A Master Of The Art Of Simplicity
Leading a revolutionary headway in the fashion industry by bringing together Middle Eastern culture with a Western identity, Marmar Halim’s exquisite designs are the right choice for those who don’t want to go unnoticed. Recently, Halim loomed large in the fashion arena, dressing up renowned celebrities including Egypt’s first lady, Mrs. Entissar El Sisi, Sherine Abdel-Wahab, and Dorra Zarrouk. With a glamorous flair, Halim has pioneered a new wave of fashion with a passion for portraying Arab women in the most simple and elegant styles.
What sparked your interest in building a career in the fashion business?
My passion for fashion, which I would attribute to my late mother’s elegant taste. She was one to teach me how to look presentable and chic. Despite my poor skills of sketching back then, I did draw some dresses and would describe to the tailors what I had in mind down to the last details. The dresses were gorgeous and received a lot of positive feedback, which was followed by a wave of people telling me that I’m genuinely talented and that I should start a career in fashion.
Behind every successful collection there is a source of inspiration. What is your muse?
For some people inspiration stems from financial gain; however, I initially got inspired by the ethereal beauty of nature, which I attempted to blend with women’s charming paradox: their delicate nature merged with their inner warriors. I believe that women face more challenges than men because they have to deal with work pressure on top of household chores and taking care of their children, all while trying to keep up a good look.
Egypt’s first lady, Mrs. Entissar El Sisi, chose you to design her attire in the World Youth Forum. How did that make you feel?
Well, it felt like I was asked to do a national service to Egypt. I live abroad so I miss Egypt every minute. I was absolutely honoured and felt privileged, but I feared failing to prove worthy of this task. I was only asked to design two or three pieces, but it was categorised as its own collection. My experience has been unforgettable and tremendously honourable dealing with such a humble and inspirationally unique soul like Mrs. Entissar El Sisi.
Why do you favour working with some celebrities like Sherine, Mona Zaki, and Dorra Zarrouk? Any other celebrities you would like to work with?
I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with such amazing celebrities who trust my taste, and I strive to meet their expectations. I’m always honoured to work with celebrities, but I also love dressing up all my clients, famous or not, and making them feel distinctive and exclusive.
What distinguishes your 2018 winter collection?
What makes my 2018 winter collection unique is what distinguishes my every other collection: lightness and simplicity in an amalgam of casual with formal night wear. My main concern is to provide women with an outfit that combines femininity and elegance for formal occasions or professional environments.
How do you like to portray Arab women through your unique designs?
It is my top priority to feature Arab women in elegant and simple styles even if they have a tendency for more glamorous looks. I want to highlight the fact that Middle Eastern women are sophisticated and aware of the latest fashion trends just like any Western woman. On the other hand, there are many fashion bloggers now in the Arab world who support and point out the same concept.
Your designs elegantly evoke simplicity. Why have you chosen this approach?
My passion for simplicity may be a result of my hatred of complexity. Perhaps the process of working on the collection pieces itself is convoluted, but at the end, the result is elegantly simple. For me, this is the epitome of professionalism: creating an impeccably simple dress that hides millions of details behind its folds. Simplicity is not shallow; it’s an honest expression of yourself within the layers of fabric.
What is your opinion on the use of real fur in the fashion industry?
Not only it an inhuman process to kill innocent animals and display their fur for financial matters, but its price is provocatively high and clashes with my theme of simplicity. I recommend that instead of putting animals to death, we can limit animal extinction and use the money spent on the process to help eliminate poverty and other societal issues.
Can you name any icons in your field that you idolise?
I look up to many fashion designers, but for me the master of all masters will always be Elie Saab. He is not only one of the best designers ever, but a leader of a remarkable breakthrough in the fashion field in the Middle East. Audrey Hepburn is also one of my favourite icons of elegance, fashion, and simplicity, even though she wasn’t a fashion designer.
Do you wear your own designs?
Most of the time, I wear my loose jeans and my comfy sneakers, but whenever I attend an event, I wear Marmar Halim of course.
Out of all your projects, which are you most proud of?
What really makes me proud is being selected by Egypt’s first lady to design her attire. I was honoured when Ms. Aya El Sisi called me one day and told how much Mrs. El-Sisi loved her outfit. It was out-of-this-world to dress such a graceful lady, who represents a whole state.
What advice would you give to young designers?
Work your fingers to the bone, and never be swamped by failure. Learn from your mistakes and never give up. If you remain determined, you will reach beyond your wildest dreams.
Any upcoming plans you can tell our readers?
Lately, I’ve been working on a shoot for Mai Ezz Eldin in Dubai. I will launch Marmar Halim in ‘Galeries Lafayette’ in Dubai mall. I will be the first Egyptian to be allowed into the retailer stores of ‘Galeries Lafayette’, which are only based in Dubai, Lebanon, and Paris. It is an honour to have them accept my portfolio.
I also have extensive preparations for the upcoming Dubai Film Festival and Cairo Film Festival.