The key to this season’s most magical secret garden lays in the hands of Syrian designer Rami Al Ali. Presenting his Spring/Summer 2020 couture collection at the palatial Hotel Le Meurice in Paris, Al Ali’s 22 creations draw inspiration from the revered orchid, a flower largely considered one of nature’s most wondrous marvels.
“To me, it represents the essence of couture,” the courtier explained about his principal motif. “When you look at it closely, it appears almost handmade in its construction. A symbol of beauty and strength, the orchid is delicate in its nature but bold in its stature. It presents strong architectural lines that are in keeping with the brand’s aesthetic. It became my artistic muse, guiding my design decisions and provoking my curiosity and creative vision in the most organic way.”
Bringing the grandiose beauty of the flower to life, the Dubai-based label’s artisans combined structured silhouettes of column gowns and layered skirts with their signature intricate beadwork across a palette of vivid colors and opulent fabrics to magnify the potential modernity of traditional couture.
From a turquoise gown with an endless train mimicking a flower’s unique shape to a blush mini dress decorated with clusters of gold petals, Al Ali’s latest patterns crafted on tulle, organza, muslin, mikado, and silk-satin are evocative of the “zest of life.”
“This season we developed past techniques and evolved them, said Al Ali. “We created embroidery to add texture to the designs and to create a different surface and dimension to the fabric. We also focused on creating architectural structures with strong lines while maintaining a lightness, so that the fabrics appeared very delicate. We mixed techniques, combining silk organza with embroidery to blend something very classic with something very modern.”
Although “the collection took around 4 months to complete—from the initial concept and mood board to the presentation”—the feedback was instantaneous. “With the evolution of social media, you get an immediate response and see how it has been received by the people almost instantly,” explained Al Ali.
So far, he has received positive feedback from both new and longtime followers of the brand from all over the world after his presentation during Haute Couture Week in the French capital, crediting his 17 season-long run for his success. “I feel our continuous presence at events, such as Fashion Week, combined with the longevity of the brand has given some stability and helped shape the character of the brand.”