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Rani Zakhem


One never forgets his childhood, they say. Rani Zakhem lived in Kenya until the age of ten. From Nairobi to Mombasa, passing through the Serengeti, where he spent his holidays, he keeps enchanted memories of colors like the dawn of time. It is his intimate Africa, far from the stereotypes and preconceived images, which he restitutes in this Haute Couture collection spring summer 2015.

A fairyland bougainvillea
the floral theme is unsurprisingly ubiquitous. For Zakhem, Kenya, is primarily the opulence of colorful bougainvillea cascading along the white stucco walls of the house of his childhood. His inspiration came from a sublime raspberry Chantilly lace; its color reviving vigorously sunny memories. Reworking the material of the original lace on a gown with asymmetrical straps, the designer introduced a sequin embroidery evoking light from trickling clusters of flowers.
On a nude tulle sheath, with a plunging "V" neckline, these lace floral arabesque appliqués seem to roll, raised by a mysterious wind, and accumulate on the rim as the base of a wall.
On other creations, flowers make way for a camaieu of vibrant shades of silk, from purple to coral through red and fuchsia. A pink veil animates gracefully through a halo of light and movement the architectural rigor of the cut.

The moods of the ocean
"In the spring, we spent the holiday in Mombasa on the Indian Ocean," recalls the designer. But the sub-equatorial spring is winter, and his child's gaze will forever recall deep shades of that immense sea, once turquoise, almost made black by the fury of the elements. The intense color impression is reflected in this collection by a signature mermaid gown, with intricate blue lace arabesque appliqués over tulle

A fantasy safari
If the lace awakened buried memories of Kenya's bougainvillea, in this collection of Zakhem, it is leopard print silk chiffon which roars rumors of the savannah. The perfect illusion of this fine fabric is the theme of a feline femininity that echoes in variations on a line inspired by African wildlife. A pretext for the designer to profess his passion for animal aesthetics found in Art Deco. Draped silks and fluid cuts reflect a contemporary reflection in the collection of Rani Zakhem. This inspiration is mirrored in a flared flowing dress built around a lace bib embroidered with bronze 3D sequins evoking the Maasai jewelry. Also visible is a mermaid sheath inspired by the spider web, a pretext for a sublime embroidery design in copper and bronze metallic flakes eliciting the broken geometries of Sonia Delaunay. Among the highlights of this phantasmagoria, a bronze lace bathing suit matching a marabou feather stole and a tutu dress with a bustier in chocolate metallic python.

The wedding dress
At Zakhem, the wedding dress is white, or else nothing! It's a strapless creation embroidered with transparent crystals that flow to the bottom of the crinoline and cascade throughout the immense train. Africa is discreetly present between the eternal snows of Kilimanjaro and graceful arabesques of the ironwork of the Kenyan home of the creator.

As a natural child of Hemingway and Karen Blixen, Rani Zakhem delivers for the new season a bright and colorful collection, inhabited by African nostalgia, served by an exceptional expertise, undoubtedly one of his most successful.