Roselle is an Emirati luxury fashion label founded by couturiers Abeer Al Darwish and Maha Al Qattan. From couture to prêt-à-porter women’s clothing, each piece designed by Roselle is an expression of subtle luxury and elegant culture, made from exclusive high-end fabric with specific attention to detail using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. On behalf of Haute Arabia, I had the chance to interview Miss Maha Al Qattan…
Khansa (HA): Hello Maha! Welcome to Haute Arabia, please tell us a bit about yourself
Maha: I am an Emirati fashion designer and Creative Director of Emirati luxury fashion label Roselle, born and raised in Dubai where I permanently reside. I travelled to the US to complete my higher education, graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BBA and Cornell University with a Masters of ILR. An advocate of elegant simplicity and practical wear, my personal values of fashion are reflected in every piece I design.
Khansa (HA): How did Roselle happen?
Maha: I grew up developing a very deep passion for exclusive fabrics and haute couture, and always preferred personally designing exclusive abayas and dresses for myself and my sisters, especially for festive seasons and special events. The pieces received many compliments and generated high interest for orders, and that is when I decided to launch my personal line of abayas. After returning from the US, I attended professional courses at ESMOD Dubai and went on to establish Roselle with my partner Abeer Al Darwish.
Khansa (HA): What are your general professional and non-professional interests?
Maha: I love watching TV shows, exploring new cuisines and restaurants. I also take great joy in fabric shopping and travelling. I love coffee and also take my time trying new flavors. Reading books and surfing the net are some of my other interests.
Khansa (HA) : Tell us about your next step. What do you want to achieve professionally?
Maha: I want to establish Roselle as a truly exclusive Emirati luxury fashion label. Growing the line to include high fashion ready-to-wear and limited edition accessories is amongst my upcoming plans.
Khansa (HA): What does fashion mean to you?
Maha: Fashion is how I would want to see the world and it evolves as I explore new things in life.
Khansa (HA): What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
Maha: I bought an Indian sari fabric and made a dress out of it!
Khansa (HA): When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
Maha: It wasn’t planned at all, it just happened as I was always custom making my own abayas and cloth and I thought of launching a collection 2 years ago
Khansa (HA): How important is couture to Abayas?
Maha:Couture abayas are very personal pieces that carry the artistic soul of the designer. A lot of thought and passion is involved in creating a highly exclusive piece.
Khansa (HA): What complements an Abaya- must accessories?
Maha: Styling an abaya is very personal, and depends on who is wearing it. It also depends on the piece and the occasion. Generally the right combination of bag, shoes and jewelry complements the piece.
Khansa (HA): What’s hot and what’s in this season?
Maha: Floral prints, laces and pastel colors.
Khansa (HA): Which piece is your favorite?
Maha: My favorite pieces are the Roselle signature cuts; they are the perfect substitute for dresses at events and weddings.
Khansa (HA): How have Abayas changed since the past 10 years? How has the local Abaya fashion scene changed ever since?
Maha: The Abaya still remains an important symbol of our culture, but it evolved from the traditional plain black piece to a more personal fashion statement through which the Emirati woman expresses her unique self.
Khansa (HA): What inspires you?
Maha: My country!
Khansa (HA): What matters to you most as a fashion designer?
Maha: The woman who will wear the piece!
Khansa (HA): What trends do you see being big for 2013?
Maha: There are lots of new things coming in but what am enjoying the most is maxi skirts and statement jewelry
Khansa (HA): A message for your audience!
Maha: Wear what you like and feel yourself in !
Khansa (HA): Thank you Maha for your time! It was a pleasure having you on Haute Arabia!
Feature Editor: Khansa