MQ Fashion Designer

Moulham Obid was born in Massiaf, Syria, in 1990. He studied Visual Communication at the University of Aleppo and finished with a bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts. In Vienna he attended the Herbststrasse Fashion School where upon completing his diploma he was awarded the top prize of  the Diva Austrian Fashion Talent Award 2017. In 2018 Moulham was awarded the the Start-Up Scholarship from the AFA Austrian Fashion Association and in 2019 the AFA Support for his next collection. On 8 September 2020, Moulham shows his latest collection at the Vienna Fashion Week 2020.

In 2018 Moulham Obid was invited as a fashion designer to present his project “Master TIMELESS Material” at Rado Star Prize Austria 2019 at the Rado Boutique in Vienna. Moulham’s work was shown in the Kunst Festival Millstatt 2019 and 2020. Selected pieces of his collection are available for sale through special fashion Pop-Up stores which promote up and coming Austrian design talent.

Atelier Moulham Obid

Moulham Obid’s couture collections are defined by his exciting detailed creations which are handcrafted over hundreds of hours. With elaborate patterns, artistic draping and pleats, Moulham Obid captures a vision of modern femininity which elevates his clients individuality. His designs reveal the clients desire to present a mixture of modern linear structure with romantic imaginative femininity. All the while framing the character of the client and her tastes.

As a Fashion designer, Moulham Obid’s creations are sophisticated extravagance at it best. He masterfully mixes diverse materials to create standout contemporary feminine silhouettes. Through his exciting and artistic talents of creation, he arranges sheer tulle ruffles amongst cascades of silk, while skillfully placing intricate hand embroidered details onto his creations. In his collections, Moulham Obid reveals his fine feeling for complex volumes and modern proportions. As his work is first derived through an artistic scope, he then effortlessly transports these visions into unforgettable individual pieces.

Moulham Obid 2020 Collection: “Pollution” 

Environmental crimes and the associated climate change are dominant themes of the 21st century. Denying their existence is one of the most dangerous mechanisms that have put people and nature at risk. With his Pollution collection dedicated to environmental crimes, Moulham Obid completes his collection trilogy. Starting with Phi 2017 and his investigation of the perfect proportions of the “golden ratio”, he then reflects with Gaia 2019 silhouettes and colours of the natural forms of mother nature.

“It is in our hands to change the world” is Moulham Obid’s conviction.

The designer douses his beige moulage scale dress with ‘oil’, in order to confront the public with the truth of our world and the environmental crimes we seldom see or acknowledge. The Moulham Obid Collection 2020 is a tribute to independent women and their strength of personality. These women are defined as wearers who equate their individuality with timeless elegance and beauty, while valuing handcrafted details.

With “Pollution”, Moulham Obid reveals the full range of his skills

As a fashion designer Moulham arranges black, sensational evening dresses with expansive luscious tulle skirts. A flower-encrusted corset sculpted using plastic or applying by hand countless layers of tulle on the top. these are defining features of his latest collection. He elegantly combines black, narrow three-quarter gabardine trousers with pleats to form a lilac-coloured bustier made of silk duchesse. Its puff sleeves which run closely from the middle of the upper arm to the wrist draw the viewers eyes up to the wearer face. He has an asymmetrically cut one-shoulder top with circular, gathered, ice-blue tulle stripes. The pieces are alluring, and full of sex appeal. Additional there are the high heels that he fuses with leggings into one organic piece to be worn.

The collection also features flattering knitted pieces, such as the blue silk-cashmere sweater with a V-neck, flowing lines like embroidery on the shoulders and arms. The fashion designer puts a sheer, floor-length dress made of silk organza in nude over a dark gray knitted dress made of cashmere and viscose. A bright yellow cashmere tunic with tight cuffs and low raglan sleeves is cleverly rounded off by a matt black leather train that goes down to the heels and can be closed at the shoulders and waist. Vegan leather is moulded into the form of an oversized leave combined with beige Marlene trousers made from organic cotton by Moulham Obid.

A classic, tight-fitting, ankle-length coat made of dark blue wool with cashmere can also be found in the collection. Moulham Obid combines a pale purple tulle stole with a matching skirt. The heart of the collection is a bridal ensemble made of white tulle. A long-sleeved tulle blouse with buttoned cuffs is enclosed in a white recycled polymer molded torso with flowers. With the voluminous skirt, the silhouette of the ensemble is reminiscent of a dress from the Victorian era. Moulham is committed to the use of sustainable animal friendly materials. The better to encourage modern materials which promote sustainability and help to care for our planet.

