Look through any glossy magazine and you’ll know that there are people who are natural in front of a camera that can make every image look flawless. I for one am definitely not one those that fit within the category and have zero experience in the modeling department. However totally influenced by a ted talk I recently watched on a flight back from vacation I agreed to model for a talented Doha based designer named Sonali Raman. The ted talk i watched focused on the fact that we learn most about our true selves and our surroundings while doing things that make us vulnerable and so there I was putting myself to the test. That and the fact that I am a avid lover and supporter of small businesses to top it all if you saw her clothes there’s no way I could have refused the offer.
For those of you who don’t know Sonali let me give you a little insight into who she is, her work and the esthetics of her designs before I show you a little glimpse of her newest stunning boho chic collection I got to strut around in all through shoot day.
Sonali Raman is a sustainable clothing designer that works towards reviving old traditional design and craft techniques. It is with this very concept in mind that she launched her brand SR’s over 3 years ago. Although a Doha resident, she designs both at home in Indian and here in the middle east and is a faculty member of Qatar’s prestigious design school VCU. She has 28 years of experience within the field,having worked in several different departments that cover all parts of this artistic trade.
Sonali’s latest collection is called The Siyah-Safid Rangeen, Siyah meaning ink in urdu and Safid meaning creamy whites are used in this collection as canvases on which a mix of pastel and Rangeen meaning colorful threads are woven into SR’s signature chevron embroidery. It is the combination of embellishments used in her designs that celebrates the elegance of blacks, the simplicity of white and the joie de vivre of colors in our lives.
Here are a few images from her lookbook
Sonali’s also has a Jewelry line that showcases Zardosi (Zur: Gold; Douzi: embroidery), a long-forgotten craft form that uses gold and silver wires, metal spangles and tiny dots and seed pearls to create intricate patterns on royal garments.
She uses this traditional art form to create some stunning everyday pieces. Each piece is carefully handcrafted by sourcing the material ethically and are put together by some of the finest craftsmen otherwise known as Karigars.
Although extremely nervous at first, this was one of the most fun days I’ve had in a long time. Getting pampered by a team of hair and make up artist and being the spotlight for a few hours did all feel great before It was time for me to get back home to mama duties and reality.
If only for a few hours I was transported to a world of glamour and will forever admire what full time models do. It is hard work mastering a pose or giving the photographer that right shot. Then there’s owning the designers clothes with ease and grace while respecting the effort gone into the creation of every unique piece.
Sonali’s designs are fluid and easy to wear for anyone. It has lots of technical detail which you can see at close angle and the materials used are of the highest quality.
It was an absolute pleasure working with her and in all honesty while shooting I literally wanted to buy out the whole collection. In the end I settled for a lovely long white dress and a pair of her signature Chevron Earrings as a souvenir of the most wonderful time spent in the company of extremely talented people.
A big Thank You also goes to an awesome hair and make up team that worked with me on this collaboration and gave me posing tips + morale boost during the shoot. Please follow them on Instagram to see more of their work.
Hair by @curlsandmore12
Make up by @makeupbyzeenia
For details on Sonali Raman’s design – click on the link – www.instagram.com/srdoha/