The designers of Kaftan Ramadan 2017… A heritage from the Gulf countries
With the holy month of Ramadan on the horizon, and everything that comes with this occasion from joyful preparations for social meetings and gatherings with families, relatives and friends, Al Ostoura had organized an exhibition entitled (Kaftan Ramadan 2017) to which it invited a number of local and Khaliji designers to launch their unique and exclusive designs to female customers and clients interested in buying beautiful traditional Kaftans with a modern touch. On the sidelines of the exhibition, we had an exclusive chat with the designers.
Amina and Asma from Bahrain
AKS: A Creative Trip Down Heritage Lane!
The two sisters Amina and Asma Seif launched their first collection in 2013. Their designs are a harmonious blend between their creative approaches through the creation of ready-made garments – two collections a year – abayas and Kaftans that combine Asma’s practical and casual style with Amina’s simple and classical style.
Perhaps what characterizes AKS brand is the joint work between two sisters with different tastes: each one of them adds her own touch to every individual design, especially the abayas and Kaftans the sisters are offering for Ramadan season and afterward. Each piece they design can be worn on a special occasion and AKS designs give women wearing them a wide extent to be creative in how to wear it and decorate it with appropriate accessories.
This collection that Asma and Amina are showing with Al Ostoura during this season is the product of a rare collaboration. The two sisters were and still are among Al Ostoura clients so it is very natural for this partnership to be a big part of their brand’s new Kaftans collection. The collection is very different from what they have previously proposed, as they wanted this time to present designs that are modern and suitable for all what’s recently popular from additions to colors and prints. The new collection is far from the classic wrap Kaftan, it is closer to the comfortable colored one.
Eman Abdullah from Bahrain
Lallaeman… A merge of two cultures!
Born to a Bahraini father and a Moroccan mother, Eman has been passionate about fashion and design since her childhood, and the diversity in her origins being a product of two different traditions helped her merge and blend a number of aesthetic elements from both cultures to create a beautiful combination of Kaftans available in her collection entitled Lallaeman.
Eman draws her inspiration from all the colors and the nature surrounding her, and turns it with her creative taste into cuts on fabrics she uses in her designs.
Eman says that her recent cooperation with Al Ostoura in the event “Kaftan Ramadan 2017” resulted from her desire to enter the Kuwaiti market and presen her collection to Al Ostoura customers known for their love for excellence and distinction in their choices. She only hopes that her collection had pleased Al Ostoura visitors and clients.
Eman’s collection of Kaftans is characterized by a modern vision rich in authentic Moroccan heritage not present in other collections, in addition to pleasant summer colors, simplicity and lightness. Eman used ruffles, embroideries, ornamentations and Moroccan threads in her Kaftans, what made them unique and different from other models.
Sarah Al Baz from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ghudfah… A Spiritual Connection with Kaftans
Sarah is a Saudi designer who entered the fashion industry as a passionate amateur until this world became a career she really enjoys and takes very seriously. Sarah began her career as a Abaya designer, but she considers the abaya especially the modern one, complementary to the Kaftan but the two may differ in their basic elements in terms of colors, cuts, fabrics and uses, and they meet in the spirit and complement each other as basic pieces in the closet of every khaliji woman. Sarah believes that there is a sweet boldness in the design of Kaftans, whereas the Kaftan gives more extent for creativity, that is why I recently decided to dive into this world.
Sarah sees that Kaftans are generally associated with our beautiful memories when we were young, whereas our mothers and family women members used to wear it at weekly family gatherings, and compete with it in Ramadan at Iftars and Suhoors, not to mention public festivities or holidays. It is also present in our happy occasions with family members and friends during Henna and Karqayan nights, and Gulf women appreciate the Kaftan because it is part of their history, identity and existence.
In Sarah’s collection for Al Ostoura exhibition, she presented Kaftans with the spirit of Ghudfah: straight lines, calm colors, soft-textured fabrics, hand embellishments in line with international fashion trends. Sarah has named her collection for this year (clear), because the white is the predominant color in it as well as the combination of fine see through fabrics and traditional embellishments elegantly denoting Ramadan.
As for her participation in the “Al Ostoura Kaftan Ramadan 2017”, Sarah says:
Al Ostoura is undoubtedly the first stop shop for fashion lovers seeking excellence in Kuwait, and without any doubt Kuwait joins under its wings many of these lovers and searchers for uniqueness and excellence. So Ghudfah had to join this group of distinctive designers gathered to show their Ramadan collections during Al Ostoura event, this cooperation considered an addition to all of us. And we are very proud to see the name Ghudfah associated with this prestigious edifice in the world of fashion.
Amal Al Mulla from Bahrain
Amal Al Mulla: Classic Simulates Modernity!
Amal Al Mulla is a Bahraini designer who was able with her innovative and modern talent and vision, to knock the doors of internationalism and present her Bahraini-Gulf-style fashion pieces to multiple segments of women looking for unique designs full of femininity and beauty. Her collections have traditional touches and are characterized by their blend between classic and modern, and by their focus on the woman and her unique character, personality and style.
Amal Al Mulla has established her brand holding her name in Bahrain in order to fill the gap between luxury, contemporary and traditional fashion. Her collections focus on aesthetics, transparency and details that create a general sense of innovative femininity that is suitable for the modern woman.
