DUBAI: Two days before his runway show, Anglo-Lebanese designer Ronald Abdala hovered around a media room at Dubai’s Fashion Forward attempting to solve some technical issue.
How was he? “Stressed,” he replied, and conversation quickly turned to the previous shows. That day, several designers had showed collections featuring customized printed fabric, a common element in many runway shows over the three-day fashion event.
“It’s the trend, I guess. Everyone’s doing it. I did it,” he said with a hint of preshow jitters. “I hope you like it.”
Judging by the standing ovation, many did.
Printed bullets ricocheted off the dresses at House of Ronald’s fall-winter 2014 show, creating abstract patterns that made up one of the crowning collections at Fashion Forward, the region’s largest platform for emerging design talent.
From a distance, the silver bullets and their smoky, trailing trajectories blended to create metallic, featherlike flares. They were complemented by necklines embellished with silver bullet accessories, statement trousers, black sequins, leather and fishnet mesh details.
The collection, themed “bulletproof,” offered a darkly empowering message of “women as modern warriors,” according to the show’s notes. Sensual fabrics such as satin, velvet and revealing cutouts covered in fishnet added a feminine touch to an aggressive theme. So did lace detail on a long sleeve navy shift and a variety of flattering high-waisted A-frames.
HOR wasn’t the only house at Fashion Forward’s third season to design with the empowered woman in mind. Taller Marmo, an Italian-Argentinian design duo, took inspiration for its own collection from female heroes such as Lara Croft and abayas inspired by the 1980s power suit, with structured shoulders and wide lapels.
While other designers put their creative emphasis on custom prints, HOR’s collection shone for its strong design and clean finishing – the prints were just gun-powder on the cake.