If you’ve ever been to a Rami Al Ali presentation in Paris you see how much the designer takes pride in his creations. His body language and undistracted attention to detail is palpable from his bending down to making sure that every angle of the gowns on presentation are in tip top shape. The way Al Ali stands exact next to his creations is something to be admired, along with of course, his structured voluminous shapes that he’s known for creating.
His Autumn/Winter 2021/2022 Collection unveiled during Haute Couture Week was not on the official calendar, bur it’s not less any opulent than past collections. Al Ali mixed the motif details of photographer Cyril Porchet’s ornate altars in 10 baroque churches with, as he describes it, ‘this idea of taking something boly and doing the opposite, making something sensual it’s a very nice contrast.
Back to the collection in a moment. Rami is not new to dressing some of the world’s most glamorous women. As it’s currently the Cannes Film Festival, last night he dressed Romanian model Catrinel Marlon from this collection, for a dinner hosted by Chopard. And Dame Helen Mirren, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Letitia Wright and a countless host of models are no stranger to the Syrian designer. His story and rise to becoming an international couturier is one to be noted.
Ok, so back to the A/W 21/22 collection of 14 pieces, which Al Ali calls ‘more of a capsule collection than full colection‘, explores the various thems of Porchet’s works. Where the photographer expresses his curiosity to architecture through the lens, Al Ali also does the same through curefully chosen fabrics, tailoring and embroidery. Drawing out and putting in the form of couture, Al Ali includes the ornate details of church baroque romanticism in his sartorial storytelling.
‘I have a soft spot for the barogue era, this decadence in the architecture and the presence of gold has always been an inspiration to me’, says the designer. ‘I’ve gone to it in previous collection but I went deeper in this collection, and we modernized it because baroque can feel heavy and old school. We chose lots of tones of off – white champagne and mixed it with tones of golds and bronze’.
Feathers are seen through the looks creating different kind of movement, proving contreast to the starkness of gold used, while maintaining the feminine codes of the house. ‘In the collection we used material like crystal mesh, which is heavy, but it has a rich weight with it. I wanted to balance with something light and airy and this is the first time we used the crillion that’s used for hat making. I wanted to create this structure and add the feathers and crystals in between.
Al Ali ranged his collection from sleek fitting, to form fitting, and voluminous gowns, keeping the color palette pastel pale. ‘Big structures in gowns is a lot of work and when putting big color intothem, it becomes too much. I try to minimize the presence by going with something lighter to the eye and let the details create the drama of the dress’.
Created rather quickly, Al Ali and his tem went through a lot of sleepless nights to create the collection. ‘In the beginning of May we didn’t know if borders were going to be open. Because there was no clarity we started a bit late during the first week of May when it was announced there would be a digital platform to show collection on, and that there was a spossibility of travel restrictions being lightened. So, from then on, we rushed’.
Turning around this collection in short amount of time, Al Ali stand tall by his looks which have already made the red carpet. Already working on his Spring /Summer Collection to reveal in Paris should pandemic structures allow.