Push the envelope with the Saidi sisters’ modest fashion marvels

This velvet evening look is part of the sisters’ 2018 Cruise collection.
Updated 07 June 2018
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Push the envelope with the Saidi sisters’ modest fashion marvels

  • The Somali-American sisters behind modest wear brand FLLUMAE are doing big things in the world of fashion.
  • The Saidi sisters unveiled their 2018 Cruise collection at the sixth edition of Arab Fashion Week (AFW) in Dubai, which took place just before the holy month, and it’s perfect for elegant evenings out with the family.

If you’re running out of sartorial options for Eid Al-Fitr, having exhausted the extensive list of Middle East-based designers over the course of Ramadan, why not turn your attention further afield?

Based in Louisville, Kentucky, the Somali-American sisters behind modest wear brand FLLUMAE are doing big things in the world of fashion and could offer you up something fresh — and unexpected — to wear to the inevitable onslaught of gatherings that will take place over the festive period.

The Saidi sisters unveiled their 2018 Cruise collection at the sixth edition of Arab Fashion Week (AFW) in Dubai, which took place just before the holy month, and it’s perfect for elegant evenings out with the family.

The collection features a mish-mash of colors, prints and fabrics, with the brand’s iconic petal embellishments visible on most of the dresses, suits and blazers.

If you prefer to be pretty in pink, the line offers up an almost-metallic, satin-esque baby pink dress, cinched at the waist with a matching belt and embellished with delicate peach and ebony flowers on the right hip and left shoulder. It will take courage to wear this look, there’s nothing sedate about it, but if you can pull it off, you’ll be sure to turn heads.

A slightly more demure option would be the full-length black velvet dress with petal accents running up the side of the bodice. The designers added extra oomph with a billowing, collared cape, complete with embellishments on the shoulder. It has to be said that the fit left much to be desired on the model who wore this look on the runway, but ensuring you choose the right size should combat any ripples in the fabric.

The sisters founded FLLUMAE in February 2014 and within a year-and-a-half were showing off their designs at the pinnacle of all things fashion – New York Fashion Week (NYFW).

“It happened so quickly, I thought it would take five to seven years to get to the level of presenting at NYFW, but it was a year-and-a-half and we were there,” Fahima Saidi, one of the four sisters behind the brand, told Arab News on the sidelines of AFW in May.  

FLLUMAE started out as a bid to tackle the lack of modest fashion at the time.

“When we were growing up, if we liked a dress we would be like ‘oh my god, I love this dress, but it doesn’t have any sleeves,’ so we would take it home and sew some sleeves on there,” Saidi said.  

 “Finally, we decided to commit and we took a big risk, we all left our professions to work on this business as designers,” she said.

“It is high, mainstream fashion and it caters to women of faith — and not just women of faith, but any woman. You don’t have to be a woman of faith to wear our clothing.

“If you are a modest-clothing wearer, it’s a plus because this line gives you stuff to wear that is fully lined and (you can be) fully-dressed in a comfortable way,” the designer concluded.

Visit the brand’s social media pages — facebook.com/fllumae and @fllumae on Instagram — to browse the collection and enquire about pricing and delivery options.


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.”