For the past ten seasons, Saudi designer Daneh Buahmad has offered luxe sportswear in neutral hues—nothing more, nothing less. It’s not that she’s incapable—or uninterested—in doing something else, it’s that she wanted to create a signature that people will associate her with before branching out. Survey today’s emerging designers and it’s clear that many suffer from a limited attention span. If a designer isn’t interested in cultivating a signature across more than a few seasons, how will she be identified, let alone remembered? That said, ten seasons is far too long to wait to finally branch out and take a risk, only for it to underwhelm.
For her Fall 2016 presentation, Buahmad introduced a print resembling hieroglyphics, which dotted a dress, outerwear, and two tops. Now, it’s not that the print didn’t work, per se—it was the ‘50s silhouette dress that she put it on that looked out of place next to the other pieces, which included a sleeveless, mesh shirtdress and some versatile black numbers. Furthermore, one would be right to be disappointed that the designer didn’t take on the new challenge with a more confident statement—four printed pieces isn’t taking a risk, it’s tip-toeing around one.
On the whole, however, she delivered what the Daneh client comes to her for: sports-luxe pieces that are intelligently tailored, and with a slight edge that doesn’t overpower. Daneh’s clothing is also about an attitude, and one that a white shirtdress embodies so well: something to wear when it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get a job done.