Abu Dhabi Fashion Week opened with a blend of Western dazzle and Eastern femininity from Syrian designer Rami Al Ali.

His open air fashion show at the Emirates Palace Hotel was a combination of celebrity chic and avant-garde design with a touch of both retro and contemporary eras of fashion.

"I have used feminine, soft and fluid fabrics such as chiffon, silk, dentelles and tulle to fit as evening and afternoon gowns that feel light on a woman's skin.

The Spring Summer Collection of 2008 mainly targets young women in their 20s and 30s - a woman who is hip yet chic at the same time. Our gowns range from size 34 to 40," said Al Ali in an exclusive interview with tabloid!


During the fashion show the colours that were evident were a combination of pink and gold, green, shades of beige, black, dark salmon, fuschia, turquoise and flamboyant animal and abstract prints, contrastingly accessorised with meticulously handcrafted belts and brooches made of pearls, silk, metallica trimmings and gleaming chains of different sizes in black, silver and beige.

"I have done almost seven shows in the UAE since 2001 but this one is unique. I feel fortunate to showcase my first international collection in the UAE alongside Valentino's," said the designer.

As the models walked down the ramp displaying Al Ali's collection, a feel of romanticism of the past with sophisticated modernity of the present was in the air.


Following Al Ali's collection was Lebanese designer, Milia Maroun's line, which included an informal approach to fashion, mixing unusual fabrics such as silk and satin with jersey to give a subtle and elegant look and feel to each of her pieces. A collection the designer likes to call ‘street couture.'

Maroun was inspired to create her Spring Summer Collection 2008 by a photograph she saw of a dragon fly. "It was seeing this beautiful photo of a dragon fly up close with all the details of the transparent wings and the variance of colours on the body that really inspired me this season."

Light and simple

The designer's collection incorporated the use of strong, vibrant colours with otherwise muted tones such as sand, ecru and stone which gave the appearance of a dragon fly's body. She also chose to infuse transparency into much of the collection making the whole feel very light, simple, airy and fragile.

"It is the idea of layering two different transparent fabrics in different colors that gives the fabrics an effect of a dragon fly's wings," added Maroun.

The designer said that her initial passion was designing lingerie and knitwear, but she realised that it was impractical to showcase knitted outfits in summer, so only one knitted item was displayed. She hardly uses embroideries and likes to keep her designs hip, chic yet simple. "I simply don't like decoration," she stressed.


"My designs do not target a specific age; it targets women's maturity level and income, since I admit my designs are not cheap. I definitely don't target fashion victims.

This line is a non-fashion line which has nothing to do with cultural background; it's exotic and has a mixed oriental blend that suits Western tastes," said the designer.