Iman Pasha

The Doha Diaries: Haute Muse & Matches Fashion Event

For what seems like forever I’ve been banging on about the much-anticipated Haute Muse & Matches Fashion multi-designer event hosted by my boss, Iman Pasha. There have been tears and temper tantrums along the way but we got there in the end. Last weekend Iman, the Matches team and I travelled to Doha with our talented band of designers in order to put on a shopping extravaganza the likes of which has never been seen before in the Middle East. Whilst I won’t pretend to have a clue about ‘sales figures’, from where I stood in my borrowed Louboutin’s the event appeared nothing short of a triumph.

Matches Fashion
Mary Katrantzou, Holly Fulton, Roksanda Ilincic, Jonathan Saunders & Me
Matches Fashion
Dress: Erdem
Bag: Chanel
Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Matches Fashion

Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou, Holly Fulton and Roksanda Ilincic may be some of the biggest names in British Fashion today, but in Doha they are still relatively unknown. Or at least, they were. If the response from guests at the Haute Muse & Matches Fashion event was anything to go by, these 4 are set to take the Middle East by storm. I watched in speechless envy as advance orders were placed and stock flew off the rails and longed for the day that I could casually shop the runway collections.

Matches Fashion
Me & Iman Pasha
Matches Fashion
Roksanda Ilincic
Matches Fashion
Me, Holly & Iman

By the time the evening drew to a close my feet were screaming from the 6 inch Louboutins I had pinched for the occasion and quite frankly, we were all dying for a drink. So Iman, Hind, Dana, the designers and I piled into our waiting cars and headed to dinner at divine French restaurant, L’Entrecote. By this point every one of us was well and truly ready to let our hair down and the evening turned into a a good, old fashioned knees up. Countless bottles of wine later we travelled in extremely rowdy convoy back to the hotel where, in true Fashion style, we continued the party until the early hours in Jonathan’s room.

Matches Fashion
Publicists Hind Damash & Dana Abdelhadi, Iman & Me
Matches Fashion

Tensions may have run high and preparations been fraught with difficulty, but all in all the Haute Muse & Matches Fashion event was an enormous success and more importantly, the trip itself a real laugh. After spending several extremely intense days in each others company I think it’s safe to say that we’d all bonded and lounging by the pool on Sunday all the hassle involved in executing project Doha most definitely seemed worth it.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 2 Comments

The Doha Diaries: Day 1

After weeks and months of careful planning, intercontinental emails, sky high stress levels and endless drama the weekend of the Haute Muse & Matches Fashion finally arrived. On Friday morning Iman and I were up at the crack of dawn and after a minor altercation with an extremely cranky Emirates chauffer and a misguided Starbucks stop, arrived at Heathrow Airport a mere 45 minutes behind schedule. Luckily we had just enough time to fit in a quick snoop around Chanel before locating our designers and commencing the first leg of what would be a very long and exhausting journey. One word of advice, avoid Dubai airport at ALL COSTS! It is huge and very, very confusing. Being the only one of our group travelling in economy I found myself wandering around the airport alone between flights, getting extremely lost in search of the smoking area and accidentally purchasing a £10 tuna sandwhich. But all thoughts of overpriced sarnies where instantly forgotten the second we arrived at our hotel. Sharq Village and Spa is renowned for being the ultimate in not-so-low-key luxury. Think multiple infinity pools, beachfront bars and 5 star cuisine from every corner of the world, not to mention THE most comfortable beds I have ever slept in.

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Sharq Village & Spa Lobby
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Sharq Village & Spa, pool numero uno
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Sharq Village & Spa, beachfront infinity pool

Our first day in Doha was certainly a busy one. With photoshoots for Haute Muse Magazine AND Harpers Bazaar Arabia, inconveniently located at opposite ends of town, there was no time to make use of our hotels legendary Spa facilities.

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behind-the-scenes action
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Dress: Topshop
Bag: Anya Hindmarch
Shoes: Pretty Ballerina
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters
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Iman Wore…
Top & Trousers: Topshop
Bag: Hermes
Sandals: Stella McCartney
Sunglasses: Gucci
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Holly Fulton & Me
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Iman, Me & Mary Katrantzou

Our meticulously planned itinerary went out the window straight after breakfast and come 6pm Iman and I had to make a high speed dash back to the hotel to get dolled up in our fresh-off-the-catwalk finest. Then it was time to head over the La Cigal Hotel’s “Le Crillon” ballroom where our lovely designers would be presenting their collections to the Middle Eastern royalty and their VIP guests. As soon as the clock struck 7pm, our magnificent surroundings were flooded with Burkhas and Birkins and the Haute Muse & Matches Fashion Event commenced.

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Holly, Roksanda & Mary relaxing before the big night!

Once I recover from my long haul night flight back to London, there will be full details on the event itself! But for now, I hope you enjoyed these holiday-esque snaps.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 6 Comments

The Doha Diaries… It’s the final countdown!

