JEDDAH: Fashion brands in Saudi Arabia have unveiled special collections in celebration of the Kingdom’s National Day on Friday.
Fashion is a key part of a nation’s culture, according to the bosses of Jeddah-based brand Kaafmeem, especially in Saudi Arabia, which has its own distinctive traditions when it comes to dress for special occasions and social gatherings.
“National Day is an opportunity to showcase our tradition and celebrate; what’s better than celebrating in pieces that make you feel proud and confident?” said Karima Saleh, originally from Syria, Kaafmeem’s co-founder and chief creative officer.
To that end, Saleh said, through its designs her company aims to support women in their ongoing journeys of development and progress and as they pursue their careers.
It is “empowering her to celebrate herself and her country in unique and elegant modest clothing, while staying practical, helping her to move toward a brilliant future for herself and the country,” she said.
Saleh added that the patterns and designs of the company’s National Day collection, ULOO, looked to the landscapes of AlUla for inspiration, along with the country’s natural resources.
“The layers of the earth from which petrol is extracted were undoubtedly the perfect sources of inspiration for the ULOO collection,” she added.
When it came to choosing colors, Kaafmeem’s designers chose to combine the classic with the trendy: Green and purple expresses boldness, while black and beige are traditionally neutral shades.
As for materials, Saleh said they used delicate, sheer fabrics for some of their coats, and more practical fabrics for other pieces “to cover both elegant and comfortable aspects with elegant hand-made embroidery on the pieces.”
She added: “This collection provides the bold look of the modern, strong woman who likes to show her personality in a unique way.”
Mona Al-Haddad is the head of the design department at Lomar, which specializes in thobes and abayas.
“In the world of fashion, at Lomar we always try to showcase the identity of our Saudi heritage from the first day by preserving the identity of the dress in an innovative way,” she told Arab News.
“We developed patterns and designs drawn from various regions of the Kingdom, converting them into pieces of art and using them in thobes, abayas and headscarfs especially for the Saudi National Day.”
Each year, Al-Haddad said, Lomar celebrates National Day by creating specially designed thobes and abayas using certain materials and colors, in particular green, white and black.
The company also creates metal accessories designed to compliment the distinctive green color of the Kingdom’s flag in an innovative and contemporary way that it describes as unique to Lomar. Its 2022 National Day collection is inspired by the Saudi emblem and the country’s rich heritage, from north to south, according to Al-Haddad.
“This year’s designs depend on the use of green in men’s clothing and innovative accessories specially made for this occasion,” she said. “The colors black and green were also used in women's Abayas, which are adorned with some traditional accessories from well-known handicrafts.”
Wafaa Al-Jaffali, an abaya designer, said that in discussions of Saudi history and heritage there is no doubt that clothing and folklore are among the first things people consider.
“I am a designer whose work is creatively inspired by the diversity of my country and its glory among nations,” she told Arab News.
“Diversity is the basis for our designs, such as women’s abayas that are inlaid with beads and historical drawings.”
She said that some of her designs also feature Al-Marudun, a pattern mainly used in thobes with long open sleeves that are popular in all parts of the Kingdom but especially Riyadh.
“I used taffeta in my collection, as well as zari, chiffon and colored beads in an exquisite geometric design,” Al-Jaffali said. “The most prominent piece in my collection is Al-Qatt Al-Asiri (an art style specific to Asir) in unconventional colors.”