SNEAK PEEK ON DUBAI’S FASHION FORWARD SEASON 7

FASHION FORWARD SEASON 7 DUBAI

This year Fashion Forward will be a bit different and I am so excited to see how it will go. This time it will not be conveniently close to where I live but close to where I dream of having my company setup… In D3, at the Dubai Design District.

There is another highlight which I think it is really fantastic for our talented designers.. The focus is on attracting buyers -local and international. This coming season is already the 7th and we will see 5 big international buyers from Fenwick, Galeries Lafayette (Paris), Harvey Nichols (Hong Kong), Neiman Marcus (USA), and Printemps (Paris) and over 150 Regional buyers. This is what precisely the local talent is needing.. visibility, exposure to these new markets and great opportunities.

BRAG is not alone any more in organizing the event and has the full support of the Dubai Design and Fashion Council. That is another reason why now the event will be hosted in Hai d3 and not in Madinat Jumeirah.

The list of designers is great too.. many repeating from previous seasons, which is a good sign. It means that they are here to stay and the have a voice that needs to be heard and a creativity that needs to be seen.

The tradition of having uber interesting talks is kept and I am very happy for it. I guess I am a bit nerdy but I have always loved the talks of every Fashion Forward. For example one of the highlights is the talk of the CEO of Moda Operandi. You might not know but I totally love ecommerces and to have her insights is something not to be missed.

We will also enjoy the talk of Anita Patrickson, celebrity stylist from Hollywood. I am very curious to know how she does decide and deals with the stress and responsibility of choosing what her celebrities are to wear and how.. taking into account the amount of comments and gossip behind each look and how personal they even get, I consider this a heart attack high risk job. Lol!

The Garden is called now The Showcase but the concept seems to be the same as in previous editions.. beautiful jewelry and accessory designers to showcase their creations.

Oh! I just realized I didn’t mention the dates when Fashion Forward will be taking place! Ok, take note in that pretty agenda of yours or on your iphone.. From the 31st of March to the 3rd April. Times depend on the days so you need to check the schedule on the website.

Loads of love,

 

Araceli Gallego

www.whatijustlove.com

www.thebagedition.wordpress.com

 

 

Fashion Forward is coming very soon!

The design line up for this coming October event is impressive again.. Here you have the temporary agenda of Fashion Forward. Don´t forget to get your credentials, and get organised with time so that you don’t miss it.

FashionForward Oct2015

Keep the dates big and red flagged in your agendas:October 22nd-24th at Madinat Jumeirah and an extra day, the 25th at D3.

Thursday 22nd October – Day 1:

2pm                       STARCH FOUNDATION

2.30pm                 AMIRA HAROON (Presentation)

5pm                       NAFSIKA SKOURTI

5.30pm                 ARMY OF 1 (Presentation)

7pm                       ZAROON BY ZAREENA

8pm                       HUSSEIN BAZAZA

8.30pm                 BOUGUESSA (Presentation)

10pm                     MICHAEL CINCO

Friday 23rd October – Day 2:

1pm                       ZAID FAROUKI (Presentation)

2.30pm                 TALLER MARMO

3pm                       MASHAEL ALRAJHI

4pm                       ELIO ABOU FAYSSAL (Presentation)

5.30pm                 FATEMA FARDAN

6pm                       LAMA JOUNI

7pm                       DANY TABET

7.30pm                 ARWA AL BANAWI (Presentation)

8.30pm                 JELENA BIN DRAI

9pm                       ENDEMAGE

10pm                     YOUSEF AL-JASMI

Saturday 24th October – Day 3:

1pm                       BEDOUIN (Presentation)

2.30pm                 ORKALIA

3pm                       ZENA PRESLEY

4pm                       NASIBA HAFIZ (Presentation)

5.30pm                 SAID MAHROUF

6pm                       DIMA AYAD

7pm                       MADIYAH AL SHARQI

7.30pm                 AMBER FEROZ (Presentation)

8.30pm                 SABA TARK

9pm                       HOUSE OF NOMAD

10pm                     AMATO BY FURNE ONE

 

See you there!!

