Sep 30, 2010

Introducing deHania...A Jewellery Line With Soul

Delicate, arty, musical and soulful are just a few words to describe deHania, Dubai-based marketing extraordinaire-turned-jewellery designer Hania Afifi's beautiful jewellery line which is now almost a year old.

In 2008, after almost a decade working in the fast-paced world of business risk management, advertising and marketing, Hania gave it all up to connect to her creative side, jetting off to France where she enrolled in a jewellery and fashion design course at the prestigious fashion university ESMOD.

A year later, deHania was born.

And now in 2010, deHania is one of the high-end jewellery brands to make it into this month's Eclat de Mode at Paris Fashion Week, (yes, I said Paris Fashion Week!), which is the international event of the year for jewellery designers, making Dubai very proud.

deHania debuted earlier this year with three main collections...Peinture is a selection of earrings, necklaces and bracelets consisting of tiny hand-painted canvases encased into 18-carat gold frames-you're literally wearing works of art! Then there is Stacatto, a delicate (and musical) line of perfectly flowing 18-carat gold chains adorned with semi-precious stones (like turquoise, amethyst, rose quartz and coral) and  freshwater pearls.

Siren, my personal favorite, is a collection of statement necklaces, bracelets and cuffs consisting of multi-coloured semi-precious stones and white and black pearls set with white gold locks. And not to forget Hania's latest line, Bespoke, which offers customers the exciting opportunity to design their own custom-made piece of jewellery and meet Hania to discuss what they want!

On my wish-list? Definitely the turquoise statement Siren necklace with the hanging evil eye.

Pieces from the Siren collection

Pieces from the Siren collection

Necklaces from the Staccato collection

Necklaces from the Stacatto collection

Earrings from the Peinture collection

deHania is available at Bloomingdales in Dubai Mall, Dubai, online, and by email order.

For more information on deHania, or to make an order, email Hania at Don't forget to check out the website!

A Sneak Peek Under Their Abayas...

Check out the casual but chic ensemble that this Bahraini glamazon has on under her abaya as featured on my favorite Doha-based lookbooking blog nomad* this is what UNDER YOUR ABAYA's all about!

Sep 29, 2010

The Nu Classics

These are the classic shoes and bags to buy now, love forever and wear with everything!

Cerise Couture: Bahrain's Hidden Gem

Next time you're in Bahrain, take a detour to Adleya in the capital Manama and visit Cerise Couture, an arty boutique selling one-of-a-kind treasures.

The mastermind behind Cerise Couture is Bahraini designer Maryam, who in 2005 combined her love of art, music, rich fabrics and handicrafts to create a unique line of t-shirts, kaftans, tunics and abayas all designed and hand embroidered by the talented lady herself.

Maryam's funky creations infuse folky Arabic culture into contemporary designs with a vintage feel.

Even more cool is that her boutique is also a mini art gallery where you can feast your eyes on her magnificent art work as you scour her store for one of her unique pieces.

A savvy businesswoman, fashion designer and artist? With a steadily widening client base, I'm sure Maryam and Cerise Couture will continue to grow and go very far.

For more information on Cerise Couture, email Maryam at or contact her on 00973 36348374.

Boutique address:

Shop number 8, building 938, road 2719, Adleya 327 (opposite Al-Zamil Center), Manama, Bahrain

Sep 28, 2010

Trend Alert! Ladylike Fashion

It was a relief to see super supermodel Elle Macpherson lead out a procession of models with real womanly curves for Louis Vuitton's A/W 2010/2011 show dressed in forties and fifties (and a little early sixties) inspired attire.

Marc Jacobs in his A/W 2010/2011 collection for Louis Vuitton really nailed one of this season's biggest trends: ladylike fashion. Yes, say bye bye to the boyfriend blazer and boyfriend jeans and anything else beginning with the word boyfriend, and hello to retro blouses, A-line skirts and nipped-in waists.

Louis Vuitton was not the only big name to embrace post-war ladylike dressing, so did Chanel, Nina Ricci, Dolce and Gabbana, Miu Miu, Prada and Paul Smith.

Think tea dresses, structured blouses with tie necks, bows and ruffles, tweed pencil, A-line and circle skirts, vintage floral prints and kitsch polka dots, checks and plaid.

Accessorize with ladylike structured totes, clasp bags/clutches and the must-have Louis Vuitton Speedy bag. Swap your sky-high gladiators for pretty Mary-Janes, quilted flats, court shoes and kitten heels. 

Your muses? Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Dita Von Teese and the ladies from Mad Men.

Ladylike Dressing Secrets

  1. While mid-length pencil, A-line and circle skirts are fine if you are not an abaya-wearer, if you are you will need to opt for longer styles. Make sure you choose a long skirt which is structured rather than floaty so you don't appear swamped in fabric.
  2. Abaya wearers: mid- length tea dresses should be teamed with leggings or pretty lace or floral tights to keep legs covered but cute.
  3. A nipped-in waist is central to the look so hence why you should pair a structured blouse with an A-line skirt. If you opt for a pencil skirt, cinch in your waist with a belt.
  4. If full-on lady is a little OTT for you, take inspiration from the female characters in Grease and team a retro blouse with skinny jeans and kitten heels or quilted flats.
  5. Little ladylike additions: tie a scarf around your neck or around one of the handles of your bag. Invest in a pair of little ladylike leather gloves (best for winter wear unless you want sweaty fingers). Keep sunglasses extra round and dark a la Audrey Hepburn.

