Qasimi, the menswear label founded in 2015 by the late Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi, and now headed by his twin sister Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, has unveiled its spring/summer 2023 collection at London Fashion Week.
Now a co-ed brand, the new collection of men's and womenswear was revealed as a filmed presentation, set against a backdrop of rich blue, with many of the looks arriving in the same intense indigo, as well as army khaki, and even pops of orange.
Pieces were cut as loose, cotton separates, such as wide-legged blue shorts edged in white, while trousers were worn tied closed at the ankle. A boxy jacket with a funnel neck was paired with matching straight-legged trousers, and there was a button-front coat with a tie-close collar. Shirts and jackets had army-style flap pockets, and were cut to sit on the hip, or be worn tucked in.
The show notes spoke of a collection that “combines military threads, desert nomads, sartorial subversion, technology with a soul and the natural camouflage of mirage horizons”.
This translated as some looks that arrived with wrapped head coverings, calling to mind the nomadic Tuareg of the Sahara — and their clothes of beaten indigo — as well as tones that echoed the rolling sand dunes of the region.
A loose kaftan-style dress was teamed with a bag in woven nylon in dazzling orange — a note of energy and optimism — while several looks came decorated with pearls, in a clear nod to Sharjah and the UAE’s pearl diving history.
A strapless black dress was unveiled dotted with pearls, while more arrived woven into a man’s top, worn underneath a wide-cut short-sleeved top.
Many of the models also wore naturally misshapen single pearl earrings. Elsewhere, a male model wore a shirt kandura over stovepipe trousers and trainers, that in turn were decorated with a “holster” of pearls.
Hoodies and tracksuit pants came in dappled sand tones, that could symbolise the shift of light on sand dunes, or military desert camouflage seen up close, with its pixelated patterning. Shirts in army green, meanwhile, appeared with woven panels and shredded pockets, and were worn with crossbody belts.
As with many Qasimi collections, this carried a commentary on the state of the world today, with the ongoing pandemic, soaring oil prices, the war in Ukraine and a threat to global food safety, uncertainties brought home by the image of a white dove — a traditional marker of peace — on one top, held with its wings outstretched, as if trying to flee.
The show notes describe the collection as being a “proud and resilient collection that seeks to unite all, finding our inner nomad in this increasingly turbulent atmosphere".
As a label, Qasimi is never afraid to engage with politics and global concerns, and this collection is no exception, as it offers commentary on the precarious state we all find ourselves in. Yet, it also offers a glimmer of hope, that if we only pay attention now, together we can find a solution.