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Hala Ellaithy: An Egyptian Couturiere with a Cause

Fresh out of fashion school and already making waves this Paris Fashion Week, Hala Ellaithy's latest collection, La Révolution En Cours (The Revolution Continues), is a political commentary on post-revolution Egypt.

Appearances are everything in this world. You are no longer what you do or your character, you are what you wear. Your fisherman sandals are a leftist political manifesto, your Fendi bag is your way of telling the world you support tax cuts for the wealthiest ten percent. And as such your wardrobe is becoming more and more a reflection of your values and what you stand for.

If you are a bad b*%$# who doesn’t take no for an answer and you take offence in Paulo Coelho’s very existence, we have a feeling you are going to like Hala Ellaithy. The young designer is venturing where very few have before her by combining sharply contrasting styles and cuts and maintaining this fiercely bold loud aesthetic with neutral colours. Every piece is befitting of a goth queen of the highest class - like a blue chip goth queen, not the trashy kind. Ever since graduating from the prestigious École Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode (ESMOD), one of the highest ranking fashion schools in the world, the young artist has been feeling the motherland tugging at her heart. “I am currently based in Paris, but I do my production in Egypt as I really want to innovate the fashion industry there. I can see it growing in a good way and it will soon compete with Dubai and Lebanon,” Ellaithy says. "I would really love to be part of that that I am actually thinking of moving to Egypt and come here for shows or material buying!God knows we need her, but as her compatriots we urge her to kick some French-kissing, cheese-loving, wine-drinking, burkini-hating ass first at ZipZone Paris, one of the world's biggest trade shows for up-and-coming designers which takes place during the Paris Fashion Week! “I am participating in the salon [fancy word for trade show by which she, of course, means ZipZone] where I will be selling to individuals and concept stores from all over the world, it is going to take place from September 30th to October 2nd,” Ellaithy edifies us. But too much time in France can be detrimental to an Egyptian, because our country might as well be the antithesis of liberté, égalité, fraternité. Being a conceptual art enthusiast, she goes beyond fashion in her new collection, La Révolution En Cours (The Revolution Continues). “The message I am delivering is that the revolution has been stolen from us and that the reflection of hope has been broken that’s why my materials have mirrors and breaking effects,” she states. “Egypt is still oppressed and I am symbolising that in the form of bands that surround the body’s stress points like the neck or the breasts - I also have this futuristic concept of strong women of the future retaking this hope.Heba Ellaithy is a rare breed. Fashion to her is more than aesthetic, it is a means to an end and in the process, she approaches every garment design like it is an answer to a question and the question is often a lofty one.

(Photos courtesy of H.E Studio) 
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