Omani designer Amal Al Raisi has always found a way to pay tribute to the rich culture of Oman through her creations. Launching in time for Eid, her Autumn/Winter 2019 collection channels the artistic use of porcelain, which is a significant part of the country’s trading history.
Since travelers were often gifted precious porcelain antiques from different parts of the world, the people of Oman, with an eye for the artistic, perceived those pieces as a form of art. Instead of using them in the traditional way, the people used the porcelain pieces to decorate by stacking the antiques and placing them in prominent locations. Speaking to Vogue.me about her inspiration for the collection Al Raisi said, “I grew up in a traditional Omani household and one of the elements that distinguish an Omani household from the rest is our antique porcelain pieces stacked as a form of decoration. Growing up, I never realized its significance as it was always something that existed in our homes.”
“I soon realized how unique it was and how it is a part of our culture. This seemed like the perfect inspiration for my AW’19 collection as it is an element that one doesn’t automatically associate with Oman,” she explained.
The structure and tiers formed by the stacking of porcelain are reflected in the collection’s reinvention of the kaftan with ruffles and tiered layers. “I worked with a color palette to accentuate the season with bold hues of pink, black, green and white. To highlight the intricate details on the porcelain pieces, I have worked with subtle embroidery whereas the feature of stacking porcelain has been translated into tiered and ruffled kaftans, staying true to the inspiration,” shared the designer.
The smooth finish of porcelain translates to the collection through the use of fabrics with a similar appeal such as satin, tulle, and metallic tweed. Shimmering sequins in jet black have also found a place in the collection to represent the strength, toughness, and quality of porcelain.