When one hears the name Farah AlMesbah, the word ‘dreamy’ instantly comes to mind. After all, the Kuwaiti designer has built quite the niche for herself with her fairytale-like creations, each piece telling a story that takes its wearer to a whimsical place. With a client list that includes Lulwa AlAslawi, Laila Abdalla, and Dana AlTuwarish, the London College of Fashion graduate is showing no signs of slowing down, and her latest collection serves as proof.
For this season, AlMesbah is using her skills to present a collection that spotlights — or shall we say, celebrates — the dual nature of women. “The collection was inspired by fairytales’ ‘evil’ women characters, who are often portrayed as strong and feminine and have a dominating power over everyone that surrounds them,” she explains. “Every detail has a meaning behind it. The bold and dramatic cuts and large volume represent power and confidence, [while] the more classic details represent a refined, mature woman who has learned how to carve her place in a harsh world dominated by men.”
The unique approach to feminine energy even extends to the palette AlMesbah relied on for her A/W 2023 line. “When young women bloom, they are innocent and delicate… I reflected those aspects in sweet and pure colors such as white and pink,” the couturier tells Vogue Arabia. “But then growing up, they learn that in order to establish their power they have to become strong — and at times, intimidating. The ruling adult woman comes in black and purple colors, wearing an empowering armor that covers the delicate and soft side that every woman has as part of her nature. That’s why each piece has a duality expressed with contrasting colors and see-through details that reflect these two natures living together.”
The line unfolds from pristine white structured gowns to severe black and white cocktail dresses, and when you least expect it, beautifully romantic numbers in shades of dusky rose, soft lavender and cool blues, all artfully embroidered with shimmering beads and crystals. While each look from the collection holds a special place in her heart, AlMesbah counts her ‘In Bloom’ dress as one of her favorites. “This dress was inspired by the time a butterfly starts growing her wings and pushes her tiny body to fly higher. This is how I see the growth of a woman. In each phase of her life she learns lessons, and through them, her character molds and shapes up until she grows into a mature woman. A woman who leads her own independent life taking care of all that depends on her, such as her family, her house, her career and pretty much every aspect of life she gracefully rules,” she says.
Below, take a closer look at Farah AlMesbah’s striking A/W 2023 collection, and get to know the designer better.
What’s your first memory related to fashion? Did you always know that designing was your calling?
When I was very young, around 10 years old, I used to read my mother’s fashion magazines in the afternoon when the house was quiet and everyone was resting. I took that time to escape to a beautiful world where I would just immerse myself in those artistic pictures, while my imaginations was going way beyond the page. I would ask myself how women feel dressed up like that. Growing up, I discovered that clothes impact our confidence, the way we carry ourselves, and who we are. At that moment, I realized that I had found the perfect place to express myself.
Which designers did you look up to growing up?
Christian Lacroix, John Galliano for Dior, and the vintage creations of Christian Dior were my major inspirations since I was really young. I remember it was the Junon dress that had me mesmerized, as the amount of beauty that dress can hold was overwhelming to me.
How would you describe the Farah Al Mesbah woman?
My women are very confident and know what they want. They’re not afraid of being themselves, and they present themselves as who they really are with playfulness and style. They never follow trends and always want to look different and take over the spotlight in any occasion. It is interesting to notice that each client I meet and design for seems to have that exact personality. I know they got the attention they wanted when they come back for another piece, and they usually tell me how they stole the whole show! It’s really beautiful to see women feeling liberated and being their true selves.
Name a few women you’d love to see dressed in Farah Al Mesbah creations someday.
I don’t often think of specific women, but I’d like to see my creations worn by her majesty Queen Rania, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al-Missned, Ahlam Alshamsi and Bella Hadid. I see them as passionate with a strong will and a high confidence to speak their mind. I admire that a lot.
Lastly, what’s next for you?
In my next collection I would love to explore the soft side of women more. I already have a glimpse and a finished vision of my next project. I see a passionate woman who appreciates the finer things in life, who is sweet and enjoys leisure. I’m now exploring the concept and how to reflect that. However, there might be slight changes during the creative process because inspiration often comes uninvited in the most unexpected manner!