BETWEEN ASHES AND ROSES
How can withered trees blossom?
A time between ashes and roses is coming
When everything shall be extinguished
When everything shall begin again
These are the words of Syrian poet Adunis, which appear in a volume of his work titled A Time Between Ashes & Roses, from which QASIMI Spring/Summer 2022 takes its name. Written in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967. The verse evokes a sense of hope that, despite the cruelty of man, nature can somehow be renewed.
Set in the countryside surrounding London, the show takes place at a modernist masterpiece by architect Sir Raymond McGrath amongst the landscaped idyll, designed by Christopher Tunnard.
Drawing parallels between muqarnas –a geometric style of vaulting found in Islamic architecture– and the brutalist lines like those of the Geisel Library at the University of California, designed by William L. Pereira & Associates, the collection is built around architectural lines that complement the season’s minimal aesthetic and oversized shapes. The womenswear is cut slightly closer to the body for some silhouettes, where tailoring precision is counterbalanced by sportswear detailing: a cinched jacket is made more comfortable with an elasticated channel at the back, for example.
Contrasting with last season’s moody hues, this season’s colour palette takes cues from the Indian subcontinent, incorporating orange and pink in both soft and shocking tones. Necklines also borrow from the Indian subcontinent, with specific reference to the angarakhi and nehru-inspired collars. Gulf dress is also referenced in the form of the kandora – a floor length robe, and the tarbousha – a woven tassel; staples of an Emirati’s man’s wardrobe.
Meanwhile, more graphic elements can be found in the woven jacquard which borrows its pattern from the decorative brickwork found in Islamic architecture and the graphic ikat print, -a signature of QASIMI- that combines colour dégradés and multi-directional stripes with op-art precision.
Laser-cut coated cotton is used across women’s trench coats, blouses and skirts, along with men’s cagoules and shirt backs and is inspired by the mesh canopies used as camouflage in the military.
Sportswear elements are elevated by traditional craft techniques such as safeefah – a weave native to the Emirates – it is found on a men’s denim jacket, on a women’s cropped jacket and skirt, as pockets, and on tasselled tote bags. The safeefah is a part of a collaboration with a council which works to represent both traditional and modern crafts across the world, empowering women artisans both professionally and socially. Juxtaposing ancient craft and new technical fabrics from the collection, the collaboration is emblematic of QASIMI’s approach to fashion, which is marked by its respect for the past and its desire to push ahead into the future. Also developed as part of this collaboration were two-toned macramé bags woven into a bucket shape and purposed as water bottle carriers.
Trainers and sandals were constructed from braided tape in brilliant colours to match those of the collection providing a sporty, yet futuristic touch.
QASIMI partnered with the Lahore-based jeweller, Zohra Rahman to develop a multi-functional piece that can be worn as a brooch, a pendant or an earring. Her pieces for QASIMI echo the techniques employed in this collection – from knotting to laser-cutting – and the spirit of the season, which celebrates unity, humanity and craft.
All images courtesy of Qasimi
Public Relation Karla Otto London
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Hoor Al-Qasimi @hooralq STYLIST Nell Kalonji @nellkalonji ART DIRECTOR Nicolas Santos @nicolas_santos CASTING Troy Fearn @troyfuss SAFEEFA Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council @irthicouncil JEWELLERY Zohra Rahman @zohra_rahman FOOTWEAR Hernan Guardamagna @hernanguardamagna TARBOUSHA Al Amiri @alamiriuae HAIR Kiyoko Odo @kiyokoodo MAKE-UP Nami Yoshida @namiyyy VIDEO DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Premices Films @studiopremices MUSIC Kamal El Aoufi @kamal141.80 PHOTOGRAPHY (Runway) Jason Lloyd-Evans @jasonlloydevans PHOTOGRAPHY (Social) Benjamin Breading @benjaminbreading SET DESIGN Hella Keck @hellakeck