Saudi-born designer Nora Al Shaikh has just cut the ribbon on her boutique opening in Jeddah, five years after launching her namesake brand. Today, the designer reveals her Fall 2017 collection on Vogue.me, with insights on the evolving sartorial signature of her maison.
After a year of museums tours in Oman, LA, and the cultural capitals of Europe, Al Shaikh has infused her collection with artistic influences from across the globe. Brushstroke prints, intricately origami folded cotton tops, and her signature asymmetric riffs are present for Fall 2017, so her loyal clientele can mix previous collections with the new. “In Muscat, I took in traditional costumes and tools on display at the national museum. While at the Tate Modern, Centre Georges Pompidou, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, I explored the work of contemporary artists and abstract impressionists such as Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, and Lee Krasner… This all got translated into the collection,” Al Shaikh says.
Texture is key to the new-season look for the designer, always with the Middle Eastern climate in mind. Breezy cottons are punctuated with metallic twists, and fine wool sourced from Italy and France make this a collection to travel in. “I also found a wonderful light velvet in mouthwatering shades of dusty rose, midnight blue, and a deep emerald green that was new for me this season,” the designer tells Vogue Arabia.
The Riyadh Arts & Skills trained designer is building upon her modern dressing initiative with a conservative flair, with a color palette that is always sophisticated and understated. “There is also a Saudi sensibility to my collections, which comes through in the draping and layering of different looks on the body,” adds Al Shaikh. “It’s about building on the brand’s existing story. If you take the looks apart, you’ll find modern separates such as easy palazzo pants with mesh side vents or a coat dress that can be layered over existing pieces in your wardrobe.” See the collection in full here.