She believes that the next natural step for the brand is to participate in the challenge of designing Kaftan collections each year, that shine away from the other collections of ready-made garments, and celebrate the culture and heritage of Bahrain during the holy month.
The brand is characterized by a sense of sophistication and refined femininity for today’s women. And in this collection presented at “Al Ostoura Kaftan Ramadan 2017”, Amal Al Mulla focused on capturing and reinterpreting this essence in a variety of luxury Kaftans including royal pastels and floor-to-side panels with floral decorations holding the signature of the season. And the Kaftans are designed in such a way that make them a special piece for each woman enjoying a unique style and carrying that message of modernity and individual femininity.
As for her cooperation with Al Ostoura, Amal considers it an ideal match, especially that we are joined in values and the concept of beauty.
According to Amal’s vision, the shape of the ideal Kaftan consists of the genuine mix between classical and practical, and the versatility in use, and this is what this fashion house seeks in terms of its design, as well as the quality of pieces that can be adopted on different occasions in various styles and ways that differ from a woman to another.
Bassma Abu Ghazaleh from the United Arab Emirates
Kage.. Trip with Rainbows!
Fashion designer Bassma Abu Ghazaleh is a Palestinian Emirati born and raised in Dubai. Her passion in fashion pushed her to travel to London to get inspiration. Her love for design led her to collect fabric rolls and accessories from the various fashion streets of the world to launch her project Kage.
Kage is the contemporary label for women’s designs creating fashion for women who are not afraid of adopting bold styles, what makes Kaftan an ideal element for them.
The Kaftan collection that Bassma shows in “Al Ostoura Kaftan Ramadan 2017” is a reflection of the Kage aesthetics inspired from the spring summer 2017 collection “Trip with Rainbows” based on bright colors and cotton to be comfortable and perfect for the month of Ramadan.
As for Al Astoura, Bassma considers it a store with a range of distinguished brands therefore it is a great platform to shop her collection along with other famous names in this industry. She also sees her collaboration with Al Ostoura a great opportunity to present her collections in Kuwait, one of the main fashion capitals in Gulf States. Bassma says: “This is the first collection of Kaftans for Kage to be exclusively designed for Al Ostoura and I am very excited about this collaboration and I will be in Kuwait for this event and I look forward to this.”
In addition, Basma considers the traditional Kaftan one of the many that can be worn during the day and night, while the ideal Kaftan for her is the product of right balance and is very popular and is a cultural bridge between East and West.
Monah Habeeb from Bahrain
Monah: Traditional with Simplicity of Design!
Monah Habib is a Bahraini designer holding a degree in accounting. One day she found out that she’s passionate about designs and details and she enjoys a lot picking fabrics and harmonious colors; that is why she decided to create her own fashion collection. This was a very rewarding step that included a lot of fun. After a few successful collections, she decided to take courses at St Martins in London and this really helped her develop her talent.
Monah’s designs tend to be simple, and she sees that simple cuts and layers shed the light on the texture aesthetic. She does not consider herself a Kaftan designer since she tends more towards pieces that can be worn on a daily basis. She designs Kaftans in Ramadan and during summer and she gives her pieces a traditional touch while trying to keep them as simple as possible.
Monah’s Kaftan collection for Al Ostoura drew its inspiration from the caravan, the groups of people, especially traders or pilgrims who travel together through the desert on camels. When Monah started executing her collection, she thought about showing it outside her country. The main characteristics of the Kuwait collection were the camels themselves, their shape, color, hair and saddle in their various colors. She believes that choosing the right accessories for the Kaftan will give it a whiff of traditional elegance or modernity.
She considers the Kuwait market a challenge for her, and her collaboration with Al Ostoura derived from her keenness to increase her challenge scope, and Al Ostoura is one of the prestigious companies in the region so this cooperation will test the designer’s ability to expand outside her country.
Hanan Hamad Al – Gohan from Kuwait
Haa: An Expression of a Feminine Core!
Hanan Hamad Al-Gohan is a Kuwaiti designer holding a BA in Communication (Visual Media and Graphic Design). She actually works as the creative director of Dar Haa, and she’s the co-founder of Polished Nail Spa & InavaseFlower. She is an emotional person who appreciates life, nature, beauty and complexities in colors and patterns. Her first Kaftan collections were dedicated to herself and they drew the attention and admiration of her family and friends who supported and encouraged her to start designing a Kaftan line for the month of Ramadan only.
Kaftan for Hanan is considered an essential piece in every woman’s wardrobe and can be adopted on various occasions and comes in multiple forms and designs that cater to all tastes. It is also very light and practical and an innovative form of self-expression.
When designing her collections, Hanan strives to balance interesting contradictions, femininity with a masculine touch, flexibility with sharpness, traditionalism with a modern tone. She likes the one-piece, two-piece, and the mix and match pieces.
Her collection for this season, with which she participated in the exhibition “Al Ostoura Kaftan Ramadan 2017”, is inspired from the non decorated original desert heritage, a quiet collection in terms of texture, color and design. The basic designs of the collection are traditional or embroidered.
As for her collaboration with Al Ostoura, she says: “The day I was born in the 1980s coincides with the first day Al Ostoura was launched, this company that is considered one of the oldest shopping experiences in Kuwait. I am proud to be part of the Kaftan exhibition which will showcase my collection, and part of Al Ostoura, one of the most important fashion retailers in the region.