To celebrate the Holy Month, Bahraini fashion designer Amal Al Mulla has teamed up with local artist Amina Al Abbasi (who featured in this year's Best Dressed edition) to create an exclusive collection for Ramadan.
"The idea of collaborating came about after we worked together on dressing Amina for her Best Dressed shoot," Amal tells Bazaar. "We began to discuss our businesses, our vision and aesthetics, and we quickly realised how well the two brands went together. Then we had the idea to combine our creativity by collaborating on a collection." Amina adds, "I have worked on collaborations before, and this one with Amal is my favourite so far as we have so much in common in terms of aesthetics and femininity in design."
The collection is designed "with a blend of soft crepes, light linens and organzas" and the inspiration, Amal tells us, "stems out of the concept of joining the old and the new, combining the beauty of tradition in the artworks within modern designs." For Amina, she focused on the woman. "My inspiration was a woman at different stages of her life, in different situations and with different emotions. I try to show the beauty of women and femininity without features, which makes you as a viewer concentrate on her body language and on the colours in the painting to know what she's feeling."
Once they had their ideas, they came together. "Amal would work on her sketches for the pieces, and then I would look at the best area to paint on and how it would look with the flow of the dress. I'd then test the paint on the material, sketch the proposed finals and then hand paint the paintings on the pieces, keeping in mind that every piece is unique," Amina says.
A special addition to the collection is the use of Naqda embroidery. "This is one of the oldest traditional Bahraini embroidery techniques that takes us back to the 1950s. It was mainly used on traditional garments such as abayas and jalabiyas during those days. Being Bahraini brands, we wanted to honour this technique and restore it into the modern world through our contemporary take on the abayas and kaftans," Amal says.
The collection will be available to purchase in Amina's gallery (located on the ground floor, Gate 7 of Seef Mall, Bahrain) from June 18. See the lookbook in the gallery above, and mark Saturday in your diary. Whilst these pieces are only available for a limited time, their individuality will render them timeless. - Maddison Glendinning