Fashion models are strutting the catwalks today in Saudi Arabia's capital city as part of the country's first-ever Arab Fashion Week. It's one of several new forms of entertainment that the ultraconservative kingdom now permits. But fashion week got off to a rocky start. NPR's Jackie Northam reports from Riyadh.
JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: Saudi Arabia's first fashion week was actually supposed to start a couple of weeks ago. But there were problems with travel visas and a larger-than-expected international audience. Determined to keep on track, organizers rushed to find a new venue and get more visas and tickets. The new target date was yesterday, but workmen needed until today to build the runway and lay carpets.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: And underneath, double knots underneath.
NORTHAM: Backstage, makeup artists and hairstylists work their magic. And designers made last-minute adjustments as the mostly Russian and Eastern European models stepped out in front of the audience.
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NORTHAM: The first gowns out were ultra-feminine with long trains, sequins, feathers and beads. These are fashions Saudi women would normally wear in private. Usually, they wear a full-length abaya in public. Organizers were the only ones allowed to take pictures. They have to be cleared by government censors before publication.
NORTHAM: Saudi women regularly attend fashion weeks in New York, Paris and Milan. But the kingdom is still highly conservative, and there are restrictions on what types of fashions can be exhibited at the show — no cleavage, nothing above the knee and nothing too transparent. Still, Lebanese designer Naja Saade says Saudi women have extravagant tastes and love lots of special details on their clothes.
NAJA SAADE: Saudi women like the European style, and they like the handmade finishing and the special the dress. They don't like to be like someone else.
NORTHAM: Jacob Abrian, the CEO of the Arab Fashion Council which organized the event, says Saudi princesses are the biggest collectors of haute couture. Abrian says it's not surprising Riyadh would see its own fashion week.
JACOB ABRIAN: We decided to host a fashion week in Riyadh considering the fact and the importance of Saudi Arabia as hub for the Arab world and the most important market in the Arab region for the fashion industry for their high purchase power and for the population for — 70 percent of the citizens, they are under the age of 30 years old.
NORTHAM: The audience was female only, no men allowed. Most of the designers are from Europe or the Middle East. Several are from Saudi Arabia, including Arwa Al Banawi. She says her designs send a strong message about female empowerment at a time when Saudi Arabia is offering women more opportunities, such as driving and going to work.
ARWA AL BANAWI: These changes happening now and to have a fashion week now, it makes sense because the timing makes sense. So it definitely is inspiring to me because women are now — they want to become more independent. They're working. So for me as a designer, I want to make an easy solution for this independent woman who is juggling between her life, family, going to work.
NORTHAM: Even a couple of years ago, it would have been unthinkable for Saudi Arabia to host this kind of fashion event. But the government has made an effort to make the kingdom a more welcoming place for business and leisure. Organizers are planning another fashion event this fall, hoping to turn Riyadh into a regional hub for fashion. Jackie Northam, NPR News, Riyadh.
今天，沙特阿拉伯举行首届阿拉伯时装周，时装模特在沙特首都设置的T形台上昂首阔步 。时装周是极端保守的沙特王国现在允许进行的几个新娱乐形式之一 。但是时装周一开始并不顺利 。NPR新闻的杰基·诺瑟姆将从利雅得带来详细报道 。
杰基·诺瑟姆连线：沙特阿拉伯的首届时装周原定于几周前开始 。但是筹备过程中出现了一些问题，比如旅行签证问题，国际观众的人数超出了预期 。在决定继续推进后，组织者迅速找了一个新场地，并增加了签证数量和门票数量 。修改后的开幕日期为昨天，不过工作人员到今天才设置好伸展台和地毯 。
诺瑟姆：化妆师和发型师在后台施展他们的魔法 。设计师在做最后的调整，模特们则走出后台，在观众面前亮相，参加本次时装周的大多数模特来自俄罗斯和东欧国家 。
诺瑟姆：第一件展示服装极具女性化，这件长裙配有长拖尾，裙子上还搭配了亮片、羽毛和小珠子 。这些是沙特女性私下会穿的时装 。通常，沙特女性在公开场合要穿包裹住全身的阿拉伯罩袍 。时装周现场只有组织者能拍照 。照片在公开发布前要得到政府审查员的批准 。
诺瑟姆：沙特女性经常参加纽约、巴黎和米兰时装周 。但是由于沙特王国依然高度保守，因此时装秀上可以展示的时装种类有限制，举例来说，服装不能露乳沟，长度要超过膝盖，材质不能过于透明 。黎巴嫩设计师娜加·萨阿德表示，沙特女性品味奢侈，喜欢衣服上有很多特别的细节设计 。
娜加·萨阿德：沙特女性喜欢欧洲风格的服装，她们喜欢手工制作的装饰和特别的衣服 。她们不喜欢和其他人穿得一样 。
诺瑟姆：阿拉伯时装协会是本次活动的组织者，该协会的首席执行官雅各布·阿布里安表示，沙特公主是高档女子时装最大的收藏家 。阿布里安说，利雅得举办时装周这件事并不令人惊讶 。
诺瑟姆：沙特时装周仅允许女性前往观看表演，不对男性开放 。大多数设计师来自欧洲和中东地区 。另外，本次时装周也有多名沙特设计师参与，其中就包括Arwa Al Banawi 。她表示，她设计的作品传达了有关女性权利的重要信息，而现在沙特为女性提供了更多机会，包括允许女性驾驶以及外出工作 。
Arwa Al Banawi：现在发生这些改变以及举办时装周是讲得通的，因为这个时间点可以说得通 。这肯定会激励我，因为现在女性希望变得更加独立 。她们有工作 。我作为设计师，想为那些要平衡自己的生活、家庭和工作的独立女性提供一个简单的解决方法 。
诺瑟姆：在几年之前，沙特举行这种时装活动是不可想象的 。但是沙特政府在努力使沙特王国成为更受商务和休闲人士欢迎的地方 。组织者计划今年秋天再举行一场时装活动，他们希望将利雅得变成区域性时尚枢纽 。NPR新闻，杰基·诺瑟姆利雅得报道 。
1. rush to do sth. 赶忙做；赶紧做；
例句：Shop staff rushed to get help.
2. in private 私下地；秘密地；
例句：Some of what we're talking about might better be discussed in private.
3. in public 公开地；当众；
例句：He's vowed never ever to talk about anything personal in public, ever again.
4. make sense 可以理解；讲得通；
例句：We all agreed that the plan made sense.