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

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.




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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.


Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s ‘Free Solo’ sweeps Creative Emmys

‘Free Solo’ follows Alex Honnold’s attempt to become the first person to climb El Capitan. (Supplied)
Updated 15 September 2019

Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s ‘Free Solo’ sweeps Creative Emmys

  • “Free Solo’” has won seven Creative Arts Emmy Awards
  • The documentary picked up every award for which it was nominated at Saturday’s ceremony in Los Angeles

DUBAI: Co-produced by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the critically-acclaimed documentary “Free Solo’” has won seven Creative Arts Emmy Awards, adding to a slate of honors that already includes a BAFTA and an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

The documentary picked up every award for which it was nominated at Saturday’s ceremony in Los Angeles, including outstanding directing for a documentary/nonfiction program, outstanding cinematography, sound editing, sound mixing, picture editing, music composition and best achievement in interactive media.

Presented by National Geographic, directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin and co-produced by Image Nation, “Free Solo” follows Alex Honnold’s attempt to become the first person to climb El Capitan – a 3,000 foot high vertical rock in Yosemite National Park – with no ropes or safety gear.

The documentary was co-produced by Parkes+MacDonald, Image Nation, Little Monster Films and National Geographic.

"I think it always comes back to Alex, the diligence and discipline and teaching himself over the years," Vasarhelyi told the Hollywood Reporter backstage at Sunday’s award ceremony. "I think in terms of the Creative Arts Emmys, Alex brought so much craft to what he did, that all of us, every member of our team got a nomination. So it’s incredible to see the Academy appreciates the hard work that went into it."

In February, “Free Solo” won an Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards. After the ceremony Chin told reporters, “Hanging off the wall, I couldn’t see Alex Honnold below, and I just had to trust that he was just being perfect. We also had to carry the weight of the entire production being perfect, because if we made any mistakes, it could have been catastrophic.”

UAE-based fans were treated to a special screening of the film in March and chief content office of Image Nation Ben Ross shared his thoughts at the event.

“From the incredible reviews to the Academy Award and BAFTA wins, we are so proud that Image Nation Abu Dhabi and the UAE can say it helped to support this incredible film…It has been an honor to work with the National Geographic.”