Qasimi unveils latest collection at London Fashion Week

Sharjah brand leans into architecture and art for its latest outing

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Fashion Week has left the New York runway and landed in London.

Helping kickstart the British leg of autumn/winter 2024 collections is Qasimi, the label founded by the late Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi of the Sharjah ruling family.

Known for its crisp take on tailoring, underpinned by four main principles of architecture, military, messaging and colour, it offers understated clothes that bridge the West and the Middle East.

The new collection is called Razzle Dazzle and is a collaboration with New York artist Kambui Olujimi. It is presented in a palette of parchment, sage, city grey, lilac, silver and dusky green, and is muted and underplayed.

The military references appear as camouflage, now reworked into a flowing pattern thanks to Olujimi, with the amorphous shapes stretched into undulating lines, that run across boxy shirts in tones of plum and dark ochre, or patchworked into a leather jacket in taupe, white and black. Elsewhere, there is a strict formality to the oversized silhouettes that carry a hint of utility and uniforms.

These oversized cuts – be it as a double-breasted men’s suit, extra-wide trousers that swallow shoes or a quilted trapeze dress – have a starkness that is deliberate, nodding to the architectural style of Brutalism, reportedly a favourite genre of the late founder Sheikh Khalid.

There are other twists, too, such as a sweatshirt with sleeves that resemble the cult MA1 jacket, or a dress topped with a pocketed apron in glossy leather, made by the Paris brand Aswad. This is the first time it has created a series of small leather goods to match with the collection, most notably as pockets hanging from belts around the waist. Like Qasimi, Aswad is fascinated by the intersection between Arab and contemporary art.

Founded in 2015 by Sheikh Khalid, Qasimi began as a predominately menswear label. After the sheikh's death in 2019, the brand was taken over by his twin sister Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi. It has since shifted more towards womenswear and now offers co-ed collections.

Sheikha Hoor is also the founder and president of the Sharjah Art Foundation and with ample art contacts, has led the house towards a series of collaborations with artists, of which this is the latest.

Updated: February 17, 2024, 6:33 AM