Abayas on a catwalk? No men allowed? Welcome to a fashion show in the Middle East.
New York’s fashion week might have just ended, but the Arab world just kicked off theirs in Sultanate of Oman. The three day event began with a showcase of designer collections from the region region: Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
About 75 women gathered at an outdoor venue situated in a small mountain, with views of the capital city’s main street and port leading to the Gulf of Oman. Greeted with champagne glasses of juice, women mingled in their decorative abayas and headscarves. For the first two evenings, men are banned from watching the festivities. (For the final evening, married men can attend with their wives.)
Robert Abi Nader from Lebanon started the show with the most Western collection of the evening: short mini skirts, plunging necklines and wedding dresses (one that was reminiscent of Caroline Kennedy’s 1986 gown by Caroline Herrera). The models wore platform heels so high that two stumbled on the catwalk, only to rise to applause of the crowd.