Abaya trends in UAE constantly evolving in 'conflict' between fashion and religious modesty – The National

Abaya trends

The utilitarian gown held expensive by Arab girls is present process a change that reveals it as a sublime and sleek garment accessible in a spread of colors and materials, whereas retaining its conventional attraction.

DUBAI // Emirati girls’s intrinsic need for change, integration, self-expression and want to remain updated has reworked the abaya from a utilitarian garment to a "fashion assertion symbolising grace, class and attraction".

That's the conclusion of researchers from the Lebanese American College in Beirut, who held focus teams and interviews with Emirati girls to look at how the "conflict" between up to date trends and standard religious modesty has affected UAE girls’s fashion wants and influenced the evolution of abaya designs.

"The analysis has proven main transformation has taken place in the notion of fashion and, accordingly, abayas," stated Dr Zahy Ramadan, who co-authored the research together with Dr Mona Mrad.

"Given the modifications in the wants and desires of Emirati shoppers, understanding this market is of utmost significance for each teachers and advertising and marketing practitioners from a fashion perspective."

Dr Ramadan stated the UAE is the most important nation after Saudi Arabia in phrases of Muslim attire consumption and that, in line with latest report by Thomson Reuters, the Islamic fashion market is predicted to be value US$484 billion (Dh1.04 trillion) by 2019.

"The UAE market was particularly chosen for this research as it's planning to develop into the centre of Islamic fashion," stated Dr Ramadan.

The research, Trendy Stereotypes and Evolving Trends in the United Arab Emirates, was revealed in the Might version of the journal Buyer Wants and Options.

"A set of fashion motivators emerged from the research describing Emirati girls’s want for change, integration, self-expression, and want to remain updated that this paper grouped underneath what we coined the ‘fashion motivator second of reality’," stated Dr Ramadan.

Emirati abaya designer Alia bin Omair couldn't agree extra with the research’s findings. For the reason that 27-year-outdated launched her Dubai-based mostly label, Darya, she has witnessed the evolving trends.

"Earlier than we used to put on solely black, however about two years in the past the women began sporting beige, white, gray colors," stated Ms bin Omair. Materials additionally advanced from silk or polyester to linen and even wool throughout the winter months.

"My mum used to solely put on the identical cloth for years – the identical cloth. Even my aunt and anybody that I do know, they used the identical cloth. I really feel it's higher to alter a bit and use different materials."

Because the researchers famous in their findings, the fashionable kinds don't are likely to "undermine the abayas’ native and conventional look, which UAE fashion designers nonetheless contemplate an emblem of respect and custom that ladies in the UAE ought to preserve".

For Fatma Al Mosa, the 38-year-outdated designer and proprietor of Folak Couture in Abu Dhabi, the abaya’s cultural roots and position in the UAE society will at all times be No in guiding kinds and cuts.

"That is our precedence, it's our faith, it's our tradition. For the Gulf Arabian girls, it's a part of their id and faith that they should put on abayas. That is how they've been recognized," stated Ms Al Mosa. "However on the similar time these days, we don’t simply put on it for religious causes, it's turning into for very trendy as properly."

A lot so, that for the previous two years a rising variety of expatriates have turned to Ms Al Mosa to buy the newest abayas – principally of the colored and linen selection, she stated.

"They really feel it is extremely sensible and one thing that they prefer to expertise, even in their international locations," stated Ms Al Mosa. "I feel it’s very promising. For us, the abaya is a part of our tradition, a part of our id and I feel it's a pleasure for all of us when somebody non-Arab buys a chunk and they discover it very good and comfy and they prefer to have it, and they need to put on it even overseas."

Dr Haifa Al Anjari, founding school member and assistant professor of fashion design on the School of Fashion and Design Dubai, stated the abaya had come a great distance from its utilitarian origins as a way of modesty and safety from the climate. Early abayas had been black and made from goat hair, stated Dr Al Anjari.

"If I’m utilizing the unique abaya – the primary one which was invented in the Arab world – I might by no means put on it in my life," stated Dr Al Anjari, who's Kuwaiti.

These days, the appropriate trendy abaya can create a glance of instantaneous attraction, she stated.

"It's really very elegant, particularly when it brushes in opposition to your pores and skin you are feeling so luxurious, you are feeling so female.

rpennington@thenational.ae

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Abaya trends in UAE constantly evolving in 'conflict' between fashion and religious modesty - The National