To have met Reem Alkanhal is to understand her aesthetic. The pixie-haired Saudi designer is not one to stick to the status quo. Her passion for what she does, her respect for her craft, and her disregard for what things should be are apparent to anyone who takes the time to get to know Reem. For her Fall/Winter 2013 collection, Reem Alkanhal revisits traditional Arabic male garments and reimagines them for the modern-day woman.
A traditional Saudi thob is transformed into a dress, a bisht is reworked into a stylish long jacket, and the model wears a takya on her head. Lengths are left long and garments loose, but cutout details and latticework backs hint at a sensual shape underneath. Alkanhal smartly takes mullet lengths to a more interesting extreme by changing a button-down top into a midriff-baring one with a longer hem at the back that reaches the floor. Oversized bows exaggerate the fact that this collection is less than girly by ironically playing on feminine details that they juxtapose against sophisticated, avant-garde pieces. Alkanhal’s genius comes not only from her ability to experiment at will and her mastering of cotton, but also from her talent for making something that, in theory, should feel out of place look completely right.
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written by NOOR TEHINI|photos: courtesy of REEM ALKANHAL