Qasimi’s new collection is for the nomads: the world’s wandering souls with a taste for adventure.
Qasimi’s SS21 collection is for the nomads: the world’s wandering souls, those who explore and live outside constraints of domestic life.
Supported by the British Fashion Council, “We The People” is the brand’s first collection since the passing of founder Khalid al-Qasimi earlier on this month, with the late designer’s sister Hoor taking up the reigns and introducing womenswear to the label. For SS21, the brand has taken immense inspiration from the nomadic spirit of the Middle East, sharing the experience of Qasimi’s soulmate – venturing into identity, desire, taste, belief and worldview through the medium of clothes.
The relationship between trade and textiles is paramount to this season’s offerings. Many of the collection’s striking fabrics were fittingly created by using Bedouin weaving techniques, with a focus on fusing Islamic and West African design. Here, heritage and culture mix with ideas of formality to create clothes synonymous with both comfort and luxury.
Adhering to government guidelines, Qasimi worked closely with Nicholás Santos to create a digital mixed media experience steeped in mystique and beauty. Somalian rapper FREEK masterfully narrates the spectacle, whilst a camera pans around lengthy coats in plum and sandy beige. The earthy palette continues with cosy olive striped shirts, sweatshirts and baggy two pieces. Silhouettes are relaxed and breezy, with plunging necklines and exposed collars, in mineral-hued marbles or desert rose.
Some garments are adorned with striking fringe-like technicolour embroideries, the handiwork of found objects artist Nari Ward, whose practice often tackles race and diasporic identity in American culture. Based on his 2018 work We the People (Arabic Version), a subversion of the US Constitution’s opening Preamble, Qasimi have replaced Ward’s shoelaces with hanging thread in a metaphoric call for unity.
As first collection’s go, Hoor Qasimi’s debut is a fantastic exploration of history and unabandoned creative fusion, positing the designer as an opponent in the fashion game who is not to be underestimated.