Nogomi Fashion #9: Kaftans, Crop tops and punk

What’s happening: Ramadan! In the spirit of the holy month I have divided our Fashionistas into two categories: those that adhere to traditional wear (abayas, kaftans) and those who wear modern looks. In a play on the idea that Muslim women must be “modest,” I will be judging the ladies in the latter category based on their level of modesty or “demureness.” I do this tongue-in-cheek, because I do not adhere to the belief that women must be covered up to be good and modest; it is one’s actions and thoughts that count. Also note that many of the lovely ladies featured here (especially the Lebanese) are not Muslim but Christian.

Fashionista of the Week: Dunia Batma, our first two-time Fashion Champion! Dunia is the absolute Queen of the Kaftans, hands down.

Al-Moda: kaftans, crop tops and punk

 Traditional Wear

Singer Dunia Batma in Morocco

 A mermaid in a kaftan. From that fully-beaded bodice to the sheer patterned sleeves and the seafoam color, this is fit for a Mermaid who traded the sea for the desert and Islam. Whoever styles Dunia must have buttered up all the Moroccan kaftan designers, because this is PERFECTION.

Actress Dorra Zarrouk on set in Beirut, Lebanon

 Modern drama! Dorra is working the sh!t out of this stunning kaftan; those sleeves bring a faery vibe to the look without making it seem costumey.

Singer Shatha Hassoun in Casablanca, Morocco A strange sort of abaya-kaftan hybrid, but I approve. However, Shatha is way too cool to wear such pedestrian heels!

Model Rafeea Al Hajsi Rafeea is glowing as brightly as the fanoos  she’s standing next to. This is beautiful.

TV Personality Dima Sadek 

 The Rami Kadi effect turns women into faeries (see: Myriam Fares). In Dima’s case, it has turned her into a sort of dark faerie djinn.

TV Personality Rahaf Al Tawil (right) and Layla Abdallah At Rotana’s Sohour in Dubai, UAE

This is refreshing: an embroidered kaftan without ten tons of sequins, jewels and sparkles. Rahaf’s friend, however, kind of looks like she’s in her bathrobe.

Designer Lolo Al Aslawi

  Lolo looks like she spends her time taking care of canaries and blue birds in a castle somewhere. The unique cape and headpiece make this kaftn stand out.

Actress Amal Al awadhi 

Headpieces and wide sleeves are apparently growing popular; In this gloriously medieval abaya, Amal looks like she is Lolo’s lady-in-waiting feeding the birds in some castle somewhere.

TV Presenter Laila Al Meqbali

 Peony pink is kind of cheesy, but Ana baheb the matching scarf and Laila’s henna.

Singer Dominique Hourani in Dubai, UAE Dominique’s glamorously modern abaya perfectly matches this sohour tent. She looks statuesque and elegant.

Singer Wiam Dahman in Dubai, UAE

Between   the tassles on her waist and earrings she could be wearing curtains, but even so, then Wiam is wearing the prettiest curtains ever. Love the cropped sleeves.

Shatha Hassoun in MoroccoAnother great modern take on  the abaya; this is a highly unique look, and Here Shatha chose appropriately awesome shoes.

Singer Houda Saad   Kind of standard kaftan fare, but Houda looks beautiful regardless. The peachy coral skirt paired with the white bodice is very pretty.

Fashion entrepreneur Dana Wolley 


Shatha Hassoun in Morocco

 Shatha may have been Best-dressed at the Murex D’or for her stunningly classical kaftan, but shr apparently rocks modern takes on kaftans and abayas quite well. This is a great look for the Muslimah who wants to be able to move but still pay respects to tradition.

Singer Dominique Hourani in Dubai

  Dominique takes another shot at the modern abaya, with less success; I’m not sure I like these colors, and while I give her props for the turban I’m not sure it flatters her.

Singers Balqees Fathi and Shayma Hilali at the Rotana Sohour in Dubai, UAE  The Gulf songstress rocks the regions abaya, shunning the traditional black for women and copping the men’s white, topping it off with a quirky pearl necklace. The Maghrebian singer rock’s her region’s traditional kaftan, choosing black over the traditional colors. Rebels, rebels.

Actress Karima Gouit in marrakech, Morocco

Karima could have picked this up at the same stall in Marrakech as I picked up my own kaftan. It’s a little cheap, but I like how she accessorized with the loafers.

  Dominique Hourani in Dubai, UAE

  Part of me thinks this is cool, but in general I think these types of prints work better on bags or accessories, not on a kaftan. The overall kaftan looks wonky, and Dominique’s eye makeup is not helping.

Singer Layla Iskandar at the Rotana Sohour in Dubai

 What Barbie would wear for sohour. Sorry, Layla, hot pink satin is rarely a good idea.

