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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Changing Fashion Of Arabia; Muscat Fashion Week, The Fashion Event In The Gulf

Traditional young females
The Gulf nation located next-door to the booming UAE has age old traditions, however, a growing number of Gen-Y are slowly breaking the rules.
Traditionally, the male’s are dressed in a white dishdasha, flowing robes, with the outfit accessorised by a traditional silver dagger, khunjar and a kumar or masirah (head-wear), for more formal occasions.
Females, traditionally, are usually colourfully attired in brightly coloured jaballias, long flowing tunics sometimes combined with trousers and beautiful headscarves covering their hair. To further enhance their natural beauty kohl is added to the eyes, henna to the hands and sparkling jewellery everywhere: wrists, ankles and hairline.
Muscat Fashion WeekPersonal touches are to be appreciated:  men with the fragrant tips of the neck tassel, said to be useful for single men, or for when out in the heat of the desert. Observe even the choice of embroidery along the hems and neckline of both male and female attire as the colour and/or patterns in the cloth often reflect on the tribe of the individual, particularly if of Bedouin origins. The big give-away is the use of the Burqa-mask, where the top half of a women’s face is hidden by a unique looking mask.
Batik prints are more common in the south in Dhofar due to its proximity to Tanzania and Zanzibar, both former colonies of Oman. Nizwa, the ancient capital of Oman, is more conservative in its choice of fashion, with Hijabs worn by the women, while designer shoes, handbags and sunglasses hint at what belies underneath.
Sara at National Day ImageMuscat, the capital city of Oman, is home to more of a cosmopolitan mix of tradition and modern hipsters. However, overall many citizens take pride in their appearances and the traditions of its rich past choosing to wear the traditional wear with a twist. Many of the women will add bling, such as sequins or Swarovski crystals to some part of their jaballia or hijab; while the men pride themselves in well-tailored dishdashas in modern colours such as blue, black or green with designer shades.
Inspiring the new generation is the yearly Muscat Fashion Week and the rise in international creative projects in film making, break dancing and the Arts. Will Haute Couture be the next move? As Oman opens itself up more to the world, it will be interesting to observe how this will affect the fashion of the region.
Muscat Fashion Week takes over the capital city in February.

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