Anum Bashir (also known as the Desert Mannequin) has got the biggest smile and the most radiant, positive energy. I first met her on the trails of fashion month travels, and got to know her at an event in Dubai where she is based. So, naturally, I was excited to learn of her teaming up with the Georgia-based designer Natuka Karkashadze of ready-to-wear label N-Duo, to create a fun collection of wardrobe classics with a twist.

Caroline wears Heart Embroidered Top by N-Duo x Desert Mannequin; High-Waisted Split Hem Trousers by N-Duo x Desert Mannequin.

This little black number – a top with the smallest of puff sleeves and a great, open square neckline – and trousers, with a cut-out to show off your party shoes, comes from their second collaboration together, and has been the easiest party outfit for the never-ending (but oh-so-enjoyable) stream of holiday cocktail events – perfect for when I'm not in the mood for a big dress!

What's more, a new prize that’s focused on young Middle East and North Africa-based designers (with a rockstar roster of judges on its panel, like Pier Paolo Piccoli, Haider Ackermann, Ruth Chapman, Ghizlan Guenez and the brains behind it all, Tania Fares) means that more young creatives like Bashir can aim to get their collections out onto an international playing field.

Check out Fashion Trust Arabia Prize if you are based in the MENA region and want to apply for consideration for the 2019 inaugural competition. 

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