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Reem Al Kanhal

Saudi designer Reem Al Kanhal revealed her Spring 2016 ready-to-wear collection this past weekend on the catwalk of the Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience . Al Kanhal, who was awarded Fashion Designer of the Year at the KSA Arab Woman Awards in May 2015, presented a capsule collection that underlined her desire to propose a contemporary update to traditional Saudi dress.

Inspired by the North African country of Tunisia, Al Kanhal sourced some of her earlier works, like the white shirt dress and the high-low shirt with billowing train—perhaps to remind us that they are Al Kanhal originals. She also experimented with volume: Victorian era poet and oversized bell sleeves; a roomy poppy red dress; and a maxi skirt that grazed the floor. What gave the collection a funky update were the Islamic architecture inspired cutouts (one featured swingy fringe), the tassel embellishments, the word “aycheck” (thank you in Tunisian slang) embroidered across a shirt; and her translation of the colors of Tunisia’s flag (red and white) onto a pinstripe. Al Kanhal offered her client modest overlays, suits, and a revealing, blush pink pinstriped halter shirt and skirt in beautiful fabrics like organza, crepe, silk, and taffeta. Here, we have a full wardrobe for a woman who spends a fraction of her time in the GCC and the rest traveling anywhere else.

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