Dubai is Fashion Wonderland! Arabian designers at Etoile La Boutique. Fairmont the Palm Jumeirah hotel.

alice in wonderland interior design, set, store

Dubai is considered a high fashion Wonderland — and as you can see, Etoile La Boutique takes this concept through the looking glass!

Read on to learn about Arabian designers, and peek inside our Fairmont suite on the famous Palm island.

mall of the emirates, dubai mall

Dubai’s sprawling shopping centers are legendary. Etoile is inside Mall of the Emirates, a hub of haute couture. (In the next post, I’ll take you inside Dubai Mall, which ranks among the largest in the world.)

pastel goth, lavender skirt, large brim sun hat

If it ever rains in the desert, I’ll be protected by my giant hat and magic mushroom.

Big floppy hat: San Diego Hat Company
Dark purple cardigan: Muji
Spooky tank top: h.NAOTO, from Closet Child Harajuku
Pastel goth skirt: Peace Now, from Closet Child Ikebukuro
Grey shoes: Camper

dubai clothing, veil fashion

Etoile La Boutique has a choice selection, a mix of international and Middle Eastern luxury labels. To suit the local market, many dresses are in larger sizes, and have veils to cover the limbs and head.

white rabbit statue, alice in wonderland theme park

We filmed inside the store as part of my Dubai travel episode. The White Rabbit seems to be saying: “I’m late, I’m late… for a very important TV shoot.”

designer shoes, heels, dubai store

Filmmaker Melissa, who took the images in this post, couldn’t stop photographing the shoes!

mad hatter tea party sofa, etoile la boutique dubai

Everything is jumbo-sized in Dubai. This Mad Hatter chair is the perfect illustration.

ingie paris, etoile boutique, arrow shoes

The owner of the store has her own fashion line, Ingie Paris; I tried on a sequined glittery dress with cut-out back. In addition to Middle Eastern designers like Toujouri, she stocks fashion week favorites such as Alaia, Chloe, Derek Lam.

toujouri fashion dubai uae

Wearing Toujouri (who dresses the singer of Florence and the Machine) in the dreamy dressing room. No, that’s not a voyeur — it’s filmmaker Eric.

crazy designer shoes, amazing high heels

In public, many Arabian women wear a black hijab (head veil) and abaya (loose-fitting robe). However, they can still accessorize with flair, so you’ll often see women with glam sunglasses, handbags, and tottering heels! When they’re alone with other ladies, they take off the coverings to reveal the designer clothing underneath.

Travel note: Dubai’s an international city, so there’s no need to cover up unless you’re going to a more traditional neighborhood or mosque.

fairmont palm jumeirah hotel, dubai lobby

The lobby of our hotel, Fairmont The Palm, continues the theme of grandeur.

arabian magic lamp, dubai luxury hotels

A genie must have come out of the magic lamp and granted us a stay. The Fairmont generously hosted us, and let us experience their new hotel on the famous Palm-shaped island.

san diego hat company hats, sunhat, frevo restaurant dubai

We had a hedonistic meal at Frevo restaurant, a unique Brazilian churrascaria. After cachaça-based cocktails like Caipirinhas, a “saladista” helped us put together a plate of greens. Servers brought cuts of meat and carved them at the table until we hit the red light button!

french bakery, fairmont hotel

For sweet tooths, the Fairmont Palm has its own European-style bakery. Let’s see if you can spot the marshmallows and macaroons in the above photo.

dubai palm trees, skyline

Outside, an oasis pool with a view of the sci-fi skyline.

dubai five star hotel room

Have you noticed that I always pose with pineapples? The welcome plate included selections from the bakery, and a fruit plate complete with my beloved mangosteens.

fairmont palm bedroom, hotel rooms

In the bedroom. I expected a regular room, but the hotel upgraded me to the Signature Suite! The balcony, literally the size of a modest Japanese apartment, overlooks the marina.

dubai marina, modern buildings, architecture

And this is the view…

Major gratitude to the kind staff at Fairmont The Palm for making our UAE travel coverage possible. Abu Dhabi photos are next.

Isn’t Dubai wild? What do you think of the regional designers and customs? Don’t miss the rest of our photos here.



  1. MelissaR
    Posted June 29, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Love the hat!

  2. Mercedes
    Posted June 29, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Sweet vacay to Dubai! Too bad about their clothes. I would’ve liked to have seen more awesome gothic burqa action, imo. :)

  3. CC
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    That mad hatter chair is fantastic, and OH MY GOD I LOVE YOUR HAT. San Diego Hat Company is fabulous.

    • lacarmina
      Posted July 1, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      I know!! I found it randomly, and it was on sale too O_O

  4. Jen
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    xD Nice. :3

  5. bonnie
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    This looks amazing :)

  6. Kathy
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    This outfit is too cute! :)

    love, Kathy

  7. Anna
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Lovely look!

  8. Cristin
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    lady! beauty!

  9. Selia
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the helpful tips.♥

  10. CS
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink


  11. Bel
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink


  12. Genny
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    you based in LA?

  13. Tessa
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Wow !! I would never imagine Dubai to be this fashion-forward. Did you go to any mosques and souks though?

  14. Juan
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Que increíble, como se ve que un lugar completamente globalizado y deja a un lado muchos pensamientos que muchs tienen de todo medio oriente

  15. rainer
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    have an awesome week!!!…

  16. ana
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Lets play!

  17. Camper
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing! =)

  18. maria
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    love the mad hatter chair picture

  19. Gabrielle
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    i love alice in wonderland. its my favorite.4

  20. Dave
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I wish Mika could see this stuff… She should see your photos, Mika is my wife.

  21. Maggie
    Posted July 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Wow, so colorful! Thanks for the info, it’s so interesting to hear about fashion in different cities. You look adorable in the Mad Hatter chair!

  22. candy crush
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    It is nice to know about and I am already using that.

  23. Minecraft
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    It works with the characteristics that we can not find anywhere else. Pretty impressive.

  24. Hijab store Dubai
    Posted April 2, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Amazing. Very outstanding color combination and latest products. Thanks for sharing the blog post.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked with *