 

Araceli

www.whatijustlove.com

BACK IN DUBAI.. BACK TO MYSELF

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Hi my dears!

 

It has been a while since my last post.. almost a month. I am sorry.. all my efforts to try to post more regularly were just vanished, just dissapeared ..you know sometimes life throws things and situations at you that require your full attention and now, a month later I am still there.. with my mind lost somewhere between stress, sadness and limbo.

This last month, month and a half has been crazy.. I normally dont get too personal in this blog.. it is about fashion, lifestyle.. it is supposed to talk about something that doesnt hurt ( even if sometimes certain styles may hurt our eyes), it is supposed to stand by the name -what I just love- not what makes me think or what makes me sad or what makes me just want to give up.. but all those feelings are very present in my life too. I guess in todays days we all want to look picture perfect and this aint pretty.. feelings are actually quite messy.

Anyways, just bear with me while I try to get back on my feet and feel the happy vibrant me again. I miss me.. so it is my duty number one. I wanted to do so many things this September -October.. I wanted to attend and enjoy Fashion Forward, I wanted to help Maria Iqbal to prepare for it, I wanted to go to Gitex, learn a zillion things related to mobile apps and technology, I wanted to attend the Spanish Embassy for our national day, design more bags, push a new blog in spanish and keep on writing for my friends and fellows,.. one very interesting collaboration with Mona has been bugging me but I just could not write a word.. I just couldnt even call.. I felt blocked. Sorry dears.. I just realised I am so very human that it scares me.

Bit by bit, one step at a time..

Luv,

Leli

 

 

 

AT FASHION FORWARD TALKS… THE SHOE BUSINESS

I always enjoy the talks at Fashion Forward as much as the runways. There are so many insights, wisdom, advise, .. and all of it, it is there if you are opened to it. Now that is about to be another edition I was just remembering about this amazing talk I enjoyed so much of the last edition.

I honestly wanted to attend this talk because I saw a spanish name on the panel and I like to support my nationals, even if it is just as listener. I love shoes, but I am not really in the shoe business. Then I realise that the panel was amazing with Aennis, Shamsi and Amanda Navai as shoe designers.

www.whatijustlove.com

Let me briefly introduce you to them.. Aennis is a Jordanian with an amazing sense of aesthetics. He is an architect and is obsessed with geometry and calligraphy. His unique shoes reflect both: the architecture and the beautiful arabic calligraphy. I discovered him through Instagram. His feed made me dream…I was seeing my little ravioli feet with beautiful words around. I still can not read arabic -left alone the calligraphy- I just trust that they dont say “stinky feet” or “I need a pedicure” kind of message ( Aennis I hope I am not giving you ideas! Lol).

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Aennis was for me the most authentic within the panel (sorry guys, everybody has a favourite!).

Amanda shoes are very nice too. Her UPS is that they are made out of pythom and she spoke about how she started the shoes out of the leather scraps from the bags. Pythom is expensive material to use and if you can maximise the leather piece, then you should. She mentioned a lot the need to be on top of your business ( so true, creative souls of the world listen attentively..). She moved to Lebanon because of that.. same as Aennis lives in Italy. Just be where you produce and keep your eyes on the production to make sure your standards are understood and kept at all times.

Rania and Alberto were representing the Shoe Level district. For those who don’t know it is like shoe paradise, all the most beautiful, unique shoes in the world live there happily ever after, being admired and purchased by savvy shoe lovers. This heaven is ruled and curated by Chalhoub group.

Shamsi is a local designer of male traditional shoes. He knows perfectly his market and what works here. Sure he wants to grow but he is seeking the best way to do it without loosing hi straditional touch. Not easy.. Local o Global..What is it Glocal in reality? Should we loose our identity to open new markets or show we just stick to what we know best, what we are comfortable with?

During the talks, we heard both answers: yes and no. So I guess we will have to find our way accordingly to our personal circumstances. These were some of the messages said during the talk…

 

The most important thing is passion.

Alberto

As a designer, be humble..

Listen to the retailers, listen to the customers, listen to everybody…

Rania

Start by little…

Amanda

It would be great to develop the craftmanship for footwear in the region.

