A Modest Halloween

There's just something about playing dress up that never goes out of style. It takes you back to a time of carefree innocence and it can help put you in someone else's shoes. If you feel like playing dress up, these adorable Geisha outfits, are modest and chique and are guaranteed not to languish in your closet, after all, they're formal enough to wear to a fancy dinner, or function and who knows, you might decide to host your very own Geisha tea party someday.

Designer: Asian Ideas

Hot Pink Setrm Cotton Jacket

For an alternative, this hot pink jacket is another way to celebrate Pink Hijab day.

Designer: Setrms

Venn by Tugba Summer 2008 Silver Suit

Here's a very classy suit. Very professional, sleek and luxurious. The fabric is just begging to be touched. You can mix and match it with any number of hijabs and you can wear just the jacket or just the skirt for many more combinations.

Designer: Venn by Tugba

Bahraini Style Abaya

Here's the Bahraini style Abaya (with wings) though you really can't see them in the picture. But it's really lovely. It's made with the really soft Japanese silk and it's almost gray in color.

A Quick Visit to Dubai

I went to Dubai on Oct 1st for a week. It was quite an experience. Never have I seen so much black that was fashionable without being over the top. I saw all kinds of Abaya's, with rhinestones, with shiny Japanese Silk, with beautiful embroidery, embellished zips, polka dots and bows. All of them Black, but beautiful and elegant. I was quite impressed and inspired by all the black. And I absolutely love the concept of an Abaya. It's quite simple to put an abaya on top of whatever you're wearing like a coat for a hot climate. I also love how dresses and skirts peek out under the abaya or down the front from about the knees down. That itself adds an artistic touch to everything.

Offcourse there was color in abundance in the stores. Lots of Indian Sari's and fabrics, as well as beautiful Moroccan inspired Jalabas with lots of details. Fashion is definitely alive in Dubai. I was a bit shocked to see Prom dresses and evening dresses exactly like ones in the US but I guess I shouldn't have been, knowing what arab women wear indoors behind closed doors. Still I felt with all their beautiful dresses why would they patronize those? Atleast I only saw about a handful of them.

Skirts were another thing that I went gaga over. I felt them too expensive otherwise I would have gone crazy. That plus my handluggage was already full. There were black satin silks in an ultra modern minimalist style, plus sleek silver ones, denim punk rock long skirts, lots of bohemian inspired earthy floral skirts as well as colorful ones. The main thing I noticed was that silks and satins and charmeuses seemed to rule the day. I certainly am not complaining those are my faves!

Another thing I discovered was the way the women wore their scarves or shayla. Overwhelmingly with their hair done high up in a bun. I found that helps give it shape so your head doesn't look flat. And the hair clips and pins with rhinestones and all sorts of designs to keep it put and add your own personal touch. I loved the fabric it's so light and transparent but long enough that you wrap it around enough times to be solid but it's still light enough that you won't sweat in it. I'd say the average price for one of those scarves is DHS35 but depending on the embellishments I've seen up to DHS200. The best part about shopping their is you get to haggle and bargain that part was great! I got quite a few bargains. My best purchase was the Bahraini style Abaya I think everyone should have one. It's almost like having wings. Its loose in the back but inside there's a string that you tighten that gives you a little definition in the front then the hands hang loose. I'll post a picture cos describing it is a little tricky.

I went to the Mall of the Emirates and The City Center Mall in Dubai among other places. The malls were spotless, smelled great (which gave my allergies a field day, I had a mild cold / sniffles the whole time I was there too much perfume everywhere!) and was very familiar. They had all the well known brands like Zara, H&M, Debenhams, MNG, Ralph Lauren, etc and other lesser known brands. But for me the exciting thing was seeing the Muslim design stores such as Ameerah, Habayeb and others. Habayeb and a store next to it had some really interesting Abayas, they were very nice but very expensive. One Abaya was DHS7000 at a rate of DHS3.6 = $1 you do the math!!. I saw Gucci Abayas and YSL ones as well as Chanel, but then in the end I couldn't make up my mind as to whether or not they were actually designed by those designers or not. For all I know someone could have just added their names with rhinestones just to add a designer touch to it. Does anyone know the truth of it? If they were actually designer abayas, there was nothing special about them at all.

I took way too many pictures but unfortunately I only got a camera after I finished visiting the malls so most of the pictures are just landscapes. But I'll post pics of some of the fabrics I got from there.

Inter Fashion Dialogue

I've heard of inter faith Dialogue but students at Virginia Commonwealth University are participating in inter Fashion Dialogue. Their assignment was to design Abaya's for Qatari students. They created all kinds including Punk Rock Abayas. I really wish they had pictures. I think more schools should include this kind of dialogue. Because by using things like fashion we can come to a better understanding of each other. By working on an abaya, the students will start looking at it as a piece of clothing and as an identity and thereby be forced to reexamine their stereotypical perception of what it means when someone wears one.

Click here to read the whole article.

More Muslim Fashion Designers

It seems that everyday a new Muslim Fashion Designer is born. So much the better for all the billions of Muslima's out there.

Be sure to check out Rabia Z. A fan favorite at Dubai Fashion Weeek. Although there's nothing that stands out in her collection for me, it's just nice that someone is creating a collection designed specifically for us. let me know what you think of her collection. Is it too mainstream? Do you think it's unique? What would you add to it or subtract from it?

Also a new fashion line coming out next year is "Eva Khurshid" by two young Muslima's. They are 23 and 25 and are both working in fashion right now. Click here to read more about them.

Here's another article about some muslim fashion designers in philadelphia.

I wish them Allah's guidance and all the best. The more designers that are out there, the more choices we'll all have.