The Hidden Kaleidoscope, Riyadh

CLIENT: Art of Heritage, Riyadh, KSA

At the Cultural Palace, Al Kindi Plaza, Riyadh, KSA (4th – 6th November 2019)

Bridal Ensembles from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

This exhibition of traditional wedding textiles were select examples drawn from the extensive archives of the Art of Heritage Collection, Riyadh. The show was a combination of historic garments and contemporary high fashion that for the very first time presents an uninterrupted continuity and change in fashion across the region’s wedding rituals. The exhibits included wedding garments that are distinct to communities across the five regions of the kingdom in the Central, North, South, East and West of the Arabian Peninsula. The traditional costumes on display included several ensembles that are made up of separate layers of individual garments and accessories.

The contemporary garments on display were innovations in traditional wear that have been interpreted from historic costumes and textiles in the AOH Collection. Several of these were made by internationally acclaimed fashion designers including couturier John Louis Scherer and Christian Lacroix. These innovations have been made in the finest materials with embroideries and other accoutrements that reflect the changing lifestyles and aspirations of contemporary Saudi Women. The shapes too are at a variance from traditional styles and a more tailored and streamlined silhouette is seen across many garments. Popular traditional styles have been incorporated in some examples while newer shapes indicate more contemporary aspirations of a younger regional audience that has access to the best of contemporary fashion from across the world.

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