A few weeks ago I was delighted to attend British designer Zaeem Jamal’s boutique opening on Melrose, his boutique in the United States.Â While the Zaeem Jamal collection offers stunningly beautiful pieces, I was more impressed by the meaning behind each piece. Zaeem and I had a chance to speak for awhile at his event, where he explained each piece had a story and purpose; from the color, cut, materials and concept.Â Zaeem is well traveled, cultured, spiritual and explained he wasn’t satisfied as just a designer, which is why he was inspired to find meaning from each collection. Â Read below to find out more.
One of my favorites, and a lovely one for spring, is the Crown Chakra Gown, from his Colours of I collection. Zaeem describes, ‘The pure silk chiffons and crepe layers on this dress feel amazing on the skin, and the silhouetteÂ is stunningly flattering and sexy with the side cut outs, backless cross neck and front low v-neck (which can be deepened), but alsoÂ elegant and flowy with its draped pleating. At the center, intricate Swarovski crystal embroidered curves are set around a citrine gemstone which is intricately sewn on by hand – we follow this for all our gemstones and crystals so we don’t need to damage them by drilling.Â The dress – its vivid yellow colour, silhouette and citrine stone are all reflective of the solar plexus chakra – the stone is even set in this position. The chakras are basically our energy centers, and the yellow solar plexus chakra is associated with optimism, self-esteem, charm and stimulation. If you wear this dress, you can’t help but feel really happy, alive, vibrant and radiant!”
While I love a great bold yellow, his white pieces were so angelic and beautiful, I couldn’t keep my eyes off them.Â White is associated with soul radiance.Â White is the culmination of all the colours of the spectrum and stands for purity, essence and radiance.
Read more withÂ Zaeem Jamal and our interview together below.Â His dresses will transform the way you feel, from weddings, to red carpet, to a night on the town , they are versatile and to be adorned. Also be sure to view his entire collection here: http://www.zaeemjamal.com.
SWP: When did you realize you want to be a fashion designer?
I was born and raised in London but have a range ofÂ influences in my heritage and for the last few years have been living betweenÂ LA, London and Dubai!Â Â I remember theÂ first time someone asked me when I was young what I wanted to be when I grewÂ up, and I said â€œa fashion designer or the Prime Minister of Englandâ€¦â€™ I managedÂ to keepÂ up both dreams by studying at the London School of Economics and summerÂ schooling at the London College of Fashion, but after a stint in the corporateÂ world, I had toÂ admit my true calling was fashion and so made the shift.
SWP: The concept of spirituality is very much implemented inÂ your brand, could you explain the concept and reason behind it?
The desire to inject soul and purposeÂ into the dynamic world of fashion and couture is achieved by weavingÂ energy-enhanced crystals with luxury silks andÂ beautiful, wearable designs. Â Whilst in todayâ€™s world it is often implied that the spiritual andÂ material worlds are very separate, in fact they can be combined. The concept ofÂ this in fashion is that whilst a pieceÂ of clothing can be aestheticallyÂ beautiful in terms of its design, silhouette, colour, print, embellishment,Â fabric etc, other elements can also be added to make it beautiful inÂ the deeperÂ sense in terms of the way it makes the wearer feel. For example our â€˜Colours of Iâ€™ collection introduce the concept ofÂ energy centers (Chakras) using specific colours and precious gemstones thatÂ helpÂ enhance the energy of the wearer. The Angels collection (SS12) has dressesÂ designed around each Angel conveying the resonance â€“ for example the Angel MichaelÂ Â inspired gowns reflect his properties ofÂ being the protector and the way we have designed the sequins panels as well asÂ matching draped stoles, makes you feel protectedÂ as you walk along with ofÂ course his signature dark blue colourâ€¦
SWP: Your new collection is inspired by Egypt can you tell usÂ more about it?
The AncientÂ Egyptian civilization was one of the most powerful and knowledgeable culturesÂ of all time, perhaps even the most.Â Autumn/WinterÂ continues the journey for the brandÂ with an exploration into the magic andÂ mystery of ancient Egypt. Inspired by hieroglyphics and depictions of Deity andÂ Royalty from mystical monumentsÂ along the Nile Delta, the collectionÂ encompasses luxurious designs for todayâ€™s discerning woman, offering key piecesÂ from sheer chiffon dresses and silkÂ gowns through to stylish separates. EachÂ piece has been designed to reflect the Zaeem Jamal design principle;Â incorporating balance, poise, purpose andÂ grace.
In keeping with the fashion trends ofÂ Queens and nobility who reigned over the Egyptian Dynasties, fluid silk gownsÂ in alabaster white sweep the floor inÂ sumptuous heavy silks featuringÂ beautiful, gilded necklines. Each dress is diffused in a blanket of sequins andÂ hidden symbols, creeping deliberately ontoÂ cuffs, wrapping around waistlinesÂ and entwined around necklines.
Breathtaking embroidery bursts ontoÂ serene column dresses in an explosion of colour from carmine red to Egyptian gold, whilstÂ individually placed stones are cleverly incorporated into designs, symbolisingÂ strength and serenity. Â A cascading colour palette of EgyptianÂ lapis lazuli blue and emerald green flashes across carefully considered shiftÂ dresses. Intricately hand embroideredÂ with over 800 hours of metal thread work,Â each dress portrays a strikingly modern interpretation of the traditionalÂ Egyptian border design and motif.
Cleopatra inspires the finale dressÂ channeling a sense of youthful glamour, with a strong sense of spirit theÂ collection is fit for a Queen.
I have to say I truly so many trips last year to LuxorÂ especially working on this collection, experiencing the magic of Egypt, itsÂ heritage, and culture.
SWP: Why do you create what you do?
“We recognize the demands on time and energy that life puts on us, especially our clients in the public eye, and so our goal is to create fashion that gives a much needed lift in order to enable women to shine from the inside, out. We want to inspire women to be creative and enlightened with their style, looking at both external glamour and internal beauty, and we hope to awaken their relationship to each piece as a reflection of an aspect of their core being, and an opportunity to shine.Â We do not offer a wardrobe of clothes but a wardrobe of experiences…â€™