It’s not every year that your birthday falls on a Saturday and what better way to spend it than attending a dazzling fashion runway show in the City of Lights. The second edition of Alger Fashion Week 2016 took place at the Hotel Normandy in Paris in the chic Place Vendôme district. Nawel Nedjari created Alger Fashion Week in 2011 to promote Algerian fashion and culture in France and Algeria. The first edition was held in Lyon last April and the concept is growing quickly with the third edition slated to be held in April in Algeria.
Four designers presented their creations at Alger Fashion Week 2016. Nawel has plans to further expand Alger Fashion Week’s reach and share Algerian fashion with the world through collaborations with other experts in the fashion industry as well as cultural and diplomatic institutes.
Thus far, I have had limited travel experiences in North Africa (with extensive travel only to Tunisia years ago). As a first experience of Algerian culture, the Alger Fashion Week 2016 event provided an entree into more than just the world of Algerian fashion. The attendees included Algerian cultural icons and leading of social activists, including Djouhra Abouda who founded the Berber Kabyle singing group DjurDjura.
In addition to presentations on regional fashion traditions, social leaders addressed the audience to highlight the work of organizations that promote women’s rights and youth empowerment. The MC even convinced pop artist Amel Wahbi to take the mike for an impromptu performance and the show’s official sponsor Laouz provided traditional canapes and these sublime desserts.
Alger Fashion Week 2016 Show
Fella Styliste: Presented a mix of traditional and fusion outfits, including ornate velvet jackets paired with silky harem pants.
Ma-Oui Créations: Presented what I thought was a modern collection (lots of fitted pants and skirts) that incorporated traditional embroidery. It was also the only collection that included menswear.
Sihem Benamer Creations: Presented a collection of belted dresses from the Oran region in Algeria, which were studded with semi-precious stones.
Salimariage: Presented what I thought was the most colorful collection. I am usually not a big fan of yellow dresses, but the hooded yellow dress with the red and black strips was awe-inspiring!