On 18 September 2018, Nabil became the first designer to showcase a collection at the British Library during London Fashion week. The event generated a huge response from press and social media, including coverage in Vogue.
Nabil Nayal is a Syrian-born British womenswear designer. He was an LVMH Prize Finalist in 2017 and received a British Fashion Council Fashion Trust Grant this year.
Having undertaken a doctorate in Elizabethan dress, Nayal felt passionately about emphasising the importance of his research through his collection. In his Spring/Summer 2019 (SS19) collection, Nabil explored the Library’s Elizabethan and Medieval Manuscripts archives.
Research for his collection began with the famous Tilbury Speech, delivered by Queen Elizabeth I ahead of the attempted invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588. The manuscript of the speech, along with other other images – including Elizabeth’s funeral procession and maps and hymn sheets – were incorporated into the collection through digital printing. The collection included coats, jackets, dresses, and a three-metre-long cloak featuring the Tilbury Speech.
The collaboration between Nabil and the British Library showcased not only the incredible wealth of resources available at the British Library for design students but also the importance of research for the continued success of UK creative industries.
A short film was made of this event at the British Library with interviews with key stakeholders in the fashion industry.