Trendy abaya collection unveiled
Manama, April 1, 2008
A Saudi abaya designer unveiled her latest collection, which she hopes will send a colourful message to the West that women who cover up are not automatically being oppressed.
Thana Addas uses colourful materials, double fabrics and designer accessories to decorate her creations, which she said are being worn more as a fashion statement than cultural necessity.
Her abayas are made with materials from international fashion designers such as Roberto Cavalli, Burberry and Fendi - often featuring Swarovski crystals for added lustre.
She hopes one day to see them on international catwalks and aims to break the mould of traditional Arabic dress.
"My collection shows that we are respecting our culture and religion by dressing modestly and decently, but with a touch of fashion and style to it," she told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, on Monday.
"My dream is to see my collections on international catwalks and show the world that Arab women, especially Saudi women, don't just wear black tents as we are being perceived.
"We are fashionable, trendy and current."
Addas was speaking after the unveiling of her latest collection at the Courtyard Gallery in Hamala.
It is the first time she has displayed her work in Bahrain and the exhibition will open again today from 9am to 7pm.
The event is taking place under the patronage of Shaikha Thajba bint Salman Al Khalifa, sister of Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
"The new collection looks like it just came out of an international fashion magazine and doesn't appear to be like the traditional abayas we're all used to," added Addas.
"Abayas have become a trend and girls today wear them with different materials and colourful fabrics.
"We (Arab women) never take it off because it represents our traditions, religion and identity - so I decided to evolve the traditional black abaya with different colour materials, fabrics and laces.
"The overall colour of the abaya will never change, at least not in my collections because that (black) is the original colour, but that's not going to stop us from incorporating different materials to it."
Addas has been designing abayas for six years and first started designing from her home in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
She uses the finest silk and handmade fabrics when bringing her designs to life.
"I think abayas are often stylish, personalised wraps that women enjoy being seen in," she said.-TradeArabia News Service