops, combined with culottes are preppy, and worked nicely in his collection. Tassels are always fun and are stellar on Ilyes Ouali’s blazer pants set. The fully tasseled black off the shoulder dress is perfect for the fancier occasions for Fall. Every piece is gorgeously breathable and lively. As the collection continued; we find more of the same creative rope-like designs on spaghetti tanks, and even a full white A-line tea length dress.  Ilyes Ouali’s collection is high-end yet approachable, with an ultra-cool modern aesthetic. 

 

SARA ALTWAIM  

Her trademark is vintage flare. Sara Altwaim, is a Saudi Arabian designer, with an undeniable elegance to her designs. Upon reviewing her most recent collection, it’s clear to see how she incorporated the beautiful traditional embroidery and lace fabric, with modern cuts and trending details.  

Renaissance style with rococo-inspired prints is what best describes Sara Altwaim’s Fall Collection for 2022. The styles featured weren’t strictly traditional. Romantic florals graced flowy silhouettes, with a distinct bralette overlay. A sparkling gold long sleeve gown with onomatopoeia phrases printed on the bust was an exquisitely quirky addition. Banner style details on a sheer A-line black dress were unconventionally chic for Sara’s aesthetic.  For a ready-to-wear collection, Sara certainly gave a plethora of options for casual formal garments.  Asymmetrical gowns sported lace fitted structures and were styled with blazers over a white button-down. Most notable are the sheer neutral-colored dress designs with conversational Rococo prints. That neutral fabric is very alluring, especially when cropped. The harness belt accessory was a very neat one to utilize. Sara has a way of transforming trends into living iconic pieces. 

Her black high-low skirt with side bustles and a flowing train is just too lux for words. For the ‘gentle lady’ styles; the off-the-shoulder peasant top gowns are a perfect fit. Another phenomenal gown had to flow scalloped hems, with black bows throughout. More dresses are seen in Sara’s collection in lighter tones. Dainty florals on silken light blue textiles work well on the various bare shoulder, wrapped, or peplum style silhouettes. A very exciting color that appeared was sunflower yellow, which was also fashioned into gentry-styled dresses with eyelet lace fabric. Sara Altwaim’s collection was truly amazing. It invokes emotions that aligned with love, and angelic grace. 

AMERICAN RAG 

The U.S.-inspired brand AMERICAN RAG is a staple in exclusive fashion and ready-to-wear. They feature over 200 brands for both Men and Women and boast of having the Middle East’s largest Denim bar. Aside from clothing; American Rag carries designer sneakers.   

Ready-to-wear is fully enterprising with American Rag. Note the tribute to the 90’s with drawstring cargo pants, creatively cut strapless top, and matching jacket. Biker shorts sets covered in sheer darling lace are edgy yet feminine. More cropped silhouettes can be seen and styled together with wide-leg high-water pants. Long utility-style shirts styled beautifully over a two-piece short set are freshly invigorating. On the note of fresh, American Rag most certainly represented their eclectic and fierce denim looks. Distressed high-waist denim with its quirky closure detail is too good to resist this Fall. The manipulation of tank hemlines and sleeve cuffs give certain looks a bit of ‘sassy’ appeal. For example, the blue vintage style dress, with shoulder pads, and vertically layered flap detail is 80’s, but with a twist. Prints are also featured, with purple-white swirl effects on pants. One detail to note is how smooth the leather-textured cream two-piece shorts set is. When combined with one of the many light button-down shirts styles in the collection; it makes a great transitional outfit.  

Ultimately, American Rag has something for everyone; the classic vintage fashionista, or the youthful hip-culture of today.  

