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Rami Al Ali & Carmelo Zappulla Create A Stunning Display For Expo 2020 Dubai

Curator Samer Yamani introduced both designers so they could  tell a story through the stunning display…

MENASA- Emirati Design Platform, a core element of Expo 2020 Dubai's Design and Crafts Programme , has a lot to offer while it brings Emirati crafts to an international stage. Over 40 local and international designers are showcasing stories from the emirates through one-of-a-kind curated collections, and one of the exciting creations to check out is Rami Al Ali and Carmelo Zappulla’s exclusive window display. 

Image Credits: Moez Ashor, Nurai Gali and Manana

Al Ali, a renowned Syrian fashion designer, is behind the intricate hand embroidery that covers the tips of the 3D installation by Zappulla, an architect who specialises in urban, architectural, interior and exhibition design. And his work aims to create a visual journey that emphasises the evolution of crafts in the region while modernising it to appeal to today’s generation.

The Deir ez-Zor’native’s involvement in creating the instillation with the use of organic shapes, which took a total of 375 hours to create, was a true passion project. Al Ali, whose father is an architect, uses his work with Zappulla, the Founder and Executive Director of the award-winning international studio External Reference, to provoke a new perspective. He also highlights the breadth and vibrancy of the contemporary design scene in the UAE, where he is based.

Courtesy of MENASA Emirati Design Platform – Expo 2020 Dubai 

The couture-standard handcrafted embroidery on the instillation that needed 1,520 metres of material is a juxtaposition of traditional UAE crafts. It incorporates materials such as natural fibres from palm frond used for weaving, Talli (traditionally used for embroidery), Sadu, a form of Bedouin weaving, and cotton fishing nets. Embracing the natural colour palette of each raw material, the designer creates a collage of shapes. And each element is abstracted to take on a new form, while branches, flowers and petals are constructed to reflect elements from the designer’s couture line.

Rami Al Ali limited edition EXPO 2020 boxes

Al Ali, who is known for effortlessly blending Eastern elegance with Western pizzazz, has also produced a series of commemorative hand-crafted boxes. Championing traditional workmanship in a contemporary way, the limited-edition collection features three unique designs in champagne, gold and bronze. Each box is 15 x 15 x 6 cm in size and is handcrafted out of maranti and white wood. Ornately decorated with intricate embellishments, the special boxes seamlessly synthesise the house’s creative craftsmanship and artistry with the regions’ rich heritage and tradition. The decorative boxes, on display for the duration of Expo 2020, can be purchased at the MENASA Boutique located at the Rove Hotel.

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