Oh L’Amr

by Katie on June 7, 2011

A young pretty girl with sharply-bobbed hair enters a nightclub bathroom and jostles for space in front of an oversubscribed mirror.  This could be a scene in any town on any given Saturday night, yet this girl is Lily Allen in the video to her 2009 single ‘22’, and the dramatically draped dress she is wearing is undoubtedly BodyAmr.

Cut to September 2010, and flashbulbs pop as the pneumatic Daisy Lowe strides confidently down the Vauxhall Fashion Scout catwalk to a selection of 90’s party R ‘n’ B, silk jersey clinging to every voluptuous curve.  This bona fide fashion moment is courtesy of BodyAmr, and spectators are going wild.

In the Eighties we had Versace, the Nineties Julien Macdonald, and now Omani-born Amr Ali, the brains behind BodyAmr, is the go-to guy for eye-popping, show-stopping glamour.  Loved by pop stars and Park Lane princesses alike, Ali’s clothes seem designed to skim the female form whilst revealing very little, a refined sexiness which has won him praise from every corner, culminating in Tom Ford, the currently reigning King of Red Carpet Dressing, pleading “BodyAmr; Give me a job!”.

However, unlike Macdonald, Ali has managed to retain a cool cult following.  Maybe this is because he has never consciously strived to dress famous women?  His muse is reported to be an old family friend, whose advice he trusts implicitly.  Nevertheless, his designs have found favour with a disparate host of celebrities, film stars, models, and singers.

BodyAmr’s Autumn/Winter collection, entitled ‘Odalisque’, is partially inspired by the “Arab Spring” and the new political movement in the Middle East.  Ali takes that old precept, “behind every great man there is a great woman” and runs with it, refuting the notion of the modern Arabic woman as submissive, choosing to cast her instead as luxuriously decadent and politically-empowered.

The signature draped silk jersey is there, this time recast in opulent jewel tones, along with calf leather, Mongolian lamb, and deep, rich velvet. Vertiginous footwear, courtesy of Gianmarco Lorenzi, is a further addition, the gold-plated heels adding to the collection’s dangerously decadent mood.

As Ali took his customary bow following the last catwalk show there was a palpable feeling of love in the room.  This is a designer who celebrates women, his clothes accentuating their spirit without drowning out their identity, which in today’s decidedly patriarchal climate is perhaps the strongest statement of all.      

Article researched and written by Lee Clatworthy (@TeamChutzpah) for Katie Chutzpah blog.

Pics kindly supplied by www.christopherdadey.com

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