ALL’S 

ALL’S is a brand that has managed to sustain itself through their commitment of delivering clothing that is high-quality and sophisticated. Social and environmental awareness is at the core of building their reputation of luxury. The founder and designer of ALL’S is Tatsiana

ALL’S collection for Fall/Winter 2022 is resilient with sturdy breathable textiles, and free flowing designs. As a whole, the collection remarks on the subtle extravagant sophistication of ready-to-wear. Instantly one can see the neutral color palettes on modest styles. They also made use of the fully vibrant color schemes anticipated for Fall. They created bodysuits, cinched waist rompers with flounce details, and flowing asymmetrical floor sweeping gowns. The spaghetti strap green wrap dress is a much needed pop of color in any wardrobe this Fall. Capes are also in demand. ALL’S combines a flowing silky mini-dress with a gathered cape-style element. Their white denim set is a tribute to 90’s flare including their sweet knitted teal green tank and cardigan combo. As in tradition with conservative fashion; there are voluminous non-traditional styles, such as a short sleeve blazer dress set, with a sailor-like vintage collar, and cute oversized pockets.  

ALL’S flowing and billowing spaghetti gown is the essence of stately fashion. The show closed with an even more awe inspiring look; a gown with lush arrays of soft sheer fabric, overlapping mini satin dress, and flounced asymmetrical sleeve. Exceptional is only one word to describe ALL’S Fall/Winter collection for 2022.

BORN IN EXILE

Haunting yet enchanting is how to describe the brand; Born in Exile. What makes them so great is their fearless approach in fashion. The brand was created by Libyan fashion designer, Ibrahim Shebani.

Naturally; BORN IN EXILE brought a fierce and rogue vibe to Arab Fashion week. Starting with his outerwear; leather motor-style, denim bomber, varsity, and fleece lined metallic style jackets were featured. The blouse with buttons on the neck, down the bust, and along the sleeves was an original piece, and was styled alluring on the model in sensible black trousers. The highlighted stitch denim two-piece set is edgy, and had matching silver embroidery. It was also beautifully done on the sweatshirt style two-piece skirt and jacket set. Denim is used graciously in the BORN IN EXILE collection, as indigo blue made and appearance. The white embroidery is truly artistic.

 Red design prints on outerwear had a cultural reference, and denoted to Libyan culture. That art is also on his accessory overlays; created to bring a cool sensibility to the already ‘rock start’ like pieces. For example; his two-piece leather culotte set is excellent, and the rich color of the embroidered harness matched the sleeves of the jacket nicely. A neat change to the regular tank, blouse, and tee shirt selection featured, was their utility vest. It’s a very versatile garment that can be styled in many ways. The collection overall has an exuberant sporty vitality to it. Art featured on the garments were also giving a ‘rockabilly’ vibe; on leather horizontal slit pants in black and white. A puffer skirt in green with matching jacket was also a nice element to add in the lineup of masculine structured pieces. BORN IN EXILE never fails in bringing unique style to Arab Fashion Week.  

GOSIA BACZYNSKA 

Gosia Baczynska is a designer internationally known. Her collection has been presented at least 4 times during Paris Fashion Week. Her clientele also consist of highly influential women, such as Kate Middleton. 

The Gosia Brand has always been  synonymous with power in Arab Fashion. Ready-to-wear has taken an enlightening and expansive direction for her Fall/Winter 2022 collection. As an influential designer, it’s easy to see why her collection is so highly regarded. There was certainly a warrior vibe that resonated with Gosia Baczynska’s collection. From the silver, black, grey, and deep purple solid textured two-piece sets; to the sparkling draped calf-length gowns with peek-a-boo cutout collars.  The thick fur shawl accessory was combined elegantly with a spaghetti strap slinky fitted dress; shimmering matching boots were a great finish to the look.  That hooded jumpsuit and dress ensemble gave a powerful ‘Joan d arc’ vibe. Inspiration probably came from artistic renditions of french battles circa mid 1400’s. The padded shoulder catsuit is effortlessly chic; so was the cropped leather jacket, outfitted with the lush fur sash. The delicately constructed and deconstructed lace could be symbolic of  chain mail worn in battle. Dresses with exaggerated puff shoulders exuded confidence and pride.  Even the black silky hooded gown gave a sort of deity imagery. It’s no surprise that  Gosia Baczynska’s Fall/Winter collection would feature clothes that have that powerful essence.

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