Fashion Forward Exclusive: Q&A with designer Sheikha Madiyah Al Sharqi

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Your Highness, your fashion show has just finished, how are you feeling?

Thank you so much. My heart is beating, I’m trembling. I feel like it’s not real.

Can you describe the collection we’ve just seen?

It was inspired by France in the 18th century. I always try to go back to specific eras and I chose to mix that one with silhouettes from the 1960s. I tried to collaborate those two together into something modern.

What was the recurrent motif you used in the printed fabrics and embroidery?

It’s a flower; basically it was inspired by the buildings in Paris, with all their floral and regal touches. I like that [architecture] very much. So, there’s a very French theme.

What was standout piece for you?

For me, it was the first look that came out, the [blush pink] pants and [sheer] embroidered top.

Are your family [Fujairah's ruling family] wearing your latest range? Does it go with the territory?

Exactly! [laughs] They all have to wear it now.

Describe for me what you’re wearing; it’s a pastel pink trouser ensemble from this collection, correct?

Yes, I’m wearing one of the looks but I changed the green [embroidered lace overskirt] to silver. It’s crepe silk with lace, so very light.

With the show over, what’s the next project for you?

Hopefully, focusing on production and preparing for my Autumn/Winter collection. I haven’t started sketching yet because I’m waiting for the samples that I sourced in Paris at Premiere Vision [fabric exhibition]. Once received, I’ll start to design and order.

Who would you most like to see wearing your designs?

I don’t have one person in particular in mind, but I think any girl from an Arab to an international one. I’d love that diversity and to sell well internationally. I want to prove a point that it’s not only ‘them’ that can dress ‘us’ – maybe it can be the other way around too. From Europe to America – maybe one day it will be ‘our’ time.

What are your thoughts on FFWD this season?

I love the vibe; I never expected it to be so high-fashion. The designs are really different and unlike anything we’ve seen before. Even the line-up of designers is different. I heard good feedback about Season 1 but I’m hearing that this season is even better.

Will you return?

Hopefully [laughs].