Nabil Nayal SS19 London Fashion Week

Nabil Nayal’s presentation for SS19 made history as the very first to be staged in the British Library, a fitting backdrop for Nayal, who wrote most of his PH.D. thesis there. Inspired by the designer’s studies, SS19’s collection of Elizabethan sportswear echoed the principles of design identified in Nayal’s research. The primary colour palette was black and white, with accents of pale gold, green, and rich blood red.

Historical and literary references appeared throughout the collection; antique maps decorated a belted silk dress with kimono sleeves, whilst royal insignias were rendered across an ankle-skimming cloak. Historical cartography and hymn sheets were printed on trousers and dramatic flowing cloaks. Queen Elizabeth I’s famous Tilbury speech from 1558 was alluded to; inscribed both on fabric and on the faces of the models. Nayal’s interpretation of the ruff was a theme throughout the collection, from stiff and starched on a crisp cotton shirtdress to fluid printed silk tulle on collars and cuffs, or in asymmetrical white semi-sheer organza to emphasise a dramatic neckline.

The collection showed the brand’s signature elaborate craftsmanship and attention to detail interpreted into very wearable Ready-to-Wear pieces. Oversized shirting and menswear-inspired tailoring appeared alongside voluminous smock dresses and dramatic jackets and capes, delivering an intriguing injection of regal drama into this season’s London Fashion Week schedule.

By Lucie Dhog. Shot for us by Hannah Gordon-Smith.