BY ANAAM IKRAM
Aiming to bridge the gap between contemporary and luxury fashion stemming from the Kingdom, Amal Al Mulla has successfully placed herself in the niche market within Bahrain. Inspired by the fine line between reality and fiction, Amal Al Mulla’s designs are intricately detailed with a timeless feel. The designer spoke with Perle Magazine about how she has successfully launched herself in the GCC fashion scene and her latest collection.
Receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design from Royal University for Women, Amal knew straight away she wanted to have her own brand. “I did not want to start out small. I wanted to do something big and approach the brand the way you would an international brand, with collections launched per season”, she says. Launching officially in 2013, Amal Al Mulla released her first collection in Fall 2014. Her designs are based on a contemporary aesthetic, a theme that can be seen throughout her collections. The couturier explains that she incorporates an element of “versus” in all her creations and is an occurring design technique in all of her pieces. “I like to have the element of contrast, not only with colour but with fabrics as well. I like to mix in a bit of masculinity with feminine designs, and add a bit of roughness against the soft looks”, she says. Amal showcases this technique through the distressed hemlines on her pieces. Also incorporating fragments of her own style into the collections, Amal says she has always been a fan of contemporary fashion and adds that her own growth and style evolution as a person is apparent throughout her designs as well, while keeping contemporary fashion as the core aesthetic.
Drawing inspiration from nature and the idea of escapism, Amal’s creations are accompanied by a strong storyline that helps the customers understand and appreciate the brand better. “I kind of escape into a story in my head, and whatever feelings I have in that period of time, I try to deliver them through my designs. I have ‘the girl’, who I envision each season and think about what she wants to wear and what direction am I going to be taking her in”, she explains of her organic and intimate designing method. Taking around 3 to 4 months to complete an entire collection, which can have up to 20 pieces, Amal explains that design can prove to be quite tough as it is important to find the right inspiration that would best suit the designer’s vision for an upcoming collection. Following the development of a concept, she works on creating a mood board and storyboard to aid with the designing process. After the designs are complete, the sampling stage is crucial to see how the pieces look once they are put together. Ensuring the look books include as much of the storyboard as possible, Amal says it is important that she is able to express the narrative and mood behind collection through the images.
Amal Al Mulla’s latest Fall/Winter 2015 collection, “I had too much to dream last night”, is inspired from the moments between dreaming and awake during the winter season. Inspired from the “dreamy winter haze”, Amal’s line consists of structured pieces juxtaposed with pastel hues and whites and intricate embellished detailing. The collection boasts three different embellishment styles with beads woven onto the fabric either to look like icy branches in the winter, winter moths made from leaf sequins and blue gems, or in the shape of a snowflake. Staying true to her design technique of incorporating contrasting elements in designs, the designer added some raw edges on the blouses and skirts.
Garnering great success in a short time span, Amal’s designs have seen her become widely popular within the GCC and internationally. With an online store in Bahrain, retailing at Grain Boutique in Kuwait and Cream Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, the designer pieces have also travelled to Europe and worn by various editors during Fashion Week. With a timeless and elegant flair, fashion house has ensured that fashionistas in the region do not have to travel far to find contemporary fashion, as well as ensuring that the designs have an international appeal.
Designing wearable clothing with a high-end feel to them, Amal Al Mulla has triumphantly been able to transfer her own style and imagination into her collections through the use of luxury fabrics, intricate detailing and the juxtaposition of contrasting elements. The creative combination has resulted in a unique aesthetic, which has truly elevated fashion in the Kingdom.
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