Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Garden at Fashion Forward Dubai - Part 1

During my stay in Jebel Ali in UAE, I managed to squeeze in some time to check out The Garden, a new exhibition space within Fashion Forward Dubaian initiative that aims to be the definitive fashion platform for the Middle East. The Garden is designed to basically harvest and nurture Middle Eastern accessory design talents.

The exhibition hall where The Garden was set-up was quite spacious, well organized, and the walkways were huge compared to some exhibitions held here in Kuwait. I walked around comfortably checking out the booths, stocked full of unique (and not-so-unique) quirky cool stuff, fashion accessories and jewelry. Some booths were already established names and quite known in the region, so I tried to focus on spotting unique and new brands. I have to say that over the recent years I have grown a strong passion for jewelry, my poor savings. Maybe it's something that comes with age? Besides, love of jewelry runs deep in my family. My grandmother collected it, my mother collects it, and I stole took the vast majority of it, or at least tried to. 

One of the brands that I really admired was Vik Jethwani, a boutique Jewellery house in Dubai, specializing in bespoke and custom made fine Jewellery. The earrings were simply divine, I especially fell in love with the ones shown in the first photo here, I think it's jade surrounded with diamonds. In some of their pieces they use raw diamonds which gives that beautiful unclean effect. I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely (and super stylish if I may add) Natasha Jethwani, whose's the Creative Director of the brand and the one who introduced hip and young designs to the Vik Jethwani. In the 2nd photo shown below you'll see Natasha's arm party and her beautiful rings.

Scroll down to find out more beautiful and fun accessories brands placed throughout the exhibition. Many one-of-a-kind finds that will add a definite pop to any wardrobe/fashion retail business.

I spotted the booth of a Beirut-based accessories brand Madame rêve, which I have discovered almost 6 years ago in one of Beirut's flea markets. The brand uses vintage charms and details from the late 19th century to the 1970's and introduce them in contemporary designs. What do you think of the stacked bracelets? They look so cool. I also liked they layered chain necklace shown below, something that I can see myself wearing for years to come.

Another jewelry brand that I really loved was by young Jordanian jewelry designer Lama Hourani. Her pieces are whimsical, fun, and full of character. 

I asked jewelry designer Lama Hourani to show off the beautiful rings she was wearing, all designed by here of course and inspired by her travels to exotic places like Peru. 

Another new and breathtaking designs were by Dima Jewelry. Headquartered Cairo, the brand offers really gorgous selection of fine jewelry and everyday pieces. 

Nounzein, a Beirut-based brand by Nada Zeineh which presents jewelry, small sculptures and mobiles. According to her websites, greco-roman culture, Islamic civilizations, fauna and flora, ethnic jewelry inspire her creations.

Cease-fire by Vanina,  is a jewelry lined envisioned as a message of peace in these times of intense violence. Made from match-sticks intentionally deprived of their ignition power (individually handmade using wood and plaster). The line invites to question the accessibility to arms and methods of igniting violence, in an attempt to call for a spiritual and physical cease-fire. 

And last but not least, I came across the booth of Italian Dubai-based designer Mario Uboldi. I was instantly attracted to the patterns of his designs. They look like islamic designs but they're not. The geometric arrangements evoke associations with cubism and traditional patterns yet clearly distinguish themselves from any of these references. 


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