I’ve been to many fashion shows over several years and rarely have I seen someone (and her team) pull-off such an amazing feat on their first attempt. Hannah Middleton’s 2016 collection gave me a new way to think of swimwear. A Middle Eastern thread ran through the entire event. Some models wore nose rings while others had henna painted hands. Even the names of the suits had Arabic sounding names. The lighting was flawless at certain points on the runway and the models and their makeup were amazing.
Seen Before the Show
Hannah unveiled 30 pieces of her 2016 collection at Granville Island’s Performance Works. Despite the warm sunny weather tempting people to remain outside, the turnout was quite good. Guests mixed, mingled and sipped drinks until the performance hall doors opened at 7:30pm. Quite a few women opted for the complementary henna hand painting. Others posed for photos in front of the media wall.
The raised runway formed the shape of the letter X. A small platform was thoughtfully reserved for Media at the ends of both runways. At 8:30pm the DJ asked everyone to take their seats. The lights dimmed and the show started with a belly dance routine. For a brief moment she stood motionless while she moved her abdominal muscles to the beat of the music! The audience loved the performance. Primed and ready the fashion show began without delay.
The Malakiy’ya Collection
Hailey Afton Porter, also known as Evan Clayton’s runway muse has begun designing jewelry. If you look closely, you’ll notice the models are wearing handmade, body chain jewelry that wonderfully complements Hannah’s swimwear.
This collection was a sophisticated mix of tiny bits of fabric magically held together with intricate lacing. A suit that appeared one way from the front looked different from the side and quite different from the back. It didn’t take long for the audience to begin cheering as certain suits appeared. I was particularly drawn to the Amira and the Rasha.
It’s worth noting the model’s skin tones ranged from creamy white to coco brown to dark chocolate. They ranged in size from petite to pleasingly plump!
I’ve had the opportunity to interview Hannah and feature one of her 2015 suits on my blog.
Click Nakita for the beach shoot and click Laura for the Ring Girl shoot.
At the end of the first collection, Hannah used video clip to introduce herself to the audience. She mentioned she handpicked all the models so they would reflect the diversity of life. For inspiration she drew on her childhood when she and her family lived briefly in Turkey. Also, she was unapologetic about the daring designs meant to grab attention at the pool, beach or boat deck.
The Empire Collection
These pieces looked a more like the traditional two piece bikinis. However crisscross patterns, brightly colored trim and backless designs offered guests a different perspective. I really liked the high waisted and geometrical patterns on the Amoura. However, my favorite was the super sexy, ‘barely there’ Haifa.
Seen After the Show
After the runway show ended I was struck by how comfortable the models were in their swimwear. They easily mixed and mingled with the audience, family and friends. They posed for photos and everyone gradually made their way to the after party at the Sand Bar.
To order a suit of your own, visit Hanna Middleton Swim