By Asma and Reem

Reemami S/S 2015: Power Moves

It doesn't take much to win a boxing match, other than maintaining a considerable level of grit and a tough interior.  The combat sport has been around since the 3rd millennium, but all it took for Reema Al Banna to draw inspiration for Reemami's Spring/Summer 2015 collection was a few visits to Dubai's Round 10 boxing club. 

"Boxing is a sport that I enjoy; to keep fit by exercising and breaking the routine" -Reema Al-Banna

Fun fact: Did you know that boxing gloves are actually dangerous and are able to cause more damage than bare-knuckle boxing? Which is why they prove to be a fitting motif for the collection. Al-Banna utilises lightweight fabrics such as crepe de chine, silk-blend and cotton muslin to come up with easy to wear and comfortable yet chic garments.

Boxing attire was the main inspiration, resulting in prints emphasising elements of boxing by featuring equipment from the headgear to the punching bags. The athletic mood cleverly highlighted the cuts and slits, which can be seen on tops and dresses. Al-Banna also upped her game by including details on the back of her garments, seemingly pressuring the fact that everything on the back is as important as the front. 

It would be wrong to admit that Reemami's latest collection was anything but pragmatic. It comes into play to know that the focus of it all is simplicity yet having maximum impact on the brand's customer. Easy to say that the clothes can be as casual or as fancy as one wishes-depending on the accessories. On that note, we also loved the fact that one can mix and match with the blazers and tops. This a collection is for the modern lady who likes to stay fit yet also posses a stylish demeanour, which is where Reemami comes in. Al-Banna's advanced skill at prints makes it safe to say that in the growing local fashion industry Reemami is coming on top. 

YNM: Dubai's Blooming Talent

A week ago we sat with YNM's creative designer Yasmin Al Mulla, where we chatted not only about the brand, YNM, but also about the local fashion industry. Before revealing what she had to tell us, here's a brief background about the brand itself! 

"Y N M  is a contemporary ready-to-wear fashion label based in Dubai. Simplicity, elegance and clean cuts are the keynotes of each garment. The concept revolves around combining different aspects of form and innovative classic designs in order to achieve timeless feminine pieces."

In her lovely atelier -which strictly emphasises her label- we discussed her affiliation with fashion and design. Not only did Al-Mulla develop a love for fashion at a young age, but she also studied design to pursue her dream. Although she graduated with a bachelor's degree in International Relations, Al-Mulla took intense fashion courses at the notable London College of Fashion before starting her own fashion company. Her late father encouraged her to strive for a career in design; that was when the aspiring designer founded YNM alongside her sister, Nesreen, who is the managing director. By March the workshop was ready, and the official launch took place in September. 

As Emirati's, we couldn't help but ask Yasmin about her local consumers and how YNM fits in the local market. "My clothes are all about simplicity, clean cuts, and quality. I use different fabrics such as chiffon, crepe, linen... depending on the theme behind the collection or my mood board," she claims. "Before the official launch, I was so stressed because I wasn't sure about the how the local market would respond. However, at the unveiling of my debut, we sold everything in about 3 months. This was the response from the market. People wanted new things." 

Then we shifted the focus on design. We wanted to know what YNM's logo represented. Laughingly, Yasmin asked us "What do you see?", and we came to know that since the brand represents simplicity and clean cuts, the logo represents art deco. In every season, Yasmin uses the same shape of two dresses which she named "Aster" and "Reed". She doesn't reproduce the same piece after it sells out. It's a smart move since this gives the brand and customers more exclusivity. 

For her Cruise 2015 collection, Al-Mulla focuses on graphics and polka-dots, not wandering further than monochrome with her colour palette. Classic garments such as the Montclair and the Quartet emphasise minimalism and sophistication. Our favourite piece? The Alphanse.

The designer advises that people should educate themselves about fashion before becoming a fashion designer. Further adding that she can't manage this brand without her sister, who takes care of everything except designing, and would love to thank her for that. 

Although Yasmin is taking her brand slowly, she says that she would love to go international one day. For now, YNM is sold online or through personal appointments at the atelier. 

It's a Bright Winter

Who said winter should be depressing and gloomy? Although we live in Dubai and the sun shines on us 24/7 in 365 days, we have experienced winter abroad. We got to admit, winter abroad can be dull and gloomy especially when there is too much rain and snow. But you know what? We truly believe that it's the people who create all the dullness. Well, let's shift the focus on fashion now. When we think  of "winter", all we can think of is grey, brown, beige, burgundy... We don't think of bright colours. But not for long! One of the biggest trends this autumn/ winter is the sixties meet nineties fashion. Think bold patterns, vibrant colours, blue jeans, A- line dresses... We are so ecstatic that designers have decided to make winter fun this year (and we are hoping the fun will last in all coming years!). 

This season's winter collection, we saw Peter Pilotto playing with contrast and extremes to create confident silhouettes. Nicholas Ghesquiere mastered the waisted tight trousers, A-line, and quilted skirts for Louis Vuitton. Iceberg showed us how to be smart yet casual while adding a pop of colour here and there, while Valentino was more conservative with its long sleeves, maxi dresses, and high necklines, but that doesn't mean that it had to be "dreary"! Creative designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli were intensely focused on colours, imitating the work of female artists such as Julia Vicioso. The best for us? Gucci and Carven. Gucci perfected 60s fashion with the fur and A- line dresses. Even the coats were copied from the 60s (the ones with the oversized buttons, got us?). As for Carven, we give them the award for knowing how to be bright in winter. Don't believe us? Spot Carven in the image gallery we created below (hint: it's the one with the brightest, bright colours). 

Images via Vogue.co.uk

Mansur Gavriel S/S 2015: The Anti-It Bag Label is Back

As soon as they're stocked, they're all sold out. That's how far Mansur Gavriel has come! Meaning: you're really, really lucky if you get your hands on one of their bags. They're far from "Anti-It"; an unprecedented force has declared the New York-based brand's products as "It". We're betting the "It" status is going to stick for some time; you can't deny the bags are one of a kind. Even Gucci channelled their own version of the bucket bag to get in on the hype, but Gavriel's price tag puts them on top of the famous Italian label. Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel's devotion to creating a practical bag using divine craftsmanship and Tuscan leather obviously goes to show. Their design mantra "simple, elegant" is a recurring element in their line- so it was no shock when the duo included pebbled leather in their latest Spring/Summer 2015 collection, not to mention the lined envelope clutches. We have to admit though, their eye for colour is impeccable: sorbet shades such as cream, blush, sand, and celosia. The unabashedly feminine colours alone are a statement.  Another aspect that overlooked the colour palette was the new set of materials including canvas, pebbled leather and their signature vegetable tanned leather. 

Materials have always been a main focus for us
— Mansur Gavriel via Style.com

The best part of the lookbook were the whimsical set of animals, especially the owl. We loved how the New York-based brand used the models, the gleamy siren hair theme made up for the lack of faces(talk about differentiation).  As of now we're avidly waiting by our laptops for any new stock, hoping to get our hands on one of the new season bucket bags.