It turns out that organising a fabulous, designer extravaganza involving several photo shoots, press conferences and a high-profile private shopping event takes an obscene amount of time, energy and needs to be planned with military precision. Even as an assistant I have, on several occasions felt on the verge of a breakdown and pity the poor souls actually in charge of the project. Still, once we are all safely ensonced in the magnificent surroundings of La Cigal Hotel sipping (non-alcoholic) cocktails and mingling with The Qatari Royal Family I’m sure that the past month’s theatrics will all be long-forgotten. Indeed the past few weeks have been more dramatic than a marathon of The Hills, but with just a few days to go until the Haute Muse & Matches Fashion event itself things are looking very exciting. A selection of the industry’s hottest designers will be accompanying Iman, myself and the lovely Matches team to Doha where they will present their SS11 collections to the Middle Eastern fashion elite in a shopping event like no other. On top of this we will be cramming in photoshoots for Haute Muse Magazine and Harpers Bazaar Arabia not to mention dinners, press appearences, fittings and of course, hair and makeup. Needless to say, succumbing to jet lag will not be an option.

In my previous installments of “The Doha Diaries” I have introduced you to some of the top Fashion names who will be taking part in the event and now I feel it’s time to exclusively reveal our final designer. Remember, you heard it here first…

Roksanda Ilincic

Doha

Roksanda Ilincic graduated from Central Saint Martins (where else?) back in 2000 and since then this ethereal beauty has certainly proved herself to be more than just a pretty face. The Serbian-born designer has been hailed as London’s “Queen of Dresses” with her divine creations winning over a legion of fashionable fans including Thandie Newton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Michelle Obama.

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Roksanda Ilincic AW11

Roksanda’s breathtaking gowns and stunning separates echo the masterful craftsmanship and painstaking attention to detail of Parisian Haute Couture infused with a powerful injection of contemporary cool.

Roksanda Ilincic SS11

Every piece that appears on Roksanda’s runway manages to ooze red carpet glamour and still remain the epitome of elegance. Ilincic’s uncanny knack for combining eye-popping hues with softer shades and unapologetic opulence with tasteful restraint sets her apart from the rest. Given that her breathtaking designs are now stocked on virtually every continent, it is no wonder that Roksanda has been hailed as one of the most promising young designers of our time.

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Roksanda Ilincic AW11

This season I was lucky enough to snag an invitation to Roksanda’s show and I have to say, it was my personal Fashion Week highlight. The rich jewel tones, fluid shapes and luxurious fabrics exuded old school decadence and yet felt powerfully modern.

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Roksanda Ilincic SS11

So at long last we have all designers confirmed, flights booked and I’ve even bought a bikini! The Haute Muse & Matches Fashion A-list, shopping bonanza is shaping up to be one of the hottest events on the international Fashion calendar and on that note, I’d better get packing.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 2 Comments

The Doha Diaries… 2 More Designers revealed!

With less than 2 weeks to go until the Haute Muse Magazine & Matches Fashion multi-designer shopping event, the pressure is well and truly on. Industry insiders everywhere may be breathing a sigh of relief now that fashion week is finally over, but for us there is certainly no time to kick back and relax. In a matter of days I will be heading to Doha with Iman Pasha, the Matches team and a veritable “who’s who” of fabulous designers so needless to say, I can hardly contain my excitement. Getting everyone’s flights booked and schedules straightened out may like childs play but with the designers still tied up in Parisian showrooms and Iman, the lovely Haute Muse girls and myself currently in completely different time zones the simplest things can become a logistical nightmare. However despite these organisational dilemma’s, the event is shaping up to be even bigger than any of us had imagined. Naturally any fashion soiree on this scale will recieve it’s fair share of international press and this designer bonanza will undoubtedly appear in countless blogs and fash mags worldwide as well as on the FRONT PAGE of the Qatari Natinal Newspaper. But that’s not all. The designers will take part in  2 exclusive shoots for Haute Muse Magazine and the Arabian edition of fashion bible, Harpers Bazaar. Any ideas how I how might wangle my way into the frame..?

In my first installment of The Doha Diaries I revealed two of the hotter-than-hot designers who will be taking part in the event. Well, with a mere 12 days to go, I think it’s time to fill you in on a couple more.

Mary Katrantzou

Doha

Since graduating with an MA in fashion from Central Saint Martins (where else!?) back in 2008, Mary Katrantzou has more than proved herself to be one of Fashion’s fastest rising stars. The Greek designer certainly hit the fashion world with a bang.

Mary Katrantzou Doha
Mary Katrantzou SS11

Despite the fact that it consisted of just nine dresses, her debut ready-to-wear collection managed to pick up 15 of the world most coveted stockists including Browns, Joyce and Colette. Since then Mary has continued to wow the critics each season and judging the phenomenal success of her SS and AW11 collections, the best is still to come.

