The highly anticipated annual event was attended by many of Qatar and the region’s most discerning fashion followers, including Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, Doha Film Institute and Reach out to Asia attended ‘Reach’, who showed her long-standing support for local and international design.
Total attendance was at between 1,100 and 1,200 across the three nights, which was the 17th time that the event had been held.
The fashion show was opened by Sandra Wilkins, VCUQatar’s Chair of Fashion Design, who reminded the students and the audience, that: “The only way to be successful is to work really hard and reach out.”
Wilkins was alluding to the theme of this year’s fashion show, ‘Reach’, which was all about inspiring VCUQatar’s talented students to excel in what is a very competitive industry, and to remind them to ‘reach above and beyond.’
Rami Al Ali, whose collections have been worn by the likes of Beyoncé, Aishwarya Rai, and Diana Haddad, was the guest designer at the show.
Milan-based fashion designer and VCUQatar fashion show jury member Kristina Spirk, who gave a well-received Crossing Boundaries lecture at VCUQatar during the week preceding the fashion show, urged the students to, “Find who you really are, and make this an essence of your development. Who we are is what defines our design and it’s the essence of the story of the creation.”
The fashion show allowed the students to be judged by experienced jury members who have a thorough knowledge of the fashion industry.
The emphasis throughout was one of turning creative concepts into ready-to-wear pieces for the runway, which not only had to be beautiful, but also wearable and above all marketable. Fashion professionals and especially retailers are regularly invited each year to review the collections and concepts and give their expert advice to the students.
The Salam Fashion Award was presented to Mahnoor Ansari. The award includes mentoring in the development and design of two bespoke collections, which will be sold exclusively within a dedicated space in Salam Stores, Doha. Designs by the previous winner, Malia Bennett Henry, are currently on sale at Salam Stores at the Gate Mall.
The W Doha Award went to Saadia Khabab, and the GLAM award went to Mahnoor Ansari for her outstanding creativity in the Tanuvo collection.
VCUQatar’s Golden Needle Award, which goes to the best Senior Collection, was awarded to Saadia Khabab.
Awards also went to students Dania Alqwasmi, Radheya Visperas, Alia Al-Sowaidi, Johana Alim Uddin, Maryam Al-Bouanin, Maryam M. Al-Thani, Rafie Khoshbin, Jennifer Kim, Min Ji Koo, and Raya Al Maghaiseb for their incredible work throughout the year.
The fashion show counts not only on an extremely supportive audience, but is also supported by the W Doha Hotel, Glam magazine, Guerlain, Carolina Herrera, Tajmeel Qatar International Beauty Academy, Makeup District, Bombay Silk Centre, and Sara’s Secrets.