If you love the work of Emirati designer Madiyah Al Sharqi, and the style of Lebanese influencer and entrepreneur Karen Wazen, news of their debut fashion collection should be music to your sartorial ears.
Launching this week, the SS21 Madiyah Al Sharqi x Karen Wazen collection is a balanced interpretation of the two friends’ distinct aesthetics and individual identities, combining Sheikha Madiyah’s signature exaggerated silhouettes and luxurious detail with Karen’s modern and adventurous feminine style.
Reimagined from silhouettes within the Madiyah brand archive, multi-million followed, Dubai-based digital influencer Karen conceptualized new styles from her favourite pieces, culminating in a collection of statement dresses, soft tailoring and casual separates in a natural-toned palette of fresh blues, white, blush, olive and taupe, using lustrous silks and bold ikat-style prints.
“The brand has been creating collections for 8 years and with the times we’re living in, now more than ever felt right to explore a new direction, away from what we normally show season on season’, revealed Sheika Madiyah of the collection. ‘Collaborating with design talents from the region is not unfamiliar to the brand, but a partnership of this scale – an entire ready to wear collection – was a first for us.”
Designed as a seamless summer capsule, each piece offers the flexibility of mixing and matching separates, with a focus on effortless, laid-back dressing. Silk high-waisted shorts and wide-legged trousers pair with a luxurious button down, which can also be thrown over a luxurious cowl-neck slip dress, monochromatic tailoring takes shape in a boxy blazer, lapelled crop top or peplum blouse with matching shorts and trousers in a lightweight, wrinkle-effect fabric, while tiered skirts abound throughout, from floor-grazing gowns with a ruffle collar, to off-the-shoulder midi dresses affixed with elaborate sleeves. Meanwhile, multi-purpose bandanas worn wrapped around the head, tied as a top, or to cinch a waist are the key accessory of the collection.
“I’ve always admired Sheika Madiyah’s work and have been wearing her designs since 2016. Her collections naturally speak to me, so coming together to create a collection with a long-time friend and collaborator was very special’, explained Karen. ‘It’s the first brand partnership I’ve done on this level, and it was a very enjoyable learning process. The collection was created during a strange moment in time and was truly a result of a partnership, so came from a very personal place – a blending of perspectives, founded on pursuing reinvention.”
The Madiyah Al Sharqi x Karen Wazen collection launches this week, both in-store and online at Bloomingdale’s Dubai and Kuwait, Rubaiyat Jeddah, Ounass, and Farfetch. For more information, visit madiyahalsharqi.com and check also check out Instagram.