‘an arab millennial princess’.
Through our atelier and showroom in Amman, we developed intimate relationships with all kinds of women. In this collection I was channelling a light blissful energy, and began exploring the “baba’s (daddy’s) little princess” of the Middle East as our subject of inspiration. She lives a super sheltered life, engages in activities that are mostly PG, and her baba is there for whatever she needs (or wants). The world is her fantasy playground.
This energy was reflected in the saturated colours, bursts of volume, pieces adorned in crystals and feminine shapes. We designed a fantasy landscape print to encapsulate this idealistic dream world. This hyper groomed herione is part of our Arab landscape and a cultural narrative that we wanted to share. It was only after we shot the lookbook and I began putting the story pen to paper, that I realised that the whole collection was a reflection of us missing the feeling of having a safety net. A yearning for a father figure who puts his hand on your shoulder and tells you it’s all going to be okay. Growing up with a fearless single mother has defined us, and maybe there’s something to learn from this princess of ours.
Having always worked with underprivileged women, mostly Syrian refugees, on embellishments and handwork, we felt it was time to develop new techniques; something contemporary and beautiful but still within their remit. Together we came up with little droplets of crystals dripping off the pieces. It was a dream come true to be an internationally distributed brand that was contributing positively, and these larger orders made a tangible difference to these women’s lives. We leveraged our local to go global and that has been the dream since day one.
While on a trip to Paris, I found old cookie jars in an antique market with the most intricate playful illustrations by Marcel Marlier. To call them drawings is so reductive – he was channelling a world. The textiles of course had to contribute to the story: the world I imagined for Baba’s Princess included abundant lush greenery, a castle on a hilltop, a lake full of swans, and a token white horse. A hyper-saturated landscape of princess dreams.
The look-book was shot all around our magnificent Jordan and it gave us great pride to showcase the beauty of our country with the world. We wanted to capture the empowerment, freedom, and control that our model, Sherouk, felt traveling internationally for the first time. Sherouk and her story perfectly embodied the feminist nature of the NS woman. Having distanced herself from her conservative parents and upbringing, she pursued modelling despite disapproval from her family. Her bold and fearless moves really resonated with all of us.
In our region, evening wear is a big market, but we noticed that ourselves and our women had developed ‘dress fatigue’ from buying them and only wearing them a handful of times. Our focus on evening wear separates grew from a desire to create dramatic statement pieces that were still in line with our passion for versatility and longevity. So we always try to take the best of couture and make it so she can wear it to dinner. This versatility is central to the brand and it is the type of value that we believe women are seeking.