Artist Hatty Pedder shares her latest blog illustrations, inspired by Dubai’s creative scene.
What: B51’s pop-up concept store. Where: FN Designs, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz. When: Monday April 8.
I attended B51’s pop-up concept opening the night before I jetted off to Morocco for some painting inspiration. B51 was launched in 2011 in Egypt, offering a platform for emerging innovative fashion designers to showcase their work. FN Designs was displaying 30 avant-garde designers’ collections over a period of ten days. The brand aims to offer an alternative shopping experience to Dubai’s hipster set by introducing its carefully discovered talents to the region, and moving away from mainstream commercial brands.
When I arrived at the venue, it felt funky, contemporary and edgy: the place was buzzing with models, photographers and style mavens. There was a large fuchsia tree adorned with T-shirts, washing machines showcasing garments, and a wonderful palette of electric colours bursting out everywhere. The accessories were very cool: fabulous sunglasses, hats and jewellery. The vibe was chilled, and I mingled with fellow shoppers as we eagerly sifted through the racks.
Irish expat Ciara O’Shea, account executive at Exposé Communications, kindly walked me through the B51 setup, introducing me to a host of new designers’ collections. I could tell I was going to enjoy inking this event. I approached B51’s Egyptian managing director, Ashraf Saad (who I had already decided to ink when I met him earlier) and chatted to him for a while about how well B51 had been received last year.
I decided that next time I would have to buy a T-shirt by renowned animator Yadoz for my elder daughter, Poppy, who would really appreciate it. I checked the time and reminded myself that I was leaving for Morocco at 5am the next morning, so decided to head home.