In a four-part series, MOJEH highlights four women who share their love for the designers that feed their imaginations and fill their wardrobes…
In her role as designer relations director of Fashion Forward, Dubai’s premier platform for emerging designers from across the region, Marcela Danielova knows the importance of creative expression in one’s personal style.
Her day-to-day wardrobe features various regional labels, each fronted by strong independent women, whom she admires respectively. “Some of my staple go-to labels are regional brands,” says the 41-year-old Czech. “I really like the simplicity of Bouguessa and Lama Jouni as well as the coolness of Arwa Al Banawi.”
Marcela has slowly shaped the industry’s landscape, her work in supporting local budding talent immeasurable, and although she is the first to advocate supporting anything regional, it is in personal favourite and purveyor of effortless cool Isabel Marant that Marcela’s carefree spirit comes to life. “Back in 1994 when I used to live and work as a model in Paris. That was when I first became aware of the brand,” she explains. “I remember they originally started with knitwear and then eventually expanded their offering.”
It is the allure of Isabel’s relaxed Parisian aesthetic that draws Marcela to the label, and its mix between masculine femininity and a rock ‘n’ roll edge is something that she sees in herself.
“A typical look for me is what I like to call French chic. It’s a uniform of jeans, shirt, jacket. That’s my base,” she says. “I love jackets, all kinds of them, from leather to smoking. I also like to wear maxi pants with men’s shirts and miniskirts with oversized tops or jackets.”
Like Isabel, she focuses on key clothing pieces every woman needs in her wardrobe: staples that the modern and cool woman of today should not live without. Her style fluctuates depending on how she feels, the change of season and her body. And at times when she is lost for inspiration Ines de la Fressange or Loulou de la Falaise are the women she looks up to.
“I love the aesthetic of Isabel Marant, but not everything is for me,” she says of the brand. “The Etoile collection is too young. I prefer the main line, especially the evening dresses, jackets and tops. My first ever piece was actually a black mid-length dress with gathered shoulders, it fitted all occasions and was just perfect. I wore it tirelessly.”
And it definitely wasn’t her last piece. Marcela also owns a couple from Isabel’s earlier collections, as well as quite a few from her collaboration with H&M from 2013, including a pair of leather pants and oversized sweater that according to her, “she never gets to wear in Dubai.”
Now, take a look at a list of celebrities that fronted these six Middle Eastern designers so far.
- Words by Dina Kabbani