Dubai commuters fashionably late as models take over the metro

Published January 24th, 2013 - 12:26 GMT
Models took Bloomingdales' Spring and Summer 2013 collection underground (Photo: Zarina Fernandes/ Gulf News)
Models took Bloomingdales' Spring and Summer 2013 collection underground (Photo: Zarina Fernandes/ Gulf News)

Like any other Wednesday, it’s business as usual at the Burj Khalifa-Dubai Mall Metro Station. There’s a steady flow of passengers streaming on and off the trains on either side of the Red Line. But when one train from Rashidiya makes a halt at 1pm, it creates history.

A public announcement goes off, welcoming the 80 invitees on board to the Fashion Express – the first moving train to host a live catwalk in the region. It’s a feat pulled off by the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE) with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Dubai Mall as part of the 2013 Dubai Shopping Festival.

As the non-stop service to Nakheel Harbour and back rolls out, 10 models – seven females and three males – sashay up and down the aisle in single file, passengers wowing them from their seats on either side. Of the train’s five carriages, three are used for the catwalk. The Gold compartment is used as the changing room, the other end-compartment is designated for audio-visual equipment. The models boarded the train at the Rashidiya station earlier and had their hair and make-up done in less than two hours. While there is time for a quick rehearsal, impromptu runs are also done.

The Fashion Express hosts 40 new looks from Bloomingdales’ Spring and Summer 2013 collection. It is done in two parts – day and evening wear. The journey up showcases black-and-whites with sporty chic. The return trip splashes ice-cream hues with cobalt blues and oranges for evening wear. There is lots of lace and graphic prints too.

“Today is an opportunity to preview our new collections,” said Tanya Atkinson, General Manager, Bloomingdales. “We’ve got something for everyone, a mix of designer and contemporary looks.”

For DEPE, it is a perfect fit. “Having a fashion show with a major retailer and showcasing it on board the moving Metro only reinforces Dubai’s lead position when it comes to innovations,” said Laila Suhail, CEO of DEPE.

For RTA, the glitch-free gala is another feather in its cap. Dr Aisha Al Busmait, Director of RTA’s Marketing and Corporate Communication, said nothing was left to chance.


By Sharmila Dhal

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