The man... The madness... The magic: Yousef Akbar
- BY: TEREZA BERKEMEIER
- Jun. 29, 2017
Entering the velvet curtains backstage one steps outside of their normal and into the world of the Designer. As part of the backstage team you eagerly anticipate the fervour and adrenaline of the experience you are about to undertake. This is no different when our back of house team for Miro Door entered The Box theatre at Carriageworks to help Yousef Akbar and his team prepare for his runway show.
We were met with the eyes of a young man, alert with anticipation, soft with hope, silent but calm. He had bolts in his mouth affixing wooden rectangles to silk and sequin garments of his collection that were hanging on racks.
Himself and his team were in action, darting in and around our team. The mist from steamers gushed towards the roof, show producers were organising run throughs, set designers constructing last minute details, the head dresser allocated us to models and racks.
Casting eyes over Akbar’s collection we could appreciate the heartbeat of this designer confidentially expressed through the technical, creative and couture within these pieces. This collection aptly called Heartbreak and Fantasy, a contrasting collision of textures, colours, fabrics and materials.
Yousef Akbar with Masters in Logistics and a graduate of Sydney’s Fashion Design Studio is a rising star in the fashion industry. 31 years old and from Saudi Arabia, he spent some time in London and made Sydney his home in 2003. Akbar has created couture pieces for Kelly Osborne, Jessica Mauboy and unbeknown to him until the post American Awards media coverage, Chrissy Teigan selected his daringly thigh high split dress.
As the rehearsals finalised, models entered backstage and were gingerly guided into their creations by volunteer dressers, while the media descended enmasse into the space for interviews and to capture images of the models. Hair and Makeup join the mayhem assisting the models with wispy colourful creations that look like bird nests of fantasy. Its pure madness amplified by the intimacy of the theatre itself. The Box theatre descendng into darkness, there is silence and then the music indicates the beginning of the show.
Sequins, leather and silks flow down the runway and through that looks like a wooden forest where models turn and walk in different directions. It’s a dramatic show emphasised by his creations of biker jackets made from bonded cork, fluid sequin dresses, brass hardware and willowy feathery tassels including a full mask. The guests are being taken out of their own individual normal and into the set of a real runway show as Akbar takes them along on a narrative of bold, dramatic and daring. It is madness and pure magic. Yousef Akbar’s tears of relief are felt by us all. He did it…. his vision for this collection Heartbreak and Fantasy bought to life vividly and confidently at his first solo runway fashion show for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week that has definitely made his mark....Akbar has proven he is indeed the rising star to watch.