Tima Abid constantly proves she’s a sartorial force to acknowledge. The Saudi couturiere incites conversations on how Arab women, particularly Saudis, dress, and how fashion from the GCC is perceived.
For her first-ever collection during Paris Haute Couture week, which was presented at the Four Seasons Hotel Georges V, her lineup of head-turning gowns included transparency, short hems and figure-hugging silhouettes, which seemed to be nod to the changes taking place in the Kingdom.
The Jeddah-born designer’s private clients, including the Saudi royal family and Syrian singer Assala Nasri, got to take in the glamorous spring 2020 couture collection while enjoying a private candlelit dinner. Her 50-piece offering, which took about a year to create, features haute fabrics such as crepe and tulle that come adorned with details like gold and silver embroidery, beads, butterflies, bows, braids, moulded sequins and feathers.
Whether it’s a metallic skirt that twines up the shoulder like a braid, a metallic sequinned skirt with blue and red plumes, a waist-restraining corset or a standout bolero jacket, most of the pieces are perfect for strong, self-assured and confident women who want to make a spot-on statement.
Plus, in line with the collection, the fitted wedding dress, which comes with bejewelled silk panels, a low neckline and an intricately designed cape, is a light and effortless version of bridalwear.
“I want to be the Chanel of Saudi Arabia. I want to show that the Saudi woman can do it,” Abid said after the show according to Vogue Arabia. “I’m Arab and I’m a strong woman. When any woman wears Tima Abid, I want her to feel strong, elegant, and delicate. I want women to feel free, liberated like a butterfly.”
A priority for Abid, who founded her eponymous womenswear label 16 years ago, is to ensure tailoring is perfectly executed. She has revealed that some pieces in the collection involved 400 hours of craftsmanship, mostly carried out in her Jeddah atelier.
After the mother-of-five began to design for family members and friends, using local fabrics, she managed to build up an elite following. Her ingenuity, attention to detail and classy style have attracted clients like Emirati-Yemeni singer BalqeesFathi, who turned to her for her 2016 nuptials.