Qasimi delivers a choreographed mix of mens and womenswear for autumn / winter 2021

The co-ed collection was released in a film called 'We All Live Under the Same Sky'

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Qasimi has unveiled its latest collection for autumn / winter 2021 as a beautifully choreographed dance at London Fashion Week.

The eponymous menswear label is run by Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, sister of the late founder, Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi.

Showing as part of the now genderless London Fashion Week, this co-ed collection was released as a film because of the Covid-19 restrictions on runway shows.

The show is titled We All Live Under the Same Sky, taken from a quote by Konrad Adenauer, the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1963.

An image from the autumn / winter 2021 show by Qasimi, which was called 'We All Live Under the Same Sky'. Courtesy Qasimi
An image from the autumn / winter 2021 show by Qasimi, which was called 'We All Live Under the Same Sky'. Courtesy Qasimi

Setting the scene for a narrative on shared experience, it opens with two men and a woman walking into a dawn-lit warehouse space. One man – clad in loose-fit tailored trousers, and a sleeveless dogtooth top with side panels – peels away from the others and begins a slow-motion dance that flows through different styles, including contemporary and even breakdance.

Another man arrives dressed in an oversized hooded shirt, trousers and scarf cowled around his head, all in a saffron-hued camouflage print, as a woman moves past wearing a mustard-toned dogtooth cut into a collared tunic, over a pleated skirt. Another woman wears a silky padded cropped jacket and trousers, again with a scarf, in brick. The palette is rich but muted, in shades of laurel, lime, heather, rum and cumin, with hints of copper.

Another dancer takes to the floor, in a diagonal striped dark shirt, teamed with an untied durag, while a woman appears in an oversize utilitarian jacket, worn with chenille brocade trousers. A fluid trench coat sweeps past, then a deeply plunging bias cut dress, with an asymmetric hem, in a deep shade of rust.

There are loose trousers with zips up the entire outer seam, and overlarge sweaters, with sleeves hanging long past the hands. Elsewhere, a simple wrap becomes a cocoon-like shroud, and softly layered tunics in soft chenille and gossamer chiffon, and even lopsided shirts sat over fluid, longer layers.

Qasimi autumn / winter 2021 collection. Courtesy Qasimi
Qasimi autumn / winter 2021 collection. Courtesy Qasimi

Elegantly cut, with some beautiful tailoring to bring out the flow of the cloth, this collection is about wrapped comfort and protection but ultimately freedom, as expressed through dance.

With its signature military touches (seen notably as trousers caught at the ankle over big boots), it nods to conflict and ongoing struggles. The brand is headquartered in the UK, a country that is presently struggling through a third nationwide lockdown, and this collection offers a sense of togetherness and unity in difficult times.

Adenauer's quote appears as removable panels on the clothes, allowing the wearer to put them away when these strange days are finally over, as proof that this too shall pass.