Almost 2 months ago I have posted a video on my blog about a fashion show that was held in Kuwait in the 70's. And a couple of days back I have received this very very interesting and informative e-mail from Alex Aubry, Editor at Large for DIA Magazine and blog owner of The Polyglot, which I'd like to share with you because it highlights a period in Gulf history that it rarely discussed.
Thank you so much for posting that video of the fashion show in Kuwait from the 1970’s. Years ago in the early 90’s when I was still in high school I came across an old issue of American Vogue, and it had pictures of the models from that fashion show in Kuwait. In the late 70’s, a group of very well known Fifth Avenue designers which included Halston, Bill Blass and Pauline Trigère, decided to stage a fashion show in Kuwait to promote American Fashion, which at the time was really coming into its own in terms of innovative design. Prior to that the American designers had staged a similar fashion show in 1973 at Versailles, which was revolutionary. At the time, before the internet it was a way of attracting new customers and as you know in the late 70’s the Gulf was the place to be because of the oil boom. Yves Saint Laurent opened his first Gulf boutique in Kuwait in the 1970’s and for years it was the only one. Those clothes that you see in that video are by a mix of American designers, and it’s a treasure because I never thought such footage exited. It captures an era in Gulf history. It’s funny because one of the commenters on your website said “Not one hijab in the audience,”and that’s so true of that era. If you look at a Kuwaiti, or Bahraini or even Saudi family’s photo album from that period, you’ll see women in the chicest clothes and hair styles from the 70’s to rival anything coming out of London, Paris or New York.
And you are right Andy Warhol did come to Kuwait and he had an exhibition at the Arts Gallery in Dahiyat Abdalla Al-Salem. Recently Bidoun Magazine did a piece on it and I’m attaching the article for you (Please click on the images to enlarge and read).
Check out the programme prepared by Kuwait's National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters for Andy Warhol's visit. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! Thank YOU Alex for the amazing e-mail and sharing this article with me.