We were captivated by the amazing creations by fashion designer Nabil Nayal. Nabil and his team chose The Great Hall at Parham to be the backdrop for his AW17 photoshoot “Elizabethan Sportswear – Part IV”. He explained that his obsession with Elizabethan craftsmanship has deeply informed his practice, seen through his use of pleats, dramatic construction, menswear references and powerful silhouettes.
Nabil’s PhD research took him to artist Hollar, the works of which Nabil collages with to arrive at his extreme silhouettes. Through Hollar, Nabil was also able to re-contextualise the early modern period’s fascination with power. This power was often demonstrated through elaborate embroidery, illustrated through eyes and ears, to remind the subjects of the realm of the constant presence of the crown and the dominance of the Elizabethan court.
Nabil has won many prestigious awards including the Royal Society of Arts Award, the Graduate Fashion Week ‘Best Womenswear’ Award and the British Fashion Council MA Scholarship Award; enabling him to study at the Royal College of Art. Nabil has been shortlisted for the prestigious LVMH Prize 2017 and was invited to show at Paris Fashion Week in 2015. Here, Nabil’s utter devotion to his craft was applauded by luminaries such as Sarah Mower, Delphine Arnault, Nicolas Ghesquiere, and Karl Lagerfeld, who upon seeing the collection exclaimed “I love it! I love it! I love it!” and bought, what has since become affectionately named ‘The Karl Shirt’, for his collaborator Amanda Harlech.