The abaya has a rich history not only as a testimony for women of Muslim faith, but as a fashion statement and status symbol. If you’re unfamiliar with the loose over-garment, you might just know it as a simple black robe-like dress. In fact, abayas can be much more complex than that.
Wealthy Muslim women often have abayas more expensive than your entire wardrobe. While a standard one may cost you a mere $100, it is not rare to spot an intricate abaya for over $10,000. For the women who wear them, these garments are one of the only items of clothing through which they can demonstrate their style and status, and they spare no expense to make sure they are represented well.
Beyond abayas there is nothing (most) wealthy Middle Eastern women love more than big luxury brands. Italian fashion powerhouse Dolce & Gabbana recently took notice, and decided to marry the two with their very first abaya collection.
“I’m really fascinated with the Middle East and we’ve just completed a prêt-a-porter collection of abayas and sheylas.” Stefano had said in an interview with The National at the couture extravaganza in Italy last year. “Pieces have some lace, embroidery and some prints – but not too much.”
The collection stays true to the abaya form yet adds the intricacy integral to the Dolce & Gabbana brand. It is a limited edition line which features sheer georgette, satin weave charmeuse fabrics, and include stunning lace details.
Dolce & Gabbana’s recognition of the abaya in their brand is helping bridge cultures. Many who often fear the garment and what it represents are now more likely to accept and welcome it. They have given Muslim women another stunning way to express themselves and others an insight into their fashions.