Wednesday, 11 March 2015

TRENDS: ABAYA AND KAFTAN EVOLUTION

I barely have time these days to do a regular post with my part time fashion designing career having become a full time one, so I do apologise again. This is my break away for now;)...... I am sure you will enjoy this post and it will inspire more looks or #hootd, don't forget to tag me #stylexplora, would love to see the stunning combinations, you impressive ladies come up with. 

I love abaayas. I remember hearing the word abaaya for the first time in high school. At that point I had owned quite a few "cloaks" and I would only wear them for Jummah. I had grown fond of them but rather tired of the styles.

A very sweet neighbour who would frequent Makkah and Madeenah providing her cooking services to Haajis (pilgrims), would also bring in an abaya haul when she returned, trading in South Africa. My adorable mum bought my first 2 abayas from her. I fell in love with the front fastening, modern details and the softness and variety of fabrics it came in and most of all the way it flowed with movement, so feminine and graceful. I knew then that Islamic attire for woman would see a huge shift in design, styles, fabrics and embellishments. The word abaaya is now very loosely and interchangeably used with cloaks.

So this post like many to follow, Insha'Allah, will be addressing recent and new abaaya/ cloak trends, as well keeping an eye on the Kaftan scene and how to incorporate these versatile garments and much more.

Abaayas and cloaks are typically full length garments (or dresses) that are loose fitting and mostly worn by Muslimahs or Muslim woman. In recent years, runways across the world have pulled inspiration from these flowing garments and it seems to be settling in as a classic piece rather than a wavering trend.



The Arabic Calligraphy trend in abaayas is still going strong and has made its way into our accessories, from belts, scarves, clutches and more.



A sportier look, these colour blocked stripe abaayas add a modern touch to your ensemble.




Colour blocking, draping, ropework and flare, these abaayas mix both traditional and modern design lines. 





Basic A-line abaayas in solid on trend colours such as plum, navy blue, emerald green, dusty pink, maroon, marsala, grey and earthy colours have become widely popular for both its' effortless simplicity and versatility. It can be dressed up or down with just a change of accessories or outer garments such as scarves, hijab styling, cardigans from short to long, boxy or fitted, jackets in leather, lace, chiffon, belts, shoes etc.  Check out the aab collection of abaayas and jilbabs for a gorgeous shopping experience or simply inspiration on what to pair your current abaayas with. click here for the aab collection. I just love the way they pair their scarves and accessories with their everyday abaayas, you could look great everyday;)



Naeem Khan Spring 2015 reminiscent of a basic black abaaya, with eastern influenced embroidery embellishment around the neckline and cuffs that are more popular in Indian tunics.



Textured abaaya in jersey mixed with either satin, velvet or suede combinations are perfect for Autumn and Winter.



White is no longer reserved for the bride-to-be, as flowing kaftans and gowns in white take first preference on both the runways, the red carpet and the likes.

Natalie Portman at the Oscars 2015

Jessica Alba




Pastels are still on trend and Alexis Mabille has also chanelled flower power in the pretty pink number above. Floral or abstract flower prints, including handmade and embroidered flowers are definitely big this season. Try sewing artificial, lace, laser cut polyurethane or suede flowers onto your abaya,  or wear belts with flower patterns or flowers to update an old look.











More embellished looks have come through due to the demand for hijab appropriate evening wear. These abaayas can incorporate anything from sequins to beading and more draped styles.



Here are a few more ways to wear your abaayas, kaftans or maxi dresses.


My wardrobe essential;) try a long cardigan or kimono. 


 Try a fur gillet or waistcoat for winter.





Throw a poncho, cape, top, tunic, shirt, dress or scarf (click here for ideas on how to wear your scarf over)over. Get Creative and have fun.

Check back here soon for prized details of local suppliers of scarves and exclusive abaayas in South Africa. 

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