Omar Joseph Nasser-Khoury is a young Palestinian and one of the most promising young designers to recently emerge from the Arab world. He was born in Al Quds (Jerusalem) and grew up in the Occupied Territories. His work draws its inspiration from a rich tradition of Palestinian embroidery. He combines the motifs and the refined cross-stitching, typical of his homeland, with bold tailoring, to create a unique and very personal interpretation of this traditional heritage. He wants to remind young people in the Palestinian territories of this heritage, and show how it can be relevant to modern life.
Nasser-Khoury’s in 2011 exhibited a collection titled “Silk Thread Martyrs,” at London’s Mosaic Room, coinciding with London’s Fashion Week.
Farmers, fighters, social workers, martyrs and refugees are all sources of inspiration for a collection in which Nasser-Khoury also questions issues regarding gender, duty or social restraints. The permanent presence of death and mourning in daily life and the almost unbearable reality of Israeli Occupation have greatly influenced his work and are also palpable in the collection.
Nasser-Khoury produced the collection working closely with Inaash, a Lebanese non-profit organization that teaches traditional Palestinian embroidery techniques to women living in refugee camps in Lebanon. Inaash’s embroidery project benefits 450 women, teaching them skills that will help them earn a living.
The garments were made with the minimum use of machinery. Most of the embroidery, the luxurious fabrics, the colouring and the dyeing was carried out entirely by hand.
(To read original article in PDF: Silk Thread Martyrs)