Fashion talks for the World Cup with Jelena Jakovljevic Bin Drai

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Fashion talks for the World Cup with Jelena Jakovljevic Bin Drai

We look at the most important World Cup matters...after the horses

By Arti Dani - Sub Editor/reporter (

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Published: Wed 25 Mar 2015, 8:57 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:29 PM

When it comes to the World Cup, dressing standards are very high; so we decided to let Dubai-based designer Jelena Jakovljevic Bin Drai give her view on how to  look your best during the big day. An entrepreneur, model, fashion designer and a mother, Jelena’s design label - Jelena by Jelena J. Bin Drai transcends both cultures – East and West. She has worked alongside some of the world’s greatest fashion designers and photographers, with first-hand experience of fittings, exquisite textiles and craftsmanship. Here she tells us how to dress for the upcoming World Cup:


Based on your experience in the fashion industry, what do you feel are the trends to follow at this World Cup?

The World Cup is one of the most anticipated events in Dubai’s social calendar and is the perfect opportunity to dress up. I tend not to follow specific trends but instead choose pieces that are timeless and comfortable with a hint of sexiness. By following this advice you can fit in with the World Cup dress code and still feel glamorous.


What are the in colours this season?

This season I love bold colours – my SS15 ready-to-wear collection is full of bright, fun shades including wild berry, fuchsia, orange, pomegranate and pistachio.


Stylish designer wear or vintage clothes- what would your pick be for the races?

I prefer a combination of both but it all depends on your personality and choosing something that represents who you are.


Keeping the weather in mind, what would your suggestions be for those dressing up for a day at the races?

As summer is approaching and the weather is warming up, my advice would be to go for an outfit that’s both stylish and comfortable, especially as you will be wearing it all day. When it comes to make-up, less is more and I would suggest just wearing enough to complement your natural beauty, as you want to stay looking fresh all day.


What are the best accessories to flaunt at the World Cup?

Hats and fascinators are great accessories to elevate your race day ensemble and the perfect opportunity to try a more dramatic look. Statement jewellery, shoes and bags all add to your overall silhouette and are great ways to add colour or embellishment to a simple outfit, ensuring you stand out for the right reasons.


What kind of designer wear can men explore during the big day?

In my opinion, a great fitting suit is the best choice for men attending the races, and you can’t go wrong with classic black or grey to achieve a handsome, timeless look. To add a bit of fun, you could always co-ordinate a small detail with your partner – perhaps a matching colour or pattern.


Comfort versus style: How would you recommend people dress for the day out at the races.

The Dubai World Cup is the ideal event to wear your most special outfit and dress to impress; however it’s a long day and you want to be comfortable throughout. I believe that comfort and style can certainly go together and my ready-to-wear collection is full of timeless, ladylike dresses and separates that work for many different occasions. The key is to pick a dress that suits your body shape – when a woman discovers the perfect dress her natural beauty shines through.


Should women opt for hats and fascinators first and then dress up accordingly or is it the other way round?

I think it really depends but you must consider the overall look you wish to achieve – the colour of your outfit, bag and shoes should all complement each other.  Remember that comfort and confidence is key – follow your heart and you can’t go wrong! 



Style tips from the experts

With the worldCup coming up, many of you will be worried about your headwear. BurJuman’s annual International Millinery Exhibition which runs until March 27, features new and returning award-winning international milliners.

Visitors can take their pick from more than 500 glamorous designs from internationally-acclaimed milliners such as Philip Wright – milliner to celebrities and royalty, Master Milliner of Styria – Christine Rohr and Dubai-based British milliner Lucy Dantec-Hodges – well-known for her commissioned work for the classic movie Four Weddings and a Funeral. Also returning are popular Belgian milliner Christiane Edmondson and Asim-Ita Kingsley from Nigeria.

 Here we get tips from Philip and Asim.


Philip Wright

1. A small hat that has a big ‘wow’ factor can be as eye catching as a large brim but will not hide the face nor become a hindrance later into the evening...

2. Guys... stand out like the girls and wear a stylish hat especially if your partner for the evening has made the effort.


Asim-Ita Kingsley

1. Consider purchasing the head piece first before your outfit to avoid the inevitable panic of trying to find one that matches the outfit and doesn’t suit.

2. Get attracted to the headpiece - do not listen to the rules about face shape. Ensure you try lots on until you find what suits and also what you feel comfortable wearing.

3. Avoid wearing the same colour from head to toe. If you are planning to wear a plain single-coloured outfit, ensure you coordinate with contrast colours or patterns.

4. Avoid wearing a hat on the back of your head. Ensure it is tilted over the brow, or wear it straight depending on how it suits, and always ensure the label is at the back of your head.


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