(24 May 2013)
Dubai – 14 March, 2013
1. Model wearing abaya, an over garment worn by some Islamic women, walking down catwalk at Fashion for All Show
2. Audience watching
3. Model in gold dress on catwalk
4. Audience watching
5. Model wearing pink dress and abaya
6. Audience watching
7. Model in black abaya and dress
Dubai – 13 April 13, 2013
8. Various of mannequins at Dubai Bridal Show
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Om Sultan, Emirati designer from Murayer Sher Couture:
"In the past the abaya was just plain and black. But nowadays it is more fashionable, colourful and there's a lot of criteria for the abayas. There's an abaya for the morning, at the work, there's an abaya at the evening, there's abayas for wedding and there's abayas also for travelling. When you travel there's a special abaya for travelling."
10. Cutaway of abayas on clothes rail
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Om Sultan, Emirati designer from Murayer Sher Couture :
"I have customers from overseas, from UK, from Australia who are buying abayas just because they like the shiny decorations – the abaya is like a fashion item and they wear it to go out so I think the abaya is no longer a Middle Eastern dress and has now become fashionable internationally."
12. Women wearing abayas looking at abayas at show
13. Om Sultan showing different abaya designs
Sharjah – 25 April, 2013
14. Tailors working in abaya workshop, pan
15. Various of tailors sewing
16. Various of designer from Al Esma Gown Industry Leena James showing abaya designs
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Leena James, Designer from Al Esma Gown Industry:
"Now all type of colours. It sometimes they follow the fashion colours. You know in summer we use light colours, pastels or something like that. And in winter we use the dark colours, we use some velvet, the winter fabrics. Abayas, it is not like before now it is in fashion. Everything has changed."
18. Various of machine embroidering abayas
19. Various of tailors doing hand embroidery
20. Various of tailor cutting lace
21. Various of men beading
Dubai – 13 April 13, 2013
22. Designer from Bahrain Kubra Al Qaseer putting on abayas for her customers who can't try them on in public
23. Cutaway of dresses
24. Designer Kubra Al Qaseer putting on abayas
25. SOUNDBITE Kubra Al Qaseer (Arabic) Designer from Bahrain :
"Before only old ladies wore abayas. It was black and shapeless but now they are a fashion item and everyone wants to wear them – even young children aspire to wear them."
26. Various of women in abayas at Dubai Bridal Show
27. Close up of abayas
The abaya, once a baggy, black cloak worn by some Islamic women to hide their bodies and clothes, has now become a major fashion item in its own right.
New trends such as shapely designs with splits at the side and decorations have seen the abaya become part of a multi-million dollar fashion industry.
The latest in abaya fashion is on the catwalk at the Fashion for All Show in Dubai.
The abaya is a cloak-like over garment worn by women in some Islamic countries to ensure their modesty.
While it has previously been a simple covering, now it as much a fashion item as the clothes it once attempted to hide.
Women in the UAE, who are required to conceal their body and clothes because of tradition and religion, have made the abaya into a fashionable piece of clothing.
Abaya design and production is now a huge industry.
Emirati abaya designer Om Sultan, from Murayer Sher Couture, says women have different abayas for different occasions.
The UAE is leading the way in abaya fashion.
Sultan says women come from the Middle East and Gulf, and from around the world, to buy them.
Kubra Al Qaseer is a Bahraini designer.
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