FARAH WALI: SUSTAINABLE CAN BE LUXURIOUS
A newcomer to Fashion Forward Dubai, Maison Farah Wali draws on the designer’s Egyptian heritage to create street couture, where fashion is infused with handwork, art and sustainability.
Why did you decide to get involved with FFWD this season?
I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to debut a wearable art collection here, considering that Dubai is the region’s capital for art and fashion. My family is Egyptian, but I am sort of a mix. I was born in Abu Dhabi, so it is all very familiar. I was here for six years before I moved to Cairo, and then I moved to Italy.
What was the inspiration behind the collection?
My inspiration was metamorphosis and the process of transforming, which somehow reflects this period of my life. I try to take a topic that I am really interested in and feel a connection to, such as metamorphosis, and bring a lot of other inspiration to it such as tribes and patterning. Then I start sketching and illustrating, and for this, I wanted to merge the face of a human being with an animal, so the audience is going to see a lot of that in terms of prints and handwork. Then it will translate into how the garments are transformable, and how you can change your look in the same outfit. Designers and fashion houses will have leftover fabric from the season before, so I try to use that.
So sustainability is important to you?
Definitely. I try as much as possible to use leftover fabrics, recycle my own yarn and, for [silk screen] printing, I try my best to use ink that has been recycled. People have a misunderstanding that you cannot do a “luxury” brand without using damaging chemicals and products, so I want to switch that around. My collection and my entire concept as a brand is to do luxurious, customised artistic pieces in a sustainable way.
Designer Farah Wali