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Look Down to Look Up: Celebrating Arabic Culture in Homeware

Brushstrokes by Elie Saab X The Rug Company. Courtesy of The Rug Company

Brushstrokes by Elie Saab X The Rug Company. Courtesy of The Rug Company

While the heart of the home is the kitchen, due kudos must be given to the finery that lines all rooms in our living spaces. As Holy Month unravels – full of personal reflections and a renewed onus on family life – Zayan The Label unveils its new collection of poetic woven rugs complete with Arabic calligraphy by celebrated poet Nizar Qabbani.

Zayan the Label 2017 homeware collection featuring Nizar Qabbani poetry. Courtesy of Zayan the Label

Zayan the Label 2017 homeware collection featuring Nizar Qabbani poetry. Courtesy of Zayan the Label

This is not the first time Middle Eastern heritage has been appropriated into artworks of the floor. In March 2017, Lebanese designer Elie Saab collaborated with The Rug Company to create a series of silk handwoven rugs using age-old techniques from Nepal – the collection elegantly continued Saab’s runway signature, but for the home.

At the bold end of the spectrum, Kuwaiti artist Ali Cha’aban cut the ribbon on his first solo exhibition early this year, hosted at La Cantine du Faubourg, Dubai. His lead artwork was the Persian rug reimagined: entitled “The Broken Dream,” it featured a battered poster of Superman breaking through the carpet, exploring the tensions of his Arabic identity battling with the Western sensibilities of his upbringing in an international school. “The Persian rug has its own prominence, from visual to felt. Whether poor or rich, we all have a mindful appreciation towards it,” Cha’aban tells Vogue Arabia. “Pop culture mixed with traditional aesthetics felt like a broken dream; I wanted to somehow connect what I loved as a child with what I love now, as an adult.” Clearly, our cultural memes have multiple manifestations.

The Broken Dream, 2016 by Ali Chaaban. Courtesy of Ali Chaaban

The Broken Dream, 2016 by Ali Chaaban. Courtesy of Ali Chaaban

Beirut-born Zayan Ghandour, founding designer of Zayan The Label (launched at Paris Fashion Week 2011), has also explored Arabic culture using rugs. Her Nizar Qabbani-inspired rugs feature words from the Syrian poet: “Don’t worry / My sweetest / You are in my poetry and in my words / You might grow old in years / But you are ever young in my pages”

لا تقلقي يا حلوة الحلوات  ما دمت في شعري وفي كلماتي قد تكبرين مع السنين وإنما  لن تكبرين أبدا على صفحاتي

“The handwritten poem is so pretty and has a beautiful meaning,” Ghandour says.

Zayan Ghandour, founder of Zayan the Label. Courtesy of Zayan the Label

Zayan Ghandour, founder of Zayan the Label. Courtesy of Zayan the Label

“It is that attention to detail that I was looking to bring to the beautiful poetry rugs, which are a first for the brand. The woven rug itself is quite common in the region as it brings people together. It reminds me of families congregating around a meal or spending the day in the park or by the sea,” Ghandour tells Vogue Arabia.

Zayan the Label 2017 homeware collection featuring Nizar Qabbani poetry. Courtesy of Zayan the Label

Zayan the Label 2017 homeware collection featuring Nizar Qabbani poetry. Courtesy of Zayan the Label

“The pieces are recognizable by their floaty, dreamy personalities and are always distinguished by that one style detail, hand-embroidery or unique cut that makes them stand out.” Available in black, gold, and pink in white lettering, this trio of cultured homeware choices will make for an on-point Eid gift and reminds us once more that art is for every dimension of your home space.


Available at Zayan The Label in the Galleria Mall in Abu Dhabi and online at zayanthelabel.com

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