The lavish settings of the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden played host to a standout Saturday evening on Day 2 of London Fashion Week. As one of the final shows of the day, the palatial surroundings saw a parade of cutting edge fashion from the middle east. The jaw-dropping, jewel-coloured gowns by Omani label Atelier Zuhra, were the talk of the evening.
Debuting the AW19 collection ‘Infinity’, Atelier Zuhra’s walk was filled with vibrancy, colour and boldness. The collection was inspired by the David Yurman quote “Gemstones have a beauty unlike anything else because they allow light inside and refract it”
Designer Rayan Al-Sulaimani focus on gemstones and everything that sparkles was clear, the collection was filled with decadent pieces that showcased the brand’s intricate approach to design with some high-fashion signatures often seen in their couture lines.
The gowns themselves were rich in detail – with extravagant feathers, embroidery, embellishment, tulle and organza. While not trying to reinvent the wheel, Atelier Zuhra revisited couture with a curator’s eye, selecting only the most precious textures and metaphors for this new collection.
Each colourfully ornate piece told a unique story, keeping in mind the nature and meaning of the stone inspiring every item. The tulle and organza build out the collection in an array of vivid hues that confirm brilliance and authenticity tied to each of Atelier Zuhra’s meticulously crafted garments.
“Each colour has a meaning,” explains Rayan Al-Sulaimani, the Dubai-based designer who oversees the label. “Red is symbolic of courage, life force, and Passion. Meanwhile, emerald is associated with love, rebirth and fertility. Sapphire symbolizes honesty, and so on and so forth.”
The offering was punctuated with form-fitting silhouettes, skirts of all lengths, ostrich-feathers, beads, sequins, and embroideries fit for a queen or princess.
In an incredibly short time, the label has come on leaps and bound. Having launched only in 2015, by Mousa Al-Awfi, who named the brand after her mother, the couture house has made an impact on a world scale and continues to grow and fascinate every season.
Al Awfi, began by opening Dar al Aufi boutique in Dubai, offering in-house eveningwear and bridal designs, and started to build a regional clientele who gravitated towards her enthusiasm for maximalist glamour. In a short time, voluminous and extravagant gowns became an iconic symbol for Atelier Zuhra.
Indeed the sentiment of the occasion, showing at LFW is monumental for the label.
“It’s like a gateway to heaven. London Fashion Week gives me a chance to showcase my brand at a top-tier level. It’s a place where success and opportunity meet, and that works the best for us. Fashion week is looked forward by every person who is in some way part of the fashion industry.”Al-Sulaimani explains.
“In a way, this is an open door for my collection to be known internationally. Additionally, it allows me to meet and interact with other fashion designers and influencers of this industry.”