Autumn sees the city invigorated by cooler temperatures, fabulous parties and the arrival of the season’s new collections. While some catwalk looks don’t translate in their entirety to our sunny climes; fur jackets and leather gloves among the most ambitious for 25 degree Celsius, many key pieces are snapped up by Dubai’s voracious fashion lovers.
Dior, one of the region's favourite brands, is adored for its lavish fabrics and statement accessories. This season’s ultra-feminine silhouette is bold in colour, accented with fur and leather, vertiginous heels and seamed stockings. It evokes the spirit of the 1940’s, and promotes a powerful vision of woman as strong and seductive. Necklines may be high and hemlines low, but the effect is overwhelmingly flattering to the female form, and perfectly attuned to the Middle Eastern market where the ideal of beauty is both traditional and accentuated.
For men, Dior Homme’s ANGLES, referring to ‘angles of attraction’ is uncompromisingly modern; clean and elegant yet still playful and masculine. For those devotees of the brand, the classic Dior Homme narrow black suit makes a welcome reappearance. In place of the skinny tie is a multi-strand leather necklace.
Replaying those bold reds and blacks, Chanel’s Paris-Moscow collection takes its inspiration from the luxury and opulence of the Russian aristocracy. Imperial icons dressed in furs, pea jackets, embroidered dresses and Byzantinesque jewellery were all the rage in 1920 as Paris played host to wealthy Russians fleeing from revolution in their own country. The result was a groundbreaking collection by Gabrielle Chanel, resurrected by Karl Lagerfeld as living treasures in the seventh edition of the Métiers d’Art collection.
In contrast, the Autumn/Winter 09 ready-to-wear collection is black, formal and austere with fleeting moments of white, jade and pink. Practical luxury pieces have removable cuffs and collars, delicate jewellery, tulle flowers and tactile fabrics. Straight and graphic, star pieces from the catwalk are already racking up waiting lists in Dubai.
At Armani, meanwhile, all the various incarnations of the brand seem to be hot on everyone’s lips this season. Armani Prive, the brand’s couture label is omnipresent on the red carpet, while Emporio wowed with a fresh, young ready-to-wear collection in a sharp palette of greys, blacks and navys. On the more conservative side, Giorgio Armani’s menswear collection provided just the right level of distinction with beautiful classic tailoring, enlivened with experimental use of fabric.
Bringing the city closer to its favourite designers, many of the most established luxury brands launch spectacular flagship boutiques in Dubai this month. Chanel, Dior, Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton are among the many to showcase international ready-to-wear, accessory and jewellery collections in the newest, most beautiful retail spaces in the Middle East. (Chanel, Dior and Giorgio Armani boutiques can be found at the Dubai Mall. The original Louis Vuitton store is at Mall of the Emirates.)
For a list of boutiques select from the following: