x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

World's most expensive abaya to make Dh65m appearance in Dubai

Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane looks at what gives the couturier Debbie Wingham's creation, which will be on display at Raffles Hotel in Dubai, it's staggering value. A Dh65million abaya will be unveiled in Dubai

A diamond studded abaya will be on display at Raffles hotel in Dubai. Courtesy Debbie Wingham
A diamond studded abaya will be on display at Raffles hotel in Dubai. Courtesy Debbie Wingham

What’s being touted as the world’s most valuable abaya will be displayed in Dubai tomorrow at Raffles Hotel, adjoining Wafi Mall. Worth an estimated Dh65.1 million, the bespoke piece features a rare red diamond as its centrepiece, with only one in every hundred million of the precious stones having a naturally rouged hue. The abaya will also be adorned with black and clear diamonds, hand-stitched into place with 14-carat white gold thread. The garment is the creation of the British-born designer Debbie Wingham, who has dressed the likes of Kate Winslet, Hilary Swank and Dita Von Teese for the red carpet.


This isn’t the first time the couturier has dabbled with diamonds. Last year she debuted what is reported to be the world’s most expensive black diamond dress, valued at £3.5 million (Dh19.4m). It boasted 25, two-carat, flawless black diamonds on the peplum, 25 more framing the shoulders and five resplendent stones on the bustier, not to mention the 1,500 white, pointer diamonds woven into the skirt of the gown.


Its year-long tour of London, Monte Carlo, Ukraine, Russia, Dubai and Switzerland looks set to be replicated by its show-stopping red cousin this month.


A frequent visitor to these shores, rumour has it that Wingham plans to make Dubai her second home in the foreseeable future. Her latest creation, which can be viewed until Monday, also inspired her to create an entire collection of contemporary abayas, which will be available in the region soon.

rduane@thenational.ae

To book your private viewing of the new range and Wingham's red diamond abaya in Raffles' penthouse suite, email consultation@debbiewingham.com or visit www.raffles.com. You can check out Wingham's bespoke diamond crafted denim range online at www.debbiewingham.com

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