Jeddah-based Nora Al Shaikh’s Ramadan + Resort 2018 collection is a reflection of the Saudi designer’s current state of mind, one informed by world events as well as the women who wear her clothes.
“As a designer who’s based in the Gulf with an international clientele, creating a Ramadan collection is an opportunity for me to present unique kaftans that can be worn during the holy month, as well as offer clothes that are versatile enough to carry through into the Resort season, as many of my clients will wear these pieces while on vacation in LA or London,” says Nora, whose latest collection is a departure from the previous season’s opulent fabrics and dramatic jewelry.
“With so much conflict and misunderstanding in the world today, it didn’t feel right to present an over the top collection, so much as one that covey’s a feeling of serenity and calm, especially since Ramadan is about embracing spirituality,” notes the designer, who has traveled the world on yoga retreats and practices meditation to ease the stresses of the day.
The result is a collection comprised of easy luxurious soft cotton kaftans that put the focus squarely on the designer’s talent for cutting fabrics at unconventional angles and her inventive use of straps and buttons as both closures and embellishments. “I wanted to create the comfortable modern equivalent of a kaftan for effortlessly chic women who feel at ease in a well-made pair of pants and a tailored shirt,” says the designer, whose colour pallet was inspired by those of the Chakra, each with its own particular healing powers.
In addition to soft whites, she’s introduced pale mauves, lilacs, greens and rose; colors which are meant to invoke light and the divine. Rounding out her spiritual theme are a series of looks embellished with custom embroidered patches sporting the Arabic words for light, mantra, love, meditation, calm, peace, silence and spirituality. “I often think about how my clothes travel through different time zones and countries, and all of these words represent a universal desire for a better world, regardless of the language they’re written in,” says Nora.
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