Ode to Oman: Amal Al-Raisi’s latest collection

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Looks from the latest of collection of Amal Al-Raisi. (Supplied)
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Looks from the latest of collection of Amal Al-Raisi. (Supplied)
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Looks from the latest of collection of Amal Al-Raisi. (Supplied)
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Looks from the latest of collection of Amal Al-Raisi. (Supplied)
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Looks from the latest of collection of Amal Al-Raisi. (Supplied)
Updated 10 August 2019

Ode to Oman: Amal Al-Raisi’s latest collection

  • The collection celebrates Omani heritage as a major trade center on the Silk Road
  • Amal Al-Raisi’s Autumn-Winter collection is carried by several stockists across the GCC and is available online via Ounass

DUBAI: Fashion designer Amal Al-Raisi has just released her Autumn-Winter 2019 collection, in which she pays homage to her home country, Oman.

The collection celebrates Omani heritage as a major trade center on the Silk Road, deriving its tiered layers and ruffles from the porcelain antiques unique to local homes. The strength and serenity of those decorative pieces were translated into kaftans, dresses and matching sets, amongst other outfits in the fall collection. 

Tulle, satin and metallic tweed, in colors ranging from pearl white to jet black, were used to create puffed sleeves and large bows that gave the collection its amplified femininity. Necklines and sleeves were delicately embroidered in some pieces, whereas shimmering sequins decorated others.

This recent collection isn’t the first in which Amal Al-Raisi merged her work with her home country’s history. Earlier this year, the young Omani designer was inspired by the archeological city of Al-Baleed, south of Oman, for her  Spring-Summer collection. 

While keeping in mind the city’s strategic location that placed it on the map back in the 13th century as a key city for trade between East and West, Al-Raisi managed to launch a collection that embodied the city’s history, in a perfect blend of Western fabrics and Eastern designs. 

Having been worn by Instagram celebrities and TV personalities, the likes of Dana Al-Tuwarish, Rhea Jacobs and Sarah Murad, the brand has established itself on the Middle Eastern fashion scene as a modest wear label that caters to the modern Arab woman’s style and sense of elegance. 

The designer’s vision, however, reaches beyond the region’s borders, redefining traditional modest wear for a global market. As Al-Raisi explained: “(My label) is designed to honor Arab traditions, but my goal is for the pieces to be worn far beyond the borders of Oman.” 

Amal Al-Raisi’s Autumn-Winter collection is carried by several stockists across the GCC and is available online via Ounass.


Startup of the Week: Saudi baker and chef winning hearts of food lovers

Photo supplied
Updated 20 August 2019

Startup of the Week: Saudi baker and chef winning hearts of food lovers

  • Working over 15 hours a day and being self-taught was just the start; Essam is the interior and graphic designer, the marketer, the CEO and the chef at White Mountain

A Saudi bakery and restaurant business specializing in pastries is finding its way into Saudi hearts with a delectable selection of fine Italian, French, and Swiss foods.
Ahmad Essam, 28, a self-taught baker and chef, left a productive family business to create what is now one of the most prestigious bakeries in Alkhobar.
Essam set up his bakery and restaurant while working as a production engineer, selling tarts and cakes to his friends.
He was overwhelmed by the encouragement he received, and little by little Essam, his dream of running his own company emerged.
Working over 15 hours a day and being self-taught was just the start; Essam is the interior and graphic designer, the marketer, the CEO and the chef at White Mountain.
Baking French pastries such as croissants, macarons, mille-feuille, eclairs and tarts require a true artisan. Essam described the glory he feels when he bakes, saying: “Dealing with precise tips to get the real essence of French pastries and reaching a level to bake without recipes is a matter of experience and good knowledge. Being a real baker requires a lot of learning as it’s not only about mixing water and flour; its trick lies behind the process of fermentation that sometimes lasts for days.’’
Every once in a while, the young man distributes membership books to loyal customers. “On Valentine’s Day, we distributed 3,000 roses,” he added.
Essam is very passionate, and dreams of opening a cooking academy in Saudi Arabia so he can inspire other amateur bakers; he told Arab News about his future 12,000-square-meters cooking village project that he is aiming to create in Riyadh, “including a library that collects all cookbooks, a seasonal spice shop, a great lake garden, a pizzeria, glossary shop and more, all of which falls under one theme: Cooking.”
For him, business is an obsession and profession. “Chefs have their egos. They are dealing with a tricky job and they know what they are doing exactly. They do not accept comments or advice from other chefs,” he explained.
You can follow him for more information on White Mountain on Instagram: @wm.bakery.