15 Minutes With… Rami Al Ali

Eliza Scarborough   |   04 - 05 - 2018

 

Rami al Ali has dressed the most glamorous women in the Gulf from his atelier in Dubai, whether it is in prêt-à-porter which has been running since 2015, Haute Couture which recently returned to the circuit in Paris, or in bridal. Wedding gowns have featured in his couture lines from the beginning but a dedicated collection for bridal was formed in 2009, and fresh for 2018 the new collection is fully loaded with floor-sweeping dresses collections.

 

Ethereal elegance and contemporary sophistication are the hallmarks of Rami Al Ali’s bridal collection, and the Syrian designer doesn’t fall short. This season, Al Ali delivers a collection of grand gowns that beautifully complement and contour the female form, certain to make the bride feel like a princess on her special day. With a distinct focus on volume, nipped-in waists flare into floor-sweeping skirts that are deftly constructed to give the appearance of floating. Expect an emphasis on the shoulders, too, with several of the collection’s pieces designed to gracefully display the décolletage, lending an air of regal refinement.

 

 

Tell us about how important the bridal sector of your business is?

The bridal line caters to a very niche segment of our clientele and although customers order it once in their life time, it has a very wide audience. Hence it is very exposed, and it has a lot of commercial benefits and this makes it our most lucrative line.

 

What are your favourite signature fabrics?

I love to play with different, unique textiles and fabrics for each collection, so it would really depend on the theme I want to achieve. The 2018 bridal collection features grand gowns that beautifully complement and contour the female form, certain to make the bride feel like a princess on her special day.

 

Do you find it challenging reinventing a white dress season after season?

My designs’ aesthetics have evolved through the years creating timeless, elegant pieces drawn from several inspirations. But I don’t normally follow trends, so it becomes more challenging every year to introduce something completely new while maintaining the brand’s signature.

 

Do you have a favourite piece from your current bridal collection?

I never have one dress that is my favorite or stand out piece of the collection. Each dress tells a different story and plays a unique part in the collection as a whole. The amount of work that goes into the creation of these pieces makes them equally important and usually suits different peoples’ preferences.

 

 

In your opinion, what is the most flattering silhouette on a woman?

The most flattering silhouette is the A-cut as it suits all body types.

 

If you could dress any bride, who would it be?

I would love to design a wedding gown for Elizabeth Taylor. She has had many marriages and they were all very lavish, so she would be a good return customer, and hence it would have been a great experience to be part of the design process for all her wedding gowns!

 

How do you want women to feel when they put on one of your beautiful creations?

I want her to feel like a princess on her big day. It’s very important for each bride to love her dress and love herself in her dress.

 

What are you most excited for about the future for Rami al Ali?

The growth and evolution of the ready-to-wear line and the current plans to develop a ready-to-wear bridal line. This is something very exciting for us as we would have a bigger reach and a wider circle of clients.

 

 

How would you describe your personal style?

I would describe my style as understated chic. I love to have classic pieces that remain timeless, never going out of fashion, and would rather indulge in fewer pieces that last longer. My staple wardrobe consists of a crisp white shirt and my navy-blue Louis Vuitton loafers.

 

Who has inspired you the most?

I usually get inspired by many elements such as travel, art, women, nature, and more, so there is no one source of inspiration.

 

What song or album could be the soundtrack to your life?

‘No Regrets’ by Robbie Williams

 

What three films could you watch over and over again?

Cinema Paradiso, Bridges of Madison County, and La Fille Sur Le Pont.

 

Who would play you in the film biopic of your life?

Jude Law.

 

If you could invite four people, living or dead, to the ultimate dinner party, who would they be and what would you serve?

Barbara Streisand, Cleopatra, Grace Kelly, and Audrey Hepburn, and I would serve caviar and champagne all night.

 

What’s your guiltiest pleasure? 

I know it’s not too healthy, but I love eating late, especially on holiday when meals are more relaxed, and you can take your time to savour every bite.

 

Do you prefer a night in or night out?

Night in.

 

 

What was the last piece of clothing you bought?

A t-shirt and a bomber jacket from Qasimi which happens to be the work of a friend, Khalid Al Qasimi.

 

Tell us about your most prized possession?

Letters.

 

If you weren’t a designer what would you be?

I would be a chef!

 

What is your earliest fashion memory?

Seeing my mother wear a tailor made turquoise silk dress. This dress made her transform into another person. The way the silk laid on her body and the movement of the fabric makes it a very special memory that it will stay with me forever.

 

What are the best and worst things about a career in fashion?

The best part is that you are always creating and launching new designs every season. The worst part, which I would prefer to call tough, is finding the inspiration to create each collection.

 

 

Tell us the secret to your success?

Whenever I design a new collection, I always look to create beautiful bespoke pieces that leave a lasting impression, as I don’t favour fashion that leaves a strong impression which fades quickly. My design philosophy has always been to create feminine, romantic pieces that are beautiful, because when something is beautiful, everyone appreciates it and it isn’t questioned. I take inspiration from both Eastern and Western culture and always pay strong attention to detail. With every new season, you will always find intricate embellishment throughout the line, this is my signature flair.

 

What can’t you live without?

My phone!

 

Who do you follow on Instagram?

I mainly follow people who inspire me, friends, and family.

 

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Be brave and never fear trying new things, and it can only get better.

 

Where is your favourite place in the world and what makes it so special?

My favourite place is Brazil. What makes it special is the rich culture and the beauty of nature the country has.

 

When packing, what are your travel must haves?

I always try my best to travel light, it’s important to be practical. I try to select multi-purpose pieces from my wardrobe, such as transitional items that can be causal or dressed up. I often pack polo’s, linens, and loafers, which are all very laidback looks and perfect for the climate. In addition, I always carry a notebook, you never know when you will get inspiration.

 

Where is the next place on your wish list to visit?

Most of Latin America starting with Cuba and Argentina.

 

 

What are your grooming essentials?

I love using the organic products sold at The Organic Shop in Dubai as it has some great products that are both affordable and very effective. Also, let’s not forget moisturisers!

 

Tell us the best advice you were ever given?

Don’t get attached to something old as you are not leaving space for something new.

 

What was your life goal aged 10?

To become an adult.

 

And what is it now?

Quite the opposite, to be younger and stay relevant!

 

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