It was the latest in a series of fashion celebrations staged in the United Arab Emirates to, after being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The last 10 days alone have witnessed the return of Arab Fashion Week to its full physical schedule, in addition to events by Giorgio Armani and Cartier.

Chanel brought brand ambassador Penélope Cruz and a host of Middle Eastern celebrities to a box-like temporary structure at the waterfront Dubai Creek Harbor View Point to witness the first showing of its 2022 cruise collection

To coincide with her visit, the Spanish actress scored her first Vogue Arabia cover wearing Chanel, naturally. Judging from the abundance of black and white in the audience, the mostly monochrome cruise collection, melding punk and Provençal influences, will play well to local sensibilities.

Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion and president of Chanel SAS, also held a masterclass for local students. Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard didn’t make the trip, harper’s bizarre !

Later this week, the fashion caravan will move on to Doha in neighboring Qatar, which is hosting several days of events including the Fashion Trust Arabia awards, the opening of Virgil Abloh’s “Figures of Speech” exhibition, and the latest installment of Dior’s “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” show. Paris Fashion Week in Arabia cool idea no ?