“I’ve always wanted to go back to my heritage and look at what i can do with what’s there and how I can integrate my education, my passion, and my skills to make something new and different.” - Rukia Ahmed
Thursday 14th December saw us head to Rukia by Rukia Ullah, the launch for the British-Bangladeshi designer’s premier collection. Following an official introduction to the collection at Bangladesh Fashion Week back in October 2016, the collection was officially launched yesterday.
At first glance, Rukia’s bold use of colour and composition is striking; keeping the silhouette of all of the pieces clean and simple, she allows the print to remain the central focus. As someone who graduated in print design, her collection advocates her love for the form.
On seeking a means of integrating her passion for design, with a nostalgia for her heritage, she travelled to Dhaka in Bangladesh. On observing the busy city, she was particularly struck by the work-ethic of the rickshaw drivers. Inspired by their resilience and their willingness to work long hours for little money, she saw in them “more than just people who provide a mode of transport” - she saw them as art. Taking inspiration from the patterns on rickshaws, she created a collection that makes manifest the heart and soul of her home town. Having noted a lack of traditional Bangladeshi fashion on the market, she sought to make the Bangladeshi aesthetic more mainstream.
In a bid to create a collection that empowers the modern, modest woman she created pieces that are figure flattering and beautiful, without clinging to the body. Adopting the silhouette of the thobe (the long shirt that is often worn by Muslim men to their Friday prayers) she created a loose form with large pockets and a high collar. Combining an androgynous shape with delicate silk, she creates pieces that are effortlessly chic.
Her clothes are contemporary and trendy, catering to the modern woman who seeks to assert an identity that is a melting pot of cultures.