The Holy Month of Ramadan is one of the most important times for designers in the region, whose bespoke collections are in high demand for the many festivities, and especially for Eid. Deeba, Shruthi, and Salim, spoke to their personal favourites about their Ramadan collections, all of which shared a common theme and message — one needn’t compromise on style or modesty with their thoughtfully conceived pieces, during the Holy Month, or any other time of year.
Elegant, simple, yet extremely stylish, Dar Al Aseel’s Ramadan collection 2016 has an added touch of modernity, and will certainly change your perspective on the usual Ramadan wear. From graceful kaftans to abayas with a twist, this collection is exactly what today’s women want to wear.
Amal Al Raisi, the founding designer and owner of the brand held a small preview of 30 different Ramadan looks during a beautifully organised fashion show at the Al Bustan Palace — a Ritz Carlton Hotel for a small group of Muscat’s fashion elites.
Being a fashion designer wasn’t planned, it just happened for Amal. “I started almost a decade back, and it all happened by coincidence. I was getting married and wasn’t able to find the right dress, so I decided to design my own and got lots of compliments for that. Later, I started to design for friends and family,” Al Raisi recalled. Her collections have already gained international fans, being worn by fashionistas across the region and also other parts of the world.
Her latest collection includes jalabiyas, kaftans, and abayas, many of the designs inspired by the different regions of Oman. Amal’s love for sublime, delicate yet rich fabrics was reflected in every design that lit up the runway at Al Bustan, most in modern shades of cream, grey, and black. The hand-dyed and embroidered modern collection was also infused with traditional Omani designs and patterns.
Flowers are one of Amal’s signatures, which were very boldly used in this collection. She feels that although flowers are soft and delicate, they are also very powerful, and this is the kind of woman she is trying to address — cool and calm, but also strong and full of ambitions, not only here in Oman or the region, but around the world.
Ramadan in many ways personifies joy, purity, serenity, and love. Sahar Al Aufi, an Omani designer who is the proud owner of her own brand, Meli’s, brought these intangible ideas to life through her latest collection, which targets the courageously fashionable women of Oman.
As a kid Sahar would spend hours in front of the television observing and learning about fashion trends from across the world. She then went on to study in Italy, and her wide, global perspective is clearly reflected in her designs — classy, refreshing amalgamations of the Middle East and the West.
When I heard that Sahar was focusing on abayas and kaftans for the Holy Month, I didn’t expect to see that same global influence. I was under the impression that abayas were simple, unicoloured, robe-like dresses, offering little scope for experimentation. Going through Sahar’s collection made me realise how wrong I was. Fun pops of colours, bold prints, and flowy patterns exuberating poise and fashion went way beyond my imagination. Sahar primarily makes her intricately crafted masterpieces with silk and other fabrics imported from Italy.
This innovative designer is bold in her experiments with traditional kaftans and abayas, innovating and inventing new styles and setting trends. Her designs, which are displayed in her boutique, Reflection, do not just speak volumes about this creative, international-minded woman, but also about the playful, bold women she caters to.
Designed and curated by the super talented Zuweina Al Sharji, this season’s Pretty Little Skirt Ramadan collection celebrates the Middle Eastern fashion of the 1960s with classic, yet fashion-forward pieces that scream elegance, sophistication, and fierceness — royal style.
The 2014-launched clothing line started out exclusively making uber-fashionable puffy skirts, but this season, the brand has branched out, offering dresses, cape tops, and kimonos, with the signature, playful, Pretty Little Skirt touch.
Zuweina has totally delivered with pieces featuring high-end trendy patterns and fantastic textiles like raw silk, silk chiffon, taffeta, and jacquardon. She focused on adding volume and classic shapes ala the golden era of the 60s, and amped them up with contemporary colours for a collection that offers a fabulous mix of palettes from neon to natural summer hues.
You can rock an imperial kimono look for a sophisticated Iftar or coffee out with friends, or, you can put on 6-inch Louboutins and skirt it up for an Eid ensemble with major wow-factor. You can also order items from the collection for your little ones, and a kid in a cute couture skirt is a charming statement in itself.