Algerian designer Ilyes Ouali inspired by disco glamour of the 1970s

Ilyes Ouali won this year's Fashion Star Arabia. (Supplied)
Updated 08 August 2019

Algerian designer Ilyes Ouali inspired by disco glamour of the 1970s

DUBAI: This week, Algerian designer Ilyes Ouali showed off his designing chops at London Arabia Art & Fashion Week, which returned to the capital for its fourth year and brought together designers and artists from the Arab world.

Ouali shot to fame after winning the intense reality TV competition “Fashion Star Arabia” this year, just months after graduating from Regent’s University London. 

His unique brand is a combination of haute couture and street style. Ouali was born and brought up in Algeria, and his designs blend Arabian culture with the dressed-down look of western cities. 

The 27-year-old designer had no previous fashion experience when he first came to London; it was not a well-established career choice in Algeria. 




Ouali shot to fame after winning the intense reality TV competition “Fashion Star Arabia” this year. (Supplied) 

“I didn’t choose a career in fashion, fashion chose me,” Ouali told Arab News. “I have always been interested in fashion in general, and I didn’t even have the option in my mind to do something else.”

It wasn’t until his college years that he got his start. “During the first years at my university, I decided to drop my collection of six looks because I was impatient to start realizing my ideas.”

His participation in London Arabia Art & Fashion Week is a step into a bigger league. “My… collection will be sort of an introduction for me to the fashion world on a bigger scale, as it is the first time we are doing a big collection.” 

Ouali said his show is meant to serve as a teaser for the new collection, which is strongly influenced by the Seventies. “The core of the brand was and will always be inspired from the 70s glamour, and the upcoming collection will highlight the ‘It’ girls of that era, like Bianca Jagger and Diana Ross.”


What We Are Reading Today: The Puritans: A Transatlantic History by David D. Hall

Updated 21 November 2019

What We Are Reading Today: The Puritans: A Transatlantic History by David D. Hall

This book is a sweeping transatlantic history of Puritanism from its emergence out of the religious tumult of Elizabethan England to its founding role in the story of America. 

Shedding critical new light on the diverse forms of Puritan belief and practice in England, Scotland, and New England, David Hall provides a multifaceted account of a cultural movement that judged the Protestant reforms of Elizabeth’s reign to be unfinished. Hall’s vivid and wide-ranging narrative describes the movement’s deeply ambiguous triumph under Oliver Cromwell, its political demise with the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, and its perilous migration across the Atlantic to establish a “perfect reformation” in the New World.

A breathtaking work of scholarship by an eminent historian, The Puritans examines the tribulations and doctrinal dilemmas that led to the fragmentation and eventual decline of Puritanism. It presents a compelling portrait of a religious and political movement that was divided virtually from the start.

In England, some wanted to dismantle the Church of England entirely and others were more cautious, while Puritans in Scotland were divided between those willing to work with a troublesome king and others insisting on the independence of the state church.