Replace sharp suits with Hessa Falasi’s ‘power kaftan’ this Ramadan

Updated 11 May 2019

Replace sharp suits with Hessa Falasi’s ‘power kaftan’ this Ramadan

DUBAI: UAE-based designer Hessa Falasi is one of the Gulf’s most recognizable names in the world of high-end abayas and her Ramadan 2019 collection shows off the kaleidoscope of colors she has become famous for.

Falasi gives her abayas a modern twist in the latest collection that features shades of blue and even a 1980s-inspired power blazer-style jalabeya.

Launched in 2011 in Dubai, the brand quickly became synonymous with edgy but conservative style and fans flocked to Falasi’s boutique for her colorful take on the traditional abaya.

The designer’s latest Ramadan collection is no different and boasts a variety of cuts and colors, with some more daring than others.

A two-toned lilac and purple ensemble is particularly eye-catching and an elegant option for an evening suhoor gathering. The shimmering offering features a belted waist and short sleeves that are ideal for the hot summer months. The stiff fabric skims the body and offers up a decidedly more formal take on the usually flowy jalabeya.

The designer isn’t afraid of stiff, structured material and uses it to great effect in the latest line — with sheer, organza-like abayas floating gracefully over soft underlays in matching, and sometimes contrasting, colors.

One glitzy option is a netted black abaya scattered over with dashes of golden glitter. The abaya is paired with a creamy beige slip, making the outfit appropriate for early evening iftar gatherings and late-night suhoor events.

The most daring of Falasi’s latest line is undoubtedly a white 1980s-style power blazer that flows into a kaftan skirt.   

The double-breasted upper half features striking gold accent buttons and razor-sharp lapels, while the free-flowing skirt features quirky tassels in an alternating white-and-gold color palette. This daring sartorial choice will set you apart from your fellow diners with its mix-and-match approach to style.

The collection isn’t based on a single theme or design element — indeed, you would be hard pressed to find a common thread between some of the ensembles — but that can be turned into a positive when there are so many events to attend this season. With Hessa Falasi’s Ramadan range, there is no shortage of stylish options to try.  

What We Are Reading Today: The River Ki by Sawako Ariyoshi

Updated 6 min 5 sec ago

What We Are Reading Today: The River Ki by Sawako Ariyoshi

The River Ki, short and swift and broad like most Japanese rivers, flows into the sea not far south of Osaka. On its journey seaward, it passes through countryside that has long been at the heart of the Japanese tradition. 

The River Ki dominates the lives of the people who live in its fertile valley and imparts a vital strength to the three women, mother, daughter and granddaughter, around whom this novel is built.

It provides them with the courage to cope, in their different ways, with the unprecedented changes that occurred in Japan between the last years of the last century and the middle of this century.

Sawako Ariyoshi, one of Japan’s most successful modern novelists, describes this social and cultural revolution largely through the eyes of Hana, a woman with the vision and integrity to understand the inevitability of the death of the traditional order in Japan, says a review published on

Ariyoshi writes with a love for detail bound to a broader understanding of the importance of the geographical and biological forces that mold her characters — and the result is a story that flows with all the vitality of The River Ki itself.