Stories From Arabia is the largest platform encompassing elite fashion designers from Arabia during London Fashion Week. Founded by Jalila Elmastouki. Stories From Arabia’s vision is to highlight and expose the incredible work of designers from Arabia.
Eight designers from The Middle East take the global stage at London Fashion Week to showcase their intricate collections rich in traditional techniques, bold with the colours of their region and an overall ode to their roots.
Stories From Arabia message for this season is: “ Arab women are creative not oppressed”.
“It is my mission to share with the world the Arab identity and its perception to a foreign audience, Stories From Arabia creates that bridge between Arabia and the Western World to change the way people think about the region and to support Arab designers by making their work accessible to a British audience”. – Jalila Elmastouki
Bassma Boussel Designs
Inspired by Michael Jackson’s style and constructed with traditional Morrocan techniques and embroidery. A textural dream of laser cut suede and 3D brocade.
“This collection means a lot to me as it took a whole year to make all of the designs. I put a lot of love into it. London Fashion Week was a dream for me and I am so excited that it’s coming true, I have a mixture of pride and fear as it’s going to be a new experience for me. And hopefully that it’s going to be the best ever!”
‘ A velvet velvet world’
“I design each piece with love and passion. We have used different textiles such as crepe, lace and velvet embellished with sequins in cool shades of pastels. I always make sure that my designs are elegant diverse and reflect our region. The variation of styles all tells a story. “
In this collection, the inspiration is based on a character that has always lived in his imagination. A woman that always wears black because of her strength not her weakness or sadness despite the colour connotations black usually has. In this collection, the colours are flakes of a character embracing the colour black and ending its expression by white.
“It’s a huge challenge to step into this battle and make a memorable mark to the European crowd, coming all the way from Oman to represent a collection that stands for its uniqueness and strength in the message. As a young designer showcasing in one of the fashion capitals in the world is an honour.”
The collection is inspired by the jumpsuit.
“I am telling my story in this collection. From the basic jumpsuit to the bridal one. Every piece represents all the elements I cherish the most: from my favourite Moroccan technic to the embroidery design. The right balance between tradition and modernity” – as the modernity represents the jumpsuit, and the tradition is the attachment to my origins.”
‘Future within the Veil’
The advancement and progress in the Gulf Culture while preserving the true Arabic values and traditions is the inspiration behind Future within the Veil.
“My new collection mirrors this progress where the traditional identity of the Black Abaya is sustained with avant-garde (innovative) designs that are progressive and characterized by elegance and sophistication.
The interaction between cultures inspired the introduction of a variety of internationally known brands of garments and accessories in my new collection with a wide combination of material, colours, patterns and styles especially made for the Arabic woman of strong personality and great values.”
Kayat – LAILA AZIZ
“I got my inspiration from Moroccan art. The colourful Moroccan patterns and bright colours inspired me the most when I was creating this collection. Every piece is unique due to all the dresses being handmade with extensive embroidery and metal draping. Every dress has its own storyline – where it all starts with the raw materials. This collection definitely means a lot to me since it represents my roots. I am Moroccan and Dutch so you will see two very different worlds coming together within my designs”
“The collection is inspired by the monuments and civilisations of the middle east and the traditional fallahi cross-stich exquisite embroidery encompassing a coin portraying Queen Zenobia’s face, to antique bronze and scarlet red bold colours favoured by Her, each piece is a work of art in her honour. The collection is made from a blend of crepe and tweed, hand finished on the highest standard with a customised pattern of the traditional eastern cross-stiches embroidery embellishment. Each clothing piece radiates sleek seam detailing and cut, and careful placement of embroidery and is tailored where two fashion techniques were used on top of the embroidery, laser cut patterns and vintage digital laser printing.”
‘The lady from Zaman ( Zaman means old days)’
“Rafinity carried by the vision of the duet of creator El Hajouji sisters, resents woman to classic inspiration worn by a touch of baroque madness. Silhouettes are pure and simple in ample cuttings and with à low armholes just like first Moroccan Kaftans. The pattern is strongly inspired by our Zmani jewellery collections and by the aesthetics of 17éme century and the wealth of its architecture and of its decoration. Zwak du Maâlam is in the centre of our embroideries and ornaments; they are often worked in gold thread, decorated with sequins and with precious stones in the brightness summer solar energy.”