Beauty and the Bisht: Hana Samman celebrates tradition with her designs

Updated 07 November 2012
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Beauty and the Bisht: Hana Samman celebrates tradition with her designs

Saudi designer Hana Samman started her designing career in an early age when she couldn’t find anyone who would design a navy blue abaya for her. She decided to design her own just to have the liberty to wear what suited her and looked good on her.
Her fashion sense drove her to design her own abayas before people around her asked her to design theirs as well. Thirteen years later, Samman now is one of the famous and well-known names in the fashion industry in the Kingdom. She leads a very stylish life and travels from one country to another to find inspiration and buy her exclusive and luxurious materials.
“No one can imagine how much I love the Saudi abaya. I believe they are a very decent coverage to Muslims and I love the fact that I can play with designs and make them stylish, decent and well covered at the same time,” said Samman. “Women who wear hijab do not have to look dull and wear an all-black cloak. They can have a good mixture of color and still look decent and covered up in a stylish abaya,” she added.
The designer started her brand as a hobby. “I only went to school to study fashion design after I established the brand and after I got familiar with the fashion design scene in the Kingdom,” said Samman. “I wanted to learn the possibilities and impossibilities in making clothing. I have a team of tailors that helps me make the abayas. I do all the designing and purchase the materials and fabrics they use,” she added.
“I studied at Burgo — an Italian fashion institute — for two years, and I learned so much about stitching and designing. I must say it was a good advantage for my brand,” said Samman.
Samman designs are known to be unique for she uses different kinds of fabric in one design. “I usually include two to three different materials in one abaya. I like using silk, lace, crepe, cotton and velvet,” she said. “My recent abaya collection contains gold and silver threads with a rich fabric,” she added.
Samman’s recent collection is based on Saudi traditional clothing but adds a modern twist. “I chose the collection to be like the traditional bisht, a well-known cloak made for men and I added small changes to it and made it fit for women,” she said. “I made sure that the abayas are made in a traditional way with a twist of femininity,” she added.
Samman designs two collections a year. So far she released 26 collections in the Gulf market. “I make abayas for different occasions and seasons and I just released my summer collection which are all cold cottons with light stitching and there is the weddings and night celebrations collection,” she said.
“My designs are very smart and there is something for everyone. I always make sure to make different designs so I can satisfy all my costumers,” she added.

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Beyoncé wears Tunisian-French design in viral video

Updated 20 June 2018
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Beyoncé wears Tunisian-French design in viral video

DUBAI: Beyoncé and Jay-Z stunned fans by dropping a surprise joint album this week, and the artistic video for the lead track, “Apes***,” sees the Grammy-winning queen of pop wearing a turban by French-Tunisian milliner Donia Allegue.

The nine-track album “Everything Is Love” dropped Saturday on the Tidal music streaming service that Jay-Z partially owns, before the couple released it on Spotify on Monday.
The pop diva and hip-hop superstar announced the album from the stage in London as they wrapped up the British leg that opened a global tour.

The couple also put out an elaborately choreographed video that takes place inside the Louvre museum in Paris for “Apes***,” AFP reported.

The video opens with the couple standing regally in front of the “Mona Lisa” — Jay-Z in a light green double-breasted suit, Beyoncé in a lavender pantsuit — and features a squad of scantily clad dancers moving sensually in front of Jacques Louis David’s “The Coronation of Napoleon.”

In a later scene, Beyoncé dons a floor-length black turban by Donia Allegue with a nude-colored bodysuit by French design house Cadolle. According to Vogue Arabia, Allegue revealed that the headpiece took eight hours to create and is made of six meters of tulle.

“Honored and proud to have adorned Queen @beyonce (with) an exceptional headpiece for her grandiose clip,” the design house posted on its Instagram page this week.

The video is a veritable treasure trove of sartorial high points chosen by stylist Zerina Akers, who scored the latest designs from international runways, as well as custom pieces from various high-end brands.

Fashion aside, the album, driven by warm, sultry soul with a largely hip-hop cadence, marries the styles of the two artists but is more consistent with the recent direction of Jay-Z.
The two stars have recorded together previously, notably on the Beyoncé-led single “Drunk in Love,” but the album comes after an especially public window into their marriage.
Beyonce on her last solo album “Lemonade” in 2016 revealed infidelity on the part of Jay-Z, who a year later asked forgiveness on his own album “4:44.”

This year, as the title of “Everything is Love” implies, their relationship is apparently swell.

On the final track, the joyously brassy “Lovehappy,” the two acknowledge past pain but also their efforts to reconcile.

“We’re flawed / But we’re still perfect for each other,” Beyoncé sings.

As two of the most prominent African Americans in pop culture Jay-Z and Beyoncé have played increasingly visible political roles, from campaigning for former president Barack Obama to championing the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Everything is Love” offers a paean to African American identity in “Black Effect,” which opens in Beyoncé fashion with a monologue about self-love before a haunting soul sample.
Jay-Z on the song name-checks Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African American shot dead in 2012 by a neighborhood watchman in a Florida gated community, and raps, in a twist on performers’ rote calls for crowd gesticulation, “Get your hands up high like a false arrest.”