Diva Abaya freshens up the Gulf’s fashion staple

Diva Abaya Couture offers up abayas in a variety of materials, including soft tulle and traditional nida fabric. (Supplied)
Updated 20 May 2019
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Diva Abaya freshens up the Gulf’s fashion staple

  • Diva Abaya is a Dubai-based brand
  • The collections used a variety of different styles and fabrics

DUBAI: The traditional abaya has come a long way. What began as a simple black robe has transformed into a fashion category of a multitude of styles, cuts and colors. Even luxury brands have jumped on the bandwagon, with some high-end fashion houses launching abaya collections in recent years.

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Moving closer to home, local and regional designers, brands and manufacturers are also demonstrating their sartorial prowess, giving birth to original, modest pieces that shy away from the norm. One of the brands really coming into its own is Diva Abaya Couture, a Dubai-based brand that is all about the abaya and its many variations. Having opened its first showroom in 2016, Diva Abaya — run by the entrepreneur Naren Shewaramani and his immediate family — now has six showrooms around the emirate.

The label has unveiled its Ramadan 2019 collection and it’s well worth a browse through. Featuring simple blacks to multicolored options, Diva Abaya’s edit combines luxury fabrics — nida, fursan, salona, crepe and others are used — with elegant, flattering cuts.

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Simpler creations feature more traditional materials, such as chiffon, while the more luxurious, eveningwear-style abayas take on dantel, French lace and a whole host of color. There’s gold, antique copper, royal blue and silver to name a few.

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Part of the Ramadan 2019 collection also sees a collaboration with Emirati designer Sara Mohammed. Known for her Moroccan jalabeya designs, Mohammed has created a number of evening pieces for Diva Abaya.

(Supplied)

As expected, these abayas are not off-the-rack and the prices reflect that. Starting from around $327, they’re certainly not your everyday abaya, but if you’re looking for something for night and day — and you feel you could get a lot of use out of it — then it’s worth the investment in the long run. If you’re looking for a little something for Eid Al-Fitr, then look out for the ones embellished with glittering Swarovski crystals for a touch of sparkle.


What We Are Reading Today: The Way of Nature by C. C. Tsai

Updated 18 June 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The Way of Nature by C. C. Tsai

  • The Way of Nature brings together all of Tsai’s beguiling cartoon illustrations of the Zhuangzi

C. C. Tsai is one of Asia’s most popular cartoonists, and his editions of the Chinese classics have sold more than 40 million copies in over 20 languages. This volume presents Tsai’s delightful graphic adaptation of the profound and humorous Daoist writings of Zhuangzi, some of the most popular and influential in the history of Asian philosophy and culture.

The Way of Nature brings together all of Tsai’s beguiling cartoon illustrations of the Zhuangzi, which takes its name from its author. The result is a uniquely accessible and entertaining adaptation of a pillar of classical Daoism, which has deeply influenced Chinese poetry, landscape painting, martial arts, and Chan (Zen) Buddhism.

The Way of Nature presents the memorable characters, fables, and thought experiments of Zhuangzi like no other edition, challenging readers to dig beneath conventional assumptions about self, society, and nature, and pointing to a more natural way of life. Through practical insights, Zhuangzi shows why returning to the spontaneity of nature is the only sane response to a world of conflict.