Dubai-based Zayan Ghandour is widely known as the fashion-forward woman behind hugely successful concept store S*uce, which boasts incredibly offbeat designs by regional and international designers in stores across the UAE.
Ghandour launched her own quirky, feminine brand, Zayan the Label, at Paris Fashion Week in 2011 and has now unveiled a Spring/Summer 2018 collection that is perfect for the month of Ramadan, as well as a line of kaftans.
Titled the “Ciao Maharani” collection, the delightful summer line was inspired by Princess Gayatri Devi, the last maharani of Jaipur, the capital of India’s Rajasthan state famous for its reddish pink buildings.
The collection is marked by tiered dresses embroidered with Indian floral folklore motifs, vibrant brocades with contemporary jersey rib details, deliciously bright color block dresses with ruffled halter-necks and detachable off-shoulder sleeves, as well as dresses, tops and bottoms.
The line is ideal for iftar and suhoor gatherings due to the loose fit and summery shades of some of the pieces — there are even oh-so-comfy sweatpants embroidered with various motifs. Starched, Santorni-esque whites, vibrant reds, yellows and blues all work together to result in a collection that is at once stylish, smile-inducing and fun.
The label is known for its quirks and this line is no different, with one cold shoulder sweatshirt embroidered with the words “Garam Masala” — a fiery, spicy staple in Indian cooking. Although the thought of wearing a sweatshirt in the Gulf heat is rather off-putting, perhaps label lovers could save this piece for their inevitable trip to cooler climes this summer.
Ghandour also released a similar line of Ramadan kaftans, which echo the colors, styles and motifs that appear in her Ciao Maharani collection.
Inspired by a legendary style icon in India, it is refreshing that Ghandour chose to turn to the subcontinent to fuel her latest collection.
Described as “one of India’s most elegant, independent and modern maharanis,” by the India Today newspaper, Devi was the third maharani consort of Jaipur from 1940 to 1949, through her marriage to Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II.
She was born on May 23, 1919, in London and married her husband in May 1940. Despite the relative ease with which she could have chosen to live a life of leisure, Devi chose to opt for a stint in politics and won a seat in the Indian Parliament in 1962. She held the seat from 1967-1971 as a member of the Swatantra Party and was an avid equestrienne and polo player to boot.
Known for her fondness for cars, Devi also reportedly imported the first Mercedes-Benz W126 to India and owned a bevy of Rolls-Royces and an aircraft, according to India Today.
With all these achievements under her belt — or tucked neatly into her sari — it is perhaps no wonder that the Lebanese trendsetting designer chose to draw inspiration from the Indian princess.
The collection is available across S*uce stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the standalone Zayan the Label store in Dubai and via international stockists. To peruse the collection online, visit zayanthelabel.com.