Iridescent shell textures are juxtaposed with bold and asymmetrical structures in the work of Dubai-based accessories designer Nathalie Trad, who has become a household name when it comes to unique, upmarket clutches. The Lebanese designer was raised in Dubai, and studied fashion in Paris, before returning to launch her eponymous brand in 2013. Since then, she has attracted buyers from regional platforms, such as The Modist and Ounass, as well as international e-tailers Farfetch and My Theresa. But one of Trad’s all-time career highs was commemorated earlier this week, when she revealed her collaboration with luxury watches and jewellery brand Piaget.
Coinciding with the launch of the Swiss watchmaker’s latest version of the Piaget Limelight Gala timepiece, Trad designed two limited-edition clutches. The watch, which launched at Piaget boutiques this week, is characterised by a diamond-set case in a circular shape with asymetric lugs. The timepiece inspired Trad to produce a round pearl-toned shell clutch bordered in gold-toned brass that, with a gradual thickness in width, mirrored the concept of asymmetry embodied in the Limelight Gala.
“Doing a collaboration like this has always been a dream,” says Trad. “I’ve always been a fan of Piaget, so designing these pieces based on a brand that had so much history and so much richness to it was so organic and so easy, I could almost design a whole collection based on it.”
Trad also created one more clutch as part of the collaboration with Piaget, this time inspired by the brand’s Traditional watch, which highlights a classic, oval-shaped dial bordered by two dozen diamonds, on a gold bracelet marked by Piaget’s Palace Decoration texture. As an ode to this iconic timepiece, Trad encapsulated the intricacy of Piaget’s goldsmithing techniques in a wave-like rectangular clutch design that intersperses smooth and craterous surfaces.
The watches and corresponding clutches were unveiled last week at Trad's head office in Dubai Design District (d3), and will only be available to buy for a limited time on her website, www.nathalietrad.com.
Jean-Marc Shammas, Piaget brand director for the Middle East and India, says that both Piaget and Nathalie Trad share an affinity in aesthetic: no matter how daring they appear, they always maintain a discernible air of elegance. “When you look at her designs, you see the values that we both share,” he says. “It clicked immediately – look at the result, it’s all natural, and you see the perfect synergy between the watches and bags. The brief was 150 per cent followed.”
This isn’t the first time that the luxury Swiss brand has endorsed Dubai’s emerging fashion talent. In 2016, Piaget hand-picked local fashion designers to create stylish ensembles to correspond with the launch of the brand’s Limelight Gala Milanese collection. Designers Asma and Amna Khaled Saif of AKS, Asma Al Matrooshi of Epiphany and Manaal Al Hammadi were asked to design ready-to-wear looks inspired by the Piaget Gala Milanese watch, and couture outfits inspired by the Traditional timepiece.
This year, during the annual Art Dubai initiative in May, Piaget joined forces with the Cultural Office of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and announced the launch of a new art project targeting untapped talent in the Middle East. Regional artists had a chance to submit their artworks inspired by the theme “The Sunny Side of Life” to the Cultural Office, and the winner’s creation will be exhibited during Art Dubai in March 2018.