“I don’t think I can ever choose just one favorite look,” smiles Madiyah Al Sharqi referring to her Spring 2019 collection. Referencing colors of India and the style of First Lady Jackie Kennedy, the new season features casual separates like the embroidered shirt with “1962” marking the year Kennedy visited India and tailored pieces for casual, off days. A mix of occasion wear in decadent fabrics and playful silhouettes offer options for social events and elegant engagements. Pastel lace is paired with matte and patent leathers, and a myriad of printed textiles including solid and sheer paisley printed crepe, multi-color stripes, and duo-tone checkerboard prints pepper the collection. Pastels colors, signature hues of the brand, were also favored by Kennedy and were especially evident throughout her trip to India. Meanwhile, red is inspired by the elephant ride she took with her sister Lee Radziwill in Jaipur, making for a stronger contrast against the softer hues.
“Kennedy wasn’t just the most powerful woman adored by many at that time, but also a symbol of intelligence, style, and grace, that would later be immortalized through iconic photographs and stories that I love collecting and reading,” says Al Sharqi of the American socialite who would enjoy a brief and tragic end to her tenure as America’s First Lady (1961-1963). “Some of my favorite looks were the ones she wore while in India, which is why I was particularly drawn to that time, motivating me to re-imagine a collection inspired by that trip.”
Al Sharqi has been a frequent visitor to India herself, sharing with Vogue Arabia: “I was amazed by all the different cultures, landscapes, and warm hospitality.” She describes her most memorable trip in 2013, “I went to New Delhi to represent the Middle East as a finalist for the International Woolmark Prize. Visiting India really is a dream, getting familiar with and admiring the country’s rich culture, history, and architecture.
Madiyah Al Sharqi’s Top India Experiences
Visit Jodhpur, without forgetting the Taj Mahal in Agra. Take a boat ride through the backwaters of Kerala. Experience a safari in Ranthambore to see the Bengali tigers. Visit Pushkar to see the only Braha temple in the world, and visit Amer Fort in Jaipur.
Photography, Daniel Asater
Styling, Jeff Aoun