Reem and Hind Beljafla (Das collection)

Does your show have a theme?
It doesn't. We can't do an entire collection based on one theme. This is only our second collection, so we still have a lot ahead of us.

What is your inspiration?
We just came back from New York Fashion Week. There were so many colours used that we thought should be used on an abaya. Each abaya in this show is beautiful and we wanted to find a way to make sure that they don't end up looking bulky despite being layered.

Tell us about the fabrics you used.
We wanted to incorporate luxury with everyday life, so we tried to find a balance that brings our message across.

Any challenges you faced while creating your collection?
Everything is a challenge. We are trying to incorporate international fashion trends into an abaya, and at the same time it's tricky pleasing every female customer we have. One approached us and said she wanted to have real gold incorporated into her abaya. Another wanted precious stones, and a third wanted just crystals!

Is there a favourite piece in the collection?
Reem: I quite like the abaya with the green and blue layers. I'm actually considering wearing it to an upcoming wedding.
Hind: It's all black with many layers of net and chiffon, and it took a lot of effort to get it right.

Manish Malhotra

Your collection is very colourful.
I just wanted to pep it up. When we use colours that way, people start to think about Bollywood, especially in the West, where they have their views on Indian culture. Plus, right now it's a festive time in India; everything is opulent, happy, like bridal wear.

What was your inspiration?
When you show your collection in a city for the first time, it's important to show where you came from. My collection is not just about the traditions of my culture, but is also has contemporary elements.

Is there any part of a woman's body that you focus on through your outfits?
I love an interesting back on a person, so I try to highlight that area as much as I can.

How would you describe your clothes?
I'm not into structured clothes. I like materials that flow and capture a woman's femininity. I think they are fluid, almost like they are flowing around a woman when she wears them.

Rami Al Ali

What is the concept behind your collection?
Freshness, colour, fabric and beadwork. I like fabric that moves softly. For spring-summer, I wanted to have a fresh look because people travel during that time and want something light and comfortable.

Your collection seems to have a nostalgic feel to it. Is there a trend that you hope to see come back?
The golden days of elegance — the '40s and the '50s — when women dressed up in beautiful outfits, wearing accessories such as gloves. That style highlighted everything that was feminine about a woman.

You have showcased collections at international fashion shows, how do they compare to ones in the region?
It's different in terms of production and fashion reviews. In Europe, how they see fashion and how they analyse it is different. Over there, individual pieces are compared to art, but overall they look for things like structure before beauty. I think it's because they've seen a lot of fashion.

What do you have to say about the fashion industry in the Middle East?
In the Middle East, fashion as an industry is growing. People have started to treat it more like a real business than simply entertaining. They are focusing on the business aspect of fashion, such as generating publicity for a designer or collection as well as finding buyers and so on.

Emerging Emirati talent

Shaikh Zayed Private Academy students: Fatima Khalifa Al Muhairi, Sarah Al Gaith, Fatima Mohammad Al Dahmani, Shamma Ali Al Awani and Shamsa Naswer Al Suwaidi.

What is the theme of your show?
Cars and street life.

Why did you choose it?
Many girls like cars, but most shows have Barbie themes or circus...we wanted to be different.

How long did it take you to design your collection?
The designing process itself took two months, but before that we had to choose our theme and pitch it to the rest of the class.

Did you receive any feedback about your collection?
We haven't received any feedback, but we hope that everyone liked the show.