Meeting the Fashion Future Finalists: Zahra Khatouli

FAD Stories

Zahra Khatouli, 17, from Camden

Picture 176How does it feel to be an FAD Finalist?

Great! I never thought I’d be picked – I am so happy.

Has it boosted your self confidence?

Yeah definitely, it’s been really nice to see every ones garments being put together. Everyone here is really talented.

Has it been nice to spend time with like-minded people?

Yes – there’s not many people at my school who are interested in fashion, and they’re not always going to be as interested in fashion as much as I am, so to come here and to spend time with people who are really keen and interested in it like me – it’s been a really good experience.

So, describe your garment?

My toile has been ripped apart! (laughs)… Well it’s actually the coat I need to work on. It’s basically two colours, cream and then a green underneath and it’s got tassels all along the bottom and half way down the coat. Then it’s got embroidery on the collar too. It’s very chic with a mid-west cowboy style with all the tassels!

And how difficult was it to do the tassels?

It’s quite tricky, when I did my twirl it took about four hours to cut and sew them. It took longer because it’s made from very thick fabric. I want to get it right and they’re very long in length, so I need to get them straight and the same width. It’s taken quite a while.

So where did your inspiration come from with all the tassels?

It was actually an unknown artist I found on Tumblr (a social media website). He painted in water colours; similar colours and similar shapes to my own designs – I just started sketching away and this happened.

It reminds me of ponds and rivers with all the fern shaped embroidery and mossy greens…

I draw a lot of that actually! I’m really inspired by nature (opening her sketch book to reveals numerous drawings of plants and swirling patterns) I’m glad that you think it shows through!

What’s been your biggest challenge so far?

The tassels! Also the lining has been really quite hard work with all the thick fabric.

What skills have you gained from your time with FAD?  

Learning different tools and tricks of the trade, and also learning the reasoning behind all of the processes we use in fashion design. It’s like learning the recipe of how to make a good garment and understanding why we have to do things in a certain way.

Are you looking forward to showing at London Fashion week?

I’m SO excited – I really can’t wait!

How are you going to feel when you see your own designs walking down the catwalk?

I’ll be speechless! My mum and Dad have always been sceptical about going into fashion and a creative industry they wanted me to be a doctor or lawyer – it’s just tradition, but when I told them about getting into the next level of Fashion Futures and going to summer school they have just been so encouraging. Both friends and family have been a great support.

What advice would you give to other young people who are thinking about taking on Fashion Futures next year?

My friend wants to apply for this next year so I told him to go for it!

What do you think of FAD as an organisation?

I didn’t expect it to be anything like this, my teacher put me forward for it and I got in! Then I got through again and it’s been really great.

The Fashion Futures project is supported by George at Asda, and is set to come to an exciting conclusion on Tuesday 17th September at the 2013 FAD Junior Awards. Find out more about Fashion Futures via the FAD website HERE.
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