This day and every day, we like to go extravagant but drama-free! Because who doesn’t like to pull out their inner Lady Gaga every once in a while? This day and every day, we like to celebrate all things big, bold, feathered, crystal embellished and a little over the top! This day and every day, we celebrate new designers who put the ‘OH’ to Oh-pulence and Maximalism. Whether we like it or not (and I bet we all like it these days after spending almost two years in sweatpants) fashion Is fighting back against Covid-19 with a subtle yet vibrant return to maximalism. In the age of digital connection and isolation, more is more and the genre once introduced in the Eighteenth Century through Rococo styles and again in the Roaring Twenties through sparkles, fringes and flapper dresses is here to, let’s hope, stay!
The maximalist approach is not new to the fashion realm; major brands such as Gucci, Schiaparelli, Valli, have never stopped embracing the maximalist dogmas of extravagance and spectacle throughout history, but today FTA would like to shed the light on five local fashion designers who are graciously feeding our inner Madonna with their most inspiring fashion collections and Instagram accounts. So keep your coffee hot and your eyes wide open!
1 | ZAID FAROUKI
He definitely proves that less is BORE! After getting a degree in Business, Zaid Farouki moved to Washington DC and attended American University where he majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Believing he wasn’t feeding his artistic side, Farouki enrolled in art classes and also added a Studio Art minor which included painting, sculpting and multimedia. He then got a Fashion degree from Istituto Marangoni in Milan and took special courses in couture techniques and embroidery from Central Saint Martins. Farouki finds inspiration in the fusion of cultures and his fashion line and Instagram account screams of American liberties, Arab dramatization and art.
2 | ROMANI
Where her tastes in fashion are concerned, she’s a real maximalist. Meet Haya Jarrar and keep her on your radar! The Dubai-based Jordanian founder and creative director of the Romani fashion label creates unconventional pieces that allow women to freely express themselves. The cuts and materials she uses are as outstanding as she is. Her “a little too much” is just enough to appreciate an eccentric and out of the ordinary approach to fashion. Her use of feathers, silks and crystal galore are nothing off limits and make offer inspiration and hope through maximalist touches and escapist attitudes.
3 | NAFSIKA SKOURTI
Print, embroidery and vibrant textile techniques are all employed to create sharp individual elements before fusing them together through modern couture details and tailoring: The Nafsika Skourti aesthetic is an inspiring way of pairing glamour and anti-glamour. This is women designing for women, sisters Nafsika and Stephanie celebrate the matriarchs that surround them and serve the many facets of a women’s femininity. Nafsika graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2012 and trained at Ecole Lesage in Paris while Stephanie graduated from Warwick in the UK with a Bachelor’s in Law and swapped finance for fashion in 2014. Get inspired!
4 | MRS KEEPA
The casual sophistication, laid back luxury, and dose of lavishness we need this month. Mrs Keepa was co-founded by French-Egyptian designer Mariam Yeya and her husband Bassel Komaty, who goes by ‘Keepa’. Their journey in fashion started in May 2016 and has been captivating audiences since them. It’s also important to mention here that sustainability is a key value to the brand and most of the design elements in their pieces allow them to be re-styled in multiple ways, increasing their lifetime and wearability. Yeya’s designs are an avant garde, modern interpretation of a previous era’s glamour which prove that louder is better and that motivate us to adopt idea that more is more.
5 | BENCHELLAL
There is hope in extravagance, there is none in being basic and FTA winner Mohamed Benchellal is proof of that! Benchellal studied at the Mode Lyceum fashion school in Amsterdam and founded his own house in 2015. His designs exude the ultimate sense of glamour and have been worn by the likes of supermodel Helena Christensen and pop icon Camila Cabello, to name a just a couple.