Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The New Markets Enjoy Decent Fashion Designs | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London Fashion Week | Reuters.com

There are certain fashion designs that surprise us and make us question whether they were inspired by a personal concept of fashion or designed in favor of a certain environment that shall be promoted in the coming 6 months. Long sleeve dresses, high necklines, long skirts with scarves, hats, and turbans that cover the head might merely be an idea inspired by the designer after a movie or a romantic novel, or they might also be a concept that carries out whole cultural and ethnic features imposed by markets and customers that enjoy remarkable purchasing power.

In all cases, the consumer is the first benefiter in general. Over the past years, runways have been overshadowed with designs that are both decent and elegant with eastern inspirations that sometimes focus on rich fabrics and other times on ethnic prints and embroideries.

Designers expound that time has changed and the concept of attraction has changed with it and thus no longer concentrates on revealing body charms. As a matter of fact today, attraction is based on intellect and culture. Although it seems the new concept flatters the East, and particularly Arab women, it has succeeded in attracting women from all over the world regardless of their nationalities.

Ten years ago, Channel’s designer, Karl Lagerfeld said that fashion is part of people and all ongoing events around the world; pointing to the incidents taking place in the Middle East. Years have passed and many collections were introduced by different designers who adopted and reflected the same “decent” spirit, however some of them only aimed at achieving financial profits by introducing typical and stereotyped attires that lacked uniqueness and did not fully respond to the demands of modern conservative women.

Valentino, which is partially owned by the Qatari firm “Mayhoola for Investments”, was the best in embodying the trend of decent fashion and in introducing designs that feature femininity as an equivalent concept of attraction. Obviously, the new fashion styles have served the Arab woman’s taste, as it showed that femininity doesn’t mean the revelation of body charms and body details.

Professor Reina Lewis from London College of Fashion (LCF) implemented many researches in this field and discovered that decent designs were increasingly spreading among the young generation regardless of factors like religion, ethnicity, and nationality.

Lewis also found that young ladies are imposing their styles in the market, like the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, who insisted from the beginning on waiving seduction and choosing a classic elegant style, including her royal wedding dress and attires she chose in her official appearances.

Designers say that the success and self-esteem of the modern women, who don’t feel that they need to reveal their body charms to fulfill their ambitions, has encouraged them on adopting this style in their lines. They add that while women in the past used to wear revealing attires to feel appreciated and attractive, the new generation insists on choosing comfortable and flexible clothes to wear.