Travel: SATC2 and the Middle East Fashions

in Fashion, Fashion Week, Travel

One of my favorite moments from the SATC2 movie was when the Arab women disrobed their black abayas and revealed their shared love for fashion.  Apparently, fashion, like love is an international language.   And in the Middle East, Manolo Blahnik, Gucci and Versace roll off their Middle Easterner’s tongues just as easily as they do on the set of SATC!

So much of the movie reminded me of my recent trip to Dubai during Dubai Fashion Week (okay maybe not the $20,000 a night hotel) but witnessing the lavish lifestyles, riding and balancing on camels, whipping through the endless sand dunes in a dune buggy, shopping through street markets all brought back fabulous memories.

Much like the movie SATC2, my trip to Dubai was focused on the fashion.  I was lucky enough to have been invited through a friend to attend all of Dubai Fashion Week’s runway shows, sit front row and enjoy the VIP experience.  Here I’ll share some photos that I took during Dubai Fashion Week ’08.

As you can see, abayas are pretty standard black cloaks.  They can look a little scary at first if you’re not used to them.  Personally, I couldn’t get over how it looked like everyone was seemingly floating around town (men wear all white, women wear all black). 

The exotic runway shows that featured abayas oftentimes felt as if you were seeing the same thing over and over but upon closer inspection it was all in the details (check out the trims and embellishment).  I learned to appreciate how the runways were really pushing the envelope as far as moving forward from the traditional, look. And I had to try one on for size…

You’ll notice that the runway shows often featured Eastern European models as locals are too conservative to model and have their bodies out on display.  The below pictures showcase some of the Arab fashions one would wear underneath the abaya. (Can someone say “I Dream of Jeannie?”) You can see why Dubai Fashion Week still stands out in my memory.  The experience was unlike any other fashion show I had ever seen…

Whereas less is more in the States, more is definitely more in the Middle East!

Turbans and head scarves are still very much part of the Middle East fashion as evidenced on the runways (and on SATC2)

turbanI think one of the reasons SATC2 has received such negative reviews is because many couldn’t relate to the Middle East setting, missed NY and therefore didn’t leave with the same thrill.  The Middle East may be a glamourous escape but a girl can only take so many head scarves, harem pants and maxi dresses before she starts longing for Carrie’s silly NY tutu.  The 2nd movie definitely lacked in inspirational fashions if only because they were a bit too exotic.  I found that Vogue’s photo shoot featuring their imagined scenes between Mr. Big and Carrie resulted in more awe-inspiring fashion moments .  See the pictures below (photos taken by Annie Leibovitz) and let me know your thoughts!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

LittleWelshGirl June 13, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Wow, loving the middle east fashions. It’s wierd how different their fashion is from ours, quite refreshing to find people revelling in their own sense of style completely different from western fashion!

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fabgab June 13, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Yea, my eyes were popping out of my head as I tried to keep my composure while sitting front row off the runways. What did you think of SATC2?

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