You’ve probably never heard of Omer Asim and I won’t tell you about him. I won’t tell you what he’s studied or where he’s from because that doesn’t really matter and you can google it to find out. Right? I’d prefer to dissect his latest collection first and then tell you about his gig with Harry Potter’s wardrobe team and studies in architecture at reputed schools, last (or never).
When I received his FW 2011 lookbook, it began with a sentence about his inspiration being a shade and that shade being black. It made me look away for a few days. Black, again.
There is something about black that makes so many new designers who are experimenting with shapes, folds, and essentially the architecture of clothing drawn to the stygian shade. It seems that it’s a canvas better suited to adequately exhibit their craft but also a colour that makes innovative shapes far more approachable to buyers. For a few new designers it’s a trend; the whole nu-grave thing, but for others it is like a humble presentation of inventive design. As though it really is a black canvas, a stark material used to show the astonishing beauty of a garment’s structure.
The first look, a strapless dress with the bust in an accordion of miniscule folds, the same tight-fold fabric sewn into the left side of the waist and around the back, hanging lower than the dress, could not be imagined in any other colour. Try. Try to see the three angles of the structured bodice, each in a different fabric and opacity, in another pigment, the subtlety of the whispered acumen would be lost.
It is clear in the taloiring of skinny wool trousers and the twisted way they fall, the different serene volumes of fabric on a large drapey dress, that perhaps it’s important to mention his Roark-like past.