Five Minutes With Rami Al Ali
February 12th 2017
Rami Al Ali talks to us about his Spring 2017 Haute Couture collection.
Last month Dubai-based couturier Rami Al Ali presented his exquisite Spring 2017 Haute Couture collection in Paris. We caught up with the Syrian designer to find out all about his collection which was inspired by the Japanese cherry blossom.
What led you to explore the sakura flower this season?
The flowering tree has always fascinated me and I wanted to further explore and convey the ephemerality inherent in life throughout the collection. I was inspired by the intimacy within the flower that is shielded by a strong exterior – which allowed me to play around with the textures, layers and structure through the silhouettes. The cherry blossom flower gives a sense of tranquility and harmony implementing an overall charm to the collection.
How many people worked on your couture collection?
The collection was definitely a team effort, involving our whole production team, which consists of around 40 artisans.
Tell us about the techniques used for the pieces within your collection
Besides using the standard couture techniques such as hand stitching and handmade embroidery, we also used the modern laser method to cut some of the fabrics.
What drew you towards the colour palette used for the collection?
I wanted a soft and subtle colour palette that portrayed the understated flowering tree – I used shades of beige, with touches of creole pink, silver grey and sakura prints to create a graceful feel within each individual design as well as the overall look of the collection.
What are the differences between designing for your ready-to-wear and couture lines?
The design process between each collection is rather different; everything within the couture collection is handmade and takes meticulous effort to create – so when designing the collection I can be extremely imaginative and allow my creative thoughts to run free resulting in one of the kind designs, which are made to measure for my customers. The ready-to-wear line isn’t any less creative in terms of inspiration and quality, I do however have to keep in mind that it’s a design that is created for a different type of customer rather than one-of-a-kind bespoke dresses. My ready-to-wear line has slightly simpler silhouettes and is made to be worn straight off the racks.
Tell us about your design technique, how do you transform an idea or inspiration into a collection?
The most important foundation of starting a collection is the design process – I really like to switch off and be alone with my thoughts to imagine the collection and design as I go along. I design with emotion, it’s important for me that my customer feels absolutely beautiful and special when she is wearing my designs. I have a fantastic, dedicated team that helps put my inspiration into motion. We work with layering – starting from the basic design, then we explore how the garment will fit around the body and then look into the unique hand made details. Every design is different and we use a wide variety of techniques for each of the dresses.
What do you think women want from their wardrobes today?
Every woman wants to look and feel special and to be confidently at their best.
Couture clothing has become more and more functional in recent years, what do you think about Haute Couture and its meaning in the 21st Century?
Haute Couture has certainly changed over the years, what we see today are modern forms of art made into clothing using 21st century technology like laser cutting. Designs may be heading in a more functional direction, but what is certain is that there are still buyers, lovers of art and core customers that necessitate the creation of hand-made beautiful bespoke dresses.