DUBAI: Womenswear label Talar Nina has just unveiled its latest collection, a sartorial homage to Lebanon and Armenia.
Designer Talar Bilemjian, who is of Armenian descent, told Arab News that her heritage and childhood often serve as the inspiration behind most of the brand’s pieces.
Entitled “Edit 8,” the collection is an ode to her homeland. “Being unable to travel for the past five months has granted me the time to reminisce on the summer of last year, traveling between Armenia and Lebanon, two places dear to my heart,” she said.
On the designer’s mood board were cut-out photographs from a road trip from Lebanon to southern Armenia and old clippings from a book on Armenian cultural life, including men’s sports clubs from the Ottoman Empire during the early 1900s.
This translated into the high-waist shorts and embroidered track pants that punctuate the new offering, which was handmade in Beirut.
When it came to the color palette, the designer chose hues that evoke the wild flowers that bloom in landlocked Armenia.
“I couldn’t believe that these magnificent shades of purple, yellow and green occur and blend so effortlessly in nature,” Bilemjian said.
“I also included some white and black elements to serve as foundation pieces for the vibrant colors of our summer flowers theme.”
Meanwhile, trousers and blazers made out of soft crepe and chiffon are embellished with Armenian flowers embroidered with metallic threads, beads and sequins.
Standout designs include the “Arina” suit, a blazer and trousers co-ord that comes in a lavender and pistachio colorway, and boasts dazzling Swarovski crystal buttons on the center and front cuffs. “It’s versatile, comfortable and fun to wear this season,” she said.
The contemporary brand has continued to soldier on despite the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve been trying to look at COVID-19 in the most positive way we can for the business. It definitely woke us up to a lot of things that weren’t working, helped us focus more on the parts that were, and what our customers truly love,” Bilemjian said.
In light of the ongoing pandemic, the brand has decided to take a more sustainable and ethical approach to its designs.
“We’ve started producing on a made-to-order basis from our website. We’re also focusing on keeping collections limited,” she said.
Bilemjian has enlisted up-and-coming Emirati photographer Nadia Baker to photograph five Palestinian friends to model her latest collection in Dubai.
“It has always been a dream of mine to shoot my friends for a collection. As an Armenian whose paternal roots originate from Jerusalem, I wanted to connect with a part of my own history that I have yet to discover first-hand,” she said. “It’s a dream of mine to visit Palestine one day with my friends.”
The collection can be purchased online on talarnina.com, lemonade.com and MaisonOrient.com.