Fashion trends to look out for summer

Fashion trends to look out for summer

Monroe & Me's co-founder Georgina Rawa talks about creating a fashion business in Dubai and the trends to look out for this summer.

By Jenna Powell

Published: Sat 17 May 2014, 2:22 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:28 PM

Diverse unique fashion at high street prices and a longing for home is what inspired two British expats to create online boutique Monroe & Me. Co-founder and buying director Georgina Rawa talks to Khaleej Times about creating a fashion business in Dubai and the trends to look out for this summer.

What are the upcoming trends people should look out for this season?

The key trend for the season is the casual bohemian look people know as the ‘festival look’. This is a reoccurring trend that comes with a slight twist each season. This season it is all about layering with crochet laces and matching sets. Both these key trends were seen at American music festival Coachella, which took place last month.

Another trend this season would be monochrome. This is probably the most commercial trend for customers as women love to buy a new ‘little black dress’ each season. Some brands have gone down the sports luxe route with harem pants, striped tops and ‘collegic’ oversized tees. But for a more chic monochrome look, go for a fitted skirt and a classic white blouse. Having a ‘pop of colour’ is also on trend this season. Team outfits with a colourful clutch or statement necklace to stand out from the crowd.

Dubai can get pretty hot. What’s your advice for looking good but still feeling comfortable this summer?

The most important thing is to feel comfortable; there is nothing less attractive than seeing a woman who is uncomfortable with what she is wearing. It is best to go with loose fitting clothes which have a casual drape and are not too clingy or fitted. A playsuit or jumpsuit are good options, or, if you want to be more covered, a maxi dress is the easiest item to wear. I would also recommend layering with a lightweight cardigan or jacket because the air conditioning can get pretty cold indoors.

Is it hard to find unique items in Dubai?

In the Gulf region, it can be hard to find those one-of-a-kind items. In the UK you have more diverse styles and a wider mix of cultures and influences. You can buy vintage and second hand in the thrift stores or buy one-off pieces in local boutiques. In Dubai, unique items come at a premium price. I used to shop in high street stores in the malls here in Dubai but at social events you always find somebody else wearing the same dress or outfit as you, which no woman wants.

What do people in Dubai love in terms of fashion? What are they ordering?

They love anything that’s different. Dubai women love to stand out in the crowd and grab attention. They love bright and bold colours as well as neutral crochet and lace items. People in Dubai love to use clothes as a way express who they are at social events.

Women here love dresses, dresses and more dresses! This is definitely our best-selling category followed by accessories and jewellery. I also think dresses are the easiest type of product to buy online in terms of fit as most women know the type of fit and style of dress that suits them.

Why did you decide to create Monroe & Me?

My business partner Karen Virk (Co-founder & Design Director) and I felt there was a gap in the market in terms of emerging brands and exciting labels at high street prices. We wanted more diverse and ‘limited edition’ collections available in the region which were affordable. We also wanted brands which were not available or stocked in the Middle East. We went live 17th March 2014, so we are a very new online boutique.

Why online?

As we are both from the UK, we already had a tendency to enjoy online shopping. There is a vast array of online shopping companies in the UK and we wanted to offer people here that some convenience. We also know walking around the malls in the summer heat can be exhausting. We thought we could offer a better online shopping solution for people in Dubai than the international online companies could. These companies can charge expensive shipping fees and it can become complicated when you want to return something. -

Monroe & Me are having a pop-up-shop in St Tropez Bistro in Kempinski Hotel (Mall of Emirates) on May 27 from 6pm to 10pm. There will be giveaways and a free goodie bag for every shopper.

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