Singer Mai Kassab in Egypt

 This is just kind of cheap and tacky looking, like Mai picked it up in one of thise cheesy stores in Downtown Cairo.

 Morality Police are Watching You!

Model Myriam Klink at a radio statin in Lebanon    Ms. Klink is perhaps the least demure Arab celebrity I follow, both in her looks and actions, but she is truly an entertainer. She wears her heart on her sleeve, er, pants: Myriam is an ardent animal lover, as Am I, and Ana baheb those rooster print jeans.

 Socialite Zooz Karazon in Amman, JordanIs Diana Karazon’s manager trying to hint that she wants someone to buy her an old house for her birthday?  I like the dress despite the odd print, and it’s pretty demure for Versace, but I think her eye makeup is a bit too Versace.

Queen Rania in Amman, Jordan

 Perfectly demure for a Queen, but pretty enough to keep the fashion crowd interested. HRH has got a perfect tan and perfect hair-as always-and those lilac pumps are royally lovely.

Fashion guru Hadia Ghaleb

Alas, Hadia is not a queen, but she is a royal on the Egyptian fashion scene!  This dress could have SCREAMED prom (and is that tulle skirt a fifferent color??) but like a true pro Hadia chose punk accessories that made it anything but high-school and demure.

Singer Haifa Wehbe in Egypt Speaking about punking things up! Haifa took her demure red dress for a 180, swapping in modern chunky rings, a thick-banded watch and the most delicious palm-tree encrusted purse ever. Yella Queen Haifa!

Hadia Ghaleb in Egypt

Disco with a little bit of punk? Ana baheb the slouchy sequined pants (always wanted a pair) and the pumps. It may cover her, but there’s nothing demure about this.

Reality TV star Farah Abdel Aziz in Lebanon

Probably the most demure outfit Fafi’s worn, but I don’t think she’s Muslim so no biggie. It’s a cool jumpsuit without screaming JUMPSUIT, and the accessories, although somewhat clashing with each other, manage to work.

Fashionista Douja Hijazi  when your eyes match the lavender flowers on your dress, it’s love. Her dress may read demure ladies-who-lunch but Douja’s face, as always, says a different story.

reality tv stars Alice, Nadine and Farah Abdelaziz in Lebanon

  HOLY TAN. This is the tan I wish I sported every day of my life. The Sisters AbdelAziz-demure level non-existant-are not, however, making me jealous exactly of their outfits. Theirheels  are beyond tacky, Alice looks like she was insecure about not showing skin so she ripped her shirt in half; and Farah’s dress is just….oof.

Dancer Dalida Khalil in Lebanon   Dalida looks like the Tween-girl version if Douja’s dress: it’s demure in everyway, except for those clodhoppers on her feet which need to lose the dark heels, because it looks like her feet are floating.

Nadine Abdelaziz in Lebanon

 Wide pants and a crop too can be difficult to pull off without looking like one is swimming in material, but Nadine pulls it off. Demure level raised thanks to the grandmotherly clutch.

Designer Noor aboulela in Lebanon

Noor can always be counted in to bring the glam kitsch, matched to perfection. That cowboy hat, however, does NOT get my bossa (kiss) of approval. Absolutely not.

 Presenter Joelle Mardinian in Monaco

Joelle matches her hair to her purse, and her sandals to her tan so that it looks like she’s barefoot. Like the Princess Grace-demure dress, though.

Actress Daniella Rahme attending the Philippe Plein Fashion show in Milan, Italy Daniella ditched the demure for plenty of punk: it’s a pretty sick outfit but I would have worn pants ormaybe shorts   instead of a skirt.

 Singer Maya Nehme and PR maven Jad Mawass at a charity event in Lebanon  Maya shows us all how to dress stylishly and sexy while being mostly covered up. It’s not demure, it’s the perfect example of modesty, no hijab required.

Singer Amar

  Amar has an addiction to Moschino, which is not the best of addictions since their clothes tend to take ideas and themes to the extreme, hence hardly demure. She kind of looks cool-it’s Amar, after all-but the jersey paired with the cutoffs looks trashy.

Singer Layal Abboud in Macau

 More punk! I have to give props to Layal for creativity, but these pants are the anti-thesis of demure: they are brashly hideous. And I hope the only reason she’s carrying that huge black bag is because she’s going on a shopping spree, because it’s pretty hideous.

Singer Nawal El Zoghbi in Beirut, Lebanon Part of being demure and modest is one’s actions: posting selfies on Instagram isn’t exactly modest, nor is it a good idea when you’re bumming around the house. I don’t know which is worse: the shapeless tunic or those atrocious Dior sneakers which have been everywhere. I think Nawal’s dogs are the real stars of this photo; they’re adorable!


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