Saudi Arabian sisters Sarah and Siham Albinali launched their ready-to-wear label Lurline in 2018, and four years later, they won the FTA Prize in the Ready-to-Wear category. The duo bring their conception of the modern woman to life through their unconventional, creative designs. Embracing soft goth fashion mixed with refined femininity, Lurline takes pride in its creative and voluminous approach, which combines traditional and modern techniques. The result? Beautiful, architectural pieces that will have you stand out in a crowded room.
The sisters describe their brand’s world as one with cloudy weather mixed with sunny spells — a fun escape from prim perfection. The name, Lurline, came from their love of folklore and mythologies, particularly, the modern folklore tale of Lorelie, or Lurline. “She was a beautiful siren who lived in the Rhine river. Additionally, Queen Lurline in Frank L. Baum’s Wizard of Oz is the reason behind all the magic in the land of Oz. Lurline really resonated with us and we felt a connection to it because of all the magic the name brings with it. We hope to borrow some of that special magic and qualities for our brand,” they explain.
Lurline are daydreamers. The sisters bond over horror movies and that trickles down into the brand and their aesthetic. Inspired by film, literature and music, Lurline is a fun escape from the mundane. Born in Dammam, their travels between Europe and the Middle East impacted the way the pair design and view design. “We are so proud to be Saudi Arabian and really welcomed the learned experiences between living in the Gulf region and Europe,” they say. “We do not have a formal fashion education, so being exposed to different cultures has helped us understand what the modern Lurline woman looks like and what she represents. She is a multifaceted person.”
Their approach to design, when it comes to combining the traditional with the modern to create their pieces, is quite fascinating. On that, “we have such respect for couture techniques and the amount of skill and time it takes to make one single piece of a garment. We always love to learn new ways we can apply these techniques to our own garments.” Their new collection is all about chainmail fabrics, where everything is hand linked and handstitched. “We have also developed a draping technique with chainmail that we like to call metal waves. It is a fun mixture of old and new that is unique,” they say.
Lurline is not just another fashion brand that has suddenly been thrust onto the scene. Aware of their surroundings, and the impact fashion has on the environment, the duo explains that the most important thing they’ve learned throughout is to be more mindful of the environment, which in turn has them on the path towards sustainability. One of their standout pieces at the FTA Prize showcase in Doha was their recycled couture gown, which was made using recycled plastic bottles. Their ability to turn otherwise discarded waste into beautiful and soft fabrics that further highlight the beauty of couture is a testament to the creative genius that lives in the two self-proclaimed “goth sisters of Saudi Arabia”.