Whilst thought-provoking and curious, the notion of culture fusion isn’t exactly a new concept in fashion and it’s certainly not an easy one to perfect. Qasimi’s interpretation, though, is far from a rehashed one. The clothes that bedeck each model this evening present a fascinating exploration of the evolution of checked patterns the world over that’s clearly well-considered. This is Khalid Qasimi’s forte after all; the Middle Eastern-born designer is all about incorporating social and political elements into his work.
The timing of Qasimi’s beautiful and sensitive execution of merged cultures isn’t lost on us, either. Given the unsettling year we’ve just had, in which it’s often felt as if the world’s growing further apart than uniting, this story of stability and interconnectivity through pattern has even more resonance than it first seems. Still, this isn’t a show solely dedicated to heritage; it’s a contemporary take on the nomadic, we’re told – one that carries tradition into an everyday urban setting – and something we’re reminded of as the angled mirror-wall pulsates to an electro beat.
There’s a satisfying cohesiveness to this blend of socio-geographic elements thanks to continuous silhouettes and tones throughout the presentation. Voluminous outerwear and trousers are balanced by varying hemlines and tactile layers for a mature silhouette that hits the mark between directional and wearable. Oversized coats cut with slouchy raglan sleeves are countered by cropped jackets, and chunky knitted sweaters are softened by the lightweight shell hoods that peak out from beneath the ribbed collars.
There’s even more cultural journeys here too – carried nonchalantly down the catwalk, thick wool scarves are adorned with stripes that riff on traditional Basotho textiles and are edged with substantial blanket stitching for a nomadic sensibility.
Of course, there’s that amalgamation of checked prints that’s subtly present in every outfit, with a focus on copper brown, yellow, burgundy and pine-hued iterations of gingham and madras patterns. What could have been an overwhelming use of decoration fits quietly into this collection – woven into weighty cotton-twill pieces and printed onto fluid fabrics creating an unexpected harmony to it all.
Words: AMY MILES | WRITER | @amymiles_