Qasimi, the label with a mixed London and Sharjah identity, has unveiled its newest spring / summer 2022 collection – and it is extraordinary.
Inspired by the work of the fabled Syrian poet Ali Ahmad Said Esber, better known under his pseudonym Adunis, the collection looks to his 2004 book A Time Between Ashes and Roses.
An exploration of the human condition in three poems, the book helped cement Esber's reputation as the one of the most important living Arabic-language poets of the modern age.
Now, the work has been drawn on by Qasimi creative director, Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, in a show entitled Between Ashes and Roses. Having taken over the label in 2019, following the death of her twin brother and brand founder Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi, Sheikha Hoor has led the brand through an evolution, while staying true to its pillars of message, military, architecture and colour.
To open the spring / summer 2022 show, men's looks in bold tones of raspberry, pink and mulberry kicked things off, followed by jolts of marigold yellow and faded peach, along with moss green, military khaki and glacial blue.
While the colours were beautiful, this was predominantly a story told in the subtle language of texture, with different materials playing off against one another in an elegant conversation.
Tops were sculpted from light cotton that stretched down from buckets hats to wrap around the upper body and held in place with loose knots, while shoes were made from sturdy practical straps, or from fragile woven strips, giving an almost knitted feel.
Bags were either small, as water bottle-sized tasselled tubes, knitted with black diagonals, or oversized with huge fringed bags from intertwined woven leather the colours of burnt plum and petrol grey. The same weave was also used as a boxy jacket, and a beautifully haphazard side fastening skirt.
Elsewhere, a men's look of a delicately ribbed polo neck and mandarin collared shirt was finished with long trails of linen threads, tied as pocket ornaments, and a military theme crept in as camouflage nets were reimagined into exquisitely laser-cut jackets, coat and even skirts.
Keeping with the pared back look of the brand, a loose, gathered-at-the-neck tunic in translucent peach sat over a T-shirt that read "ashes”.
Pale icy blue came as a frayed – almost boucle effect – surfaced jacket, offset with plain pockets, and a shirt front was covered in small, precise pleats. A dialogue about details reached a zenith in the final look.
In head-to-toe white comprised of a crisp box jacket and trousers made from heavy cloth woven with a tone-on-tone pattern reminiscent of Middle Eastern geometry, was so richly done, it felt almost like quilting.
As a collection, this offering for spring / summer was colourful and dazzling. As a nod to Islamic heritage, seen now through a very modern prism, and told through myriad tiny, perfect details, it was also breathtaking.