STYLISH YOUNG TALENTS

We celebrate fashion with the French Embassy in Bahrain. This month, we had the opportunity to interview the Fashion Week Paris to Manama 2022 competition winners.

To support youth in Bahrain, the French Embassy started a fashion initiative to promote creative talents on the island. The event, called Fashion Week Paris to Manama (FWPM), is now in its third edition and growing exponentially. Professionals from the renowned ESMOD Dubai and local and regional names in the field are involved in the project. Workshops and a competition are part of the programme. It is an exciting fashion-driven event, a subject so intrinsic to French culture, that has solidified its importance in the fashion scene in Bahrain.

This year, the event will start on October 22 and end on October 26 with a unique fashion show hosted by the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities at the Pearling Path Visitor Center.

On the 22, the awarded designers of the 2022 edition will open the week, presenting their new capsule collections and talking about their respective experiences and projects. With the support of Tamkeen, three of them went to France last summer, for an internship at Promostyl Paris and to attend summer courses at the Institut Français de la Mode. The other two winners created their new collections with the guidance Mode (IFM) and expertise of Hydur Workshop.

OHLALA had the opportunity to talk to them, and we bring an insight into their experience in this inspiring project.

@francebahrein

FATEMA ALSHAKAR

Why Fashion?
My connection to fashion is deeply rooted in the influence of my parents. My father, who owns a tailoring factory, Al Shakar Tailoring, has been a prominent figure in shaping my relationship with the fashion world. I enjoyed experimenting with fabrics and reviving items from my wardrobe instead of discarding them. Fashion is not just a passion but a source of inspiration. It’s an art form I will forever be connected and attracted to.

Why have you decided to compete and be part of Fashion Week Paris to Manama (FWPM)?
I decided to compete and be part of FWPM to raise awareness of the negative impact the fashion industry can have on our environment by showcasing the potential of upcycling and repurposing existing highquality and vintage garments. Additionally, I aimed to share my innovative techniques and creative talent while paying homage to the craftsmanship and legacy of my father’s business.

What was the prize you won, and how has the experience been so far?
I was given the opportunity to embark on a transformative journey in Paris, dedicating four months to enhancing my expertise within the fashion industry. During this period, I worked with a fashion consultancy agency, Promostyl Paris, and attended a one-month course at the IFM, during which I completed a course in luxury management and a course in upcycling.

What can we expect from your capsule collection that will be showcased in this year’s edition? Do you think you are better prepared to put your collection together this time?
I believe my upcoming capsule collection will be a culmination of both my Parisian experience and my previous collection. Drawing inspiration from my FWPM 2022 showcase and the creations from the upcycling course at IFM. I definitely feel well-prepared this time around because I know what to expect.

FATEMA ALTURABI

Why Fashion?
I always find it impressive how someone can express themselves through what they wear. Fashion is a space where numerous cultural meanings have been represented, innovative signs have come to life and concurrent purposes have been communicated. A fashion designer can be an artist, crafter and storyteller all at once. I believe that this is what fashion needs today to bring originality to the world.

What was the prize you won, and how has the experience been so far?
I won a chance to collaborate with Hydur Workshop to assist me in creating my next collection, and it has been a great pleasure to work with such a talented team filled with hard-working individuals.

What can we expect from your capsule collection that will be showcased in this year’s edition? Do you think you are better prepared to put your collection together this time?
I believe that in this year’s capsule, I made an effort to show significant progress over last year’s creation, particularly in the fabric choices and stitching techniques. I am better prepared now that I know what was lacking in my previous experience. Furthermore, I wanted to think about this collection in a way that allows me to combine what I see when I think about the word ‘couture’ and costume design in a form that meets the fashion of our current era and what the market requires.

What is your advice for those competing in this year’s edition?
When the process becomes difficult and overwhelming, this is the point at which you have to keep going because you will be eternally grateful for not backing up and discovering the true artist within you, and never be hesitant to share your thoughts, no matter how tiny, strange, crazy or magnificent they are; this is what distinguishes you and makes you unique.

NOURAN KABEER

Why did you decide to compete and be part of FWPM?
Fashion Week Paris to Manama was a dream I dreamt of one day, and it became true. When I learned about it, I didn’t hesitate to apply and be part of it. I had big dreams and a lot to show to the world. I needed to show everyone my passion and love for fashion and couture dresses. FWPM was a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity that I decided to take and make the best out of it.

How did you feel about winning? What does this achievement mean to your career?
The feeling I felt hearing my name as a winner is something I would never be able to express in words. Winning such a huge fashion competition in Bahrain, while it was my first time competing in fashion, was overwhelming. That’s the moment when I witnessed all my efforts and months of hard work and dedication paying off. This achievement was a significant push to my career and has always been my motivation.

What was the prize you won, and how has the experience been so far?
The prize I won was the ‘Best Emerging Talent’ who impressed the jury and, by that, I won a chance to produce a five-piece collection with Hydur Workshop, which is my capsule that will be showcased in this year’s opening ceremony – I’m so excited and eagerly waiting for this year’s edition. The collection is full of challenges, structural techniques and details. It is inspired by curved architectural monuments, with a touch of pop art colours embracing femininity.

What is your advice for those competing in this year’s edition?
My advice for the fashion designers competing this year is to dream big and persevere to reach your aim. This is your time and opportunity to shine and show yourself and your talent to the world. FWPM is the gate that will guide you through your career, so make the best out of it, and don’t forget to enjoy your journey while working hard towards reaching your dreams.

SUMAYA FAISAL

How did you feel about winning? What does this achievement mean to your career?
It was a great feeling; my confidence increased, and I was sure that I would gain something from this programme and it would add to me.

What was the prize you won, and how has the experience been so far?
That day, I contended for the ‘Best Innovation’ award. The prize included two courses in Paris last July at IFM. Additionally, I received the latest 2023 trend book from Promostyl Paris, and I had the honour to receive a symbolic medal marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and Bahrain.

What can we expect from your capsule collection that will be showcased in this year’s edition? What was your inspiration for it?
My latest collection is inspired by the piece I wore at the previous fashion show, FWPM 2022. This piece received a lot of attention and inquiries, so I decided to display more of my plain pieces, adding a unique twist to each one.

What is your advice for those competing in this year’s edition?
I advise this year’s competitors to have faith in their passion and themselves. Show what you are capable of and put your heart into the collection. Draw inspiration from anything you encounter in your daily life, anywhere at all.

TALAL AL KAABI

Why did you decide to compete and be part of FWPM?
I chose to be part of the fashion show to showcase my talent because it’s unique and new in Bahrain. Participating in a fashion week was a good idea to push myself into the public eye. I knew as a young designer, participating in the FWPM would be challenging, but it was possible with hard work, perseverance and a strong portfolio.

How did you feel about winning? What does this achievement mean to your career?
I felt the appreciation, and it gave me the motivation to continue with my career. Winning one of the awards of the runway competition is definitely my greatest achievement as a designer. I believe it is the goal of every up-andcoming fashion designer to be recognised for their work on such a platform.

How did FWPM change your career?
It helped me to be exposed to more people and gain experience. Participating in the fashion show allowed me to network with models and learn with other designers. It helped to build my character and strengthened my confidence. It also improved my posture as well as my attitude – I now know I can do anything, if I put my mind to it.

What can we expect from your capsule collection that will be showcased in this year’s edition? What was your inspiration for it?
I am focusing on keeping my own touch, and it is an inspiration from fashion history, painting, sculpture and architecture. Finding inspiration is probably the most important part of designing clothes and carefully choosing a group of clothes and accessories that all fit together.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

nine − 7 =