From colourful kaftans to Grecian dresses, a guide to what you should be wearing for the holy month
Ramadan 2018: 10 modest fashion forward collections
With Ramadan nearly upon us again, the times call for modest, practical attire that will easily carry you from office to iftar. Here we look through some of the UAE’s best Ramadan collections.
Homegrown label SemSem brings us a palette of lush reds and burnished golds. Made into sweeping Grecian tunics, pleated maxi-dresses and one impeccable floor-length trench coat, the red bristles with attitude. Even when transformed into a luxe floral brocade, red still retains its dramatic appeal, especially when shaped into an asymmetric frilled top. Fluid metallics, meanwhile, shimmer as long-sleeved tops and a cascading, tiered, pleated skirt, while a single jolt of black comes in the form of a ruffled high/low top that drops to the floor.
Dima Ayad draws on precious metals for a collection that is as much about texture as silhouette. The line moves from a crackled silver trim on a midnight blue dress to a shimmering 1960s-inspired trellis-patterned kaftan, but the standout pieces are pleated, belted coats with tiered sleeves.
Endemage has brought out an impressive 22 new designs for Ramadan that range from simple embroidered kaftans to a caped gown. With a muted palette moving through shades of taupe, buttermilk, blush pink and olive green, these are elegant, discreet pieces. Touches of the 1930s are seen in waisted gowns with cuffs held with tiny, covered buttons, as well as a belted kaftan in the palest pistachio, with a geometric hem and sleeves that fall away from the waist in perfect, folding pleats.
True to form, Sauce offers a vibrant collection of bold, colourful pieces. Simply cut kaftans are emblazoned with birds that cover the torso, while others are enlivened by palm trees picked out in sequins. Naive, peasant-style embroidery is offered in countless iterations – as simple, belted dresses covered in contrasting blue and red flowers, to bell-sleeved gowns with stitched foliage across the chest. Blue on white pinstripes are treated to the stylised embroidered flowers more commonly seen on Uzbek suzani textile, while embroidery is mixed with lace to add edge to an otherwise simple black dress. A startlingly pure white lace dress is scattered with colourful pansy and frangipani blooms, echoing handworked tablecloths of the 1920s.
Kaleidoscope by Mimi
A name that has remained under the radar, Kaleidoscope by Mimi excels at mixing fabrics and patterns. Its Ramadan collection is a shimmering mix of metallics, seen as stars and blousy florals. One standout piece has art-deco-esque chevrons with flowers, all held together by grown-up gold on black.
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Marks & Spencer
Perhaps the most unexpected offering comes from Marks & Spencer – a label not generally viewed as being at the cutting edge of fashion. It has put together a simple and highly wearable edit of floaty kimonos (an ideal way to go from day to night) in batik-style indigo and vaguely Japanese magnolia flowers on pink. Skirts are simple, bias-cut and long, and shirtdresses offer a belted pop of pattern or stripes. With a real grasp of what the regional customer is really looking for, it also has lightweight, long-sleeved polo necks and leggings – both absolute essentials for making any item Ramadan-ready. It even offers this season’s must-have: turbans, in soft, muted colours.
Farther afield, overseas designers are waking up to the retail opportunities that occur at this time of year, including high-street store Ted Baker, which is offering a compact but surprisingly complete collection that includes a belted sheath dress with beading trickling down to the waist, and waterfall-cut kaftans covered in photorealistic gilt picture frames.
Ingie Paris, by contrast, has decided to add some Parisian flair to its Ramadan collection, creating full-length gowns in woven lamé and rich damasse fabrics. The wide-cut necklines feel new, and range from a sweetheart to an elegant boat cut, adding to the feeling of silver-starlet glamour.
CH Carolina Herrera
CH Carolina Herrera has brought out a limited-edition collection for Ramadan, fittingly based around the colours of the UAE flag. Fluid, bias-cut dresses come in shades of red, green and black, alongside a complementary jewellery line.
Miu Miu has created a line of special-edition accessories, including a selection of mules and slides, all encrusted with crystals and sequins. Kitten-heeled slip-ons arrive encrusted with glitter and attitude, while gleaming gold snakeskin mules are sure to sell out fast. Elsewhere, golden sequins sit layered like fish scales on pretty, low-heeled slides. High heels, too, are heavily embellished, all sporting the same square heel point, and silver sandals are encrusted with glitter.