From war-torn Iraq to fashion week: Oday Shakar makes his runway debut

(CNN)It’s early Autumn and Oday Shakar is carefully hemming his latest creation: a mauve lavender suede jacket, worn atop an ivory chiffon skirt with pliss inserts.

“The skirt will be black for the show, but I’ve actually fallen in love with this color,” Shakar tells his fitting model.

    “Should we make another one in ivory?”
    Already a red carpet regular, Shakar’s designs have been worn by the likes of Sandra Bullock, Sofia Vergara and Dianna Agron since he first launched his brand in 2009.

    On September 9, he plans to take his career to a new level, showing his collection alongside the some of the world’s most exclusive brands at his New York Fashion Week debut.

    From Anaheim to Baghdad

    Shakar’s upcoming collection will be the 12th he’s designed, but his first shown at a major fashion week.
    “The minute I got [to New York] in March, there was only one goal: to figure out who I am as a designer,” he said.
    Taking cues from his role model, seminal fashion designer Halston, and inspiration from his mother and sisters, Shakar calls his collection a mixture of “two worlds, a westernized influence on the Middle East,” featuring geometric patterns inspired by Islamic architecture, bold prints, and Western silhouettes.
    “It’s much more than just designing, it’s what the clothes represent and how they make women feel,” he said.
    “To me, that’s magic.”

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