The event kicked off Friday afternoon with a fashion show by Atlanta-based Indian designer Sushma Patel. Ms. Patel is a regular participant at CFW, always showing unique East-West fusion collections. Other returning designers included Haya Al Houti (Kuwait), Jamil Khansa (Lebanon), Janerations (Lithuania/USA), Nina Gleyzer (Russia/USA), Sisa Designs by Simone Rodrigues (Brazil/USA) and Andres Aquino. Designers showing for the first time at the prestigious event included Kristin Zimmermann (Germany), Hadi Katra and Edward Arsouni (Lebanon), Autumnlin Atelier (USA), Kostas Gagasoules (Greece/USA), and Suzie Turner (U.K./USA). Alaric Design, a team of two young Russian-American floral designers, presented a selection of exquisite floral concept dresses. Ivelli Couture showed a beautiful line of limited edition scarves. Under the banner Focus Nigeria four prominent Nigerian fashion houses presented delightful collections: House of Jola, Berrys Couture, Reedas and House of Farrah.
One of the highly anticipated hallmarks of CFW is the lineup of top notch performers. This season saw stunning performances from opera singer Christine Reber, who flew in from Germany for the occasion, singer Angeles Dominguez who traveled from Spain and Kaya who came from Malta to perform “Timeless” by noted film composer William Camilleri. Other stellar performances were delivered by singers Era Chorna (Russia/Canada), Cristina Fontanelli, Sarah Elizabeth Charles with pianist Enoch Smith, Jr., Lara Janine with guitarist Dani Tersini, saxophonist Sweet Lew, and pianist Laura Korpa.
A silent auction was held at Couture Fashion Week by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) raising awareness for this deadly disease. Among others, designer Jamil Khansa of Lebanon donated a stunning couture gown.