London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2016

Designer: Omar Mansoor

Title: L’Art Vivante

Omar Mansoor returns with his 11th collection at London Fashion Week featuring couture gowns inspired by The Marchesa Luisa Casati.

Luisa Casati was an Italian heiress, muse, and patroness of the arts in early 20th-century Europe and a notorious celebrity and femme fatale. The Marchesa was famous for her eccentricities which dominated and astounded European society for nearly three decades.

As the concept of ‘dandy’ was expanded to include women, Marchesa Casati was one of the first dandy women and became the ultimate female example by saying: “I want to be a living work of art”; hence Mansoor names his collection ‘L’Art Vivante’.

In honour of her stay in Venice, models wore eye masks on the catwalk to symbolize the Venetian Carnival and the Marchesa’s famous soirees in her Palazzo dei Leoni on the Grand Canal.

The colour palette is a wealth of rich pewter and golds.

The collection features full-size ball gowns and knee-length dresses made from Koya Silks, Crepe Silks and Velvet.

Three of the key items of the collection are made of hand-woven Koya silk. Koya (‘cocoon’ in Urdu) is a movement headed by veteran Pakistani designer Maheen Khan. The Koya initiative aims to inspire designers to revive, re-introduce and even rehabilitate the dying craft of hand-woven fabric. It aims to provide sustainable solutions to a group of artisans, living mostly in Karachi’s Banaras Colony, through creative consultation and pattern guidance, breathing new life into this dying craft.

By combining hand-woven fabric alongside modern fabrics, Omar creates an elegant look for a woman, who embodies jauntiness, gaiety and grandeur.

The collection will not be available to buy until June 2016, however some of the collection is available to hire now from

The items available now are size 10 but it is possible to book other sizes in advance.

Footwear by Lucy Choi London
Photography by Shahid Malik

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