Under Qatar Museums umbrella, M7 Offers a one-of-a-kind experience for Qatar-based Creatives

Concluding its second Zwara Program, M7 – Qatar’s epicentre for innovation and entrepreneurship in design, fashion and tech – will present Doha Dreams inspired by the recently held Christian Dior: Designer of Dreamsexhibition. The Zwara Program was an open call to 60 designers from fashion, jewellery, art and design to apply for the program, of which seven designers were chosen by M7 members to participate in ‘Doha Dreams’.The selected local designers will showcase their work at M7 from June 8 until August 31.

The Zwara Program is a fluid programme that seeks to spark creativity and collaboration against the backdrop of Qatar’s creative landscape. Held yearly, it’s an invitation for creatives to explore exhibitions, archives and collections and then respond to a design brief, the Zwara Program showcases the importance of storytelling, and experimentation in design.

In its first edition in 2021, M7 in collaboration with the Mathaf Museum of Arab Art, invited eight emerging and established designers to create kaftans inspired by the work of Huguette Caland. The reimagined work was displayed at the first Zwara Program’s pop-up.

For its second edition, participating designers were taken on a tour of ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’ exhibition and explored the various themes, culture, and moments that have inspired the designers. They were then tasked with reimagining the luxury and aesthetics reflected in Dior’s work, through the lens of a local contemporary designer.

On this occasion, Maha Ghanim Al Sulaiti, Director of M7, said: “M7 is delighted to present the work of seven talented Qatar-based designers as part of the Zwara Program’s Doha Dreams pop-up. We are excited to see ways in which our designers have been inspired by iconic names such as Christian Dior, while blending their own designs inspired by local culture. We are happy to inspire thought and innovation among our talent and shine the spotlight on the caliber of their craftmanship.”

Seven designers are expected to display their spectacular work, photographed by Ghada Al-Mawlawi, at the exhibition.

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 passion in flora and fauna, Layla decorated this dress with florals in the shape of the desert rose, adding beads and stones to create a contemporary finish. 

Aliya Al-Obaidly’s Story of a Pearl is a romantic bridal gown that tells the story of pearl diving, one of Qatar’s most treasured traditions. The veil is embroidered with the words of a song called “Toob ya Bahar”, performed by women in a ceremony at the end of the pearl diving season while waiting for their husbands to return home.

Henna, a silk jacket by designer Mashael Al-Naimi, is inspired by Christian Dior’s “New Look”. The skirt was made by a felt master in Georgia, in silk chiffon and the finest wool to create a tapestry of the desert and the dunes. This was adorned with a surface design of Qatar’s national flower “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. For Zwara she has designed a number of accessories, including a belt, scarf, brooch and sunglasses, which aim to both preserve Qatari heritage, yet reflect the taste of the modern woman.

As an artist as well as an architect, Haytham was inspired by the light and spiritual experience of the floral environment that the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition created for visitors. The Butterfly: Cocoon of Life – Art Installation 

is the perfect combination of a skirt and a headpiece designed to create artefacts that can illuminate natural experiences, in this case butterflies being attracted to the floral garden of Dior. 

Through Changing Courses, Muna Saad’s work explores the importance of tradition and modernity in the development of Qatar. Muna has designed a jacket constructed of sheep wool and skin, an ode to the importance of family farming, as well as a corset forged of metal that symbolizes the strength and determination of Qatar and its people.

Like Dior, designer Maryam Al Majid was inspired by her own life and history when she created Sparrow of the Sea. Maryam’s diverse background and mix of two very rich cultures – Qatar and India are reflected in her displayed jewellery design. Within her designed chocker, the wings of the golden sparrow represent India, while the pearls recall Qatar, creating a piece that is both beautiful and deeply meaningful.

To know more about M7’s upcoming events and exhibitions, follow M7 on Instagram at @m7.qatar