Shrekahnth’s latest collection debuted at Dubai Fashion Week to an accepting audience that applauded his uniqueness. The dresses were praised over the bright patterns he created that, despite having a traditional story behind them, were modern.
Inspired by journey of Ibn Battuta, Shrekahnth’s new line is as rich as the cultures and artworks encountered by the Moroccan Muslim scholar and traveler. “The travels of Ibn Battuta includes a world of adventures,” he said. “It was very inspiring to learn about and see how these countries looked in the 14th century from a Arab traveler’s point of view.” Ibn Battuta’s travels spanned almost the entirety of the Islamic world and beyond, extending to Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. Shrekahnth collection took from all these faraway lands, from a Jambiya pattern cocktail dress to a Kanagawa-print dress by Japanese artist Hokusai.
The Shrekahnth woman is a determined and adventurous freethinker. Through her choice in fashion, she is not afraid to explore the far ends of her personality to reveal her inner voyage. She’s the woman who caught your eye this summer in the Meatpacking District of New York wearing that Salamander dress. She’s the hostess of that iftar whose kaftan was the talk of the night. Her edginess makes her the center of attention and her fashion makes sure she never leaves it.
Shrekahnth has mastered the modernization of an ethnic aesthetic, not only through the medium of hyper-real photo-realistic prints but also through his manipulation of these prints. He has created a fusion of foreign subjects and contemporary Islamic art that translates into fashion-forward prêt-à-porter.“My research is my strength,” he said. “I love to study art history, religion and cultures. I translate them into a very simplified, modern interpretation — or how I see fashion today.”
Shrekahnth has successfully manipulated another archetype: A cut that suits the modern Arab woman, accentuating the natural silhouette and curves of her body. “Geometry and structure are always present in my work,” said Shrekahnth. “It can be either a crystallized pyramid or piece of Islamic art, but I create structures with these geometric shapes.” He prefers implementing the most basic of shapes — squares, rectangles and triangles — and using them to produce elaborate prints that double as season must-haves. “I mix the patterns in order to achieve a garment that is tailored to the Arab woman,” he pointed out.
In this way, his designs are further modernized with their simplistic yet progressive bias cuts — a clear tribute to “the architect among dressmakers,” Madeleine Vionnet. Her bias cut patterns swept over the 1930’s fashion scene in Paris and still has an influence that is clearly visible among today’s designers, such as Halston, Azzedine Alaïa and Marchesa.
Lucky for us, he’s saving women from the dreaded critique of having a monotonous wardrobe. Bold, graphic, and young, Shrekahnth is bringing art from the corners of Persia, Egypt, India, China and Africa all the way to the adventurous trendsetter. And like his international inspirations, Shrekahnth is going global — conquering the world of fashion.