Bahrain Confidential shares a conversation with Bahraini Fashion Designer, Rawan Maki.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
I’ve been interested in fashion design since I was a young child, but decided to pursue it fully after graduating as an environmental engineer and working in the “corporate world” for a few years. I went back to school, fashion school this time at LCF, to get a formal fashion design education.
I think if we make the question what “sparks” your interest in fashion, I would say: science, nature, architecture, good music, humanity, those geometry compass sets – a variety of things really.
How has your cultural root influenced your collections and designs?
My cultural roots are derived from a culture of justice and remembering. I think my approach to the environment and to fashion encapsulates both.
Tell us more about the FW17/18 collection, where did you draw the inspiration for this?
The FW17/18 collection, “The Waves of the Future” is inspired by the interaction of humans with the environment in Bahrain. I am a fashion designer, but I am also an environmental engineer by background. This influences how I have designed my garments a lot – both in the way they look and the way they are made.
For example, Look 02 in the FW17/18 collection has a pleated and projected collar with a staggered neckline – this neckline is inspired by the man-made changes to the coastline we’ve seen in Bahrain in the last decades.
What do you think makes Rawan Maki a distinctive successful brand in today’s overly crowded fashion world?
I think that fashion is important, it informs (and is informed by!) everything we do. I think Rawan Maki is distinctive because it is futuristic, and the future is now and it is beautiful.
Specifically, I think that the Rawan Maki wearer is elegant, and she is conscious! She is bold, and understands the world is made of finite resources, and she’s ready to make a statement with her fashion choices.
I also think the amount of scrutiny and detail that goes into each Rawan Maki piece is very different from what we see on the high street today. Part of being sustainable is putting our heart and soul into each piece.
The collection looks incredible! Do you have a favourite piece?
It’s hard to choose. If I had to, I would say the Dredger (Look 9), because I’ve seen it styled so many distinctive ways on different people, and it always looks like a flawless statement. It’s also perfectly thick for what I call “Bahrain winters”. Also, the top in the collection (Look 4A). It just rises up the neck and curves so unexpectedly but meticulously. I like surprises like that, ones that can only be seen once you wear the garment.
Which part of Bahrain is your favourite and why?
My grandmothers’ houses. Both of them. One lives in Isa Town and the other one in “Old Manama”. They have rejuvenating homes.
I also like Saar, which I think always has an interesting mix of new and old, local and foreign (in the modern sense), and always feels like a calm getaway from the city center.
Bahrain, check out the Rawan Maki Collection FW17/18 at Victory Route 88, Aali Mall, and Beirut – at Larishka Boutique, opposite Aishti. Headbands are stocked at Meemospace, Aali Mall, as well as online for global orders.