There's nothing Grazia loves more than a Dubai brand done good, and making her New York Fashion Week debut with Mochi Spring/ Summer 2018, Ayah Tabari has done exactly that. On a one-woman mission to make America Mexico again, her latest collection takes its cue from the Mayans. “For this season we incorporated traditional embroidery techniques and colours as well as creating new prints such as the rainbow print and worry-doll print,” Ayah reveals. “We wanted to capture the authenticity of Mexico so by developing these prints I believe we brought their beautiful traditions to life.”
Mexico is the latest stop on Mochi’s colourful world tour that started in 2013 and has since seen Ayah being inspired by and supporting stitching communities in Thailand, Palestine, Uzbekistan, Jaipur, Spain, Africa and Morocco. “It is about the artisans. Having seen how starting Mochi has changed their lifestyle for the better, it has made me want to do more so I can continue to support them. It was them after all who gave me the inspiration to start the brand,” she explains.
On SS18, she elaborates, “The different artisanal practices I saw in Mexico were eye-opening. I am constantly inspired by these existing traditions and timeless patterns. I hope I have both continued and transformed them into contemporary versions, bringing the past and present together.”
In a fashion capital best known for its minimalistic silhouettes and monochromatic colourways – think Helmut Lang and 3.1 Phillip Lim – New York wouldn’t have known what had hit it when faced with Mochi Mexico’s exuberant embroidery and kaleidoscopic colour palette, but Ayah remains unphased. “I took influences from Guatemala and Chiapas and added modern- day techniques and silhouettes to make up the foundations of the collection and I am super-happy with the result.”
When it comes to Ayah’s SS18 wish list, she admits, “A couple of my favourite pieces are the Belia top [an intricate cold-shoulder crop] and Frida skirt [a pale lemon-yellow maxi]. I think the embroidery in the Christina top [a bell-sleeved cropped number] and Roselie skirt [a rainbow- striped affair] really stand out. You would walk in the room and be recognised for these pieces. I hope so anyway...” We’ll take one of each, please!