Photos and text provided by Rami Al Ali. More photos below.
Celebrating his fifth season in the French capital, January 20, 2014 saw Syrian-born couturier, Rami Al Ali, return once again to unveil his Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Hosting an intimate presentation, Al Ali showcased his latest work to an exclusive audience of the fashion industry’s elite, captivating attention with an exquisite line based on John Everett Millais’ painting of Ophelia, Shakespeare’s tragic heroine.
Offsetting the delicate balance between strength and fragility, Ophelia’s legacy portrays the illusion of love at its most vulnerable. Offering a more intricate take on the trial of heartbreak, Al Ali’s inspiration stems from Millais’ talent of turning tragedy into beauty. Nature dominates as florals take an eerie twist, symbolic of a deeper emotion as love and romance transcend into madness and death. The drama of the visual offers a bold contrast to the purity of its subject, providing the perfect creative canvas.
Renowned for infusing fashion with the Arts, this season sees Al Ali breathe new depths into style, with an influx of looser contours and flowing fabrics. Lashings of lace amplify the melancholic theme, as lighter, sheer textiles provide fluidity in sync with the waters of Ophelia’s demise. Pastel hues set the focal palette of the line, with shades of soft mint, wheat, lavender and rose, fortified through more vivid tones of violet and coral. Feminine silhouettes are accentuated through bias cuts, using modern techniques paying homage to the early 20th century designs of Parisian fashion great, Lucien Lelong.
Staying true to his roots, Al Ali imparts his signature flair with intricate floral detailing, fusing his love of the finer elements with this prominent characteristic of the theme. Stunning embellishment is found embedded into the textiles, which drape elegantly to the ground with whimsical allure. With unique craftsmanship applied to each piece, the collection becomes a work of art itself, as designs are displayed on installations rather than models, allowing guests full perspective of the elaborate techniques used.
Once again, Al Ali seamlessly embodies the sentiments of his subject with organic charm, as his 15-piece collection gives a new vision to Millais’ masterpiece.