With his “Pollution Collection 2020”, Moulham Obid is setting an example

for more sustainability  

Moulham Obid works primarily with natural fibres and partly fully recyclable materials. Primarily he uses fine tulle, pure silk, cashmere and organic cotton in satin and twill weave. Structures and textures are reflective of various textural appearances found in nature. For example, honeycombs, wings, corals and cell structures. Voluminous flowers and leaf-like creations, pleats and gathers are created from various types of tulle by hand. The surface texture and silhouettes are therefore style-defining. Moulham Obid: “Silhouettes and surfaces of my current collection are very pronounced. The choice of light, delicate colours in combination with black has a balancing effect and the different surface textures are emphasized.”

Fashion Designer Moulham Obid
Fashion Designer Moulham Obid

When did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer?

I have been interested in fashion for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t until I arrived in Vienna in 2014 that I had my first real opportunity to seriously study fashion and design. My late grandmother was a tailor and it was because of her and her work that I was first drawn to design, tailoring and attention to detail. I came to Vienna because I wanted to study in the inspirational city where so many design movements were first cultivated. Once I arrived I learned German and excitedly began my studies. I was able to secure a spot at the respected Fashion College Herbstrasse and there I received constant support from my teachers and peers. It has been a busy first six years in Austria!

What is it like being in the fashion industry as a fashion designer?

Like so many industries, it can be a real challenge! But I have a passion and a serious commitment to working and creating success for myself and the Atelier Moulham Obid. Just because you have graduated from your studies does not mean you have finished learning. I am constantly being influenced by what is around me and I am hungry to seize every opportunity that comes my way, no matter how big or small. I work hard, and have an amazing team of talented people who help and support me. There is so much possibility in the industry and I am looking to make my mark and stand out with my creations.

How is the fashion industry in Vienna?

Vienna is a city where fashion has always played and important role. It’s citizens are lovers of beauty and glamour. They love to go out to shows, dinner and to balls, dressed to the nines! Whenever friends visit they always notice how elegant everyone is dressed and it is only 10am! Quality and tailoring is still very much valued by people here. And if we talk about the formal wear, then I get really excited! As a designer of evening dresses, there are so many opportunities for my pieces to be worn in the city! Evening wear isn’t just for the celebrities. There are so many incredible tailors and seamstresses who also work in the theatres, creating costumes that inspire the Viennese. The Viennese will never be afraid of trying a piece that is on the theatrical side. Attention is everything! But is must be beautiful.

For me it has been a wonderful place to study fashion and to begin my journey as a designer. I have been extremely well supported and encouraged here. That isn’t to say it isn’t hard. Many things are difficult. Fashion is not only time consuming, but to make quality collections, you need money and assistance for promotion. I have been supported with several scholarships, which inspires me and this is encouraging. I also am building my network of colleagues, and a team to be able to better move in fashion circles.

I arrived in Vienna six years ago, and I feel like I am really starting to make a home here and am a part of the scene. But there is still so much more to do and even more to accomplish!

Fashion Designer Moulham Obid
Fashion Designer Moulham Obid

What was your first job in the fashion industry?

I think my first job was helping my grandmother to tidy up. I fell in love with the feel and movement of fabric in her shop. My first real serious job was when I arrived in Vienna. I was given the opportunity to design! The Verein Wiener Jugendzentren hired me to develop designs drawn by children for their project “Kids in Fashion” . Children from the ages of 4 to 21 submitted sketches, and we developed  a line of 36 pieces. It was a great first job. It also developed my sense of how to work with others to create a collection.

Talk about the changes in your life since you began your own clothing label as a Fashion Designer

The changes seem to be never ending at the moment! It is an exciting, but a stressful thing, to begin your own fashion label. As this is the beginning of my atelier, I can say that the label and I are growing together! I am constantly learning about the professional aspects of running a label. There are so many details and aspects to master that are not about design. design. I am learning that I cannot do it all by myself.  In order for me to do my best work, and be the designer, I must rely on my team of people to do their jobs. I am fortunate because they all believe in me and give me so much support. They all see the vision I have for my collections, show and the atelier. My life also feels incredibly glamorous at times! It is always thrilling to see my designs on a model. And then when the pieces are on the runway, it is such a rush! For the Vienna Fashion Week 2020 I learned about being in charge of all aspects of a show. Having my own show and learning abut the theatrical aspects of creating it was great. My vision was clear and I quickly found the people and artists to help me realize it. Organization is also key. This show meant I had to really work with a team and this has been a great benefit to me. I learn what works and what doesn’t work and keep building.

