In ancient times, the story tells us, the beautiful hoopoe bird flew across land and sea to share news of the splendor, intelligence and power of the Queen of Sheba with its patron Solomon, the most astute of kings, instigating a meeting of equals and an age-old tale of wisdom. As I began work on this collection, the announcement was made that women in my home country, Saudi Arabia, would nearly be given the right to drive, and just like the hoopoe bird that carried its tale of wisdom so far, this empowering message resonated among women the world over. Each season, I take my inspiration both from my own culture and from stories of women’s empowerment. This season, there could be no better messenger than the wise little hoopoe bird, with its distinctive golden crowned head, to tell the story of my collection. Its beauty is celebrated in the luxuriant embroideries that evoke tales passed down through the generations in the oral tradition. Flared hemlines and owing shapes evoke its legendary crown and the wings that allowed it to carry its message so far. And that message is one of freedom, wisdom and empowerment, a driving force for women who are taking their destiny in hand. The semiology of the open road is their language, where traffic signs quite literally take pride of place alongside embroidered slogans, seatbelt strap details, leather and zips, symbols of power and emancipation. This is a highway code for women everywhere, free to hit the road…wherever it may take them.