Mar 16, 2012

Another success for WAAD!

Last Saturday's fashion show was another success for WAAD, the eponymous label of Qatari fashion and abaya designer Waad Mohammed.

Over 300 people turned up to watch Waad showcase her second ready-to-wear collection that consisted of 20 couture abayas and 20 ready-to-wear outfits. Waad took inspiration from Spring flowers and pastel shades for her Spring/Summer 2012 collection that consisted of pieces like sequinned blazers, peplum tops, day dresses and harem pants in timeless and elegant silhouettes, keeping in line with her signature feminine style. Her couture abayas also incorporated the latest international fashion trends like colour block-ing, peplums, flower corsages and applique, and velvet and lace touches.

(Photos courtesy of Al Jazi Nasr)

Models sashayed down the runway accessorized with costume jewelry and accessories from Impression Boutique and handbags by Lanvin and Loewe (courtesy of Zai Boutique).

I spoke to Waad prior to her show to learn more about her latest abaya collection:

Tell me about your latest collection of abayas. What was the
theme and the inspiration behind it?

I wanted to do something different and I love layering clothes! I
was like, "why not layer abayas?" So this was the original theme behind
the collection.

I can see from your new collection of abayas that many current
international fashion trends have been incorporated into the designs – like the velvet touches, the bold geometric design on one of the abayas in white, black and navy blue, peplum skirts and Victoriana shoulders. Do you look to international trends for 
inspiration and incorporate them into your designs? Or are these design ideas which naturally came to you along the way?

I always get my inspiration from world designers and fashion trends. I tweak them to fit abayas and add my own touches. For the blue abaya I am crazy about color block-ing! That's the main theme of all the designs but the blue, black and white color block abaya took it to the next level !

Do you wear your own abaya designs?

Of course, I always do! I've been designing my own abayas for 6 years and have only started making them [commercially] for the past year.

What makes WAAD abayas different from all the other abayas on the market?

They have the simplicity factor,  they are modest and never too over the top (modest with a flair), they are affordable which is so rare in the couture abaya market these days (the most expensive abaya is 10 00 riyals ... )

Do you agree with critics of designer abayas who say that abayas no
longer look like abayas and are losing their traditional touch?

Unfortunately some designers have gone over the top with their designs... an abaya always looks better if it still keeps a modest traditional touch.

You have used interesting big collars on your abayas - can you tell me
how you got the idea for that?

I was in London and I was wearing an oversized coat with a gigantic collar ... I was like, "why not?" and it looks gorgeous on abayas!

Your abayas also look like glamorous evening gowns that women who don't
wear the abaya can wear. Is that something you planned?

I never planned this actually! I'm more than happy to see anyone who appreciates fashion and the work that goes into design wear my abayas.

(Photos courtesy of Aysha Al Jaber)

For more information on WAAD and on how to order or purchase from the collection, please visit the Facebook  page, or email the team at

Mar 11, 2012

Arabesque's S/S'12 Collection Out Now!

From the S/S'12 collection

She's the French designer who was one of the first pioneers of haute couture abayas and she's back with her Spring/Summer 2012 collection for her abaya couture label Arabesque. For Spring/Summer 2012, Arabesque founder and abaya designer, Judith Duriez, has  interpreted this season's biggest international trends into her abaya designs, and, as usual, it works.

As you know, three of Spring/Summer 2012's biggest trends are sorbet shades, bright colours and lace, lace and more lace. The new collection has all of this - chiffon and lace in ice cream hues of cream beige, sorbet pink and lavender, as well as fabrics in this season's brights like electric blue and burnt orange. It's a collection that mixes the ethereal and the feminine with edgy attitude.

As the Arabesque team said themselves, these abayas are the perfect way to step into summer!

How I would style them:

Where to get yours:
Arabesque Sheilas and Abayas
Abu Dhabi Mall, Level 1, Abu Dhabi
Sunset Mall, Level 1, Jumeirah, Dubai.

For more information, check out the Arabesque website, or email them at

Mar 7, 2012

Vote for UNDER YOUR ABAYA on Grazia Middle East's Style Awards 2012!

It's that time of the year again when Grazia Middle East asks you to vote for your favorite designers, style bloggers, brands, boutiques and more for their annual Grazia Style Awards. 

This year's Grazia Style Awards, always one of the most stylish events of the year on Dubai's social calendar, will be taking place on April 4th 2012 in the swanky Joharah Ballroom in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, and will be hosted by one of my favorite fashion designers, Brit designer Henry Holland, along with the beautiful and eloquent model, socialite and Louis Vuitton muse, Poppy Delevingne!

