Without a doubt, one of my favorite times of the year is the bustle and excitement of Dubai’s Indian fashion exhibition season. Against a backdrop of a year-and-a-half of Covid-era melancholy, government restrictions on gatherings and general malaise, exhibitions were cancelled or far muted from the crowded Numaish, DIVAlicious and SoPritti’s social calendar events to which we’ve been accustomed.
I have the pleasure of both attending and participating in exhibitions – thanks to my mother’s brand “Inaayat by Divya Taimni.“ The night before Numaish, we were filled with a sense of anticipation that I’m sure all exhibitors and event organizers feel as we packed our display rods, gleaming mirrors and velvet hangers alongside suitcases brimming with beautiful suits, exquisite lehengas and priceless Kashmiri shawls.
Questions loomed large: “Will the crowds come?” “Has Dubai revived from Covid-19?” “Is there an appetite to spend on festive fashion?” With Numaish, organized by veteran event-planner Manisha Chhabra, serving as the kickoff to the season all eyes were upon the event to assess the market response.
Surabhi Saxena, a spokesperson from Numaish said, “It was quite a challenge to set up the Numaish Festive Fair, considering traveling restrictions from India as most of our designers and exhibitors fly down to Dubai to display their collections. Numaish has always been an important platform for Indian designers from Lakme Fashion Week and FDCI to debut in the UAE region.”
My mom and I set up the Inaayat stall with bated breath at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, which was teaming with 78 designers for Indian outfits, jewelry and festive home decor. To our joy, the crowds – over 3000 attendees over the two days – burst through the doors even ahead of the 11am official event opening.
“This season has been a great comeback after the pandemic,” reflected Kritika Handa, an avid exhibition shopper. “Exhibitions are like a Fashion Week here in Dubai! It’s so exciting to see international and local artisanal brands come together to showcase the latest trends. I’m now ready to show off my new outfits at Diwali!”
With headliners like Nupur Kanoi, Aartivijay Gupta and Salita Nanda showcasing, the designer selection across Numaish and DIVAlicious appealed to every taste and upcoming occasion – ranging from luxury resort-wear, eye-catching street-style to fusion and traditional wedding festive attire.
Renowned event organizer, Vanita Bhatia celebrated similar success the following weekend at her fashion exhibition, DIVAlicious. “We were pleasantly surprised to see the awaited shoppers literally shop till they dropped! I’m proud to say we had over 5000 shoppers over our 3-day event. DIVAlicious has been known as the biggest exhibition for a decade and we believe there’s always something for everyone.”
I thoroughly echo the sentiment. The beauty of Dubai’s Indian fashion exhibitions is their unique ability to bring together talent and pride in our cultural heritage, yet provide a wide assortment of designers from Delhi, Mumbai, Srinagar, Kolkata and Dubai to offer a variety of traditional to fusion looks that allow Dubai expatriates to express themselves the way they want at upcoming parties and weddings.
The exhibition eco-system truly bolsters our Dubai economy as it impacts everyone from the table and rack-rental “bhaiyas” in Satwa setting up our stands to the five-star hotel ballroom’s staff serving exhibitors-only banquets and housing international designers. Being a part of this community has been a joy and a lot of hard work these past three years and I look forward to many more exhibition seasons in the years to come!
The following weekends’ enjoyed further business from shows such as Glitterati, Riwaaz, Modista. Of-course, we’re all looking forward to the season’s grand finale with Pritti Nanda’s SoPritti on October 16th.
I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the 2021 festive season’s upcoming Fashion Exhibitions! Did you attend any of the fashion exhibitions? Comment what you thought of the events below!
Until next time. Stay tuned on #nikitalyfe 🙂
P.S. A loving remembrance of my dear Sukh Nana Kak. You always read every single one of my blogs and I’ll dearly miss your comments on this one ❤ All my love.