In the May issue of MOJEH Magazine, we explore the intersection of fashion and technology, which is seemingly leading to profoundly transformative possibilities in garment manufacture. Syrian designer Rami Al Ali is renowned for his awe-inspiring couture creations and intricate embroidery. We chat to the Dubai-based couturier about how machinery has merged with the handmade.
In what way is technology changing fashion design?
Technology is impacting every aspect of our lives and the fashion world is no exception. It has introduced speed, innovation and connectivity to the industry and has been a real game changer over the last decade.
How is technology changing fashion design for the better?
The Internet has introduced a level of connectivity like never before. Now more than ever, a designer understands his or her audience and is better able to cater to their need through their design. Designers also have access to a multitude of tools that enables them to modify and create fabrics like never before.
How is technology changing fashion design for the worse?
Technology spoils its users in a lot of ways. The consumer wants everything then and there, and the Internet has spawned critics who emerge and don’t have any in-depth knowledge of the craft or any formal training. While this is both good and bad, the negative really takes away from the art, with a greater focus on fast fashion and not so much on the technique and workmanship.
What are you thoughts on wearable technology?
Fashion exists to serve its customers and wearable technology offers convenience, functionality and good design. Hence, I have nothing against it.
How can fashion designers benefit from the likes of 3D printing?
I may be old school but coming from a couture background, I feel the handcraft, workmanship and technical heritage from each fashion house is sacred and gives the brand its true identity. This is on the decline with 3D printing, with the technique largely taking away from the aforementioned. I feel 3D printing is mostly beneficial for fast fashion customers, and less so in the luxury sector.
How has technology impacted Rami Al Ali’s designs over the years?
Fashion is an art and while technology speeds up the process and offers convenience, the craft itself should supersede all else. However, we do strive to employ new techniques in our designs every season.
What’s the future for technology within the fashion industry?
Fashion is a reflection of society and one of the most important tools to voice evolution, whether it be social, political, economic or technical. Technology is essentially the protagonist of our current evolutionary movement; hence I suspect we will be seeing a lot of it in the industry.