AS I made my way down the steps to the basement of Collins’ Music Hall in Islington for Qasimi’s AW19 show it became clear that the location was all part of the story Khalid Qasimi, the Creative Director, was trying to tell. Grey concrete swarmed your vision, spreading from floor to ceiling – some 100 feet up, and under your feet lay a carpet that had been made to match the concrete perfectly, consequentially cocooning you in a blanket of glacier silver. The atmosphere was cold and crisp, and with the industrial lighting and metal scaffolding features surrounding you, you couldn’t help but think, “where am I?”.
This was exactly what Khalid Qasimi wanted you to question. Setting his show amidst the current uncertain political and social climate, Qasimi encouraged us to step in the shoes of an urban nomad, travelling to the utopian future to discover their place and purpose in the universe.
Unlike the light and airy materials of the previous season, for AW19, Qasimi’s models were dressed in coated fleece, technical nylons and weaved jacquards that gave rigid structure, thick lining, and padded power to the looks. Clothing became tough and modular for AW19, with a multi-purpose aspect and interchangeable elements, an additional nod to the nomadic lifestyle the show was set to represent. Speaking with Khalid Qasimi after the show reiterated this more than ever, “the AW19 Qasimi man”, said Qasimi, “has toughened up”.
The Ikat print, a design used in previous Qasimi collections, was “reimagined”, says Qasimi, with a techno coloured twist. And shirts and jackets were brought to life with stylised portraiture prints created by Mel Odom. Also new to Qasimi were the biker elements, seen in the form of biker padding jackets and ruched belts. This robust and resilient take to autumn and winter clothing can also be said for the colour palette, which ranged from Persian plum to deep taupe to glacier grey – a muted range that suggested this was Qasimi’s take on camouflage.
With such a powerful message weaved throughout the seams of the AW19 collection, it was interesting to hear Khalid speak about how fashion could bring about change through sustainability, an element that he is passionate about and working to secure for the Qasimi brand by the day.
Since London Fashion Week vowed to be fur-free back in September, we have witnessed the wave of fashion consciousness crash into fashion weeks globally and Qasimi is yet another fashion house working to push this one step further. The Qasimi forward-thinking visionary is something to behold and for AW19 they did not disappoint.
by Lily Rimmer