Maison Saedi and Gloria Ceramic turn vinyl into fashion

Nayera Yasser
6 Min Read
The capsule collection was made of vinyl and in four days only (Photo Handout)

Art is in the eye of the beholder. Whether it is a painted portrait or an enchanting poem, art is captured and expressed through many different platforms and methods.

Ceramic tiles have morphed through many phases, marked by every emerging architectural movement. From Islamic geometry to the Renaissance baroque drama, tiles tell the story of each passing era.

With the evolution of technology and the rise of social-media, tiles have not only maintained their artistic status, but they have become a part of daily information exchange through social media posts of the floors we find attractive and artistic.

Gloria Ceramic is a local provider of ceramic that has looked to change the way everyone views and imagines tiles. Through an artistic collaboration with one of Egypt’s top designers, Ahmed Saedi, Gloria is demanding renewed attention in the art and fashion communities.

The duo has teamed up to create a capsule collection embellished with the brand’s latest patterns. The outcome is a combination of couture fashion and art that features eye-catching shapes and showcases the beauty of draping.

Daily News Egypt sat down with Saedi, the creative director and founder of Maison Saedi, to learn more about the collaboration, his designs, and the challenges he met along the way.

The collaboration was showcased during Miss Eco Universe 2016 for the first time (Photo Handout)
The collaboration was showcased during Miss Eco Universe 2016 for the first time
(Photo Handout)

What was the main concept behind the collaboration?

The main concept was to showcase the fashionable and modern aspects of Gloria Ceramic. They wanted to elaborate upon the stories behind their patterns, and narrate the creative elements involved.

Why did you decide to launch the new collection during Miss Eco Universe?

Gloria Ceramic was the main sponsor of the Miss Eco Universe award. They wanted to add fashion appeal to their products and business, and showcase their new patterns in a fashion-related setting.

Miss Eco Universe dedicated a day to presenting our collaboration and new collection by showcasing the latest 10 patterns.

What were the main fabrics used?

The only fabric used was a high-quality vinyl that is normally used for street ads, banners, and billboards. It was a challenge for me as I have never used such stiff fabric before. I have also never before incorporated so many patterns into the same garment.

Ideally, patterns were supposed to be printed on damor. However, due to some timing and technical issues, they had to depend on a certain type of vinyl. Personally, I wanted any type of fabric that can give me proper volume. I wanted the end result to be dramatic.

How long did the design and manufacturing process take?

Time was also a challenge. We received the printed fabrics just four days before the event. I had to work for three consecutive days. I had no idea what the patterns would be like prior to receiving the material. I had to be creative and improvise directly onto the mannequins. After the first couple of hours, it got easier because I enjoy working in moulage, which is direct moulding on mannequins.

We barely used sewing machines. We only used them for the making four dresses as well as the zippers. It was all moulage and draping embellished with hand crafted buttons.

Is the collection available for purchase?

Each dress was based on a certain ceramic pattern; the collection featured 16 different garments  (Photo Handout)
Each dress was based on a certain ceramic pattern; the collection featured 16 different garments
(Photo Handout)

It was an artistic project and direct sales was not the aim when we started. However, I have received very positive feedback on many of the dresses. Several people from the audience as well as my personal friends have already placed orders on the designs, with the most attractive pieces being those with more wearable fabrics.

The feedback has encouraged me to document this collection through a photo shoot. However, my upcoming collection is currently dominating all of my time at the moment.

Which entity do you dream of collaborating with in the future?

I have always dreamed of creating costumes for a ballet show, perhaps black swan or the nut cracker. This is my ultimate dream collaboration. Such experience will give me a chance to be involved in every single detail of the story. It will be absolute art The purest level of attainable art.

The experience of working with Gloria has led to me believing that I can work with any type of pattern. I have even worked on a few sketches and ideas that might be useful in the future. I do not have any plans for now, but who knows what the future will bring.

Meanwhile, I am working on my upcoming collection, which has been severely delayed. However, it is still promising. Once again, I have resorted to goddess Sachmis as my main muse. Hopefully, the collection will be revealed before Ramadan.

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