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Dubai Series

Lilian Afshar & Haya Maraka

Getting ready for Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's UAE premiere. Dubai

There's no way to put it delicately: we've seen a lot. From Anna Dello Russo's Fashion Month suitcases (make that massive steamer trunks) to Sylvia Mantella's secondary Cher Horowitz-style storage closet and Tina Craig's near-mythical Hermès collection, by now, we're well-acquainted with excess and extravagance. Or so we thought.

It turns out that nothing really rivals Dubai—and we are putting it lightly when we say that all things completely surreal and larger-than-life are indigenous to the UAE. We can see where it would be a little tricky attempting to compete with the level of decadence Dubai brings to the table and can only succinctly describe the whole experience as a Baz Luhrmann production come to life— set in the desert. And so when our friends over at Front Row Mode invited us to visit the week CHANEL Cruise show and the Middle Eastern premiere of Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's, we would have been dense to do anything but jump at the opportunity.

When it came time to get all gussied up for the big premier (which also included joining a panel alongside the inimitable Lynn Yaeger—let’s just say that one required a little liquid courage), we were eager to, well, do as the locals do. With that in mind, Front Row Mode suggested we swing by accessory designer Lilian Afshar and writer Haya Maraka's suite at the Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah before the premiere. We were greeted by Afshar and Maraka at their room's door, clad in fluffy white Waldorf robes, sipping on champagne with strawberries. See what we mean?

After raiding their respective suitcases (chock-full of OTT Balenciaga and Givenchy tees, Olympia Le-Tan and enough Alaïa for all of Paris), we realized we were in the company of some serious fashion gold—and we haven't even touched on their shoe collections. From seafoam CHANEL flip-flops to those strappy smoking section Prada sandals, snakeskin Aquazzura and leopard Charlotte Olympia pumps, we quickly learned that the whole Dubaian more-is-more approach extends to footwear, too. We watched as the girls primped, artfully applying their M.A.C. lipstick and inky black mascara in the mirror before heading out the door and down the hall to the premiere. You know what they say—when in Dubai...

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