Tuesday, April 30, 2013

INSPIRATION BOARD: A very art deco affair abaya for Estelle

This inspiration board is actually for a non-Muslim who loves dragons and needs to wear an abaya in order to visit my more than-slightly-conservative village. When I saw the very large brass dragon pendant at Zara I knew immediately it was for her. The abaya was a bit more difficult but this Shemailat Collection abaya available from www.modahouse.com was pretty true to her personal style. Add some very art deco-ey accessories, like a vintage inspired beaded fan clutch, deco arrings, and velvet loafers, and an oversize cuff and it looks like something I'd even wear (sans the dragon necklace though, and nix the velvet loafers because I HATE loafers---sorry trend).

JUMA THOUGHTS: Advice for new Muslimahs, and new hijabis

Good advice [the above].

I find usually new Muslims are rushed to do everything at once. Hijab is often stressed as more important than anything else and while this blog is a great place to learn about hijab and more in depth Islamic issues, I am probably not always the best starting point to "welcome to Islam" for sisters lol. But I will pass on some advice anyways, that's all advice is good for anyway right?

A very wise Shayk once advised an impatient me, to start with the pillars of Islam, shahada, (and understanding that absolutely---the most difficult of all pillars), prayer (second hardest pillar), fasting, zakat, and hajj, and said on the issue of salat (prayer) born Muslims are given a time from when they start to learn as children, and when they must fulfill it. We should have the same kind of patience with ourselves as we would for our born Muslim children.

Begin with understanding what you worship in life, i.e. what are your priorities, and how does Allah/God the One and Only stand next to them? This is your shahada. When you say that you believe that Mohammed sallalahu alahi wa salaam (that means peace and blessings be upon him) was a Prophet, do you follow what he (in the ahadith) advised you to do? I mean, afterall, what good is a Prophet you know nothing about and whose advice you don't heed, and whose example you don't know?

If you manage all that in one year (for myself the process is still ongoing and I struggle) then examine prayer. Learn how to pray. Learn what each action of salat means. Learn to seek Allah through salat. When you need reach Allah there is prayer. When you need Allah to speak to you, there is the Qu'ran to read.

If these two pillars are strong, the others will come easily to you, inshaAllah.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


This sister is wearing the latest collections from Mauzan, Al Geed, and Hessa Al Felasi. She and I wear our abayas and hijabs very differently, but it seems we have the exact same taste in clothes, like pairing those green manolos with that Mauzan abaya [except my manolos are the flats version;)]. Check out her blog for some designer-derived inspiration http://dsaksinstyle.com/

Just because you wear an abaya doesn't make it hijab

I am delighted many sisters in recent years have found the jilbab/overgarment the abaya can easily be worn as to be readily accessible to them, due to Khaleeji fashion modernizing the garment. I also understand that many designers choose to photograph their designs without hijab worn properly in order to showcase all aspects of the design. I have no problem with this, as the designs are meant for the veiwing of women so that they can make informed purchases. I also post such  designs because I know I can wear them as hijab. But it has become hard to find photographs of sisters actually wearing stylish Khaleeji fashion as hijab sadly. This has misdirected many women of our ummah sadly, as many of our Muslim sisters are wearing abaya but not as hijab---all while thinking they are in fact wearing hijab---and often misleading others to this as well. This breaks my heart. The photos I have found below are dated, that actually show loose jilbab with headcovering styled correctly so that no breastage, hips, butt, or hair or neck is exposed. Some good (but not all really stylish examples):
I DO believe Khaleeji abaya can be fashionable and meet all the hijab requirements of course, so long as the shayla is styled to cover the chest and hair and one doesn't purposely tailor a design or style it to hug the indent of one's waist or butt, or leave it open to show skinny jeans and tight clothes ect... or push the arms up to show bare arms ect...
I also have no problem with women who wear the abaya as a cultural rather than Islamic garment. It was part of their culture long before Muslim women embraced this little black dress as their own due to the relative ease of wearing it modestly. However, I do have a problem with Muslim women calling an abaya alone as hijab, when the way they wear it so that it is void of the Qu'ranic commands for hijab. Which are, a. the overgarment be worn so that it is not tight or see through. Styling the belt so that it shows your curves is no longer jilbab. Wearing an open abaya so that it shows tight or see through clothing on underneath? Not hijab. Tailroing it tight so that your butt is seen when you walk, also... not hijab. And b. the khimar/hijab/headscarf should be pulled to cover the breasts.
Click on photo to enlarge
The Qu'ran already refers to the hijab as a headcovering and a head means the hair and ears, and when it is pulled as directed it covers the neck and the shape of the breasts as well. Many sisters say that they are wearing a modest dress already with abaya so no need for khimar. No need for what Allah S.W.T said is a must if you want to be considered a believing woman?

