A unique fashion show of 'abayas' and 'sheilas', to be held in Sharjah next week, seeks to reinterpret the classic look by randomly mixing patterns and textures. On Wednesday, January 28, the show mixing the modern with the past will be held at the heritage area in Sharjah.

By Lubna Al Midfa

Published: Fri 23 Jan 2004, 2:47 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:43 AM

Located by the creek, Dar Al-Diyafa is a hotel, but one whose walls date back to the old Sharjah. It is now a hotel for tourists and anyone who would like to step back in time. Many of the pieces of furniture truly date back to old Sharjah, and some have been created in the same fashion. It is an important tourist site and is also linked to the traditional Souk Al-Arsa.

Farkhonda Mohammed, the organiser of the fashion show says "There was a great demand from the people, wanting to see this kind of fashion show. Especially since Eid is coming up, the local ladies are very interested in seeing a fashion show of abayas and sheilas". On the same night there will be a poetry reading event, as well as a display of traditional UAE perfumes, a henna lady for ladies who perhaps haven't had the time to have their henna done for Eid, all in an ambience of the past with folk music of the UAE.

Although the fashion show will present sheilas and abayas, a traditional component of local ladies' wardrobe, the designer is from France. Judith Duriez, is a graduate from the Ecole de la chamber de la haute couture in Paris. Judith and her husband are co-designers and after spending 10 years in the Middle East, opened their first store at Abu Dhabi Mall in December 2001. When asked about her designs she said, "It is very challenging. Ten years ago is was all plain black. Of course, fashion changes even in the abaya. We started to put more colour and people like it. The more they like it the more I design."

Arabesque has five lines: young and trendy, classic, luxury, hand-painted and collected. One of the highlights of the designs is a technique which she prefers to keep secret. Patterns, which have been directly cut out of the fabric look like a subtle and delicate fresco.

Farkhonda Mohammed adds, "We are planning to have many functions in the heritage area in the future. Hopefully in March or April, we plan to have a traditional ladies and men's wear fashion show".

The Arabesque fashion show is open to all, and starts at 6pm.

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