My Picks

Sep 25, 2010

3 Pairs of Trousers Every Girl Should Own

I don't know about you but I'm definitely a trouser girl.

Trousers are a staple in any woman's wardrobe...easy to wear, sophisticated and practical, and they can be taken straight from the office to a night out. Also, if like me you are living in the rocky, sandy terrain of Qatar (or any other GCC country) where only half of the country's streets have pavements, ripping your skirt as you try to tread lightly over stones is not very economical.

But with so many types and cuts on offer, which ones should you invest in not just for this season, but for many seasons to come? And which ones will suit most body shapes?

Never fear, I am here with 3 trouser trends which will suit all...

1. Boot-cut trousers

People always go on about how boot-cut trousers/jeans work wonders for your legs and I never believed them until I bought a pair...and they were right! Perfect for both casual wear and work wear, these figure-slimming trousers look best with boots (erm, yeah that's why they're called "boot-cuts"!), and heels...flats are not such a good idea unless you want to look dowdy and short. Opt for darker colours in black, navy and greys teamed with a sheer blouse for day wear/work wear and then swap the blouse for a sequin-embellished top for the evening.

2. High-waisted flares

Having been blessed with a larger than life rear, I was convinced high-waisted trousers would just accentuate my already mountainous bottom, but oh to my surprise and joy again, (and after hours of searching through racks), I found the perfect pair.

Choose a pair of these tailored leg-lengthening trousers with a small flare at the end for 70's sophisticated (very hot at the moment) and in lighter shades of grey, brown and nudes. Team them with a tre chic tie neck blouse or a feminine shirt tucked into the trousers with a skinny belt and chunky high heels or wedges. If you're tall, you may want to stick to kitten heels. This look is ideal for the office and there's something about wearing high-waisted trousers that make you feel quite powerful...which is again why they are the perfect trousers for work.

3. Peg-leg trousers

These have been fashionable for the past few months now, with Sienna Miller being their No. 1 fan. Do not mistake these for harem pants-peg-leg trousers do have a similar shape but are more finely tailored and don't go out as much at the hip/bum region as harem pants do and have a straighter cut.

A versatile pair of trousers, peg-legs can be worn with a blouse or shirt for smart wear and with a tee, tank top or shirt (again) for casual wear. Opt for brown or tan coloured high heeled sandals or alternatively a pair of embellished flats.

Don't ask me why, but the perfect companion to the peg-leg trouser is a slouchy tote...together they equal instant cool....a definite match made in heaven.

I am yet to buy my peg-legs (trousers, not wooden legs).

Sep 24, 2010

Trend Alert: Channel Your Inner Scottish Side!

Plaid, plaid,'s a print that never goes away and which graces catwalks season after season. It's also a print which makes my half-Scottish, half-Irish mother recoil in horror, bringing back bad memories of being forced by her mother as a girl into a too-short red tartan kilt. 

What do you think about when you hear the word "plaid"? Ginger-haired Scottish men in kilts blowing their guts out on the bagpipes? Innocent, fresh-faced highland dancers? Rebellious Catholic school girls? Leading character Bella Swan in Twilight's plaid shirt (which appears to be the only item of clothing she owns)?

Gerard Butler showing us how to do sexy in plaid...I wonder if he's going commando under that kilt...

Believe it or not, plaid can be anything than boring, as fashion houses Louis Vuitton, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Kenzo, Just Cavalli and 3.1 Phillip Lim showed us in their A/W 2010/2011 shows.

3.1 Phillip Lim took a contemporary take on the millenia-old print, while at Just Cavalli the traditional red plaid shirt was toughened up with leather. At Louis Vuitton, models showed off their curves in ladylike plaid skirts mixed with other prints, and it was an offer of two trends-for-one at Kenzo where plaid shirt dresses were chic-ly teamed with camel and nude colour accessories.

(From left: Mary Kate Olsen, Lilly Collins, Cheryl Cole, Olivia Palermo, Pixie Geldof and Jessica Biel)

Secrets to wearing plaid under your abaya:

  1. Take one simple plaid shirt and try these two looks: wear tucked into high-waisted trousers teamed with nude coloured, leg-lengthening pumps or booties, or wear over skinny jeans, cinching in your waist with a thin and simple belt over the shirt with flats.

  2. Turn masculine wear feminine by opting for a plaid waistcoat worn with high-waisted trousers and high heels, or a plain waistcoat worn with a long plaid skirt and boots.

  3. Wear a simple plaid shirt as a light jacket by leaving it unbuttoned over a plain tank top.

  4. If you're really adventurous, try a pair of tartan printed trousers (I'm not that brave).

  5. No head-to-toe plaid please! Unless you're looking for a career as a kids' entertainer.

  6. Opt for plaid prints in more interesting colours rather than the traditional red tartan or grey.

  7. Plaid is great because it's so versatile-it can be casual, but it can also be sophisticated...glam your plaid up with a statement necklace.

  8. Try mixing prints a la Louis Vuitton...but choose carefully!

My Picks