It is perhaps not too surprising that aMiddle East-born designer should feel an affinity with kaftans and other airydesigns, but an interest in vintage fabrics is more unexpected. However, Lamael Moatassem (who has a Qatari and Palestinian background and studied atCentral St Martins College in London before working for Matthew Williamson andthen Chloé in Paris) has absorbed the British love of quirky fashion, alongside rigorous training that prepared her to set up her own brand in 2009, at theage of 24.
Toujouri, which translates from Arabic as “treasure chest”, focuses on flattering shapes, ornately beautiful fabrics – oftenspecially printed and dyed – and fine, handworked beading and embroideryfinessed by workshops in India. Evening and cocktail wear, some made to order, is sold through her new Peter Marino-designed store in Doha, as well asin Harrods. Now el Moatassem, who divides her time between London and Qatar, has created agorgeous, colourful resort collection that’s ideal for both luxurious winterholidays and emulating a retro lifestyle in Marrakech. Inspired by bolts of 1960s and 1970s silks sourced in Britain, the limited-edition capsulecollection (from £325 to £850) is available as a preview sale onvintage website Atelier Mayer from Tuesday November 20 before it is stocked in Harrodsfrom January.
Highlights include a Japanese-inspired, navy-based, snowdroptassel print that becomes a soft, kimono-style jacket; a short,asymmetric dress with a rippling side panel; simple, long, sleeveless or slipdresses (third picture); or easy harem trousers. A saffron and yellow paisley design (first and second pictures) and a psychedelic floral and geometric print are transformed into fluid drawstringtunics and kaftans, beautifully embellished with clear, jewelled and neoncrystals, to be worn over floaty palazzo pants or harem trousers. Inessence, they’re elegant pops of colour to perk up a wardrobe.