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Dubai: Fashion Forward FFWD in a flash

by Sanne
Fashion Forward Dubai
Lights! Camera! Action!

/I was invited to Fashion Forward and I received a complimentary media pass //

Last weekend, I was at Fashion Forward (FFWD) in Dubai. The 3-day event is packed with runway shows, presentations and fashion talks, providing a unique platform for regional designers to show off their work, and for the local fashion crowd to network and mingle.

My original intention was to go on Friday and Saturday, but after an activity-packed Friday, I was too exhausted to go the following day.

Fashion Forward took place in Dubai’s new design district, D3, which is where you’ll find everything fashion related in the city. There was also food vendors and coffee stalls so you could refuel between the shows. Large screens were announcing the upcoming events, and hardcopies of the full program were available at the entrance.

Pepsi had a bar with free, chilled Pepsis. It was really hot that day, so I soon became a regular. Samsung was the main sponsor of the event, so they also had a designated area. They didn’t offer free phones, but you could try their new VR glasses, which was cool.

The most exciting was of course to see the shows. In addition to the runway shows, there were also presentations, which were a more casual kind of shows. At the presentations, the models would sometimes stay after the show so you could take photos.

After sunset Dubai’s fashionistas really came out to play, and the lines for the shows just got longer and longer. If you didn’t know better, you could easily mistake the show entrance area for a very fancy nightclub.

People in Dubai generally dress nicely, but it’s usually the extravagant, gold-and-glitter style that dominates, most preferably with as many visible designer logos as possible. Though at Fashion Forward, it was clear that Dubai style goes far beyond the latest Chanel bag. At least a subset of Dubai’s population has a very distinct, individual sense of style, and they aren’t afraid to go all in. You would be amazed to see how much personality you can load into an outfit.

If you’re planning on attending Fashion Forward next time, which is in April 2017, here’s some of my observations and recommendations:

For the shows, there are 3 lines outside: One for VIPs, one for media and one for the general public. Make sure you’re in the right line.

Front Row and Second Row are for people with Front Row and Second Row passes only. Though if there are empty seats, they’ll let ordinary visitors come forward.

You can’t bring beverages or food to the shows, so leave your Pepsi outside.

The entire Fashion Forward area is like one big fashion show and people are flashing the most jaw dropping outfits, so to blend in, you have to stand out.

I had a media pass for FFWD. Ordinary tickets were 200 AED for a 3-day pass. 

A lot of the presentations and the shows takes place at the same time, so plan ahead and familiarize yourself with the program. Admission to the shows is on a first come, first served basis. Even though I think they let everybody in at the shows I went to see, it’s a good idea to line up in advance, so there’s a better chance you’ll get a nice seat. For the biggest designers, people started lining up more than 30 minutes in advance.     


For more info, visit Fashion Forward’s website

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