‘lowest point on earth’
A couple of interviews had come out about our work, all with titles labelling us as a Jordanian brand and designers. The question ‘Where are you from?’ - is loaded. Having a Palestinian mother, a Greek father, and living in Jordan all our life, I am home, yet still a foreigner. Research for the collection led us to souvenir shops, tourist gift shops and The Jordan Museum - we were on a quest to find the best Jordanian ‘merch’. The collection pokes fun at Western perceptions of the Middle East; and our new found fascination with Jordan’s marketing campaign was one of the best rabbit holes I’ve ever gone down.
We discussed amongst ourselves how nations use ancient ruins as their identity. Petra is the face of Jordan, even though it was built a millennia ago. The Parthenon represents Greece to this day, and the Dome of the Rock is synonymous with Jerusalem. With a strong desire to expand our textile vocabulary, we explored weave. I set out to translate these ancient mascots of my tri-dentity into the most modern fabric of our time: denim. ‘The Antiquity Series’ made up of custom developed cotton jacquards and woven with images of my heritage, are the defining pieces of this collection.
A major milestone was when The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, acquired The Jerusalem Jacket and Jeans to become a part of the Museum’s permanent Middle East Collection. The spiritual significance of this ancient site resonates abroad, despite the borders, politics and occupations that surround it. The meaning of the Dome of the Rock in the collection is slightly different. As the iconic image of Palestine - and of displaced Palestinian people - the Dome of the Rock is unique in that it is the national symbol for a nation of people who are denied access to it.
The full Petra ensemble: meticulously colour-matched and designed to mimic the look of classic denim. We developed this custom cotton jacquard from scratch. These pieces are our take on a modern cultural export. And then there was the antithesis of denim: diamante ‘strass’ butterflies, pinstripe menswear bling, and exposed corset details. Our blazer dress “The Godmother” cut from a satin black pinstripe.
“Lowest Point on Earth”, an overt reference to the Dead Sea, holds a smirk of a double meaning. The Dead Sea is, in fact, the lowest point on earth – at the studio we loved it because it's such a dark statement which made it the perfect title for the collection.