Tuesday July 23rd, 2024
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Nightcomer’s Summer Collection is an Ode to the 'Flower Men of Asir’

Inspired by the traditional floral attire of Saudi Arabia’s ‘Asir’ tribe, the Lebanese studio’s latest collection is their richest yet, reinterpreting age-old fashion practices in the region.

Ziyad El-Helbawy

Nightcomer’s Summer Collection is an Ode to the 'Flower Men of Asir’

Since its inception in 2022, Beirut-based label Nightcomer Studio has proudly kept heritage at the forefront, challenging western fashion norms with fluid, gender-nonconforming silhouettes that pay tribute to the region’s sartorial history. For Nightcomer’s latest drop, 'Asir,' the studio once again draws inspiration from the rich cultural archives of the region.

Earlier collections from the Lebanese label saw the studio drawing from both the Levant region’s nature and abundant history, using the sun and desert as muses. Later collections found inspiration in less obvious sources, such as a series of old Ottoman photographs showcasing the region’s peoples. These images prompted Tarek Moukaddem, Nightcomer Studio’s founder and creative director, to experiment with the silhouettes found in the photographs, resulting in a collection that was both a study and a play on layering.

“Each collection always draws from the region; the cuts, the silhouettes, and the colors,” Moukaddem shares with SceneStyled. “And in that sense, each collection is a continuation of an overarching theme. Each may be inspired by a different facet, but the muse remains the same: our region’s heritage.”

When formulating the vision for his summer collection, Moukaddem sought to veer away from representing past histories and instead redirected his gaze to the present, exploring where history and regional tradition are still alive, well-preserved, and honored today.

“I often look at how both men and women dressed throughout the region’s history, and for this collection, ‘Asir,’ I was looking for places where people still maintained that historical identity. I soon found myself looking into Saudi Arabia’s ‘Aseer’ region. The ‘Asir’ tribe to this day greatly retains their own identity and traditions. You see it in the flowers in their hair, the henna, and the attire that is a significant part of their history,” Moukaddem passionately shares.

Essentially an homage to a living sartorial relic, the ‘Asir’ collection dissects these traditional facets of dress within the Aseer region, crafting pieces that are minimal and modern counterparts to their sources of inspiration. With earthy tones as each piece’s base, multiple statement pieces are imbued with jewel-like hues and colorful yet subdued floral motifs from Damascus roses to jasmines, celebrating the region’s natural heritage. “We used a lot of serpentines in the pieces to refer to the drawings on the walls of the tribe’s ancient dwellings in Yemen and Saudi,” Moukaddem adds, emphasizing the collection’s attention to detail.

An expert veteran photographer and visual artist, Moukaddem sought to take the collection even further narratively. For Asir’s lookbook, he decided to use Artificial Intelligence tools to provide elements of the foreground and background for the collection’s shoot. Frustrated by how the region is often represented—or misrepresented—through AI, Moukaddem experimented with the tools to dissect their interpretation of the region and provide prompts that would help train the tool to diversify its sources.

“The way the region is presented through AI-generated work is either too westernized or too stereotypically orientalist. We’re trying to play with prompts, see how we’re represented, and completely change that,” Moukaddem notes.

Nightcomer’s continuous narrative amalgamation of past and present underscores the Beirut-based studio’s genuine commitment to preserving and evolving the essence of regional heritage, ensuring that each piece is not just a garment, but rather chapters of a continual story woven from the fabric of regional history.


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