The Oriental Fashion Show hosted its 23rd edition last week during Paris Haute Couture. Twenty-three international designers presented their 2018 collections at the two-day event, held at the city’s magnificent Hôtel de Crillon.
The show opened on Wednesday 24th with the opulent style of renowned couturier Hany El-Behairy, whose gold-themed collection took its cue from the history of his native Egypt. The finale the following evening came courtesy of dancer turned designer Patrick Boffa of France, whose stunning sequence of entirely black creations wowed the audience.
In between were gorgeous hand-embroidered kaftans from Morocco’s Lamia Lakhsassi, beautiful bridal wear by Kuwait’s Adiba Al Mahboub, Nail Baikuckukov’s fairytale tulle and chiffon evening dresses, and a collection dedicated to the early space era of the 1960s by Dinara Satzan.
Britain’s sole representative Raishma stood out with her elegant hues of blue and pink for an SS18 collection that took a fresh perspective on an ocean-inspired journey: dramatic gowns featured intricate beading alongside hand embroidery on silks, satins and delicate tulles, her detail mimicking the formations of waves and stone indentations reminiscent of the sea.
Since 2004, the Oriental Fashion Show (OFS) has uniquely promoted high-end fashion designers originating from Central Asia, the Near East and Far East, alongside European couturiers who want to increase their visibility in these markets. The eclectic line-up at OFS provides for an incredible fusion of contemporary couture styles; buyers, media and fashion lovers have the opportunity to discover the exquisite artistry of the East’s established and emerging designers, as well as the rich heritage of the Silk Road regions that inspire them.
Constantly pushing new boundaries, OFS made history by presenting Paris’ first-ever Modest fashion parade on Thursday evening. OFS had incubated start-up Modestissime – France’s new luxury Modest fashion platform – before helping them to launch with their first curated event, which featured the capsule collections of four young designers: Vertuoses (France), Vanderwilde (Spain), Blanche (Morocco), and Sahil Kochhar (India). Their catwalks comprised of couture and prêt-à-porter daywear: dresses, trousers, blouses, jackets and kaftans with sleek contours that came in a rich hue of colours, materials and patterns that while firmly European, also made a clear nod to the East.
Unlike previous Modest fashion events in Istanbul, London and Dubai, the Paris parade did not conform to any specific religious dress requirements. Modestissime co-founders Amal Sultan and Samia Benaissa are keen to move ‘modesty’ beyond religion and instead position it as a lifestyle that appeals to the broadest range of women. As a result, models did not wear hijabs (headwear worn by Muslim women), and some of the selected outfits revealed necklines, calves and forearms.
The full line-up of designers and fashion houses who presented collections at Paris Oriental Fashion Show 2018 were: Adiba Al Mahboub (Kuwait), Aida Kaumenova (Kazakhstan), BIBISARA (Kazakhstan), Blanche (Morocco), Dinara Satzhan (Kazakhstan), Fatima Zohra Idrissi (Morocco), Fevziye Çamer (Turkey), Hany El-Behairy (Egypt), Houda Serbouty (Morocco), IKA (Indonesia), Ivana de Hann (Netherlands), Lamia Lakhsassi (Morocco), La Rena (Slovakia), Menouba (Algeria), Nail Baikuckukov (Kazakhstan), Nouf Couture (Saudi Arabia), Patrick Boffa (France), Raishma (UK), Sahil Kochhar (India), Sergey Shabunin (Kazakhstan), Vanderwilde (Spain), Vertuoses (France), and Yes Couture (Azerbaijan).