by Kate Willis
  • 2 minute read
  • July 11, 2019
Exclusive: First Look Of Emirati Designer Shatha Essa’s Noir 19/20 Collection

Shatha Essa is a label that’s deeply rooted in the UAE—each piece is made locally by skilled craftsmen and its Emirati founder, Shatha Essa Al Mulla, started her career in the Dubai Mall—but the inspirations for the brand’s latest Noir 19/20 collection came from further afield.

“Whether it’s strolling through Le Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil in Paris or wandering around Kew Gardens in London, when something strikes my attention, I try to translate it into my designs,” says Shatha, who started the brand in 2016. “The Temperate House at Kew Gardens was a key inspiration for this collection. I always visit it when I’m in London; it’s a true gem, located a little outside the city, and the Temperate House is full of exotic flora and fauna,” she adds.

Shatha has translated a structure in Temperate House into the shape of her statement gowns and their A-line silhouette, and capes, which are flecked with floral embellishments that take a cue from the flowers that blossom in the botanical showhouse. “The different hues of the glasshouse inspired the color palette that’s filled with rose, green, ivory and cream shades.”

With their calming tones and clean lines, every look in the Noir 19/20 collection is ideal for destination weddings and summer travels. “In this collection, I’ve introduced a kimono-style cape with embroidered designs of leaves and birds that would be perfect for the summer. It’s such a versatile piece that can be styled many ways,” Shatha explains. “But for a destination event, I’d wear the blush rose-textured jacquard-blended long dress with a tulle cape. The tulle cape has subtle embellished details on the shoulder, which make it perfect for any indoor or outdoor event this summer.”

What’s Shatha’s summer sartorial secret? Keep it cool and light. “The most common mistakes I see involve dressing in dark colors and heavy fabrics,” she says. “These weigh you down and make you feel exhausted. Opting for light fabrics such as cotton or linen keep you feeling fresh and energetic, which is necessary on a hot summer day.” Her personal sense of style is marked by a wardrobe in neutral, light shades and relaxed shapes, which she rounds off with natural and subtle make-up.

As most of us gear up for our summer escape, Shatha shares what she can’t travel without. In her suitcase, you’ll find linens from 100% Capri, an Hermès scarf, and Dior Diorama mini cat-eye sunglasses, along with a pair of Chanel espadrilles and a Valentino envelope clutch. “No suitcase of mine is complete without Soleil Toujours sunscreen and Kiehl’s glow formula skin hydrator,” she concludes. Talk about being chic. Shathaessa

Shatha’s favorite summer…

Dish: Sushi

Drink: Lychee rose mocktail

Destination: New York City

Song: Anything classical and Yanni is on top of the list

Activity: Exploring upcoming designers and their local neighborhoods and cuisines in the cities I visit

Fragrance: Van Cleef & Arpels Orchidée Vanille

Outfit: Maxi linen dresses and espadrilles

Photography by Efraim Evidor

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