Sukeina Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear Collection
Just as Omar Salam precision folds and knots his designs in beguiling new ways, so he introduces unexpected perspectives through his concepts and symbolism. The Sukeina spring collection was rendered almost entirely in red for example, but the designer wanted us to see beyond that proud and powerful hue. “Though the color is dramatic,” Salam said of his line-up, “it’s really not about the color at all. It’s more about the nonconforming nature of it.”
The male cardinal inspired the palette of the collection and its meaning. (The female is brown and red). Unlike most species, who adapt to blend into their surroundings, these birds, which are named after Catholic bishops (who wear red robes) do not. As Salam sees it, the cardinal “is so focused and loyal to its belief that it cares not how it is perceived”—what the designer referred to as “radical acceptance,” based on trust in a “creator that creates well” that motivated this collection.
These clothes were stimulating even without the backstory. There would be no escaping attention in them—but not because they are especially body revealing. Salam stayed true to his body-con aesthetic and his signature craft techniques. For spring the hard angles of last season were replaced by softer and more feminine touches. Inserts of lace framed the mesh on one slender sheath; chiffon bows fluttered from either end of a boat neck collar.
The fashion eye has adjusted to the mini length, and Salam used it to great graphic effect for a skirt, strapless party dresses, and coat. He also raised the bust line; a dress with a handkerchief hem and a strap just under the bust managed to look sexy and sporty at once. Another one-two punch of sorts came from what looked like a pair of puffed cargo shorts worn over leggings, but was in fact a single garment. “They are like buffoon pants… with almost cartoon level exaggeration,” the designer said. Shown with a box coat they were OTT, but they looked smashing with a vest.
As effective as Sukeina’s total look is, the pairing of intricately worked skirts with a simple turtleneck or button down showed how these special pieces could have a “day life.” Others of Salam’s adaptations were less obvious. To avoid his chosen color becoming repetitive, the designer said he used 32 different fabrications to make sure that the red “felt consistent but ever changing”—which also neatly describes what Sukeina as a brand is all about.
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