Saudi fashion designer Turki Jaddallah decided to pursue fashion as a result of watching his mother, who was a professional seamstress in London, create beautiful dresses while he was growing up. From early on he was hooked and helplessly enchanted with the world of fabrics and designs.
Reflecting back on his early years as a fashion designer, Jaddallah reveals that he has always been proud of all of his creations and especially the very first dress he made.
“My first serious fashion creation was a wedding dress that I had been sketching and envisioning in my mind for the longest time. I faced many difficulties when attempting to create this dress and I was even shrouded with doubt that perhaps I could only sketch my designs but not actually create them. However, because this wedding dress was requested as a favor from a dear friend, I pursued and persisted. Eventually, the dress was completed; it looked beautiful and was well received and that was when I realized that there was no going back for me. That dress saw my dreams come to life,” he told Sayidaty English.
Jadallah is currently designing both prêt-à-porter and haute couture
collections for Jeddah based Ot Kutyr fashion house. “After joining Ot Kutyr, I began working hard to create an international brand that would propel my work globally. I have been in the fashion industry for a while, so I wanted the brand name to be something familiar to my loyal followers and at the same time to resonate internationally. This is how TJ/Turk Jaddallah was born; I used my nickname Turk, as it rings true to my Saudi name and is also accessible to other cultures,” he said.
For his spring/summer haute couture collection, Jadallah’s inspiration was spring flowers and sea mermaids, while Audrey Hepburn sparked his imagination for the autumn/winter line. “I can be inspired by something I saw someone wear, a song, a movie or even a city; you could say life inspires me,” he said. “I want my client to feel feminine, confident, elegant and most of all special wearing my designs,” he added.
Speaking about his autumn/winter collection, Jaddallah said Audrey Hepburn’s movies with their timeless ballroom elegance and playful scripts were the main agent that sparked his imagination. He used a great deal of pink in this collection, creating cuts that were girly, chic and feminine. His overall style in his haute couture designs is a mixture of classic and bold elements and colors. “I used a lot of lace, taffeta, organza, and crepe. All of the dresses are hand embroidered. For most of the dresses I kept a theme of monochrome colors and a lot of pink,” he said.
Retracing the process behind the creation of his collection lines, Jaddallah said, “The process starts with an idea or a request made by a client, followed by sketches and the selection of fabrics and accessories. I always find there is room for some changes and alterations, as in many instances I have found myself changing a long gown into a cocktail dress or adding embellishments. I like to take my time to ensure the design is produced to perfection and meet’s my customer’s satisfaction,” he added.
There are a number of hidden messages of beauty, elegance and refinement that come into play in Jaddallah’s designs. “I am in love with the idea of romance and would like to go back in time to when women felt beautiful and relished their femininity,” he said, stressing that his message simply put is that “Women are beautiful regardless of weight, height etc. They simply need to feel it.”
Jaddallah’s designs are special because he caters to each woman’s individual assets. “It’s not enough to simply create a good dress; I want to appeal to each woman’s special quality. That is to say, the part of her that makes her different from the rest,” he said. “The reason I am successful is because I have a good team that believes in me, in addition to concerted efforts, diligence and not to mention a clean finishing and special touches here and there,” he added.
The designer markets his new collections through various social media outlets, as he feels this medium has such a wide reach that enables him to access his followers and other potential customers.
“We promote the collection with photos shoots for each line with the help of some truly wonderful photographers. We also host show casings of the new collections in the atelier (Ot Kutyr fashion house),” he said. “Moreover, we create teaser videos like the one we did for the London fashion week, in which a hologram of Audrey Hepburn greeting guests was featured at the ballroom entrance. I have to say the feedback from social media users has been very helpful and supportive, to the extent that at times I have felt overwhelmed.”
Jaddallah’s designs are known to be a unique mixture of traditional and modern, a testament to his hometown, Jeddah.
“Jeddah is a cosmopolitan hub; we have created a perfect harmony of traditional and modern living, and I just happen to make dresses from that blend,” he said.
When asked about his future plans, Jaddallah said that he has many projects in mind, but for now he would like to focus on creating beautiful dresses and savor the moment.