Once again, the Cairo Fashion Festival (CFF) has set the capital ablaze with pure fashion talent, regional guests, and Broadway vibes. The seasonal fashion fiesta celebrated the new round this weekend at its permanent location: Cairo Festival City Mall.
Not only does the weekend set the stage for a very fashionable season, it was also by far the event’s biggest round. From VIP guests to a star-studded audience and top-notch sponsors, CFF7 has set a new standard for local fashion.
It is safe to say that the hosts also added a touch of magic to the night. Actor Samar Morsi, and personal beauty expert Hossam El-Maraghy, walked the audience through the event’s various segments while sporting dazzling outfits courtesy of CFF.
As usual, the event’s program was divided between runway shows and fashion presentations. The Broadway-themed runway saw the latest work of some international brands, two local designers, and grand regional finale.
While brands such as Timberland and Marks and Spencer named the upcoming Fashion Week (FW) season “casual with laidback layering”, local talents declared FW17 “the ultimate season for simplicity”.
Designer Sara El-Razaz brought old-school elegance to the stage with her gold details and elaborate patterns. The designer’s couture collection depended on luxurious fabrics and classic silhouettes to create timeless gowns. The collection’s main star was a cleverly-cut grey dress that was embroidered to flatter any woman.
On the other hand, Marmar Halim brought her new collection right from Los Angeles to the heart of Cairo. The FW17 radiates simplicity and timeless style. With a basic colour pallet and soft fabrics, the collection stands for empowered femininity as Halim managed to mix soft silhouettes with edgy cuts.
As for the runway finale, regionally-acclaimed creator Said Mahrouf graced Egypt with his designs for the very first time. The Moroccan-born designer is an established fashion guru on the regional and international stage.
After launching his new collection at Dubai Fashion Forward last month, Mahrouf took his geometric masterpieces to meet the local audience at CFF7. The collection varied between flowing gowns and smart overalls. While the colours made for a very classic statement, the designs represented truly innovative fashion.
Despite the season’s flair for boxy structures and thick materials, Mahrouf favoured a carefree aesthetic that brilliantly reaches out to a wide range of women, especially those who aim to stand out among the crowd for their elegance and simplicity.
While part of the crowd enjoyed the eloquent details of couture on the runway, another segment was attracted to the practicality of the ready-to-wear garments at the fashion presentations. This season, four local designers and one international brand were chosen to take part in the presentation.
Sherwal started the festivities with a casual collection that made the audience think of nature. From the earthy tones to the green accessories, Sherwal made the crowd daydream about a vacation in Sinai. The collection featured hand-embroidered details and an attractive rainbow of patterns along with loose silhouettes and harem pants.
Meanwhile, May El-Gamel showcased her collection of elaborate gowns to shift the mood. Her satin dresses and polished details created a smooth representation of the event’s share of late-night fashion.
Nezaf Abyad followed with an equally stunning collection. The casual-wear label dazzled the crowd with an edgy collection. The designer’s showstopper was a smart black cape embroidered with gold details. Furthermore, Abyad’s work earned him a fashion grant from CFF’s educational partner, the London College of Fashion.
Meanwhile, Aitch by Habeiba Soliman introduced the label’s very first FW collection on the presentation stage. Soliman introduced pure fashion drama, powered by the season’s ultimate must-have: velvet. While the collection’s main aesthetic was a straightforward statement, each piece represented a particular retro trend.
Femi9 concluded the presentation with a timeless collection of cocktail dresses and classic outfits. The international brand is well-known for its retro vibe and feminine designs. Furthermore, the event’s regional guests, Alice and Fafi Abdelaziz, chose to wear a teal velvet dress and a camel cape from the new collection.
The event also included two major highlights courtesy of Huawei and DHL. While Huawei continued to elaborately link fashion to smart gadgets, DHL organised what could be categorised as the season’s most creative competition.
On the runway, adored actress Amina Khalil dazzled the audience with a bespoke blue suit, inspired by Huawei’s new smart phone. The satin ensemble was designed by Norine Farah to represent the new phone’s design and rich details. The designer’s inspiration was clearly expressed through sequined wings on the blazer’s back.
On the other side, DHL supplied nine well-established local designers with tricky materials and challenged them to turn it into couture designs. The challenge included Ahmed Hamdy, Zak couture, Maison Saedi, Mariem Adel, Esmeralda Radwan, Vivian Moawad, Sara Onsi and Nourine Farah.
Despite the challenge’s difficulty, the designers managed to stay true to their style and design signatures while using the brand’s colours and unconventional materials. While Hamdy showcased a yellow suit, Moawad maintained her draped style and Onsi managed to accessorise her model with both a clutch and aeroplane-shaped earrings.
Ultimately, Farah went home with the prize for her exceptional plastic creation. The designer used one of the brand’s most difficult materials to design a modern gown. With red details and a branded chocker, Farah easily attracted a lot of attention for her ability to link commercial brands with fashion.
The founder commented on the event describing it as another successful night to be added to the platform’s portfolio as the biggest event yet.