I honestly don't really like doing these kind of posts because I already did enough of them on the blog archives if sisters want to read through and many will harass the comments sections saying I am picking on sisters ect... or being "negative" and "no one wants to hear" but I think little recaps are necessary for those new to hijab (khimar and jilbab). Anyways, please be nice. Hijab is not a pillar of Islam but to call a blog a hijab fashion blog it should at least remain true to hijab once in a while right?, stating what hijab is, or just go and call itself an Arab/Khaleeji lifestyle/fashion blog and take the hijab out of the equation to stop confusing sisters who really want to wear hijab.


Monday, April 22, 2013

My picks from HAAL INC. 2013 collection: colour blocking

I made inspiration boards for my two favourite abayas from abay label Haal Inc.'s latest collection. I love the colour-blocking, and mix of fabrics. I'd wear the above with a plain black shayla (over my chest and neon accessories from Vincci with vintage inspired sunglasses. Below, I pair the front open abaya with a graphic maxi dress and accessories to recall the catwalk collection at Prada. The above outfit is perfect for a casual outing with the girls and below, I feel like go at an Art Gallery. To buy these abayas: Haal inc. - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - Clothing Store | Facebook

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Khaleeji Abaya Trends 2013: hot

Cut-outs are the new "it-girl" abaya additive. They are the "new" front open abaya,
"allowing people to see the style beyond the black." They can be through the sleeve of the abaya or the bottom hem or both... even the shoulder seam. They can either be laser-cut, inter-weave, or a see-through trim (lace, net, ect.) attaching two piece of abaya pattern together. The it-factor: can show the dress off that one is wearing underneath. The draw-back: what one is wearing underneath might not meet Islamic requirements, and then abaya is void of all modesty. How-to-wear-it: With modest but beautiful clothing underneath;D, pretty simple.
Raised velvet on silk chiffon fabric used. Typically in gold, silver, or plain black. Very common casual day-wear style. The it-factor: doesn't need much accessorizing. The draw-back: some fabrics used are too sheer and weren't lined. How-to-wear-it: just pull on and go.
Laser-cutting is also majorly in, paired with the shock of coloured lining, usually for the more daring of fashionistas. The it-factor: awesome colour and pattern. The draw-back:
might sick the haraam police down on you. How-to-wear-it: just pull on and go.
The "Peasant" abaya is pretty much a wardrobe staple in Oman. Abaya consists of tiers or pleating, with a draw-strong waist and often with netting, rope braiding details, or lace on the top. The it-factor: great structure. The draw-back:
many sisters tie the belt at the waist to show the curves of their hips and butt. Then it isn't hijab anymore. How-to-wear-it: tie the belt super loose OR sew it on either side so it can't move to close in the waist.
The "not-abaya-fabric" abaya. Typically all-black but occasionally more daring, often sporty stretch netting, sheer silk velvet embossed chiffon, or lace over another fabric. Most often in a typical casual cut. The it-factor: can be so totally wow and unique. The draw-back: for some reason the haraam police object. How-to-wear-it: pull on and go.
The basic day-wear abaya cut is wide unfitted a-line body, open or closed, with wide or kimono sleeves. Bisht sleeves are out. It can be completely plain, or trimmed and embellished. The it-factor: easy to wear anything you want underneath. The draw-back: some girls let the sleeves fall open on purpose instead of adding snaps and open styles with not-hijab clothing undernetah visible flapping about. How-to-wear-it: pull on and go. But remember, modesty is actions, not just our clothes!
Shoulder and arm emphasis for embellishment. The new abay trend moved away from embellished shaylas to the design being on the shoulders of one's abayas or flowing down the arms from the starting of the shoulders. Shoulder pads have often featured. The it-factor: when it first appeared it was so totally different. The draw-back: studs are not always motherhood friendly. How-to-wear-it: pull on and go. If punked out make sure to avoid hugging people;)
Fabric-front, often belted with an inner tying belt. I think the choice in colours and textures is what makes this trend popular, in addition to it being a bit more practical to walk in than the Grecian drapes and DAS-style waterfall cuts out there. The it-factor: originality in styling is easy. The draw-back: if girls pull the inne rbelt too tight and don't make sure their hijab covers their chest it isn't really hijab anymore. How-to-wear-it: pull on and go.

I think that's pretty much a run down of the Khaleeji trends from 2013 so far.