Saudi Arabian Fashion Show Uses Drones Instead Of Female Models

by : UNILAD on : 08 Jun 2018 16:34

A fashion show in Saudi Arabia had to resort to using drones at an all-male fashion show because no female models were allowed to participate.


The event took place at the Jeddah Hilton where organisers wanted to proudly display their ‘different approach’ to showing the latest in women’s fashion, however, the attempt clearly backfired.

The show caught flack on social as it was an example of the country’s archaic laws concerning women’s rights. Despite it being a fashion show for women’s clothing, it was a male only audience.

Because of the conservative rules and traditions in the Middle East, the show organisers replaced actual female models with flying drones, but the event was subjected to mockery and disdain online.


Many compared the unconventional replacements and its ‘flying ghosts’ to something out of a budget horror film, one person described the show as being more in line with ‘a ghost film’.

A spokesperson for the event told CNN the show takes place annually during Ramadan – a time of the year when Muslims across the world fast from sunup till sundown for 29-30 days. Last year the fashion exhibition used mannequins, but this year they wanted ‘to bring a change’ to the show.

People soon flocked to social media to mock the organisers failed attempt.

One person wrote:

I’m dying at this fashion show in Saudi… they weren’t allowed female models.

Someone else noticed how:


It’s interesting reading reactions to the footage of the #Saudi fashion show where dresses are flown around the room by drones. Most seem to think it’s hilarious. It seems to me more like #women being relegated to the point of being erased altogether.

Yet, despite the considerable issue of rights for women, some people couldn’t help but see the funny side to this bizarre ‘fashion show’s’ attempt to appease a conservative male audience.

One person admitted:

I know in theory that Saudi fashion show video I RTed isn’t funny considering what it means for the women of Saudi Arabia, but I’m sorry I cannot breathe at those ghost dresses flapping around.

To their credit, the organisers from the region were critical of the show themselves.

Speaking to CNN, Alia Khan, chairwoman of the Islamic Fashion & Design Council in the United Arab Emirates, said:

It’s great to think out of the box. They were trying to do something different and fashion is such a creative space. However, this was not really something I would encourage or would like to see again.

When you see empty clothes flying in the air, it’s just unappealing and not mesmerizing or beautiful. There wasn’t much to make me feel enticed to try that outfit.

You lose the shape; the dress is just hanging on the drone.

Despite their attempts to move with the times, the country is in the midst of balancing progress while still holding on to ‘traditional’ values – the kind which holds Saudi Arabia back.


It was only in March 2017 a ban was lifted on women travelling without a man’s permission, and this week the first Saudi women were getting their driver’s licenses as the government prepared to lift its ban on female drivers.

Hopefully the footage from this fashion disaster helps drive further change – it certainly shouldn’t be repeated.

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Topics: Fashion


  1. CNN

    Saudi fashion show with drones doesn't fly online