Fashion for the masses
London Fashion Week that concluded last week saw a plethora of fashion designers from around the world, all worth a watch, including Oman’s pride Rayan al Sulaimani of Atelier Zuhra. Based in the UAE, Rayan showcased a denim collection in a solo show on September 15 at the Stories from Arabia event, which is officially a part of the week.
Rayan’s passion for fashion started from a very young age with her mother Mouza al Awfi as an inspiration. Acknowledged in the world of fashion for originality and creativity, Rayan’s designs have appeared in various leading global exhibitions. Her previous collection, titled the Swan Collection, was well received owing to its flamboyancy and intricate designs.
For the denim collection, Rayan drew inspiration from a recent trip to Paris. “I noticed how people love denim and pair it with different things. That struck me and I wondered why not introduce something different to the market with some glamour and sparkle.” She used various elements, including acrylics and studs in different shapes, in her new line of clothes.
Her reason for choosing denim is mainly due to its ability to portray various qualities. “The material is tough, rough, classic, chic and long-lasting all together. Adding embellishments to denim can be a breakthrough in terms of elegance. Also, denim can work for many occasions, just like a woman can adjust into various roles simultaneously.”
Explaining how she merged the aesthetics of Atelier Zuhra with a simple fabric like denim, Rayan said, “The unique embroidery makes the collection different from any other. The collection includes short dresses, jackets, jumpsuits and more.”
Though the collection took close to three months to complete, it had been on her mind for a year now.
According to Rayan, the role of her mother Mouza was instrumental in designing this collection. “My mother has been my biggest source of inspiration. The idea of making a collection available to the masses has been on her mind for a while.” The collection is affordably priced in comparison to her couture line.
Describing the process of designing the collection as challenging, Rayan said, “The experience was comparatively different from my other collections. I wanted to create a unique collection with the outcome being worth all the effort.”
Asked about the best thing about the London Fashion Week, Rayan said it’s the fact that the platform provided her an opportunity to showcase her brand at the top tier level. “It is a place to meet and interact with other fashion designers and influences of this industry. It is a gateway to heaven,” she said.
Rayan noted that London lends its unique flavour and peculiar style to fashion. She loves the fact that Londoners have a sense of freedom when it comes to fashion. “Just look at the youth and street culture here. They take risks and there is a strong element of personal style to express who they are.”
She keeps abreast of trends by attending fashion shows, reading magazines, social media and interacting with people of the industry on a regular basis. In terms of her aspiration for her brand, she hopes Atelier Zuhra makes women feel confident, bold and strong. “We always aim at dressing women with positivity and perfection. Our brand also aims to showcase the femininity of woman through our timeless dresses.”
(Contributed by Rabi’ah M from London)