With a name like 9.2 Million Km², it’s par for the course that Qasimi’s spring/summer 2023 collection was a resilient cavalcade of lightweight kinetic tailoring, intricate macramé and Middle-Eastern influences – all in a deeply poignant palette.
Honouring the cornerstones of Qasimi’s DNA, as put in place by its late founder, Khalid Al-Qasimi, his sister and the brand’s now creative director, Hoor Al-Qasimi, develops tremendously upon the eponymous label’s oeuvre and nomadic undertones. “Legacy is not just about what you leave behind. It’s also what you do going forward.,” writes Al-Qasimi’s in her show notes.
The collection harks back to the house’s past-two autumn/winter collections, reworking classic silhouettes to their most evolved yet. Inspired by the Tuareg people for SS23 – as well as the Saharawi and the Sahel regions – the clothes on display don’t adhere to any prescriptive status quo across genres, genders or cultures. In fact, just as traditional Tuareg attire does, the co-ed clothes on offer drape and fold across the body in a customary manner, while red woven market bags and shoes echo the divergence. For good measure, the grandeur of Middle-Eastern architecture makes its way into the sharp lines that cut throughout and beaded and strung pearls embellish jackets, adding oceanic texture to otherwise structured shirts.
Beyond the drapery, military threads from U.S. army combat uniforms, Swiss army work jackets, Swedish army popovers, thermal zip necks and parachutes are adopted by the brand and permeated with varying volumes, vents and schematic seams. Coming to the fore, enigmatic rope macramé tops inspired by pearl diving and seafaring communities in the Gulf suggest notions of optimism and nostalgia.
Lacing together the spirit of desert nomads, the innovation of sartorial subversion, a paradigm of wearable technology with a soul and the natural camouflage of mirage horizons, Qasimi SS23 was an azure-tinted exhibition to be remembered.
Photography by Fabian Montique.