A stunning choice of venue, this show promised high-class from the champagne-sipping start. An elegantly eccentric crowd were eager to view the second collection from dazzling design duo Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi and Elliot J. Frieze (previously at Michiko Koshino). However, they would have to wait a little longer. An hour later, two musicians playing golden violins on stage (with matching golden stilettos) were still softening the delay as the seats were quickly snapped up and sunglasses put on. As the lights came on, we knew the show would be worth every second of waiting.
A stunning collection, filled with coquettish couture that was seamlessly presented next to instantly wearable casual pieces with ease established labels would covet. The daring animal-inspired headgear worn by the models was reminiscent of Gareth Pugh’s warrior helmets, but overall the designs oozed originality. The cut of everything – from shorts to corsetry, ballgowns to business suits, was astounding.
It was the first pastel-based collection I have seen so far and the only one which blended men and women’s wear successfully, with equal talent on both sides of the sexes. The fabrics were shiny, loose-fitting, floaty and yet fitted around the body to perfection. The Arabian influence was present but subtle, with wide-hooded, flowing dresses and oval-necklines for the boys – who were, by the way, definitely the hottest so far!
I expect Qasimi will grow to become a firm fashion favourite – not fashion forward enough to be inaccessible to the less audacious dressers and still interesting and new enough to keep the true ‘nista happy as a golden violin playing princess in sparkly Louboutins. Watch this space…