Events & Happenings, Fashion Trends

Riyadh's Mashael AlRajhi Dominates Fashion Forward Dubai

Profile photo of Jou Pabalate

Jou Pabalate

Regional Editorial Manager at Destination Riyadh

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Destination gets an exclusive backstage pass and front row seat to the Catwalk debut of Saudi Designer, Mashael AlRajhi. 


The latest collection entitled, DICHOTOMY SS16 was already creating a steady buzz across the globe, with its exclusive previews during Paris Fashion Week and the the international Who’s Next trade shows gaining favorable nods from fashion editors and contemporaries.

Experimental and avant garde casual wear is the name of the game for Mashael this season and she heads the pack with a men’s and women’s collection that left the rows of A-listers and guests in awe.

Fashion Forward is considered to be the region’s foremost platform for emerging designers. It is also one of the definitive fashion and industry hocuses for the Middle East.

The catwalk was scheduled at 3:00 PM, on October 23, but the queue outside started to build forty-five minutes before the door opened. Backstage, Mashael was calm and energetic at the same time, her focus was on the designs— this show, as she has simply put is not about her, it’s about her work.

“I want this collection to speak for itself. I want it to project itself on the audience.”

As expected, the show was packed. From Tamara Al Gabbani, Aram Kabbani to acclaimed artists and influencers in the region, the who’s who of Riyadh and Dubai at that, were sitting on the front row to give their support.

For 15 minutes, we were enthralled. The mood set was provoking, the music heavy, upbeat with a narrative midway— and as the voice entailed, this show was all about the thought process. Or rather, the ideas that we accumulate and how we disperse and reinvent them as part of our identity.

Interestingly, as high concept as the inspiration board for this seem to be, it is rendered completely in minimalistic black and white. The complexities of the design appear more up close. The great attention to details and techniques are quite visible on the fabrics, even for a commoner like myself.

We approve of the touches of tradition Mashael placed on the collection. The iqal made a wonderful cameo reinterpreted as headpieces for the women and even as belts.

In the end, the show and the collection is a clear indicator that Mashael AlRajhi has crossed over the chasm of being an up and coming local designer to a “designer” ready to take on the international arena and do Saudi Arabia proud.

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