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Unconventional Evolution of Abayas

abaya

And their current status.


Living in Saudi Arabia gives you a chance to participate in the most competitive Arab fashion industry: Abayas. They’re the official #OOTD everyday. We have an abaya for every occasion. It doesn’t matter what’s on the inside, as long as you’re wearing a pretty abaya on the outside.

What once started off as a long, black, voluminous robe is now recognized globally and redesigned by fashion designers. It took quite an evolution before we got to the shapes and shades we see today.

Legend has it:

Did you know in the 1970s – 1980’s abayas were not as compulsory as they are today? We’ll spare you the history lesson and talk about how we got here instead of why. Ever since abayas became mandatory, the garment faced a long list of yays and nays when it came to its designs.

There have been many rises and falls, and here are a few that we all remember:

The Shapeless One 1980 – 1990

scan0070The first abayas were basic, boring and plain. Highly monotonous, too!

Black on Black 1990 – 2003

scan0071The fashion of late ‘90s and early 2000s. Black lace, black rhinestones and even black sparkle was used on a – wait for it – black abaya.

Abayas for Weightlifters 2004 – present

scan0068The era of heavy embroidery or rhinestones was tough to handle.

Butterfly or Midnight Bats? 2007 – present

scan0067The era of butterfly abayas changed everything. This was one of the most popular trends in Riyadh.

Stiff Necks 2008 – present

scan0066The Chinese collar trend started around 2008-2009.

Sporty Casuals 2011 – present

scan0072The hooded abayas made life much better.

The Dementors

Do you remember those long hanging sleeves and the princess-trail abayas? Secretly, we were all annoyed when the sleeves dipped in our hummus before our bread could reach it.

The latest trend that we’ve embraced is the colored abaya. Our sister city, Jeddah, adopted the colored abayas trend long before we did, due to the culture of its inhabitants.

If You Like Change

If you want to change up your abaya look, we’ve got you covered. Lessen the chances of an abaya fail by checking out these designers:

  • The Abaya Factory

Ahmad Angawi and Zahra Al Sayed’s The Abaya Factory has modern transformable abayas keeping in mind the women who move in and out of the country often. They have come up with transformable abayas that can turn into a jacket. The Abaya Factory is a customizable Khaleeji object to link the Arab world to the west.

Instagram: theabayafactory

  • Designs by Ayya

Thuraya Albadr, a.k.a. Ayya, has taken the phrase, ‘the world is your canvas,’ literally. Ayya’s abayas have beautiful hand painted her artwork on them due to which each abaya is unique.

Colorful, different and elegant.

Instagram: designsbyayya

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