The Zahra Collection

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When it comes to style, personal is priceless. Luxury brands provide custom-made items and bespoke services. For a fashion house to qualify as one of the best designer brands and atop high-end luxury labels, its clothing, shoes, and accessories must be made from the best materials, by expert artisans in the most uniquely imaginable styles. Luxury is personalisation, and vice-versa.

Dimuthu Sahabandu is a renowned fashion designer well known for his couture clothing and custom wear. His eponymous brand has designed and created some of the most iconic pieces.  Dimuthu’s line is built on his signature aesthetic of colours and playful proportions creating feminine, sexy, and unique designs.

His creations are unlike anything you have ever seen and a total pleasure to look at. Dimuthu’s collections centre around glamour and drama with the use of feathers, sequins, pearls and beads combined with a metallic colour palette. If we could describe his works in one word, it’ll be ‘regal’.

Dimuthu’s designs consist of soft layers and drapes that create an ultra-feminine silhouette without the need for bare skin. His more elaborate pieces are particularly popular amongst brides and bridesmaids who drool over lace and detailed beaded hems.

His latest collection ‘Zahra’ was recently launched and features a generous dose of glamour through his usage of contemporary colours, modern embroideries and edgy designs. Luscious palate, rich textiles along fusion revival of exquisite handwork and stylish floral prints are the key narrative.

Imperial yet contemporary, sophisticated yet playful, contrasting moods were seamlessly woven into classic silhouettes, the designs are perfect for the new age intimate events, parties, weddings and festive celebrations. The ready-to-wear ensembles are dipped in cheerful, eclectic graphics on luxurious fabrics. From botanical-inspired or geometric prints to giving the collection an edgy update.

The Zahra collection embraces colour and a mix of techniques such as beadwork with modern silhouettes. Every piece is lovingly handmade and woven to create unique pieces that redefine modest fashion.

We at Glamour spoke to the master craftsman Dimuthu about his latest collection.

Tell us about your latest collection ‘Zahra’ and the inspiration behind it?

The word ‘Zahra’ translates to ‘White’ and ‘Flower’ in Arabic, capturing the idea of purity and beauty. Our brand identity too revolves around the idea of femininity and beauty, therefore Zahra seemed like an ideal concept for our Eid collection this year. We’ve derived inspiration from vintage rose tapestries and prints. Most of the prints we have in the collection are custom developed and printed by us at Dimuthu Sahabandu Collections.

When it comes to designing, what sparks your creativity?

I’ve come to realise that there is no one particular thing or area that inspires me when it comes to my work. I’ve derived inspiration from many different places for my past collections. Whether it be art, history, literature, a roadside poster or even the lyrics of a song I am listening to, you never know what random thing could be your next big inspiration. You simply cannot look for it. It is something that should come to you effortlessly in your day-to-day life.

What are some of the materials, design styles and embellishments that you have incorporated into the Zahra collection?

Surface detailing is something we’ve concentrated on in this collection as well, as it is a part of our brand’s identity. We’ve also developed some custom prints for ‘Zahra’ which are printed on silk satins and duchesse satin materials. The prints are adorned with our signature pearl, bead and sequin embellishments. We’ve also detailed some of our pieces with upcycled fabric offcuts keeping in line with our CFW collection this year which focused mainly on upcycling.

For this collection, you worked with a range of materials. What does sustainability mean to you and how do you incorporate it into your designs besides material use?

Sustainability in fashion can have many definitions and it applies in different ways for each brand depending on its signature. For our previous collection, we embellished all garment surfaces from upcycled materials from garment offcuts in our own production house. Minimising waste and controlling what leaves our production unit which ultimately ends up in a landfill. I believe the sector we cater to in fashion has the least impact on the environment. As a luxury brand, we produce very limited quantities of each design as opposed to the mass manufacturing sectors. Most of our designs are one-off pieces which can be worn as a one-piece garment for a couple of wears and our customers are given the opportunity to bring the garments back where we take them apart and turn them into a few separates prolonging the life and use of our pieces.

We’ve also come to realise that consumers who purchase a handmade piece with a story behind its process are less likely to dispose of it, compared to the clothing that’s cheaper in price and readily available in bulk. We also make sure that we keep our production process quite transparent where the consumers get an idea of who made their clothes and how they are made so that they know the story of the artisans and craftsmen involved in our supply chain, this also strengthens the lives of artisans and help them keep their crafts alive in an era where all things handmade are replaced by machine-made mediocrity.

How can we view and purchase them?

The collection is available at The Design Collective store, No 28, Stratford Avenue, Colombo-6.

Anything else that you would like to add?

Other than the collection that is in store right now we are also working on the ‘Zahra’ plus size collection which will be out soon. These collections although released for Eid are also ideal for the wedding season. The collection consists mostly of separates so you have the option of picking up a particular piece from an outfit and customising your own look.

By Shafiya Nawzer