I had my first date with honorary Londoners, Harem, this weekend. Like all first dates, there was scepticism, anticipation and a hint of weary excitement. Istanbul exports and creators Harem London, Dee and Begum, went all newfangled with their SS20 collection presenting an interactive, wearable and contemporary show of genderless, sustainable garments. A sustainable approach to clothing and fashion has always characterised the brand, which was founded in 2015 the two entrepreneurs. Designed to be comfortable and wearable, the 22 piece collection reflects “a woman who likes to cherish a garment, and who wouldn’t necessarily buy into fast fashion,” Dee tells us during the presentation. The materials used are artisanal Turkish fabrics like raw silk, 100% organic cotton, and soft jersey, all dyed delicate shades of grey and ivory.
“We receive the fabric from a small factory in Turkey, and then we hand craft them in our London studio”, explains Dee.
In an encyclopaedic history of up and coming designers, the Harem show managed to stand out from the crowd by demolishing the formal walls of the traditional presentation and letting the gaggle get hands on in order to appreciate and understand the intricacies, material and construction of everyone of the 22 pieces on show.
As well as rewriting the guide to modern fashion, Harem doled our some world class wooing. Guests were welcomed at the entrance of the space with a drink, and red roses which were distributed by models along with a small jewellery box. “A Date with Harem” was written on each box — a play on words since the cute boxes contained a Medjool date, hinting at both to the cultural heritage of the two sisters, and to their sense of humour.
Harem is about feeling comfortable with a global, cross-cultural outlook: Easy pieces that look great in styling and support that familiar feeling. It is the uniform for the forward-looking. Clothes for citizens of the world.
Daisy Sells | WRITER