Held on 23 November at Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski in Cairo, the 2nd edition of Middle East Fashion Festival gathered prominent fashion designers from five countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Armenia and Morocco.
President of the Middle East Fashion Festival Walid Khalil spoke to Ahram Online about the one-day-event.
“This year, the festival showcased the work of three Egypt fashion designers: Omneya Hussein, Nadine Ezzat and Menna Agiza. Other notable names include Lebanese designer Anass Kadamani, Armenian designer Nuria, Moroccan Houda Benmlih and Jordan's Heba Idris.”
The seven designers were presenting their latest designs for their fall/winter collections, 2018/2019.
Jordan's designer Heba Edris' bridal wedding dresses photos by Yasser Hemaya
Designs included haute couture, elegant soiree gowns and wedding dresses.
Make up-artists from Egypt Heba Magdi, Hend Helmy and Libya’s Souad El-Bakush and Bay Tree beauty salon participated in the show.
The festival entertained more than 1,000 attendees, including VIP American visitors, media figures, artists, ambassadors and communities from the US, Belgium, Tunisia and Lebanon.
The guests of honour were Egyptian singer Anouska, and actress Rojina, and Tunisian actress Aisha Ben-Ahmed.
Left to Right: Egyptian T.V presenter Doaa Saleh , Rojina and Anouska photo by Yasser Hemaya
Attendees enjoyed the musical performances of Egyptian singers Zizi Adel and Ahmed Zaeem, pianist Dalal El-Khamisy and violinist Ahmed Mokhtar.
“The festival aimed at integrating and incorporating different cultures and bringing people closer together,” Khalil explained.
The first edition of Middle East Fashion Festival was held in March 2018. It is intended to be held twice a year (summer and winter).
Prominent Armenian designer Nuria has been in Egypt for 10 years. In her new collection she presented 20 different examples of soiree and wedding gowns. Nuria used blue, green, yellow, purple, creamy and off-white colours.
Nuria, who is fond of handmade garments, said: “All my designs were handmade and high quality of fabrics and textiles. I embroidered dantelle and guipure fabrics with Swarovski crystals.”
“My designs were inspired by Armenia’s nature. Also, some designs reflected Middle East cultures,” Nuria added.
Armenian Fashion designer Nuria and her assistant Lili on the red carpet photo Ghada Abdel-Kader
Nuria made use of peach in her bridal gowns. “Wedding dresses are not necessarily white or off-white. We can use pastel colours,” she commented
Moroccan designer Houda Benmlih presented the traditional kaftan — which is the pinnacle of Moroccan fashion — with a modern touch. “My main concern," she said, "is reflecting Moroccan heritage or tradition in my designs. I tried to present the kaftan in a modern way, and at the same time preserve its traditional shape as a kaftan, not as a dress.”
Moroccan designer Houda Benmlih kaftans designs photo by Yasser Hemaya
Benmlih's collection presented 10 different pieces of kaftans using dark blue, red, olive, green and off-white colours.
She used old Moroccan embroidery techniques, using payette, precious stones and Swarovski gems.
Lebanon was present through Anass Kadamani’s brand, "Anskada."
Kadamani described his collection as "prêt-a-couture". "It is how to look like a star; to have an understated luxury. We gave every woman the look fit to her body shape.”
Kadamani added: “In the collection, we have 10 different looks, including off-shoulder backless princess cut of one ivory-beige bridal dress. We used pastel colours and feathers in all designs.”
Egyptian designer Omneya Hussein has been in field of fashion for 10 years. This is her first time to participate in the fashion festival.
Miss Egypt beauty Queens during fashion festival. Photo: Yasser Hemaya
“In my winter collection, all my designs have a simple look. They are semi-couture. All colours are vivid and cheerful. I broke the rule of using dark shades of colours for the winter season,” Hussein said,
“My bridal dress was beautifully set with pearls and embodied florals,” Hussein added.
Libyan make-up artist Souad El-Bakush highlighted her routine by saying, “I used dusty colours with a simple look. It gave a fresh and perfectly natural look.”
“Eyeliner and lip-liner are out of fashion. Contouring and sculpting the face are trending. A natural medium set of eyebrows is fashionable,” El-Bakush added.