“It is important to me that the ‘strong woman’ comes across in each collection.”
22-year-old London-based womenswear designer, Zahra Rose Alazaibi, has recently graduated from the University for the Creative Arts, Epsom with a Fashion BA. Zahra’s new collection explores her Libyan and Jewish heritage through the use of large silhouettes and sharp tailoring, aimed at empowering the woman within. You can contact Zahra Rose Alazaibi at ZAHRA-ROSE-@HOTMAIL.COM or via twitter at @ZAHRAROSEA. You can also view Zahra Rose Alazaibi’s portfolio.
Zahra Rose, what inspired your collection?
My Libyan and Jewish heritage influenced this collection. I began by exploring a traditional draped outfit called ‘Rdeh’, worn by Libyan women since the 1920’s. The traditional Arabian kaftans also inspired my use of sharp tailoring in the collection. Many of the soft wools and textiles within the collection refer back to traditional Libyan/Arabian garments.
What are you expressing through your work?
It is important to me that the idea of a ‘strong woman’ comes through in my collections. In this instance the large masculine silhouette, encompassing the feminine body, provides a sense of mystery to the gazing eye. Using creative cutting and striped fabric has allowed the layers of fabric to stand out in each outfit. They encase the woman within. It was exciting to challenge myself by relying solely on flat pattern cutting and print to create these strong silhouettes, (I usually combine both drape and pattern cutting in development and had never used print before). Seeing my collection come together in balanced harmony was thrilling.
What sparks your creativity?
Culture and history are the two things that influence my work. For me, it’s all about the journey of discovery. I love to learn how other people used to or still live and then turn it into something current. It’s almost like reliving past lives through garments.
What is your favourite film of all time?
It has to be ‘Saving Private Ryan’. I love watching historically accurate portrayals of events – they are a great source of emotive inspiration.
What is your favourite blog or website for inspiration?
I use Pinterest to pin my current obsessions and inspirations. It’s a great place to gather my thoughts and record my creative journey.
What is hot or new in the world and/or where you live?
In the world of Muslim fashion, adaptations on traditional turbans seem to be the latest trend. They provide both modesty and elegance to every outfit. I included leather hand crafted turbans in my collection along with leather Jewish skullcaps.
What does Fashion mean to you?
For me fashion is creating garments that outlive their sell-by-date and the cycle of ‘style trends’. It’s about creating timeless pieces that do not have a singular point on the ’fashion timeline’.
What would be your ideal Fashion Project?
To design a luxury, eight outfit collection to be shot in an amazing location abroad. Petra has always been my dream shoot location. I love to collaborate with talented artists, especially with creative hair and make-up artists and photographers who are able to bring something new to the team. Sometimes the best collaborators are those who understand your vision but can recommend ideas you hadn’t thought of.
How do you imagine your future?
Ideally, I would spend a few years working for a British fashion house learning the skills of the trade. Eventually I would love to open my own fashion house, manufacturing luxury British garments with an emphasis on quality.
What would be your ideal internship?
A junior design role either in a high street or luxury fashion brand, such as an ‘outerwear designer’.
What is the main thing that draws you into a brand other than the garments?
What do you think? Why not tell us in the comment section below.
Zahra Rose Alazaibi is a finalist for Modeconnect’s #YourView15 fashion competition sponsored by Bloomsbury Publishing. The support of our sponsor extends to all our readers: until the end of July 2015 they can benefit from 20% off ALL Bloomsbury’s fashion and design books! Just use the code YOURVIEW2015 at the checkout on www.bloomsbury.com
Voting open 11th – 19th July 2015.