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Saudi Arabia's Red Sea Fashion Week Makes Its Debut in May

Wed 15 May 2024 | 11:19 AM
Yara Sameh

First, it was Dolce & Gabbana taking its Alta Moda to AlUla for a fashion spectacular, followed by Saudi Arabian designers exhibiting their work at Paris and Milan fashion weeks, under the umbrella of Saudi 100.

Riyadh Fashion Week launched in 2023. Most recently, Lebanese designer Rami Kadi took a leaf out of the Dolce & Gabbana book by staging his latest couture show at AlUla.

The first Red Sea Fashion Show will begin on Thursday, showcasing the kingdom big plans to put the nation firmly on the fashion map.

Running until May 18, the show is held at the newly opened The St Regis Red Sea, located on a private island and accessible only via boats.

It is the latest initiative of the Saudi Fashion Commission, which is looking to support and nurture fledgling fashion designers within the kingdom. Seven designers will showcase their collections across three days. 

In addition, there will also be showroom visits to allow visitors to see the collections up-close.

Kicking off the event is a show by Tima Abid, the Saudi Arabian designer who has previously shown her evening wear as part of Paris Haute Couture week. 

With 16 years of experience, Abid is well known across the region for elevated evening wear and deftly cut bridal gowns. With an eye for a simple silhouette, Abid's pieces often mix an understated outline with technical details such as cutouts.

Day two launches with a show by Eau, followed by the runway show of Sara Altwaim, a Saudi designer known for an modernised romance vision for her work, and whose past collections include a full skirted look in pale nude lace and black trimmed seams, and a bridal look crafted entirely from lace, with integrated lace gloves.

Next will be Yasmina Q, famous for breezy, lightweight knits in soft sorbet colours designed as body skimming dresses, top, and trouser matching separates.

Day three will begin with Hadia Ghaleb showcasing its modern, edgy swimming alternatives for women who prefer to cover up on the beach. 

Then it will be the turn of niluu, the only non-Saudi showing. The Turkish brand uses sustainable vegan silk to create fluid resort wear in dazzling prints.

Rebirth, founded by Tala Abukhaled, will close out the week with its elevated bohemia.

The label is skilled at incorporating traditional techniques into its modern designs, such as weaving turned into crop tops and knotted macrame as flowing belts.

Rebirth's recent project combined traditional Palestinian tatreez embroidery with sheer tops, the result giving the illusion of the colourful stitches hanging in mid-air.

As a first for Saudi Arabia, the event promises to underpin the breadth of talent emerging from the kingdom.