In February this year, designer Mona Al Mansouri made international news with one of her gowns at the Bride Show in Abu Dhabi. Its motifs of marine life were intended as a representation of Bu Tinah Island, one of the 28 Finalists in the New7Wonders of Nature. Such was the reaction that the decision has been made to exhibit the dress at Abu Dhabi airport as a landmark.
Mona Al Mansouri is a self-taught designer who gave up her engineering and geology studies to become a dedicated follower and creator of fashion. Her career choice paid off when this year when she was named the “most influential designer in the Middle East” by the United Arab Emirates version of the French fashion magazine L’Officiel.
With her 20-strong team of Filipino, Indian and Pakistani tailors she produces a range of haute couture designs, but she also regards fashion as a potential vehicle for making statements about everything from the environment to Middle East politics. “I know now that fashion is cultural,” she told The National. “It is cultural for the people, so I said, ‘Why not use this catwalk to make messages for the world about many things?'”