Tell us about your design ethos and philosophy when it comes to your label – what is important to you in fashion design?
I am passionate about creating feminine, elegant designs that transform the wearer. I love to experiment with new, interesting textiles because I never want to feel stagnant or stop pushing myself as a result of becoming too comfortable. There is a glamorous indulgence found in Middle Eastern culture – a sense of appreciation for fine things and a celebratory attitude towards life. I love to combine this idea with a bolder, more edgy aesthetic from other regions: Europe and the West.
How does your Syrian heritage influence your design perspective?
Syrian design is all about focusing on the little details that make up the bigger picture, such as the ornate patterns in mosaics, or the beautiful Arabic shapes in architecture. I try and use this idea in my designs by ensuring I always pay very close attention to the finer details – from the fall of the fabric to the placement of a sequin. These features elevate my designs to create something special and unique.
You’re already so well known for your intricate couture designs, what inspired you to introduce this new ready to wear collection?
Couture will always be my number one passion, but it makes sense commercially to introduce a ready-to-wear line. It’s the new global language which every designer should speak. The clothes are easier to make, sell, distribute and wear, which is great for me as it means I can introduce more customers to my brand and become a truly global designer. This has always been my dream.
How long have you been planning this new line, is it something you’ve always wanted to introduce?
I’ve always wanted to introduce a pret-a-porter collection, as the demand has been there from the beginning, especially from my overseas customers. It was always a case of choosing the right time because I’m so busy with my couture and bridal collections. I didn’t want to rush the whole design process as this would inevitably result in creating something that I wasn’t 100% happy with.
Tell us about the inspiration behind this new line and the fabrics/trims you used to make it come to life.
I was inspired by the orchid, which I’ve used as an embellishment across the pieces – I love how it represents exotic luxury and splendour, yet also innocence and purity. This idea of juxtaposing femininity is a concept I’ve explored throughout the collection, as I’ve strived to create a line that is contemporary yet classic and wearable. I’ve used a mixture of fabrics, particularly chiffon, silk and crepe which drape, beautifully and flatter the figure.
We associate your work with impeccable cut and detailing – how have you been able to maintain your signature detailing in this ready to wear line?
The collection incorporates the intricate embroidery and embellishment I’m known for, but on a smaller scale. The great thing about the range is that I’ve been able to take my signature concepts, details and cuts, but modify them to create everyday pieces. As well as dresses, I’ve introduced coats, trousers and blouses which will hopefully become closet staples for the modern woman.
Who is the ‘Rami Al Ali’ woman – is there someone in particular you consider to be your muse?
I don’t work with a particular muse in mind – the Rami Al Ali woman is quietly confident and embodies classic beauty, both inside and out. However, I will always be inspired by timeless beauties from the Golden Hollywood age such as Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Sophia Loren, who to me are the absolute epitome of elegance.
Party season is upon us – what tips do you have for ladies to look elegant at soirees this time of year?
My top tip would be to always wear something you feel comfortable in, and make sure you carry yourself well. If you feel confident, you will look confident and command the room. You can’t go wrong if you select classic cuts and shapes, adding your own twists to make them look unique and memorable.
You already have so many well known clients who turn to you for red carpet events, but who would you love to see wearing Rami Al Ali?
I would love to dress Sarah Jessica Parker, as she’s got a very fun and quirky sense of style and I love how she mixes couture and high street in her own way. I’d love to see how she wears a Rami Al Ali dress!
This new pret-a-porter line has been an exciting development for your brand – are there other areas you’d also like to branch out into?
Having just launched my debut pret-a-porter collection, a lot of my efforts are going into this and developing the next collection. I am also currently working on my next couture collection and the upcoming bridal collection, which I will be launching before the end of the year. That being said, there are always new developments in the pipeline so watch this space!
For information on Rami Al Ali’sprêt-a-porter collection, contact +9714 394 5607 or visit www.ramialali.com