Fashioned from a fable, Rami Al Ali unveils autumn/winter 2024 collection in Paris

Syrian designer takes inspiration from Japanese fairy tale with escapism theme

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Featuring glamorous gowns for parties and events, the autumn/winter 2024 collection launched by Syrian designer Rami Al Ali at Paris Fashion Week is inspired by a Japanese fairy tale.

The fable, The Mirror of Matsuyama by Yei Theodora Ozaki, is about a young woman who tries to escape to a beautiful world reflected in a mirror after the death of her mother.

With all that is happening around the world, it is easy to understand why Al Ali would be drawn to a story of escape. As a designer of grand occasion wear, the house must at times feel at odds with world events.

Yet, fashion does offer an avenue of escape and Al Ali brings it to the fore, making this a clever and self-aware collection. The story is ultimately a tale of honesty, self-reflection and perseverance, all of which ring true here.

The collection is focused on what Al Ali does best – creating well-executed, glamorous gowns. The escapism on offer has been dialled up a notch this season. Note the multilayered tulle skirting underneath a split front, ivory dress.

There is plenty of lace – a material that speaks of fragility – that is handled with thought.

A black dress has red underneath the lace, giving glimpses of colour, while another straight-fitted item shifts from pink to red, a moment of joy across a palette of buttermilk, pumpkin, soft rose, teal and black.

Al Ali is known for his skill with drapery. At Paris Fashion Week, it's on display as cuffs, necklines and bows that hang at waists. Then there's the embroidery and beading scattered across looks in a way that feels light and offhand, but is anything but.

An ivory, cut work gown, for example, is covered in delicate wisps of peach and orange chiffon spreading out from the waistline, while another look has fabric petals stitched into three wide horizontal bands, creating a new movement.

Clever and exquisitely cut, Al Ali's work is always impeccable, but this latest offering is on another level. Making expensive occasion wear is a difficult proposition right now, but by leaning into this beloved Japanese fable – and the lessons it teaches – Al Ali has shown he has a deep understanding of the harshness everybody faces and offers a beautiful way to look ahead.

Updated: March 01, 2024, 1:33 PM