In an exciting collaboration, Saudi Princess Safia Hussein Guerras and Belgian fashion designer Christophe Beaufays have come up with some unique designs that reinvent the abaya. Called “Khaleeki Chic,” the line adds a modern and elegant spin to the garments with a traditional and cultural Arab essence. Through their teamwork, the former model and Associate Art Director of Lomar want to make Arab women feel proud while wearing an abaya. The pieces have also been designed with women from all different corners of the world in mind thanks to that contemporary twist and diverse western themes.
The new line of abayas, in collaboration with Lomar, the Jeddah-based thobe and womenswear designers that opened their first “abaya only” store, was recently revealed in a private fashion show hosted in Riyadh’s Belgian embassy. As expected, VIPs and influencers were on the guest list to the event that featured live music from a Saudi band. One of the models showcasing the abaya designs that marry complex and traditional Arabic themes and geometric patterns with modern textures and tailoring was Princess Hannah bint Khalid Al-Faisal. Made with traditional natural fibres like cotton, linen and wool, the collection offers customary black options as well vibrant colour-blocked designs. Plus, other special materials have been included to create innovative pieces like the raincoat abaya.
“When I travel, when I go to New York, Paris or Los Angeles, from the plane I usually remove my abaya, but I didn’t want to remove it anymore,” Princess Safia, who has long dreamed of designing abayas, ”told “Arab News.” “I want to be proud to come out with the abaya that looks just the way that you saw them today. I want my sisters, the Saudi or Gulf sisters and all of my sisters around the world to be proud, because we should be proud.”
While also talking to the leading Saudi English daily, Beaufays said the duo designed the abaya as a “crossover between western clothes and Saudi garment to be something all the women in the world would like to wear at different occasions.” The former Esmod Dubai Artistic Director and Jean-Paul Gaultier team member added the abaya has been portrayed somewhat negatively in the media. That’s why they wanted to shine a positive light on “a very elegant garment that can be accessorised and elevated into something very chic, traditional but also modern.”