This season, the antique becomes an inspiration for Buthaina Al Zadjali’s label Bthaina. The designer’s Fall/Winter ’19 collection named “Zaman Al Mandoos” references to the mandoos or wooden chest previously used by Omani families to hold their precious possessions. “A mandoos is an antique chest that can be found in every Omani household. Over the years, it has become a decorative piece in our homes that symbolizes tradition and heritage. Through this collection, I wanted to preserve a unique Omani tradition which has been so prominent in my life,” explains Al Zadjali.
Bthaina’s signature embellishments form intricate patterns and are seen throughout in the collection as nods to the delicate, brass nail patterns that decorate the antique boxes. The patterns on every individual piece are carefully hand embroidered in Al Zadjali’s workshop in Muscat. “The entire process took us back to the era of when the mandoos was a prominent part of every Omani’s life. From the beginning of this collection, I knew how I wanted the patterns to be imitated in my designs using gold, silver and white threads along with sequins to highlight the brass nails,” shared Al Zadjali with Vogue.me
“The use of metallic colors helped in capturing the essence of these majestic chests. The most challenging part was not so much the imitating but the time it took and the attention to detail to make sure the embroidery looked just right.”
The collection elegantly combines the past and the present while boasting vibrant tones, fluid styles, and traditional embroidery. The lightweight fabrics used are georgette, silk, and chinnon in rich shades of stone, amber and lapis while the free-flowing silhouettes feature capes and fluted sleeves, as well as origami pleating and color blocked panels adding a modern touch. Describing the woman that wears Bthaina’s designs Al Zadjali said, “The Bthaina woman has an eye for feminine silhouettes that boast exquisite designs in luxurious fabrics. She is someone who wants to make a bold yet delicate statement and appreciates quality over quantity.”