Photos by Esmé Moore
Words by Katie Farley
February 2020: the time where COVID-19 turned the world into complete disarray was when everyone desperately desired reassurance, hope, and above all, escapism. Answering our prayers, fashion designer Deborah Latouche unearthed SABIRAH; a delectable and inspiring luxury modest wear brand that appeals to women in all walks of life; an aesthetic that offers some much-needed opulence and optimism.
"The pandemic has opened us up to such a diverse amount of heightened feelings and we can experience multiples of them on any given day, but essentially even though there may be intense sadness in the world, I feel there is also a huge sense of hope and positivity of how we can move forward in life with togetherness", explains Latouche.
The new label is recognized for its beautiful tailoring crafted from sumptuous fabrics that arrive repurposed and frequently originating from Italy's mills, designed in London in regulated measures, presenting an elite service to all clients. The latest narrative entitled Collection 1 .2 encompasses SABIRAH's philosophy of a lavish modern assemblage embodying sustainability values.
With an ever-evolving aesthetic, this season SABIRAH rejoices with exciting fresh silhouettes, hues, and elegant draperies while forever preserving the signature SABIRAH visual. Emotions and metamorphosis are the elements Latouche explored for Collection 1 .2, in the form of an investigational movie by Esmé Moore, transpiring as a visually striking piece and echoes the liberation of emotions that enlightened the collection.
Latouche's objective was to elucidate the original energy of these times by illustrating a more melodramatic fashion outline this season, creating the illusion of performance and transformation.
Structured and statement pieces throughout the collection include the new Bell Dress in silk taffeta, featuring voluminous shoulder and sleeve details, along with blouses that are shaped with billowing sleeves and juxtaposing neckties decorated with retro metal buttons. Antique gold, acid mustard, cerise pink, and noir are introduced as a staple, bold colors for the forthcoming season, further enticed by unorthodox materials and simple customized modifications that provide the client with a demi-couture familiarity.
HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC AFFECTED YOUR LABEL THIS YEAR AND WHAT MEASURES HAVE BEEN TAKEN OUT TO OVERCOME ANY CHALLENGES?
The brand was launched in February 2020 – so the Covid Crisis is all the brand has known since our first show. We put our original plans on hold and have had to pivot continuously and think outside the box to move forward. Positive thinking and prayer have helped us overcome the challenges faced by the pandemic.
HOW AND WHY YOU WANTED TO BE A FASHION DESIGNER?
At the age of 19, I went to India on my gap year with a group of close friends, and the colors and fabrics of India seduced me. I trained as a fashion designer and have a degree in Fashion Design from the London College of Fashion. After graduating, I went to work in Italy, where I was exposed to different areas of creativity, from designing furniture to print design, illustration, fashion styling, and journalism. I finally came back to fashion design last year, as I wanted to create well-cut, well-made, and luxurious modest wear that I was not able to find in the shops.
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHER DESIGNERS?
I don't believe in comparing myself to others. What we do at SABIRAH is create beautiful clothes that uplift its wearer – I want people to feel special in the pieces.
WHAT DO YOU BRING TO THE WORLD OF FASHION?
Along with my diverse creative experiences and as a black, female Muslim revert who designs high-end luxury modest wear, I bring a different perspective to the world of fashion.
HOW IS YOUR AESTHETIC EVOLVING?
I can be inspired by pretty much any and everything around me, so as my inspiration evolves so will my natural Aesthetic point of view.
DISCUSS YOUR LATEST WORKS AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THEM.
Emotions and metamorphosis inspired the collection through color and the garments' structure and shape. With the long black Bell dress, I wanted to bring the idea of strength into the piece with the exaggerated form of the sleeves and nipped-in waist. The film also explores emotions through animated stills photography and a stirring soundscape.