M7 is presenting the work of rising local designers in an upcoming exhibition.

With the conclusion of its second Zwara Program, M7, Qatar’s hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in design, fashion and technology, will present Doha Dreams, inspired by the recently held ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’ exhibition. The Zwara Program was an open call to 60 participants from the fields of jewellery, art and design, of which seven were chosen to showcase their work at M7 until August 31. For the programme’s second edition, candidates were taken on a tour of the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition and then asked to reimagine Dior’s aesthetics in the context of local and contemporary design.

Layla Al-Ansari’s Palm Fronds is a gown made of wasted date palm fronds collected from Qatari farms and ‘Al Khoos’ mats. Inspired by Christian Dior’s love for flora and fauna, Layla designed the dress with florals in the shape of a desert rose, with beads and stone added to create an elegant finish.

Aliya Al-Obaidly’s Story of a Pearl is a graceful bridal gown that recounts the story of pearl diving, one of the most treasured traditions of Qatar. The accompanying veil is embroidered with the words of a song named Toob ya Bahar, performed by women during a ceremony at the end of the pearl diving season while they waited for their husbands to return home.

Mashael Al-Naimi designed a silk jacket which she named Henna, inspired by Dior’s New Look. The accompanying skirt was made with silk chiffon and the finest wool by a felt master in Georgia, creating a beautiful tapestry of the desert and dunes. This was adorned with a surface design of Qatar’s national flower, the Qataf.

Nada Al Sulaiti’s Forget Me Not explores Dior’s New Look on a Qatari woman from the same era, showcasing how traditional craft and style can be influenced by contemporary design. Nada created myriad accessories, including a belt, scarf, brooch and sunglasses, with the aim of preserving Qatari heritage and reflecting the taste of the modern Qatari woman.

Haythem Sharrouf, an artist as well as an architect, was touched by the light and spiritual experience of florals in Dior’s exhibition. His Butterfly: Cocoon of Life – Art Installation displays a beautiful set of skirt and headpiece designed to create artefacts that can illuminate natural experiences, in this case butterflies being attracted to the floral garden of Dior.

Muna Saad’s Changing Courses explores the importance of heritage and modernity in Qatar. Her designs include a jacket made with sheep wool and skin, an ode to the significance of family farming, as well as a corset made with metal, symbolising the strength and determination of Qataris.

Maryam Al Majid was inspired by her own life and history when she created her Sparrow of the Sea. The half-Indian half-Qatari’s rich background is reflected in her jewellery designs, including a choker with the wings of a golden sparrow to represent India, and pearls to represent Qatar, creating a meaningful piece. ✤