As a Fashion designer how do you choose your inspiration?

I pull inspiration from many places. My first few collections have come out of how I examine the natural world and how we as humans live with it. There are so many things available to me for inspiration, especially in Vienna. I never know when inspiration will strike!

What advice would you pass along to those starting as a Fashion Designer

Love your competitors! You learn so much from the people around you. Examine their successes and failures. When you have specialists come to work with you, listen to them! When people offer to help, let them! Surround yourself with people who believe in you and you will always find the strength and motivation to do this demanding and rewarding work! As artists, we will never be finished. Know when the finishing touches have been made and look forward to creating your next collection! Believe in yourself.

Tell us about your last collection

The concept for the collection originates in 2017 but I was unable to develop it because I and my team had several other professional commitments and projects. The idea of it being called Pollution has become even more powerful since I first built the collection upon the collection because of the amazing work of Greta Thunberg and so many others who have been drawing attention to the importance of our environment and saving it. That the fight ft save our planet is constantly in the news certainly inspired me and pushed me forward while completing the collection. The collection consists of 19 outfits for fall and winter.

A few select pieces are lavish and dramatic and represent what is the signature Atelier Moulham Obid style, connecting Pollution to my previous collections PHI and GAIA. One important objective of this seasons collection was to produce a more pret-a-porter collection for day into night. The materials that I use are organic cotton, printed cotton, cashmere, tulle, and wool. Many of the designs also illustrate the story of how we are confronting and dealing with pollution in our lives. The Atelier Moulham Obid silhouettes reflect its customer, a strong, independent woman who knows what she wants while also feeling elegant.

Tell us about your experience in MQ Vienna Fashion Week

This year was a big step for me and the Atelier because it was the first time I had an entire show dedicated to my creations!  Previously I had been invited to show at VFW in showcases. This year was a whole other world. Having the freedom and creative ability to design everything, from the music to the video installation, and of course, a larger more  commercial collection was incredible.

I worked for a year on the collection and the show itself. It was over in moments!

As a fashion designer how do choose your fabrics?

I begin by creating a mood board. The basis for this board begins with color and from there I grow the concept for the collection and the fabric choices are made. It is very important to me to know where and how fabrics are made and I look for materials that are organically and fair trade produced. These types of materials get priority in being used.  Atelier Moulham Obid is committed to using vegan and anti-animal cruelty materials and production practicies. The 2020 collection used ananas leather rather than cow leather. The result was fabulous. It has its own qualities which also inspired me. Also, I put emphasis on purchasing fabrics locally whenever possible. It is important to support Vienna’s fashion industry and those who supply us with our products. All these ideas help me to also uphold my values of being as environmentally friendly as possible. It is all about balance. Using new and recycled materials. And once the collection is finished it all comes to life once it is on the model and walking down the runway. Then I can see how the balance I have searched for has come together. I am particularly proud of the combinations that successfully told the story of this season collection, such as cashmere mixed with vegan ananas leather or tulle and how they interact with one another as movable, weasel sculpture.  As Issey Miyake siad. “only the body transforms the fabrics into clothes.” And this can only happen once it is on the runway, or even better on the street, being worn by a client!

What is the next step in your career as a Fashion Designer?

I have a few areas which I will be focusing on. Now that MOA is established and has a growing customer base I want to better get to know my customers and develop the collections based on understanding their needs and fashion fantasies. Also, I am focusing on how to maximize the creative side with the commercial design side of the label.  The MOA is now completing it’s online shop. The timing couldn’t be more crucial because virtual sales have become most important, especially in this last year due to Covid19. Fashion is having to move online even more than before. Now is the time! The next big launch will be the opening of the web shop. Stay tuned!

To know more about Moulham, please visit: Moulham Obid

Credits

Photo: Susanne Spiel
Model: Charline Desiree/Wiener Models
Hair & Make up: Harout & Serli Oglian, Karla Goldoni

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