FAISSAL EL MALAK
PUBLISHED ON MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2016
W Doha’s Fashion Insider Karen Nicolet from the blog Clumsy Chic sits down emerging fashion designer and old-Doha resident Faissal El Malak over breakfast at Jean-Georges Market restaurant. See what he has to say about his style influences and who the Faissal el Malak woman is.
I first discovered Faissal el Malak’s design through your traditional Instagram stalking. One of my Instagram style crushes wore a Faissal el Malak piece that caught my attention. The Palestinian designer’s aesthetics expertly combines artisan influences with contemporary sensibility and touch of modern masculinity.
Faissal travels around the region seeking inspiration from artisan’s works and stories. His Spring/Summer 2016 collection shines the spotlight on Tunisia. He takes inspiration from traditional Tunisian dress and hand woven textiles, masterfully infusing it in a modern wardrobe consisting of sheer blouses, sensual dresses and skirts and tailored outerwear. The collection truly echos the Faissal El Malak’s woman “She is an independent and intellectual woman who wants to tell a story with what she wears”, he says.
What’s next for the budding designer? He flew in to Doha to showcase his SS16 trunk show collection at the Doha Fire Station. Next he flies to Dubai to start working on his next collection. I caught up with him before he flies back to get personal tidbits about the designer.
1. Take us through your typical day.
My workday is never typical, and I’m very grateful for that. Everyday comes with new challenges and solutions; from daily visits to the workshop to follow up on production and creating new samples to working remotely with my laptop responding to emails and planning the steps ahead.
2. How do you relax?
I practice yoga at least every other day, that’s what I found was the most efficient way to unwind and clear my mind while building strength.
3. What’s the last book you've read?
My most recent read was research related which is the “Threads of Identity: Preserving Palestinian Costume and Heritage” by Widad Kamel Kawar. She tell us how she became the largest collector of Palestinian dress and the stories behind some of her key pieces in the context of displacement and occupation.
4. Favorite place to travel?
My second home, Paris, catching up with my friends, getting lost in the city and visiting as many exhibitions as I can. There’s always so much to see!
5. Where do you want to travel next?
My work involves travelling across the region to meet artisans and collaborate with them; every country is a real goldmine of craft and aesthetic. These past years I have really been attracted to Central Asia although I haven’t made it there yet. I hope to tour that region next in search for some inspiration.
6. What are some of your fond memories of Doha?
Having grown up most of my childhood in Doha every corner of the city carries a fond memory and most of these memories are of time spent with family and friends in a then smaller city with a tight knit community spirit.
7. What is your favorite restaurant at W Doha?
Spice Market; whether for after work nibbles with some friends or for dinner it’s my favourite restaurant at the W.
8. If you were going to dress a woman in Faissal El-Malak for a dinner date at La Spiga, what would she wear?
From my latest collection I would suggest white Satin wide pants paired with an organza shirt for a relaxed yet elegant look.
9. Lastly, what is your ultimate style tip?
My ultimate tip is being yourself and being comfortable to look and feel like your most confident self.