Rania

Prada is not my competitor…

Shamsi

www.whatijustlove.com

I posted all the pics of the talk on the Facebook Blog’s page, but here you have some of them. I am so lucky to have a cute pic with Aennis!..Next step is having a pic with his cute shoes!.

Luv,

Lil

www.whatijustlove.com

 

WHAT I JUST LOVE.. FASHION FORWARD DAY 2

Good morning, well, almost afternoon!

Sorry , it was a long night and my intention to write got delayed – like a lot!. Any ways, I hope you are ready for fashion Forward Day 2. This is the schedule for today:

11:30 London College of Fashion ( My school!) in Hall 4. Paul Tierney will speak about How to make it as a Fashion Journalist. Yesterday he was also leading another talk (The Rise of Fashion Bloggers) and well, he is an amazing journalist with tons of experience.

14:00 Another Talk, this time about The Influence of Editors on the Fashion landscape. Also in Hall 4. With Susan Sabet ( from Pashion magazine), Ritu Upadhyay (correspondent of Women’s Wear Daily in the Middle East), Caterina Minthe ( Features Editor of Style.com/ Arabia and TEDX speaker), Sofia Guellaty (Senior editor of Style.com/ Arabia) and Fay Afghahi (Managing Editor of Elle Arab World). Amazing panel!!

15.00 Hema Kaul- In Hall 3. This Dubai based designer is presenting a cute and feminine collection. Her pieces are very polished and have some elegant retro chic feeling I love.

15.30 In Hall 4 we have another talk. Buyers, where are you? with Cynthia Kattar (Fashion and Beauty editor of Hia Magazine), Rozan Ahmed (founder of bougi.com and world wide influencer), Dana Malhas Ghandour (Creative Director, Head buyer,style ambassador and Co-Owner of CREAM Boutique in Jeddah, Saudi), and Dina Jsr (Jewelry passionate under the mentorship of Rabih Kayrouz, founder of Starch Foundation). As I have a background in Purchasing and Procurement, this talk is super interesting for me.

16.30 Reem Al Kanhal in Hall 2. Chic, Nostalgic and Futuristic is how the designer describes her collection. The brand is called RK.

18.00 Dima Ayad in Hall 3. This designer established her brand in 2010 and since then it has been featured in a number of magazines. Very nice feminine shapes.

18.30 Nanette Lepore– Crafting High fashion : What It takes to manufacture locally? – Hall 4. You don’t want to miss this talk. One of the queens of american fashion is here in Dubai. Firm believer of producing locally to protect the industry.

19.30 Toujouri– Hall 2.. Well, What can I say?. I absolutely love her. You can see what was her last season runway on my blog as I dedicated an entire post.

20.30 Madiyah Al Sharqi– in Hall 1. Daughter of the Ruler of Fujairah (amazingly beautiful place and very close to Dubai!), she has a lot to say in fashion if she is to be in Hall 1. I cant wait to see her collection!

21.30 Charbel Zoe– Hall 3. Awarded International Fashion Designer of the Year 2013  at the Miami Fashion Week. His designs are delicate, feminine and full of brocades and jewelry… dreamy, fairy tales made reality.

And after all this, party at the Garden.. today I will pass on this one as tomorrow I have to work, yep! work and it is a deadline day so I have to and I want to. Once I finish I will come to keep enjoying Fashion Forward.

See you all there,

Luv,

Lil

www.whatijustlove.com

 

WHAT I JUST LOVE.. FASHION FORWARD SEASON 2

Well, well, here we are again, getting ready for tomorrow’s event. Yey! Tomorrow is the first day of Fashion Forward – Season 2 and it promises great fashion shows and tons of creativity to enjoy.

First, thanks to the Brag Team once again for the humongous amount of work and organization behind the show.  I must say, I am glad it is during Eid holidays -even if partially- it allows to rest and to enjoy great fashion. It couldn’t be better.

Second, this first day is going to be awesome as we have some amazing designers and talks. Don’t forget your camera and extra batteries.

At 15:00 we will have the opening of the event at The Garden Party. If you didn’t register online on time or if you have to pick up the invites at the event, it is good to arrive a bit earlier and get it done.

