Frost Welcomes The Next Breakthrough Designer

The Look Bureau gets insight into the latest Designer Competition to hit the region’s Fashion scene from the woman behind luxury bridal boutique Frost, Dima Khalaf.

As a prequel to the interview, I published a feature on the ethereal aesthetic of the Marchesa line, the international Fashion label Frost has chosen to collaborate with for this competition. There’s absolutely no question why celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Olivia Wilde and Kate Beckinsale have be seen on the red carpet looking glamorous in Marchesa Bridal.

In just 10 days, the Semi-Finals judges for the Frost Bridal Design Competition will get a first look at the bridal sketches submitted by promising fashion designers from across the GCC, all in the running to become the next big thing in bridal.

Once the sketches have been shortlisted, the Finalists will proceed to metamorphosize their creations from a sketchbook design into a haute couture bridal gown. The winning bridal gown will be chosen by Marchesa’s very own Georgina Chapman, and sold at the Frost boutique come Winter.

To all the contestants, I wish you the best of luck! And I’d like to thank Danielle Wilson from the CSPR Group for getting me in on the inside scoop.

FROST is a treasure throve of bridal luxury, but of all the bridal couturiers exclusively showcased at the boutique, what particularly drew you to Marchesa to pioneer this designer competition, aside from the brand’s high acclaim in the international bridal scene?

Choosing Marchesa to be the final judge for our compeition was a no-brainer. It was the easiest decision we made for this competition. I say this because the theme encourages contestants to ‘redefine‘ Vintage Fashion and that is exactly what Marchesa has done through her bridal line; she definitely redefined bridal wear. Her dresses are atypical, unconventional and define a bride’s red carpet moment. They are not for every bride, they are for a specific bride who is seeking an Oscars moment or who wants to make a fashion statement on her big day.

Moreover, the beadwork and embroidery detail that Marchesa uses on her dresses have a ‘new vintage‘ appeal as they combine the timeless and original element of vintage with a new, modern and most advanced appliqué. And as soon as we proposed the competition idea to Marchesa, they were on board and they were as excited as we are to launch it. Bearing in mind how busy September is for all designers around the world, Georgina Chapman was keen on committing to this initiative which we highly appreciate.

Fashion is history repeating itself, it never really goes out of style, but comes back reinvented and labeled as ‘Vintage’. Fashion is very subjective, so what to you is ‘Vintage Redefined’ in this modern age and as a judge for the semi-finals what is your own personal criteria?

Personally, as a judge I will look at creativity, class, attention to detail and finishing of the sample dress which is the most important part. The dress can look all fabulous on paper but the real challenge lies in bringing it to life and translating a mere sketch or “idea” into a reality. The Theme ‘Vintage Redefined‘ to me is bringing the modern factor into a dress inspired by another era. The way I play it in my head is I imagine a bride in the 50’s for example wearing her wedding dress and running through different eras till she reaches us now and  I envision how her dress evolves and is redefined in the process. So I would love to see an avante guard and modern edge on vintage in the submissions. I have received some very interesting submissions so far by the way. Some designers are really and I stress on ‘really‘ talented in this region.

White, whether in diamond, cream or ivory is traditionally the color associated with a bridal gown. Some have been seen in champagne, or pale pink, but visually they don’t appear to alienate tradition much. But would you welcome the inclusion of unorthodox colors in the competition?

The sky is the limit with what each designer sees is in keeping with our ‘Vintage Redefined theme. However, the design has to reflect bridal wear as this is for wedding dresses and extreme colours will not be as appreciated as the colours the bridal fashion industry has been working with for years. The thing about white or lets say the spectrum of white which extends from white to dark ivory and even champagne is that it symbolizes something significant that cannot be achieved through the effect of other colours when it comes to bridal wear.

There is a special sentiment and emotion associated with white dresses and veils that go a long way back representing purity and decency, and as much as Frost has an unconventional approach to bridal wear, we very much value tradition and the essence of this commitment. So I would personally definitely prefer ivory and soft muted tones to other colours for bridal wear. There is something that this big white dress does to me that I can’t explain.  It’s just special and so right.

Budding fashion designers essentially become entrepreneurs in their own right, with passion, determination, and a dress that sells. As a successful entrepreneur, what advice do you have for the many dreamers out there who are keen on making it in the fashion business?

My advice would be not to get greedy no matter what. Some designers find immediate success and they become greedy or too proud. Being modest yet confident and remaining true to your core values even when business is involved will guarantee long lasting success with integrity. Cause integrity along with passion and business sense is the formula for success. Also, having the right team on board is what the business will thrive on. From finance to motivated sales and a customer service team, they all need to be the right people to nourish your business. And finally, know your brand and always have a strategy. Your brand is an identity that needs to be protected, well communicated and strategized.

The business of fashion involves building interpersonal relationships with clients and customers, networking and harmonious partnerships. Eventually one must have the savoir faire to mingle in social circles, so in that regard, do you say that attitude and personality is also an underlying criteria for judging?

Only as much as it is reflected in the design. I believe that each designer’s attitude towards bridal fashion will be reflected in their submission. We won’t be judging characters of designers, instead we will judge their ability to bring their talent into work.

For many aspiring individuals, the opportunity to steal the limelight with their very own creation is a life-changing milestone that deems a promising future. After the competition, how does FROST plan on supporting and sustaining the growth of the chosen fashion designer?

FROST will provide the winning designer with an opportunity to be stocked alongside legendary names such as Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Marchesa, Christos and more, which we stock exclusively at our boutique. We will stock a Limited Edition collection for the winner, which we will work on with the designer closely. This of course will pave the way to a long term business partnership with the designer, which will ensure our continuous support in marketing and selling his or her designs in our boutique.

According to The Global Language Monitor, Dubai (27) and Abu Dhabi (42) are ranked among the Top Global Fashion Capitals of 2011. Do you anticipate that competitions such as these in collaboration with well-renowned international brands, will keep GCC countries on the map?

Definitely! And we are loving every bit of the great returns this competition is yielding so far which range from encouraging local talent to interact within the community we live and work in, to creating an interesting edge to bridal fashion in the region, and taking part in Dubai’s continuously interesting fashion scene.

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If you are a bride-to-be, the door is open, so come in and feast your eyes on the luxurious bridal gowns available at Frost and you might find the perfect wedding dress for when you say ‘I do‘. You may also log on to the website to get a preview of the entire Bridal collection online.

And if you’ve still got time, the one-of-a-kind bridal creation by the Next Breakthrough Designer could be yours!

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