Lebanese fashion designer Robert Abi Nader, along with British wedding designer and planner Sarah Haywood, inaugurating the iWed exhibition at Qatar International Exhibition Center yesterday. Shaival Dalal
The fifth iWED 2012, the region’s premier wedding exhibition and fashion show, opened yesterday with elite fashion icon Robert Abi Nader dubbed ‘The King of Middle Eastern Haute Couture’ inaugurating the event amid glitz and glamour.
Nader opened the expo along with CNN’s wedding expert at the Prince William and Catherine Middleton wedding Sarah Haywood adding a royal touch to the launch of the four-day event headlined by series of fashion shows from renowned brands.
“We are grateful to have Robert Abi Nader as our guest of honour for this year’s expo. After 20 of his exclusive Haute Couture fashion shows worldwide, we are pleased to organise his first Haute Couture fashion show in Qatar, this will give a great start to a great expo this year,” said Georges Saliba, Chief Operating Officer of Qatar Expo, the organisers of iWED2012.
The exclusive Nader fashion show was held at the newly opened Al Gassar Resort last night featuring his new collection as a way to kick off his expansion in the vibrant Qatari market, says Saliba.
Lebanese designer Nader graduated from the prestigious Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne and was chosen by famous designer Yves Saint Laurent to train in his fashion house. Due to his Lebanese roots, he is able to accommodate the Eastern and Western markets catering to each culture, which is one of the hallmarks of his success. Sensational bridal collections dominated by lace and silky chiffon with a classic look and feel abound in the stands of renowned brands such as Vera Wang and Pronovias.
Rania Hatoum, Brand Manager of Pronovias, said classic 60s and 80s are some of the dominant trends in bridal fashion and these along with shoes and other accessories for the bride-to-be are all available in their two outlets at Villaggio and at Lagoona Mall which opened just three weeks ago. Greek boutique Rita Pateroni, a new entrant at the exhibition, offers a unique collection of bridal and cocktail dresses which are more affordable from $300 to $5000.
“We have been in the business for 35 years now and we are looking into the possibility of opening a branch probably at The Pearl Qatar. I’m sure the Qatari market would love our new designs they don’t have here. We have brought something new to the table,” said Pateroni, who along with her daughter designs the gowns herself.
iWED 2012 features around 50 companies specialicing in nuptials from nine countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Turkey and the UAE.
It is a feast to the eyes to see elegant banquet settings presented by hotels and wedding event organisers for dream come true weddings. Being held at the Doha Exhibition Centre until Saturday, from 3pm to 9pm, the expo also features fashion shows seven fashion shows by top name brands. Today is a ladies only day with fashion shows lined up by Ali Beydoun, Al Mothahajiba and Pronovias from 6.30pm to 9pm. Tomorrow will see fashion show by Pronovias followed by Hadi Katra from 7pm to 9pm while headlining on Saturday are Ibrahim Khachans and Al Mothahajiba from 6.30pm to 8pm.
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