Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egyptian Minimalism

A new generation of Egyptian designers and stylists formed abroad, are infusing new life into Cairo’s fashion scene. Amongst this group is Bosaina El Kahal, who divides her time between London and the Egyptian capital.

Graduating from London’s Istituto Marangoni with a degree in fashion styling, Bosaina cut her teeth in the business styling shows for the likes of Manish Arora and Peter Jensen during London Fashion Week; as well as working on celebrity fashion shoots for The Advocate. Not long after, she was discovered by buyers at Harvey Nichols, which lead to a job at Burberry. Her first fashion line, titled Basbousa, caught the attention of American Vogue’s Lauren Santo Domingo, who became her first customer. Recently Bosaina launched a new clothing line called Greater Than, in collaboration with Timmy Mowafi. After noticing that the best Egyptian cotton was being exported, the pair embarked on a plan to create a collection of well-made essentials from the softest local cotton. “The concept behind the collection is interchangeable identities; to create clothes that are versatile,” explained Bosaina, whose capsule collection debuted exclusively at Cairo’s 69 boutique in Zamalek.

Describing herself as a fashion designer, stylist and musician, Bosaina also infuses her own sense of style into the collection. The result is a selection of black leather jackets, lace blazers and blouses with a rock’n roll edge.
Despite her latest design venture, she continues to practice her first love, styling. Recently she worked on ad campaigns for local boutiques Villa Baboushka and Helene. “When it comes to styling fashion shoots, I take inspiration from so many sources. It could be the poetry of the beat generation, German surrealist cinema, or the work of Juergen Teller,” explained the designer whose line is right in step with fashion’s current obsession with minimalism.

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