Qasimi’s fourth season in London was all about protest — albeit a soft and quiet one.
“The starting point was the idea of taking the boys out from their beds into the streets to protest,” said Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi during his presentation, citing John Lennon’s 1969 Bed-In as well as Black Lives Matter and the Dakota Pipeline protests as inspirations.
“I think we’re all protesting,” he said. “I think it’s not about going out into the streets anymore because that doesn’t change anything. We need to do it on a daily basis.”
Graffiti that Al Qasimi saw in his home country of the United Arab Emirates threaded its way through the collection, which was filled with dusty tones such as mauve pink and willow green as well as stronger khakis and mustards.
The phrases “From dust to dust” and “There’s a sky inside of me” were jacquarded into lightweight sweaters and long scarves that trailed across the floor. Embossed onto slipper-shoes handmade in Qasimi’s studio was the phrase: “If we knew you listened to us, we wouldn’t be writing these on walls.”
Sixties home furnishings fabrics were a big influence, too, with models carrying lambskin leather pillowlike bags under their arms. Velvet, padded silk and crocheted knits nodded to the era’s interiors, while a huge ivory-colored duvet coat took the designer’s “Bed to the streets” theme literally. A mustard lambskin leather box jacket with matching straight-leg trousers stood out as a reference to Brutalist architecture.