6 Middle Eastern fashion labels to add to your shopping list
by Zain Masud
There is no better time than now to reinvent yourself (or your wardrobe), especially now that we're homestretch of 2016. While we may not be able to entirely help you find yourself (or a newer version of you), we can sort out your wardrobe concerns. If you're looking for something that's equal parts exotic and yet suits your personal style, then take a look at these Middle Eastern labels that are making our wishlist this holiday season.
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Photograph: R Burman
Tahir Sultan was the first ever Kuwaiti designer to showcase at London Fashion Week. His collections are uniquely diverse and make use of deconstructed fabric, contrasts, draping and fluid structures (especially about the shoulders). Sultan also does amazing embroidery. He worked with me on a futuristic, nomadic outfit for my nikah that I just loved.
She works with beautiful, flowing fabrics in delicious sorbet colours. Her creations are distinctly feminine—almost Grecian at times—yet are super contemporary and easy to wear. Think swirling organza and muslin skirts and sensuous shoulders, straps and backs.
Marrakshi LIFE is a clothing and lifestyle atelier started by ex-New York fashion photographer Randall Bachner, and located in a bustling Marrakech souk. They use handwoven fabrics, natural dyes, and local crafts to offer a unisex, utilitarian and contemporary take on traditional North African design. Their creations are effortlessly elegant and the quality is beautiful.
Noon by Noor
Noon by Noor is a Bahraini label by cousins and designers Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa and Shaikha Haya Al Khalifa. Their aesthetic is very feminine, clean and contemporised, with an easy play of print and colour. The label’s 2016 spring collection uses subtle dashes of floral and foliage prints in autumn and pastel colours.
Mohammed Mahmoud Ashi is a Saudi designer based in Beirut. His work is architectural with a regal sensibility, old worldly, yet somehow also modern—very unusual. He works extensively with ruffles, feathers and fringing. In couture, he tends to keep a very soft, subtle colour palette, and as grand as the constructions are, they never subdue the woman who is wearing them.
Rabih Kayrouz is a Lebanese designer and an important fixture of Middle-Eastern design. The understated elegance and versatility of his technique has inspired his own generation and the next. A lot of his work is very streamlined, very contemporary and sharp, with a self-assured grace. He brings out really beautiful eveningwear, working effortlessly with colours and silhouettes.