Jun 21, 2012

L.A.S. Fashion - Qatar's latest up-and-coming label

If there is one brand that I'm excited about it's the up-and-coming brand of Qatar-based abaya designer and entrepreneur Layla Asgar Al-Siyabi, L.A.S. Fashion (after the initials of her name).

Layla is literally a wonder woman - not only has she recently established her own fashion label, but she is also her husband's business partner in their real estate, contract and trading company, a proud mother of two beautiful kids, and the owner of a catering business - and her dishes, sweets and cakes are to die for! She also dabbles in photography, and gives professional makeovers that include clothing, hair, makeup and photo shoots. Her talents are limitless.

The star herself!

Layla, who hails from Bangladesh, has lived in Qatar since the age of two, having lived a portion of her life in Canada, and studied courses in business management and fashion design. When her father bought her a play sewing machine at the age of six Layla realized that she had a natural flair for fashion and all that is creative, and would sew dresses for her dolls as a child. Fast forward a couple of decades later, and Layla has turned her hobby into a business, with a number of fashionable projects that include designing and making abayas, as well as accessories, womenswearchildrenswear and my favorite, revamping shoes. She can take the most simple pair of heels and turn them into jaw-dropping wonders!

The handcrafted mirror heels that have all Qatar talking!

But what I'm most excited about are her abayas. Layla is to launch her first abaya line, a summery collection of abayas which incorporate floaty fabrics with bold prints and colours and interesting details such as leather collars, ruffle sleeves and flower corsages. "My aesthetic is bold, fun and vibrant, yet with elegance," Layla explains, "honestly I am not designing for the mass, I am just trying to stay true to what I love and if people out there have similar taste they will love my work."

Layla modelling one of her abayas and her famous mirror heels 

To find out more about L.A.S. Fashion check the Facebook page and follow Layla on Twitter @LAS_Fashion. For inquiries about makeovers or how to make orders, email Layla at  lasfashion.info@gmail.com. L.AS. Fashion provides shipping throughout the G.C.C. and international shipping if requested.

Jun 15, 2012

The Olympics Inspired Trend!

Sporty Luxe

Gestuz silk tunic
$148 - coggles.com

Quiz jeggings legging
£20 - debenhams.com

Mango shoes
€80 - placedestendances.com

Mulberry leather shoulder bag
£895 - johnlewis.com

Sporty Luxe

Goldie cut out dress
$90 - motelrocks.com

Grey legging
66 AUD - mychameleon.com.au

Bright shoes
£55 - riverisland.com

Envelope clutch
£18 - bankfashion.co.uk

Sporty Luxe

Ann Harvey teal top
£20 - debenhams.com

Dorothy Perkins pleated pants
$57 - dorothyperkins.com

BURAK UYAN high heel shoes
$1,044 - thecorner.com

The Row clutch handbag
$5,800 - barneys.com

Dannijo bib necklace
$695 - dannijo.com

Jun 6, 2012

Veil Art: Transforming trends into Hijabs!

I'm currently feeling inspired by Hijab/clothing/abaya label Veil Art, which caters to all Hijab and abaya wearers out there. Founder and entrepreneur Jamie Bizu, who hails from Kuala Lumpur and is based between Malaysia and the Middle East, launched Veil Art in May 2010, inspired by the many things she saw while on her travels around different parts of the globe with her husband. Jamie takes both local customs and trends, as well as international ones, and transforms them into head scarves which can only be described as pieces of art - hence, "Veil Art ! Jamie has searched the world for inspiration to create head scarves and clothes which reflect the "Veil Art girl" - a girl who is creative, independent, adventurous and free-spirited while remaining modest at the same time. Through her label, Jamie expresses how different cultures influence the style of the Hijab. Jamie also pays close attention to international trends - colour blocking, lace, ruffles and floral prints - you will find all these current international trends incorporated into her Hijab designs.

Here is the mini-interview I recently had with Jamie...

So what is the concept behind Veil Art?

It all started after I got married to my darling habubi, whose job is to attend to clients around the Middle East, Africa, the UK and European region. We live like nomads spending a few weeks here and there. While he was out working, I was out SHOPPING! That's when I found great findings and interesting local styles. Having extra time at hand (besides shopping, of course!) I decided to start Veil Art which was in May 2010. 
The concept is inspired by traveling (local culture) and translating it into a style!

Tell us about your latest collections.

The latest would be The Blue Sapphire Collection, Jihad Collection and soon to be launched The Lace Band Collection. The Blue Sapphire is inspired by our travels to Sri Lanka, the country of precious gems, last May. Jihad Collection is inspired by the Kufiyya, and The Lace Band is inspired by the Victorian Era.

What have you been up to since you came to Qatar and how successful has your brand been here so far?

Personally, I love Qatar! I'm enjoying going out, crabbing and clam-ing (some of famous Malaysians beach activities here) attending Arabic classes, and Malaysian get-togethers (for the Malaysian food!). No official launch here yet, just casual bazaar days here and there, but Alhamdulillah the response was awesome, from Qataris and other expats alike! The last hit here was the Malaysian Batik scarves collection. I will bring in more exotic collections into Qatar Inshallah.

To check out the entire collections, check out the Veil Art blog (soon to become a website with online boutique) or the Facebook page. For queries, orders and more information, email Jamie at veiled.is.beautiful@gmail.com.