16:00- Azza Fahmy Jewelry will be in Hall 4 with a very interesting talk about  how to Penetrate The Global Market and How To Stay Relevant. Definitely a must-go talk for any new or existing brand.

17:00 –The Starch Foundation  in Hall 2. It is a non-profit organization co-founded by the Lebanese designer Rabih Kayrouz to promote and support new Lebanese designers in the early beginnings. Watch out for these very talented designers, they have a lot to say.

17:30- London College of fashion ( My school!!) in Hall 4 with a talk that you-know-who is not going to miss: “The Rise Of The Fashion Blogger: Print vs. Digital”  with Paul Tierney (Fashion Journalist- contributor of so many magazines, I can not name them all!), Tala Samman (from the blog Myfashdiary.com) and Elaine Lloyd- Jones (super Grazia Editor).

18:30- GisellaBlu and GisellaNoir in Hall 3 presented by the Head Designer Sacha Plumbridge. I cant wait to see the feminine accents this brand is all about.

19:00- Glam Hour. Rest, have some tea, grab a snack, go say hi to friends.. now is the time. Only half an hour though.

19:30- Parsons in Hall 4 with the talk “Design Thinking. Creating Beautiful Solutions” by Simon Collins, Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons The New School for Design. By the way, this school has online programs and Donna Karan studied there, so the level must be very high. Sounds good, eh!..

20:30- Ezra in Hall 1. This show is a must-see, creativity at its best. Last edition I enjoyed every single dress and believe me, I would have bought all of them if I just had the budget and occasions to wear his amazing dresses. They are feminine, elegant, extravagant, beautiful and dramatic. I am sure you feel like direct from a Fairy tale. This red one is from last seasons collection.

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And this one is from this season, so we will see it in the runway.

WWW.WHATIJUSTLOVE.COM

21:30- The Emperor 1688  in Hall 2. The Golkar’s must be the most creative family in Dubai. Three brothers and the mum, all fashion creators, working and putting together an amazing brand of menswear. Luxury, elegant lines and only top of the top quality. I am definitely going, last year I saw one of the brothers in a talk and what he said was super interesting. My hubby may end up with a present, who knows?

22:00- After Party at Fort Island. With an amazing atmosphere and if you are tired and don’t want to wait forever for the taxis or valet parking to come, just relax, have a drink and socialize.

If you notice, all the names of the designers have a link. I have attached the links to all the designers websites so you can dig on their collections and share with your friends.

Well dolls, I hope I see you tomorrow, ready to enjoy and get surprised by the creativity of the talented middle eastern designers. If you see me around, don’t be shy and say hi. And don’t forget to follow the blog in any of the formats.

Facebook –  New Twitter– Instagram – New Pinterest

Luv,

Lil

 

 

WHAT I JUST LOVE.. THE LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION HANDBAG DESIGN COURSE

Ok, by now, you all know I am pretty crazy about bags (and shoes, shhh…) and that  I have been craving and waiting for this course to start because it is really, really the course I wanted and needed to take.

My dream ( like Martin Luther King I have a dream too, .. well, actually, lots of them …) is to one day become a successful handbag designer and sell my bags everywhere in the world… and see the cool people holding my bags as something precious and something that they really enjoy and care about… and to have Brianboy talking about them and showing them on his insta account ( very commendable and fun account by the way!).. and live happy using my creativity and skills and being the owner of my time, which to me is the single most precious thing we all have (this one I know it is tough.. but well, it is my dream! So don’t spoil it!).

Let me tell you about the course a bit. It is from the London College of Fashion (LCF for friends and family) and in Dubai it lasts 4 days from 9.30 to 16.00 more or less, although we were all enjoying it so much we were staying until the next course was literally kicking us out of the classroom.

The teacher –Ann Saunders– was, is and will always be awesome, amazing, very inspiring and super expert on the matter. She was always kind and smile at all of our questions and she helped us with whatever barrier we had, being language, understanding or lack of skill to glue the prototypes.. did I say prototypes? Yaaaay!.. we did each of us a prototype of our design in cardboard. I will show mine later.

