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The Exhibition Season is upon us

exhibition pic_stunning indian clothes_envoguebyaajk_pic by Cinzia Sala

The En Vogue by AAJK Exhibition (Photo Credit – Cinzia Sala)

Time to go Shopping!!!

It’s almost the end of the year, and I can’t believe how fast the time’s gone by!!! ¬†Even though a lot of festivals are over, we’re still not quite done with them just yet! ūüôā¬†There’s still Diwali, Christmas and New Year’s to go!

For those of you, who have been living in Dubai for a while now, you must know that September onwards, is THE EXHIBITION SEASON! ¬†Everywhere that you look, you’ll be inundated with ads, for different exhibitions, from DIVAlicious, to En Vogue by AAJK to the Dubai Winter Festival.

Due to this reason, I decided to come up with a guide, to help people understand how to navigate (and survive) an exhibition!

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¬†Guide to Navigating through an Exhibition!!! ūüôā

 

 

 

1) Make sure you stay hydrated

Even though the summer months are technically over, sometimes the air conditioning isn’t perfect in the exhibition halls. ¬†Especially when your stopping to look at something, then talk to the designer, and then move on to another, and then another stall.

Gorgeous clothes displayed at the En Vogue by AAJK exhibition

(Image courtesy of Cinzia Sala)

You don’t want to get dehydrated discovering all the amazing merchandise, that the exhibitions have to offer! ¬†Most of the exhibitions will have free water for shoppers, and sometimes there’s even free catering (if you’re lucky!) ¬†And more often than not, if nothing else prevails, there will be a concession stand, where you can buy water and snacks!

ring

Gorgeous ring I discovered from the Atelier Mon Stall

2) Do your Due Diligence on whose exhibiting 

I know that this one’s a bit harder, then just MAKE SURE YOU DRINK WATER, but just as important! ¬†Especially if you don’t have too much time to spare at the exhibition.

You want to know exactly which designers are exhibiting, so you can just go straight to that particular stand, and then get out.  If you do like an outfit, it might not fit perfectly, so be prepared, for some additional time going into taking measurements, as well as exchanging other details.

Nowadays it’s much easier to find out, due to social media, which designers are exhibiting. ¬†So even though you may not know exactly what collection the designers will be exhibiting, you’ll definitely know which designers will be at the exhibition.

The designers, who were at the last En Vogue by AAJK Exhibition

(Image courtesy of En Vogue by AAJK)

3) The Celebrity Factor

Now this is the most exciting and enticing thing about these exhibitions!!! Aside from introducing emerging designers from India, Pakistan and the UAE, there are a lot of famous Bollywood stars who have now become designers, as well as a lot of top couture designers showcasing their new collections.

Poonam Dhilon, representing her new venture in Dubai, Poonam's Pop Up

Poonam Dhilon, Bollywood actress and the brains behind Poonam’s Pop Up Store (Image¬†courtesy of www.masala.com)

Padmini Kolhapure, representing her brand, Padmasita, at En Vogue by AAJK, September 2016

Padmini Kolhapur, Bollywood actress and the brains behind Padmasita (Image courtesy of www.masala.com)

Designers Masaba Gupta & Anushree Reddy, at the the glamorous high tea, at En Vogue by AAJK, September 2016.

Famous designers, Masaba Gupta and Anushree Reddy (Image courtesy of www.masala.com)

There are also additional elements to the exhibitions, to set them apart from their competitors.  Such as a fashion show the night before the exhibition, high teas with famous bloggers, or the chance to interact one on one with some of the most influential and revered designers.

Famous Dubai blogger, Farhana Bodi

Famous Dubai Blogger, Farhana Bodi, hosted an exclusive high tea at the En Vogue by AAJK exhibition (Image courtesy of www.instagram.com/farhanabodi/)

4) Make Efficient use of your time

Even if you plan on just going to¬†an exhibition for an hour, plan ahead!¬† Once you have a list of the designers, and know if there’s a fashion show, or a private event, you’ll know how to split your time in advance.

Sometimes the exhibitions will be giving free massages, or makeovers, or food.  So make sure you know where you want to spend the majority of your time.

5) Dress nicely but comfortably  

Inevitably at these exhibitions, there will be press.  So if you do plan to spend a whole day out, wear something comfortable but fashionable, with comfy shoes.

Jeans and t-shirts or a shirt will do, however being in¬†Dubai though, some people will be completely over dressed as if they’re going to a wedding. So wear something that you, personally would be comfortable in. ¬†Just in case¬†you get caught on video or photographed!

6) Try to come early 

If you are in the market for a specific item by a designer or brand, try to come as early as you possibly can. ¬†Most people tend to think, that if the exhibitions are on till 8,9 then even if you come by 7 that’s fine. ¬†It’s definitely technically true, that they will be open till that point in time, but most of the good clothes will definitely be gone by then.

Most designers, will only have 1 piece of a particularly style and colour, so if you want to be able to view their entire collection in full, come early!

7) Bring Cash (otherwise be prepared for a 4% additional charge on your credit card)

Even though some stalls, will have items from 30 DHS upwards, some can go up to 2-3,000 DHS. ¬†If you don’t mind getting charged an additional 4 % on top of the final total, then it’s fine to use your credit card, otherwise, remember to carry cash on you.

Exhibition Culture

Exhibitions in Dubai, and in the UAE generally, have become more prevalent in the last 10 years.  Prior to that, people would exhibit their clothes and wares, in their homes and invite people to attend.  However, nowadays to even do that you require a licence!

The other plus point to exhibitions is that, consumers get access to clothes and items, not just from the UAE, but also from the Indian and Pakistani subcontinent. So you don’t have to travel to have access to particular brands or items.

Another advantage is, that haute couture designers, will design a particular capsule collection for this particular region, which will not be stocked in any stores.  So you as a consumer, have access to a line that no one else has seen.

You also have a chance to meet the designers, behind the haute couture brands!!! (To me this is the most exciting thing!) If you purchased the clothes, from the stores that they’re stocked at, you wouldn’t have the same opportunity.

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