An internationally-renowned fashion designer from Morocco showcased 15 designs from her ‘Lost in a dream’ collection - “made especially for Qatar” – at the Arabian fashion show on Wednesday at Mondrian Doha.
“Qatari women are very fashionable and always looking for something new,” Meriam Belkhayat told reporters at a press briefing.
She considers Qatar as “one of the best and interesting markets in the Middle East” for fashion designers.
“A Qatari woman is not afraid to try and bring in things from far (places), and it is not the case for a lot of women,” Belkhayat noted, describing her latest caftan designs as colourful and traditionally handmade with a modern touch – created to suit the taste of Qatari women.
Belkhayat is known as one of the most celebrated caftan designers in Morocco and the region.
Her latest collection was presented at the event as part of Shop Qatar’s Arabian Week, a celebration of fashion, music and design from around the Arab world running until Saturday (January 13).
The Moroccan designer said the Arabian fashion show received positive feedback from the public and on social media, particularly from Qatari and other Arab women. Her first visit and participation in a fashion event in Doha about 1 ½ years ago also achieved the same response.
Shop Qatar, the biggest shopping festival in the country, will also showcase the latest fashion trends from across the Indian subcontinent and internationally at the Bollywood fashion show on January 17 and the International fashion show on January 23, both at Mondrian Doha.
Talent Resources’ events and productions director Rahat Mansour said celebrity designers include Vikram Phandis, Archana Kochar and Manish Malhotra for Bollywood; and Fouad Sarkis, Maria B Alejandro Resta (Spain), Imran Rajput, Thaher Baqer and Imran Abbas (celebrity appearance) for International. Entry is free.
“We have more than 12 international designers participating from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Monaco, Mexico, Spain, and Pakistan, among others,” she added.
Mondrian Doha general manager Axel Gasser lauded Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) for a well-organised Shop Qatar, along with its various activities and events, giving the hotel the opportunity to host the fashion shows.
“It is a huge honour for us, it elevates the level of fashion that you can see in Qatar. Hosting the fashion shows help the hotel to grow larger and get recognition especially here in Qatar,” he pointed out.
The hotel opened 90 days ago at West Bay (behind Lagoona Mall) and it is the first Mondrian hotel in the Middle East, according to Gasser.
In the “current condition in the market,” he said Qatar’s new visa measures boosted the hospitality sector, tapping new markets and attracting many foreign visitors.
“The efforts that QTA is putting into the market are remarkable and we can see the results,” he stressed.
Shop Qatar’s Bollywood Week, which runs from January 14 to 20, will give Qatar residents and visitors a treat of the Indian subcontinent’s vibrant culture and arts across the country.
A dazzling display of saris and lehenga dresses take centre stage at the Bollywood Fashion Show on January 17 at 7pm.
Malls participating in Shop Qatar will host a variety of Bollywood-themed pop-up shops, inviting mall-goers to create and personalise their own embroidered khussa slippers, bangles and more.
A Bollywood concert by Sonu Nigam will be held on January 19 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre from 5pm to 11pm.
The month-long festival also coincides with outdoor carnivals being held at Souq Waqif and Mall of Qatar, giving a variety of choices for families to enjoy the pleasant outdoor weather this winter.
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