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Saadia Khabab’s designs reached new heights at the VCUQatar’s fashion showcase.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar is at the forefront of cultivating the country’s fashion talents, many of whom have reached international recognition, such as Qatari fashion label The Kayys. This year, the 17th Annual Fashion Show saw eleven collections created by the university’s senior students. This year, the theme was “Reach” – a call out for the students to push the limits of who they are as designers.

Pakistani designer, Saadia Khabab, definitely reached new heights, bagging both the VCUQatar’s Golden Needle Award and the W Doha Award for her collection “Beauty is in the Details”. Fresh from its unique Snapchat fashion show at the W Doha, Fashion Insider Karen Nicolet sat down with the designer to talk about the inspiration behind her work and what the future holds for the young designer.

Born and raised in Qatar, Saadia’s tendencies for fashion began when she was a kid. “I used to make my dolls dresses using my Mom’s old clothes”. Being a fashion designer however didn’t cross her mind until her freshmen year at VCUQatar. “I wanted to be an interior designer but then I discovered that the fashion industry is so diverse and it allows you to do whatever you want”, says the designer.  “I always had crazy ideas and my professors supported me and helped steer me in the right direction”.

It was one of her crazy ideas to explore fabric manipulation for her finals collection that essentially won her accolades from VCUQatar and fashion audiences. With this collection, the designer used laser technology to manipulate the fabric’s surface to create 3-dimensional designs. But it’s not just any basic fabric that Saadia experimented on; she used shiny and matte pleather material, which is typically used for shoes and bags. This might sound like it’s from the ‘Matrix’ but somehow, the designer managed to juxtapose rigid structural elements with feminine silhouette. “The main thing was I wanted was to make this collection wearable,” she says. The collection featured fitted dresses, romantic tulle skirts, halter neckline and structured top and pants co-ords.

The color palette is a simple white, black and maroon. The designer predominantly used technical fabrics like neoprene and pleather and introduced soft fabrics like tulle to give the pieces fluidity. She pushed the boundaries by using daring fabrics with the latest technology and produced a streamlined collection. Utilizing black latex pleather to create something fashion forward sounds like a crazy idea but it sounds like a challenge only Saadia would take on and deliver.