I missed day 2 of fashion forward because my energy level was low and I totally regret it. There were some great talks I had been looking forward to and I can’t stop kicking myself for not mustering up the energy to get up. I however, made up for it today because I had a blast.

Can I just say how impressed I am with the organizers of fashion forward? Everything is so organized and the shows start on time, with the exception of the long queues in front of the hall before the shows, everything is perfect. Two days before fashion forward, I met the founder of fashion forward Bong Guerrero and I was impressed by his dedication to quality and how honest and vocal he was about the challenges/triumphs of the region’s fashion industry. I’m glad to see that this event didn’t fall below expectation.

Today I also met the Hia Magazine Dubai team and it was such a pleasure as I have assisted in styling a few editorials that were shot in Paris. And I also met some gorgeous creatives from London, everyone is so nice here, I love it! However, the best thing about today were the two shows I attended, that is Kage and Essa. I am going to review each show below.

Cynthia of HIA Magazine
HIA Magazine (middle)
By Ruhena of Asia Glam


Kage oozes cool girl, it is the quintessential IT girl brand, think Selena from gossip girl. I was struck immediately the first piece walked the runway and I understood the brand immediately, the message was clear and the D.N.A was resounding.  Since its inception Kage has consistently injected the effortlessly chic vibe in its collection and this was no exception. It’s not the most conceptual or creative designer brand but it is definitely very commercial. If I was a buyer, I’ll have my eyes on most of the pieces.

The collection consisted of solid colors and printed fabrics that were modern, young and eye catching. The simple silhouettes allowed the perfect construction and quality fabrics do all the talking, I wish I can touch the fabrics. Overall this was a very good presentation, I loved it! and the designers walking the runway were too adorable.


The Essa show was phenomenal and ground breaking, it definitely excited me. The show was definitely major because the venue was packed and the line to get in was ridiculous but it was worth it. After getting seated, I began to wonder about the popularity of the show but as the first look walked down the runway, it all made sense. The sheer paneled V-neck dress got a round of applause which was interesting for a first look, and as the models showcased one piece after the other, another surprise was sent out, a male model! in androgynous Essa jacket and pants looking like a religious warrior. It was daring


Essa sent down a collection of empowering strong pieces and also feminine soft ones. If Marie Antoinette was a millennial kid, this would be her wardrobe. It was full of juxtapositions, transitioning from uber sensual cool girl, the feminist, the ethereal young queen to the androgynous man/woman. This was hands down the show of the season and the reactions of the viewers who couldn’t help but sway to the tune of electro pop music in the background and still remain connected to the creations that were gracing the runway definitely proved that.

It was an almost faultless runway show with the exception of the skirts that appeared too tight for the models as they were having difficulties walking in them. Essa also provided another cute designer moment, as the head designer too his final bow with a cool pair of sneakers and Whitney Houston blasting in the background.

Reine Michi

Contact Reine at Grace and Garbo via her email address if you have an event or show you would like her to blog about.



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