TAKING FLIGHT: Syrian designer Rami Al Ali is thinking about establishing a permanent presence in Paris for his namesake label.
“Paris is an important window display for the world,” said the Dubai-based designer, who showcased his fall couture collection at the Ritz Paris hotel. Around 85 percent of his clients are from the Gulf region, he said, describing them as young jet-setters who want to stand out.
Al Ali, who usually works with neutral hues and metallics, ventured into new territory this season: dusty pink.
“Everyone was afraid it would be too girly,” he said, gesturing towards the array of structured gowns in tulle, organza and silk gazar. His inspiration came from a late 19th-century portrait of an angel by the American painter Abbott Handerson Thayer, which drew him with its mix of innocence and strength.
“The color gives lightness,” he said, lifting a heavy fold. He declined reveal what secret material sewn between the layers gave it heft. “That would be getting into the spices of the kitchen,” he said with a smile.
One bright dress brought a colorful tang to the collection. Deep crimson, it was made of the thinnest, airy silk. It was easy to see how the recurring theme of vertical layers of light fabrics in soft tones were meant to represent angel wings.
“Hope is what we look for, a little space of joy, lightness and hope, especially for the young ones,” said the designer, who left his home country around twenty years ago.
While a Paris address is under consideration, Al Ali said he would take things slowly. “I’m always cautious,” he said. “Not just as a Syrian, but for the industry.”