Unrequited love in the face of adversity, such is the powerful story of Antar and Abla that inspires my spring/summer 2018 collection. As legend has it, the beautiful Abla, strong and resistant, was forced to marry another, but continued to love her cousin Antar, the pre-Islamic poet and warrior, all her life. Her famous beauty became the subject of Antar’s poetry, passed down through the generations, her lips like the glittering edge of a sword, her eyes shining bright, her head held high with pride. But what if their story had ended differently, if their families had approved their union, allowing them to be together, happy, for eternity? In my mind, I reimagine the noble folk tale with a different ending, a version in which love conquers all. The glint of Antar’s sword on the battlefield reminds Antar of Abla’s shining smile like the light of new hope; even in war, love and peace can be found in a memory. Antar breathes in Abla’s wisdom and beauty to give him a new strength in battle. This metaphor is the starting point for my collection, playing out in a new harmony symbolic of their union. Light, flowing fabrics like tulle, satin, lace and gazar evoke Abla’s beauty, gracious strength and determination in fluid shapes and plissé and ruffled forms. Original embroideries symbolize the sharp edge of the sword, which is also referenced in the color palette, built around silver with touches of black, white and pastel hues, a sword that symbolizes love, not war. Blades and chains are brought together in shapes that take on a new meaning on accessories like belts, necklaces and brooches, while an exclusive abstract print evokes the subtle combination of poetry and chivalry that underpins the collection, reinventing a legend.