We also worked on trends by creating our own trend boards and developed mood boards in the search for inspiration. We studied the materials and learn of shapes and a bit about hardware, construction and making.. in two words.. es – pectacular!.. The course is pricey and I was not sure initially about how much could you learn in 4 days but now I can say it was worthy every penny. By the way, if you are a customer of S*uce, you might get a very special discount, so be ready and watch out if you like any of the coming courses.

The best of this kind of courses is the like minded people you find there, the other students.. all of them full of talent and determination to achieve their dreams and enjoy along the way. I am so happy to have met them, some are already designers and make a living out of it, some are almost there, some are dreamers getting ready and educated such as myself.

I wanted to join another course- How to start your own fashion label with Toby Meadows- but the investment required some extra breathing – and also to request extra days of holidays from work- so as in February there is another edition, I will just wait for that one. Toby Meadows is pretty amazing too. I met him briefly on last year Fashion Forward and now I am reading his book. I still have not finished but so far it is really good.

By the way, did you already register for the next Fashion Forward? Please don’t forget to do so. In this link you can register eazywizy. We all need to support local talent and make sure Dubai has its own Fashion event. The team at Brag do a great job every time and need our support. Another of my dreams is to show my bags at Fashion Forward cute little corner shop and see them swinging together with the clothes in the runway. .. maybe next time!!

Well, my dears, if you have any questions about the course or about anything else really… drop a comment or let me know by private email ( on the Contact tab you have all the info). Also you have all the social media of the blog at your fingertips.

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Besito,

Lil

www.whatijustlove.com

 

 

 

WHAT I JUST LOVE…ESMOD DUBAI

Hi there!

The other day I got invited to the graduation of this year’s fashion students at Esmod Dubai. I was pretty impressed with the level as they put together a proper runway in the middle of Wafi Mall to show the works of the students for 1st year, 2nd year and 3rd year.

You can see the expertise and the imagination that these students develop every course. Last year students are already proper designers.. ready to go to the world and dress it in style!!

The entire Brag team was sitting just in front of me. They are the organizers of Fashion Forward Dubai. Sorry I have to mention it… I love it!! (who doesn’t?). Hopefully next year my pieces will be there.. at the shop!.

I can send you the list of the names of the graduates in case you are looking for new young talent. As much as we love brands and international designers, we must not forget our local creators. You would be surprised how many designers had to migrate to make their dream come true.. and here, in the middle of the Middle East, this fact is sadly common, even though we all know there is an amazing market to explore.

Well, I took some pics and videos. I hope you enjoy them. For this very special occasion I even opened a Youtube channel. So please follow the Youtube channel to keep yourself posted on the last Fashion news from Dubai. Here you have the link.

VIDEOS FROM ESMOD 2013 GRADUATION DUBAI

Luv and Fashion,

Lil

WWW.WHATIJUSTLOVE.COM ESMOD GRADUATION 2013

 

 

 

WHAT I JUST LOVE.. TOUJOURI

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In fashion we live in a constant learning process. It is the way to adapt to the changing likes and trends and also to keep the creativity open. Nothing is final. My intention is to keep on learning new things and if possible learn from the masters.

It is so very inspiring to attend  fashion shows and meet the creators behind the dresses, behind the designs..The vibe is simply amazing. The ideas flow like crazy.

So from time to time, you might see some lines on precisely this… the new, the old, the classic, the not classic at all.. the designers… To keep on learning, to keep our fantasy well tuned and never stop dreaming.

I felt in love with the latest collection of Toujouri, which I met at the last Fashion Forward Show in Dubai. The designer behind the brand is Lama- El Moatassem, Lebanese now based in Qatar and with so much talent that I can just predict a brilliant success for her and her brand.  She studied in London and worked at Chloe ( another favorite!). Her lines are so beautiful, simple and glamorous, that I wanted to share them.

I believe in the saying “an image is worth a thousand words”, so there you go.

Please let me have your comments, share it with your fashion-lovers friends and don’t forget to follow the blog to keep abreast of fashion topics.

Luv,

Lil

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