"We never miss a chance to celebrate style in the spotlight and this year we'll be back for the 6th year running to pay tribute to all the regional fashion industry has to offer at the Grazia Style Awards. One of the glamorous events on the fashion calendar, this year we have even more categories, high-profile celebrity hosts plus a few on-the-night surprises for the local industry," says Elaine Greenshields, Editor of Grazia Middle East.

Voters will be automatically entered into a prize draw, with the chance to win one of a number of amazing prizes including a luxurious trip to Mauritius with Emirates Holidays that includes flights, a three night stay for two at Le Touessrok, transfers worth 25,000 DHS and an invitation to the Grazia Style Awards.

Here are the categories:

Best Boutique

Best Department Store – Splurge/Budget

Best Shopping Destination

Best Online Retailer

Best Shop to spend Dhs500

Best Shop to spend Dhs1,000

Best Shop to spend Dhs1,500

Best Regional Designer

Best Local Designer

Best International Designer

Best Accessory Designer

Best Shoe Brand- Splurge/Budget

Best Style Blogger

Most Stylish Reader

Voting runs until Saturday March 10th 2012. To vote, click here and don't forget to vote for UNDER YOUR ABAYA for best style blogger!

Mar 2, 2012

Get Your Fashion On With eM eH

Chanel Jeans Tee 400 AED

Fresh out of the UAE comes chic t shirt and hoodies label eM eH. Established in late 2011, eM eH stands for the creators' and friends' initials: Maryam "eM" and Hessa "eH" - definitely a unique way of coming up with a name for their label!

If you like showing off your fashion credentials, eM eH is the brand for you - tees and hoodies are cleverly printed to make it look as if you are wearing a Chanel 2.55 quilted chain bag across your body, or a gold Rolex around your wrist. I like! Other tees and hoodies brandish some of our favorite logos like Chanel and YSL, and style heroines like Marilyn Monroe. What I like about them is that they can be worn in many ways - with jeans, tapered trousers, or a pencil or tulip skirt for a chic and feminine look, or with harem pants or cargo/military style trousers for a more urban, street fashion type look.

They may have only just begun their line of style statement tees, but I predict big things for this design duo. Of their label Maryam and Hessa say, "We took a very long time to establish our brand and make our collection different from other designers in the market. All our materials are sourced from outside of the UAE...we ship them from the USA and provide the best materials and printing quality for the customer and make what we do unique."

eM eH, I wish you all the best!

WHY YSL tee 200 AED

Chanel velvet chain tee 350 AED

Marilyn Monroe hoodie 300 AED

Marilyn Monroe tee 250 AED

Rolex tee 250 AED

Hermes clutch tee 400 AED

How to get yours:

View all t shirts and hoodies on the eM eH website
To make an order or inquiry, email them at
Tel: +971 5015 99199
BB pin: 27FC0B93
Twitter: @by_eMeH

eM eH do international orders.

Mar 1, 2012

WAAD: Don't Miss The Show!

I'm proud to announce that Qatari fashion designer Waad Mohammed will be having her second runway show on Saturday March 10, 2012. The show will be hosted by W Doha and will take place in The Great Room between 7pm and 10pm.

Who is WAAD?

WAAD is the eponymous couture abaya and clothes line by Qatari fashion designer Waad Mohammed. Waad was just 25 when she established her own label, starting off with couture abayas and then expanding to include everything from glamorous evening gowns to chic jackets, blouses, harem pants and more. In no time WAAD had taken over Qatar by storm.

 Waad's designs are feminine, flirty and romantic. Of her design aesthetic Waad says, "My aesthetic is very ethereal; I celebrate the love of flowy fabrics and fine detailed embellishments which I personally add to tailored pieces by hand. I love the work of designers such as Vera Wang, and Lanvin which I'm influenced by, and only hope that someday I would be half as good as they are."

As well as launching her second collection, Waad has been busy at work with producing her very first documentary, directed by Emmy award winner Dave Langan! The film will document her life as a fashion designer, making her the first Qatari fashion designer to have done so.

Qatar's fashion pack are counting down the days until WAAD's second runway show, which is sponsored by Impression Boutique, Qatar TV, Glow Salon, Qatar Fashion Week and others. Attendees of the show will get their hands on some amazing goodie bags filled with perfume, cakes, chocolates, gift certificates and more! 

To attend the WAAD show (and meet me there!) RSVP to 

WAAD is also looking for volunteers for the event, who will be compensated for their help. Email for more information.

See you all there!