Bahrain-born womenswear designer Lulwa Al Amin has collaborated with Al Riwaq Art Space to produce a unique installation and a limited edition dress and T-shirt line with a difference. Far from the fickle fashion trendmill, Al Amin’s T collection has a fictional and reflective cultural story that explores the crucible of Bahrain’s social culture. An on-point topic for Al Riwaq’s November – December public art event, entitled ‘The Nest’, it seeks to “activate Adliya’s streets and public spaces” with its 360 art-inspired festivities. Al Amin’s installation, nestled in a lofty gallery space, features an outdoor market, a children’s area, live music and an outdoor cinema.
“For my project I created a story about a building in Adliya (building 9) and focused on five imaginary occupants (all expatriates) who lived there from 1957-present. Each occupant has a story,” Al Amin tells Vogue Arabia. “The stories are presented in a cabinet de curiosites installation, where items representing each character are carefully put on display. These items are then translated into prints that are applied on a traditional thoub, representing Bahrain – if there was one piece of traditional womenswear that would represent Bahrain, it would be the Thoub Al Nashel,” shares Al Amin.
‘The Nest’ is a hybrid of two former events run by Al Riwaq, joining together the merits of the Market 338 and Alwan 338. The gallery commissioned Al Amin to create an art space that revolved around the theme of Bahrain being a melting pot. Naturally, the designer added a capsule clothing line to complement.
There are only 60 T-shirts to scoop up, so ink a date into your diary. “I chose white and pink to be the dominant colors in this project as they represent my brand,” explains Al Amin, who is known for her playful interplay between color and painterly prints.
In 2004 Al Amin moved to London, completing her BA degree in Textile Design at Central Saint Martins in 2009. Work experience soon followed at Matthew Williamson and Browns. A mere year later Lulwa Al Amin the brand was founded. Ever since its first collection presentation in 2011, her clients have sought the fashion house out for its highly wearable, silk-lined dresses and separates in graphic color with artful detailing. The designer is set to relaunch her online offering in January 2017, but first: Ts for Bahrain’s art set.
‘The Nest’ runs throughout November and December 2016 at the Al Riwaq Art Space in Bahrain.