DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Film AlUla has teamed up with the British Fashion Council to showcase two Saudi designers on the sidelines of London Fashion Week.
Arwa Al-Ammari, who is the force behind ArAm, and Sisters Alia and Abeer Oraif of Jeddah-based label Atelier Hekayat have been chosen to show off their creations in the British capital during fashion week — and Al-Ammari spoke to Arab News about the opportunity.
Earlier this year, the designer dressed supermodel Eva Herzigova for the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party and she is now taking part in the “AlUla Creates: Atelier Heykayat and ArAm Designs Presentation.”
For the showcase, Al-Ammari is presenting a collection titled “Andalusian Garden,” inspired by the architecture of Spain’s Alhambra Palace and its gardens. “The stunning gardens, the Islamic floral motifs, carved wood and the stucco work – I got inspired to create a collection to reflect this and tell the story of the beautiful golden era of Islam,” she said.
Launched in 2015, Al-Ammari sees her brand as a tool for storytelling and says she supports the AlUla Creates program that was designed to support and empower Saudi creatives.
“Their goal is to promote the creative industry of Saudi Arabia by being a platform that establishes creative programs to discover and harbor talent from the film and fashion industry. They give creatives a voice and help build their career to gain more recognition on an international level,” said Al-Ammari.
Speaking on the dress she designed for Herzigova — a sand-colored gown with a scooped neck and a high slit — Al-Ammari said that the historic area of AlUla and its magnificent landscape inspired it. The dress took six weeks to create, from design to conception, and the designer said that British designer Emilia Wickstead’s team was extremely forthcoming and helpful with their input, after the label was drafted to mentor AlUla Creates’ designers. “We had several meetings with the British Fashion Council, Emilia and Film AlUla. Once the design was approved, I sent the final sketches to Wickstead, and she took it from there. She gave me invaluable feedback on the material and what would be the best way to construct the dress.”