Skip to main content

More wraith than waif: Saudi fashion show startles with eerie drone catwalk

Saudi runway show forgoes human models to respect strict gender segregation rules in kingdom during holy month of Ramadan
Videos floating around the internet show upscale gowns drifting across the air in Saudi Arabia, propelled by drones (Screenshot)

Was it apparel or an apparition? Haunting images of an undated Dolce & Gabbana show in Saudi Arabia have left social media users puzzled as models were replaced by drones who floated garments down the runway.

Translation: This reminds me of a flying ghoul, turns out it is a fashion show in Saudi Arabia.

While Saudi Arabia hosted its first Fashion Week in April, with real human women modelled clothing in front of female-only audiences, the decision to use drones to display the ghostly garments in front a mixed-gender crowd was reportedly influenced by the show occuring during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Social media users reacted with amusement at the flyaway dresses, more reminiscent of Casper the friendly ghost than Cara Delevingne.

Translation: Saudi fashion show, for those who have money but no brains

Translation: Don’t be scared, this is just like a movie about flying evil spirits.

Representatives for Dolce & Gabbana did not respond to a request for comment on this story by publication time.

However, this is not the first time the fashion house has used drones on the runway, as it displayed a new collection of handbags in February which flew off the catwalk as well as - presumably - the shelves.

A screenshot on Dolce & Gabbana's website touting tote-toting drones
It remains to be seen if the aerial mannequins will become a recurrent practice to circumvent Saudi Arabia’s restrictive rules for women in public spaces, just as the kingdom has begun loosening restrictions on female driving.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.