Saudi Arabia held its first ever fashion week last week. But photos of the latest fashion from the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom will not flood social media feeds because photograpers were not allowed. Men were also not allowed.
In spite of the absence of men and photographers, it was a noteworthy event, with designers Roberto Cavalli and Jena Paul Gaultier featuring alongside local designers. The inaugural Saudi episode of Arab Fashion Week ran from Apirl 10-14.
There were restrictions on what types of clothes can be exhibited at the Riyadh show — no cleavage, nothing above the knee and nothing too transparent. Organizers were the only ones allowed to take pictures inside the tent and photos have to be cleared by government censors before publication.
The event is one of the new entertainment opportunities opening up recently in the ultra-conservative kingdom. It is one of a number of progressive moves made by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, the kingdom’s de-facto leader, who is hoping to improve the country’s global image and attract foreign investors.