Harper’s Bazaar Arabia: Tell us a little about the collection you have designed for the Burj Al Arab? It’s inspired by Arabic mosaic, is that right?
Rose Fulbright: "I was visiting family in Dubai and seeing places like the outside of the Iranian Mosque, the Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Mosque. The patterns in those places in particular led me to research Islamic mosaics further. I just love the beautiful patterns, geometry and the beautiful colours achieved with the glaze. The colours are so strongly turquoise, azure blue, gold – and they’re always beautifully crafted and really precise. Usually, I produce collections that are very East-meets-West, where the shapes of the robes and garments are inspired by the East and I was really interested in taking a pattern into that. That pattern ended up being a deconstructed mosaic pattern."
HBA: How would you describe the Middle Eastern woman? What are your thoughts on the style here?
RF: "I haven’t been too many times but from my visits, the image I have is somebody who is very elegant. It’s all about refined beauty that isn’t about showing everything off or being really ostentatious. To me, it’s more of a quiet, thoughtful elegance and beauty. I have a couple of Middle Eastern friends and they’re so fiery and passionate and they know exactly what they like. I think they have a love of life that is really quite distinctive. They’re very interesting woman and I’m really interested in learning more about people there."
HBA: What do you love most about the region?
RF: "I love the architecture and the way that the natural elements, like the sand, play around the architecture of the skyline. The sunshine is so bright and you get these beautiful shadows coming through the buildings. The beautiful carvings and designs in the stone and on windows make me feel very serene. I also love the beauty of the desert and the surrounding landscape of Dubai and the UAE. That has a real romance to it, with Bedouin traditions, it’s a really atmospheric place. I love going out there. I’ve been camping overnight in the desert there! Seeing the sunset or sunrise in the mountains and the desert, the colours are amazing. You can see in all Arabic and Islamic art that they’re really inspired by nature and how it interacts with the desert which is really awesome to see. They use light in a very clever way."
HBA: Why do you think this collection will resonate with your Middle Eastern clientele?
RF: "I think that all of the pieces in and of themselves are interesting but I think that the women in the region will be interested to layer up the pieces and wear a couple at the same time. For example, the pyjama trouser with the short robe over the top looks like a really elegant lounge suit that you could wear with heels or a white chiffon robe over the top to add some length."
HBA: How did this collaboration with the Burj Al Arab come about?
RF: "I’m really excited that it will be sold exclusively there. I went to see them about another collection and I told them about this project and they really loved the idea of something that was very specifically Arabic influenced. It fits really well, it’s the most renowned luxury hotel in the world and they have really gorgeous mosaics inside too."
HBA: From when you visited Dubai to the collection being finished, how long was that process?
RF: "The project has been about nine months. I went to Dubai in March 2015, and that prompted first feed of ideas. To create the print took quite a while, and the creation of the collection and deciding what shapes to do did also. It's really fun to make this exclusive capsule collection alongside my usual collection. It’s exciting to be able to be creative in multiple directions."
HBA: Is the hope that this collection will lead to something more permanent in the region?
RF: "Absolutely. I’m really interested in the market and as this collection proves, I’m really inspired by the region. The colours in the Middle East are amazing and I’m keen to keep being inspired by the culture. I think people in the Middle East have really interesting taste and are very refined, and it really interest me to see what will go well in this collection."
The exclusive collection from Rose Fulbright is available from February 2 at the Burj Al Arab; Jumeirah.com