Fashion forward Eid clothing
EID is all about wearing your best scarves and abayas, but it doesn’t have to be dull and boring – let it be colourful and fashionable.
Shahida Salie, of Cape Town, says she wears a scarf every day and never gets bored.
“Whether you’re donning it for Eid or everyday wear, it should become every woman’s accessory,” she says.
(And a scarf works perfectly for a bad hair day.)
An accountant who has covered her hair most of her life, Salie says wearing your scarf one way all the time is rather mundane.
She has come up with more than a hundred ways to tie a scarf, as she explains in her new book, Scarf
“It can enhance your beauty if draped in the right way,” she says.
“Wearing hijab in these modern times has become effortless and exciting. I host many breakfast parties and show other women the skill; also how to adorn the scarf with brooches and pins and make a statement. You can still wear Western clothing modestly by adding a bolero and a pair of jeans. Add the scarf and accessories and the outfit is complete,” says Salie.
She adds that more than one scarf can be used to achieve a distinct look.
Amina Abbas agrees that hijab should be more trendy. She says it’s a myth that Muslim women have no individuality, style or pizzazz.
Abbas is a young black designer who converted to the Muslim faith almost 10 years ago.
“When I converted I knew that I had to change my dress code and cover myself from head to toe. I worked as a director before, I was a career woman who insisted on looking good.
“It does not mean that because I changed my faith that I can’t still look beautiful. The problem is I wanted to maintain my individuality and your clothes say a lot about your personality. I still wanted to look fabulous, ” she says.
Abbas was frustrated because every abaya she came across was black, boring or – most distressingly – clung to her curves.
“When you go shopping for these things they tell you it’s cut according to length, not size. But I’m an African woman with curves and hips. So I made my own clothes.”
Friends were impressed and asked her to sew for them, too. She now has a range under her label ZA Abbas that are colourful, stylish and cut for the curvaceous woman.
Abbas showed off some of these garments at the Eid shopping festival held at the Dome last month.
Her abayas draw on the military and marine trends in a range of colours from navy blue to olive greens. “I also tried to keep that African feel because we are not Arabian. We should embrace our heritage.”
She uses only the best material, from cotton jersey fabric to soft linens and pure cottons. “The emphasis is on comfort. You are able to move around freely.”
Eid is also about kids. Sapphire Style designer Dilshaad Adam has put together a stylish range of children’s abayas.
“When I created the range, I tried to be practical but still following international trends in the fashion world.
“So I used leather and studs, because that is very on trend. I also incorporated fur hoodies and warmer fabrics because it’s winter,” explains Adam.
“Kids are the most demanding when it comes to looking good on the day and they are familiar with what ’ s happening in fashion.”
Adam says many moms have requested a mommy and daughter range. “It’s not something I usually do, but the adults seem to like the stuff. Also, little girls want to look like grown-ups.”
With kids’ abayas, people should shop with practicality in mind. “Make sure they get the right length, colour and, preferably, let them wear ones that open down the front.”
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