Revolution of Abaya Fashion: from Black to a Spectrum of Colors
Without a doubt, Abaya Fashion has gone through significant changes. It probably has come to your attention that black is now not the only color gracing the attire of women from the Muslim culture.
The revolution of color in the fashion industry is not an overnight thing. It is also not as a result of a backroom deal by a host of fashion influencers. What that means is that the editors of an A-list fashion magazine or designers that are not in any way responsible for determining whether the industry should go with pink or stick with black. The process is rather, a long one.
The current color revolution has been happening for more than a century. However, Abaya fashion has always chosen to go with black consistent with Islamic culture. The recent turnaround to include various colors is astonishing considering it is happening in the Muslim world which has for a long time being conservative.
The Winds of Change in Traditional Abaya
The Muslim population is now entering the fashion scene. It may be seen as a late entry, but it is timely. The once conservative community is claiming a portion of the industry at the global level. The hijab and abaya are now not only a reserve of the Muslims. Others around the world are trying it out as a fashion item.
Most women professing the Muslim faith are modest dressers as prescribed by Islam. Regardless, the number of women adorning the symbolic hijab is growing. Essentially, the latest hijab designed by Nike for Muslim sportswomen is a testament of the prevailing winds of change blowing in the Islamic world of fashion.
Black has for a long time been a favorite for the majority of Abaya designers. Essentially, black has been an embodiment of Arab conservatism in Abayas. However, in recent times, there have been the winds of change in the Arab countries. The women are now pushing the boundaries on various aspects of their lives, and that includes fashion.
In Egypt, the Hijab Fashion stocks many luxury abayas. Even in Riyadh, a conservative city, malls are overflowing with a wide variety of abayas with colored trims.
The first question that comes to the mind of fashion enthusiasts is where this bold change started.
It is the view of many that the colorful options come from Jeddah.
Jeddah is a cosmopolitan city in Saudi Arabia, and it is no surprise such a change would come from there. Its departmental stalls must include abayas of different colors. It is not a surprise to find green abayas with zipping fronts or leopard trims.
In the initial stages, there may have been opposition. The main issue was regarding visibility where colorful would seem too conspicuous. For some families, such color in abayas shows that the women are too modern or too independent which is not always a good thing for them.
Even though the change to colorful abayas is exciting and inevitable, the black will not completely disappear. The black abaya communicates cultural as well as religious identity. Black Abayas are also a sign of societal status, and it will take time before people can fully accept color.
The young Muslim fashion bloggers and designers are responsible for this fashion offshoot in the region.
The Colorful Abaya is a Source of Excitement
Globalization is playing a significant role in the evolution of abayas in the Gulf States. In the UAE and Qatar, the once plain garment whose primary role was to conceal the woman’s physical form is now an object of high fashion.
The abaya is now not just a piece of the garment but a stylish and personalized piece of clothing. You will also agree that the new changes are signs of excitement in women’s fashion.
The new abaya features a dizzying collection of fabrics, cuts, and colors embroidered in numerous decorations. Many of the designers of these stylish abayas are drawing inspiration from cultures and styles from around the globe. The new abaya is not just a source of cultural and religious expression but also of individuality for Gulf women.
Boutiques such as the Diva Abaya Couture are playing around with embellishments, finishes, fabrics and colors to give the garments a new twist. For the boutique, the new technique where there is a mixing up of prints is working magnificently. One of the most popular motif prints on the abayas is the amber-hued cat. However, some clients may choose other motifs.
The abaya-as-fashion does not change the traditional role of the garment. The fashionable individualized clothes do not go overboard but rather retains the physical, cultural requirement. As needed, the garment covers the whole body of the Muslim women apart from the hands and feet.
The importance of abaya is that it affords the women a particular identity and status. The best thing about the new abaya is that it adapts these roles to give the women more freedom. You can agree that women adorning abayas as a source of fashion appear more empowered and enjoying relative freedom.
The new abaya moves beyond the Arab gulf in terms of national and cultural identity to identity with the larger universal culture. It is now not difficult to find it participating in the fashion trends around the world. The once symbol of conservatism currently embodies a cosmopolitan identity that the wealthy Arab women covet.
The Role of Globalization
Without a doubt, the forces of globalization are playing a major role in the evolution of the abaya. Apparently, globalization is rearing its head in everything relating to the abaya-as-a-fashion. However, the impact of globalization is made up of different levels. In a way, western fashion is central in the design elements, cuts, and colors utilized.
The language employed to refer to the new trend highlights the abaya as an item signifying religious sensibility, as well as, the global culture. Similarly, different cultural influences are part of the new abaya.
The designers working on these abayas have western degrees or have previously worked with high-class fashion houses in Europe. Even the manner in which the new pieces of clothing are sold reflects models outside the Gulf region. On the other hand, some designers incorporate symbols and materials from especially the West such as floral patterns, leather, and the lace.
A perfect example where globalization is quite apparent in the evolution of abayas is when women go to purchase them to match their expensive Gucci bags. They also buy them to match their high heels from top designers. Furthermore, it is not hard to find top designers with themes that reflect the western culture. For some, it is quite difficult for the women to display their western-style clothing. Therefore, the new abaya is the perfect replacement.
The way women purchase the abayas is now different. Traditionally, the abayas were made and sold in order. The main places for this activity include malls, souks, and local seamstresses. However, the women living in the major urban places had a wider variety of options. They had the ability to travel long distances to get a particular product.
It is now easier to procure garments over the internet. You can get anything from around the world easily and cheaply thanks to the new technology. Apart from the buyers, designers are utilizing this technology to popularize their design and gain market. The Internet is currently one of the best ways sellers gain access to clientele from around the globe.
Why the abaya fashion is heaping so much hype
The revolution of the abaya from black to a spectrum of colors has taken the fashion world by storms because of several reasons. Among them is confidence that accompanies it. Mainly, the women can wear the garment at any time of day without any fear of feeling underdressed or overdressed.
Another factor is decency. The abaya leaves people to their own imagination and this by itself is a source respect for the wearers. In a way, this covering up distinguishes the garment from others in a good way. The new revolution where there are different colors of abaya only make it more fashionable.
Despite the dazzling hues and colors, the new abaya maintains its respect to the culture. The Islamic culture is rich and curved in the hearts of women, and the new abaya does not violate this in any way. The abayas have gone through a significant metamorphosis while maintaining the respect for the Muslim culture.
Despite a slow start, the Muslim world is slowly catching up to the rest of the fashion world. In this, globalization plays an important role as there is an incorporation of designs from other cultures. The once conservative abaya fashion is a source of cultural, religious, and national identity. However, the introduction of colored abayas does not change this identity, but rather it enhances it and includes an element of freedom. Fashion revolution is not such a bad thing provided the principle of modesty esteemed by the Muslims is upheld.