Arab Style at Muscat Fashion Week

The third edition of Muscat Fashion Week showcased garments that spoke volumes of Arabic tradition. The eclectic collection featured classical silhouettes, beaded hems, hairstyle and makeup that took the show to an international level.

Guests, models, designers and makeup artists made Riyam Park their home from January 15-17. This year’s lineup featured stunning creations with an international twist by 12 designers.

Omani designer Nawal al Hooti impressed guests with her patterns, silhouettes and detailing inspired by Oman. Her orange and navy blue dresses, and abayas were met with exclamations of approval.

Guests were treated to a medley of colours and Moroccan craftsmanship with Zhor Rais’ kaftans that had a fairy-tale effect. The bright colours of the outfits, accompanied by the swagger of the models, looked dramatic on the ramp. Bright colours to nude shades, and beaded hems to netted fabric were well highlighted in her collections.

Omani sister duo Afaf and Aida al Farsi’s Dibaj showcased khanjar belts, folklore embroidered cuffs and hemlines that gave a distinctly traditional feel to the richly-hued collection. Pantsuits featured alongside draped dresses and kaftans, with Omani gold and silver jewellery complementing the collection.


Traditional abayas got a modern look as the Das collection was unveiled on the ramp. Emirati sisters Reem and Hind Beljafla gave an Emirati cultural twist to their collections. Detailing with Arabic themes set their abayas apart from the rest. Their collection as usual was characterised by innovative use of colour and fabrics with a great fall that flatter all shapes.


On the concluding day of the fashion week, organiser Malik al Hinai said, “Zhor Rais was impressive and her collection was even compared with that of top German designer Karl Lagerfeld. Ahmed Talfit, Dibaj and Nawal al Hooti were joined by Saudi Arabia-based Razan al Azzouni, Oman design duo Endemage, UAE-based Mauzan, Jordan-based Tatyana Aceeva and Qatar’s Toujouri among others. Renowned fashion journalist Hilary Alexander was also present on the occasion and loved Dibaj, Ahmed Talfit and Zhor’s collections.”

Hinai said that he wants the country to be a hub of fashion in the region. “The logistics, arranging for the models and preparing the tents were the most challenging parts of the show. In the next few years we hope that designers will compete to participate in the fashion week.”

Zhor said, “I am completely overwhelmed by the response to my creations. I am attached to this country, which brings me back here to showcase my creations 25 years after I had first exhibited at Al Bustan Palace hotel. I wanted to highlight Moroccan craftsmanship in the dresses as an ambassador of the country. I hope that my daughter will showcase her collections next year.”

Danish hairstylists Jockim and Lasse said, “The models were from UK, Copenhagen and Dubai, and we had to give them a uniform and balanced look. We had to ensure that the hair, makeup and clothes go with the dresses.”

Vimi Joshi, senior makeup artist, MAC Cosmetics Middle East, said, “We collaborated with the designers and attended fitting sessions to decide on the look. For all the three days, we gave a different look to the models. The makeup on the opening day saw three-dimensional skin - from the nude to coloured looks - with smoky eyes. My aim was to introduce new beauty trends with the fashion week. We have succeeded to a certain extent and the Scandinavian features of the models were accentuated with MAC cosmetics.”

Outfits featured in the fashion week were also exhibited for sale post-show at the Opera Galleria until Friday.

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