Rabab Abdulla was a double winner at the awards, winning accolades for most outstanding senior Collection as well as most outstanding and innovative VCUQ fashion design student of the year from W Hotel. The award includes the opportunity to use W Doha, and another W Hotel around the globe, as a platform to showcase her collections at various events happening throughout the year.
The Indian designer has a strong influence of her home country in her work. “Since I am an Indian, but born and brought up in Qatar, and because I am a henna designer, my collection consists of touches of my lifestyle and the use of patterns. It has inspiration that comes from abayas as well as Indian patyalas, (loose trousers found in India, Korea and Thailand). The aim of my collection is to create pieces that are comfortable, easy to wear, pieces that can be mixed with other outfits. The pieces can be worn maybe at home, work environments or even casual parties.”
With a double major in interior design and fashion design, Rabab is clearly in a league of her own. “Fingerprint to me means that every person uses their fingerprint as an identity. At the same time, each designer has their unique taste, skills and working style. Also, all designers use their hands to design, sew, illustrate, create, which again contains uniqueness. So, every designer has laid their fingerprint on the designs they have created,” she says.
Explaining her designs, she says, “My collection is called a ‘Timeless Blend.’ Women of today are active, working individuals. The looks create an attitude of a lively person, who is always working yet emits a positive vibe to the people around her. This person is always ready to help.”
Overcoming obstacles was part of the learning experience for the young designers. Rabab says, “One of the biggest challenges in Qatar is to find the right fabric. Qatar has, over the years, improved in terms of what kind of fabric is available. Yet it is very difficult to find the right fabric. Some students have ordered from the US, because the fabrics found there are pure and much cheaper compared to Qatar’s prices. Not only is the fabric a problem, but to find a specific fabric in the desired colour was very challenging. It took me almost a week to find what I needed. It would be of great help if Qatar or Qatar Foundation could create links with other countries like the US, India, Korea and other major exporters of fabric so that students have access to them in larger quantities and at cheaper rates so that the limitation of fabric found in Qatar would not limit the creativity of the student. Although VCUQ has some links with fabric stores here in Qatar, the students hope for more stores to be linked where the costs are affordable and fabric choice is wide.”
“Another challenge we face in Qatar is the number of models to model for the fashion show. The Fashion Department has found that the number of students attending VCUQ is increasing every year, and as the years pass and as Qatar begins to become a fashion hub of the Gulf, the Fashion Department hopes that Qatar will be able to provide more models,” she adds.