- Title: FRANCE: Saudi fashion designer Yahya al-Bishri prepares to unveil new creations
- Date: 21st January 2008
- Summary: (MER) PARIS, FRANCE (JANUARY 17, 2008) (REUTERS) TRAFFIC AND PEDESTRIANS IN PARIS STREETS VARIOUS OF DRESSMAKER SITTING AT SEWING MACHINE SEWING GOWN MALE MODEL TRYING ON WHITE JACKET DESIGNER YAHYA AL-BISHRI HOLDING BOOK AND SPEAKING WITH MODEL MODEL LISTENING AL-BISHRI TAKING DRESS OFF HANGER AND GIVING IT TO MODEL MODEL WEARING DRESS AND DRESSMAKER PUTTING FINISHING TOUCHES ON DRESS AND AL-BISHRI WATCHING YAHYA HOLDING NECKLACE IN HIS HANDS THEN PUTTING IT AROUND MODEL'S NECK VARIOUS OF MODEL WEARING NECKLACE MODEL WEARING LONG ASYMMETRICAL BLACK DRESS EMBROIDERED WITH COLOURED STONES WITH A SILVER COLOURED TOP UNDERNEATH DRESS AND MODELLING DRESS IN FRONT OF AL-BISHRI PHOTOS OF MODELS ON WALL VARIOUS OF MODEL WEARING A PINK SHIMMERING DRESS WITH LONG SLEEVES IN LACE EMBROIDERED WITH GOLD YAHYA BUTTONING COLLAR MODEL MODELLING LONG PINK DRESS
- Embargoed: 7th February 2008 02:19
- Location: France
- Country: France
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA8JG1DS6Q8UVN9GRW7ABV8TOG8
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Forty-five-year-old Saudi fashion designer Yahya al-Bishri arrived in Paris on Thursday (January 17) to put the finishing touches of his spring-summer haute couture collection due to be unveiled on Monday (January 21) at the Westin Hotel in the French capital.
Al-Bishri says he will present a collection inspired by the designs of ancient Arab weapons such as daggers, sabres and swords which he considers beautiful works of art. He said that most of them are carefully sculpted and set with precious stones and made with beauty as much as utility in mind.
For his new collection, al-Bishri said he wanted to draw a parallel between these beautiful yet dangerous weapons and women, whose beauty, al-Bishri says, can be as devastating as real weapons.
His new collection contains fabrics embroidered with dagger and sword patterns, and shimmering materials and stones reminiscent of the shining metal of traditional Arab weapons.
"I love a strong woman with a strong and independent personality, a woman who can express herself strongly even if she wears simple clothes a woman with presence," al-Bishri said at a Paris studio where a model tried on items from the new collection and members from al-Bishri's team applied finishing touches to the garments.
"I found a link between a wound in the sense that you expect weapons to inflict wounds, but when you see a woman, the wounds she causes can be greater," he added.
Al-Bishri says his work combines Western designs with motifs inspired by Arab art and culture.
"Each time I discover that we have treasures in our Arab culture and we turn our backs on them until somebody else discovers our treasures and then we say: 'We had treasures.' Personally, I've made a promise to myself that in each of my collections, I will discover one of those treasures. My treasure this time is ancient weapons in all their finery and beauty,"
Born in southern Saudi Arabia, Yahya started his professional career in journalism, but says he was targeted by the authorities when he took a liberal stand on women's right.
He was attracted to fashion and started to draw design sketches. In the mid 1980s, he met Britain's Princess Diana who was on an official visit to Saudi Arabia. Impressed by his designs, the princess asked him to create a dress for her, al-Bishri said, and this started his career in fashion design.
In 2000, Yahya made news headlines when he created a dress displaying images of bloodstains, an Israeli tank and a picture of Mohammed al-Durra, a 12-year old Palestinian boy who was killed by Israeli forces and whose death became a symbol of the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation known as the "second Intifada."
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