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Mary Katrantzou SS11

Mary was the toast of the town at London Fashion Week last season and in February editors, buyers and serious fashion players once again fell over themselves to get tickets to her show. One look at her stunning designs will confirm just why Mary’s pieces are at the top of every Fashion Editor’s wish list.

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Mary Katrantzou SS11

What I love the most about Mary’s style is that as intricate and exquisitely crafted as her pieces may be, they also truly are ‘ready-to-wear’. Each garment is undeniably a work of art, but at the same time they are covetable and wearable items of clothing, not solely destined to be a beautiful showpiece.

Holly Fulton

The next designer who will be joining us in Doha is another ultra talented youngster who, over the past few years, has catapaulted to fashion stardom. Holly Fulton graduated from The Royal College of Art in 2007 with an MA in Fashion Womenswear. She made her debut in February 2009 and immediately scooped up the Swarovski Emerging Talent Award for Accessories at the British Fashion Awards.

Holly Fulton Doha
Holly Fulton SS11

Since then the Scottish-born designer has simply gone from strength to strength and has been awarded the much-coveted New Generation sponsorship for the past two seasons. Holly’s trademark use of mixed materials, ornate embellishment, statement jewellery and bold colour combinations have quickly made her one of the most in-demand young designers around.

Holly Fulton Doha
Holly Fulton SS11

The care and attention to detail this designer puts into her work is second to none, and this painstaking process has more than paid off with Holly’s mesmerizing pieces being featured in every Fashion publications worth it’s salt and stocked everywhere from London to Hong Kong.

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Holly Fulton SS11

Generally speaking, getting access to designers involves going through a million and one pr’s, sales representatives and assistants but on this project I have been lucky enough to deal with Mary and Holly directly. I hate to disappoint you but I have to say that not all high-flying fashionista’s are drama queens and divas. Holly and Mary have been two of the nicest and most down-to-earth people I have ever encountered so I’m starting to think that my task of looking after the designers in Doha won’t be to taxing after all. Then again, it’s early days yet and one thing I’ve learnt so far is that in Fashion one needs to be prepared for anything and everything to go wrong right when you least expect it!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 7 Comments

Introducing… The Doha Diaries

Fashion Week may be finally drawing to a close in Paris, but if you think it might be time to take a few weeks off then frankly, think again. This is an industry that never sleeps and no sooner had the last models walked the runway at London Fashion Week than we were on to the next project. Over the past 6 months I have been lucky enough to assist Iman Pasha on some pretty incredible projects including the first ever cover shoot for Haute Muse Magazine featuring Olivia Palermo and trunk shows for Erdem, Zagliani and most recently Queen of the New York fashion scene, Diane Von Furstenberg. But as high-profile and organisationally taxing (to put it very mildly) as those projects were, this time Iman Pasha Fashion Consultancy is really pulling out all the stops. We are working with iconic London boutique Matches to organise a 3 day designer bonanza which will take place in Doha, Qatar and be attended by every socialite, fashionista, royal family member and top notch publication in the Middle East and beyond.

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Doha, Qatar

We will be taking 6 internationally renowned designers to Doha where they will attend a cocktail party hosted by the Royal Al-Thani Family, take part in a photo shoot for Haute Muse Magazine and, most importantly, present their SS11 collections to a selection of VIP guests at an ultra exclusive trunk show. Like I said, it’s going to be BIG!

Now, it would just be plain cruel to keep all this excitement to myself! I can confirm that the following hotter-than-hot designers will be taking part in what’s shaping up to be THE fashion event of the year…

Jonathan Saunders

Jonathan Saunders Doha

Jonathan’s career got off to a flying start with the young designer winning the Lancome Colour award immediately after graduating from Central St Martins back in 2002. Since then, Jonathan Saunders has simply gone from strength to strength producing stunning collections that are coveted by fashion editors and shoppers alike.

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Jonathan Saunders SS11

Since showing his first collection in New York back in 2008, Jonathan Saunders has fast become one of THE most in-demand young designers around. Hailed as one of Britain’s most promising fashion talents of the decade, Jonathan’s pieces have featured in every worthwile publication under the sun and sell like hot cakes all over the world. The Scottish born designers trademark prints and contemporary classic style have earned him an army of devotee’s and last year his talent was well and truly recognised when he was shortlisted for the prestigious BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund Award.

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Jonathan Saunders SS11

Jonathan’s SS11 collection was undoubtedly one of the finest around presenting a myriad of saccarine shades, eye-catching brights and abstract floral prints. All I know is that I’m going to be mighty jealous of the VIP shoppers leaving laden with purchases at the end of this event!

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Jonatha Saunders SS11

I think that’s probably just about enough juicy gossip for one post and I should probably get back to actually organising this event instead of blogging about it! I will be revealing the identities of the other designers who will be joining us in Doha very soon and trust me, there’s plenty more were this fabulous few came from.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 4 Comments