Atulier by Samar Nasraldin: A new perspective through craftsmanship

Atulier by Samar Nasraldin: A new perspective through craftsmanship
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Atulier by Samar Nasraldin: A new perspective through craftsmanship
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Atulier by Samar Nasraldin: A new perspective through craftsmanship
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Updated 20 April 2016

Atulier by Samar Nasraldin: A new perspective through craftsmanship

Atulier by Samar Nasraldin: A new perspective through craftsmanship

Growing up in an artistic household will surely nurture any creative inclinations an individual may have, and so was the case with Samar Nasraldin. Born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Nasraldin was brought up immersed in her mother’s artistic ambiance of surrealist paintings and calligraphy. Aside from being an artist, Nasraldin describes her mother as “a visionary teacher who taught her daughter how to observe and create.” Grounded firmly in this inspired foundation, Nasraldin seemed destined to enter the innovative world of fashion design.
Nasraldin planned her path early on in her life. Even at the young age of 13, she was determined to pursue a career in fashion design. Her resolve led to teaching herself pattern making and sewing. In 2007, she graduated from a vocational high school in which she specialized in fashion and textile. For the following two years she studied at the Millennium Institute of Technology in Jeddah, where she earned a diploma in Fashion Design and Technology. Next, she spent six months of vigorous training at the respected Central Saint Martins as well as London College of Fashion (two colleges among the several that make up The University of the Arts London). There, she concentrated on 3D fashion design, creative pattern making, and couture sewing techniques. In order to continue her education, she remained in Europe, however she moved to Paris, France for two years. In Paris, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Stylisme et Technologie de la Mode (Fashion Design & Technology) from the International Fashion Academy (IFA) in 2013. While at the IFA, Nasraldin was selected to partake in their fashion show at the historic Salle Erard. Inspired by the commonalities between Sufism and Surrealism and the “unity of contradictions,” she created her graduate collection. During her time in Paris, Nasraldin was chosen along with seven other fashion students from around the world by The Arts of Fashion Foundation to participate in their four week Summer Fashion Masterclass Program in 2012. The program involved working on a project, which was a collaboration with Maison Lesage. Les Arts Decoratifs hosted the exhibition of this collaboration at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. “The event was covered by Le Figaro Madame and other distinguished audience members,” she explains. Aside from these recent accomplishments and events, Nasraldin has worked locally (Sotra, Lomar, and Maha Ghalayini) and internationally during the Paris Fashion Week at various positions (Thamanyah, Kenzo, and Ungaro among others) since 2007.
In 2014, Nasraldin partnered with the Saudi-based, Ot Kutyr fashion house, which supports up and coming designers, to establish the brand Atūlier. Since then, her designs have been asserting masterful originality on catwalks in London, Paris, and New York. “I want people to be conscious about what they are wearing and appreciate new aesthetics, and realize that it is ok to not wear what is provocative or extremely feminine.” Atulier pieces are simple yet intense, elegant yet sharp, classic yet with a hint of edginess. She wants women “to feel distinctive, strong, but in a fragile way.” Despite Nasraldin’s acknowledgment that her designs require a level of courage to be worn, and therefore have encountered hate, many have embraced Atūlier, which is a testament to the raw and pure talent and passion it exudes. In an interview with Arab News, Nasraldin shares her process, her vision for Atūlier, as well as what she is working on next.

Please tell us about Atulier.
Atulier is a play on the word “atelier,” which means a studio, and was used to emphasize fine craftsmanship. The “u” with the dash symbolizes the souvenirs.
The story of the brand is that the designer goes through a mystical journey and each collection is a souvenir that is brought back to the audience. It is available in Jeddah at Rubaiyat Department Store in Stars Avenue, at Ot Kutyr fashion house as well as the website www.atulier-online.com.

While creating your designs, where do you find inspiration?
I like to start with a word and look up its definition and then I interpret an abstract feeling/state of mind associated with the word, I then try to apply it into a 3D form and play along with that. Next, I put that feeling into textures and colors as well. They all come together magically.

In your opinion, what sets Atulier apart from the rest?
I believe that creating something “conceptual” is very hard these days, as the fashion industry is leaning toward commerciality and what is popular. Atūlier is the exact opposite of that; its aim is to accentuate the craftsmanship and to bring new perspectives through the clothes.

Your designs give an air of sophistication and boldness, what kind of feedback do you receive from clients about your pieces?
They either hate it or fall madly in love with it, and I love that contradiction of feelings in people. I understand it takes courage to wear my pieces, so if you want to wear a plain t-shirt you can simply find that at Zara.

Are there any updates or news that you can share about your brand for the upcoming year?
The upcoming year will be exciting! Spring/Summer 2016 will be in stores soon. And we are working on two capsules currently, one for Ramadan and another for Fall/Winter 16/17! Also, I’m proud to announce that Atulier was chosen as a finalist for the Vogue Fashion Experience hosted by Vogue Italia and Rubaiyat.

For more information and updates from the innovative designer follow Atulier by Samar Nasraldin on Instagram (@atulier) or for inquiries, e-mail ([email protected]).

Email: [email protected]