Art scene in Dubai

Dubai artist Hatty Pedder on her latest portraits and the city's scene


Where: Splash Fashion Royale
When: Sunday September 23

It’s the morning after the Splash Fashion Royale extravaganza show and my feet are still throbbing. I attended all three shows and flitted backstage too. On arrival I was shown around by Splash’s lovely Natasha D’Souza, who led me to my seat for the first show. Once it started, I was overwhelmed by the dramatic music, theatrical lighting and the surreal styled models as they glided down the catwalk between white pillars
and chandeliers. It all ended with snow descending on us, accompanied by the audience’s volcanic applause.

The drama then really began to happen backstage. Some of the models (there were 65 in total, many flown in specially) were even receiving massages. Sid, a model from Mumbai, was a little concerned about his afro, which had been converted into what looked like Mickey Mouse ears. And next to Sid was a model with a boat in her hair.

I was then introduced to Raza Beig, who was having a very in-depth discussion with choreographer Kevin Oliver about the models. As the final show began, I dashed out to watch, and was just in time to catch Willy Cartier walking down the ramp. He’s beyond humanly beautiful and is the latest hot model, as the face of Givenchy and muse of Jean Paul Gaultier. Backstage he caused quite a sensation.

The front row was awash with elitist style too: the VIP couturiers of Dubai had all come to lend their support. I spotted Butz Fuentes and Micheal Cinco and knew immediately they would be inked (see below). After the last show, everyone rushed to the after-party in the centre of the catwalk: the crowd a true mixture of the beautiful and bizarre.

Next week? Tales from Bloomingdale’s fashion show.
For more of Hatty’s works and blog entries, see

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