Reema Al Banna Fell Into the Pool to Make This Happen

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We’ve never forgotten the first time we saw a Reemami collection. It was all the way back in 2013, when Reema Al Banna first launched her line with a small collection of perfectly constructed separates featuring surprising cut-outs and smart, conceptual designs. Since that auspicious introduction, the designer has never ceased to impress us with her thoughtful, envelope-pushing work – from her collaboration with Mawaheb from Beautiful People to her sonorous Fall/Winter 2016 collection that celebrated the beauty of musical instruments. She is so skilled at translating her interests, inner world, and private language into wearable works of art, and her clothes are always touched with unusual elements that draw the eye and provoke a conversation.

For Resort 2019, the designer managed to outdo herself, not only with a collection that walks to the beat of its own drum, but with a photoshoot so divinely quirky that it made us fall in love with her work all over again. Shot at Al Banna’s home in Sharjah, she took banal, everyday surroundings and transformed them into a surreal landscape. Tapping young talents like Jana “Jay” Bassam, Lana Qatramiz, and Ruby Mikhael to star in the shoot, Al Banna relayed how the girls were free to get the most out of each shot. In an exclusive interview with Savoir Flair, the designer shared, “The energy [on set] was amazing. I wanted to create interesting visuals and tell stories, the girls were so open to the ideas. I tried as much as I could to not let them pose for the camera – rather interact with their surroundings to create strong, captivating stories and visuals.” Al Banna also preferred that the narrative remain abstract so that the viewer could impress their own meaning on each scene.

Although we’re privy to the flawless finished product, the complicated nature of the shots meant that they hit a few snags along the way. “The funniest story happened while shooting the pool scene,” said Al Banna laughingly. “I was focusing so hard on not letting Jana fall in the pool – and thank god she didn’t – but I was so excited directing her, and moving the paddle board from side to side in the pool in order to get it in the right location for the perfect shot, that I had my camera strapped on my neck and my phone in my hand. As it was happening, I dropped my phone in the deep side of the pool! I didn’t know what to do, so I dove in fully dressed!”

Now that’s dedication. Although Al Banna tragically lost roughly three years worth of personal photos, she gained one of the best lookbooks we’ve seen in forever. The Reemami Resort 2019 collection is now available for pre-order on Reemami.com.

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