Dubai-based Saudi designer Effa Al Dabbagh was named Best Abaya Designer at The Middle East Fashion Awards in April. Antonie Robertson / The National
Dubai-based Saudi designer Effa Al Dabbagh was named Best Abaya Designer at The Middle East Fashion Awards in April. Antonie Robertson / The National

Saudi designer Effa Al Dabbagh’s National Day collection pays tribute to the UAE’s pearling tradition



Dubai-based Saudi designer Effa Al Dabbagh was named Best Abaya Designer at The Middle East Fashion Awards in April. She studied fashion design in the United Kingdom and has worked with leading brands, including Christian Lacroix and Lanvin.

She tells us what National Day means to her, and talks about her new collection of signature abayas that commemorate the anniversary.

The collection

“For this National Day, I wanted to create pieces that reflected national pride in the UAE and that are elegant and on-trend. Both the abaya and cape dress draw from the Emirati heritage of pearls and pearl diving. On each piece, embroidered coins of metallic gold and silver decorate the bodice with the words ‘Emarat’ and ‘my heart’ in Arabic calligraphy.”

Family celebration

“To mark UAE National Day, we usually go out as a family for lunch, and then sometimes in the evening we take a walk along Jumeirah Beach Road to watch the parades.”

Dressed for the occasion

“Even though I’m a Saudi national, I feel an enormous amount of national pride for the UAE and I love to support it by wearing an abaya from my National Day collection. As pearls are the theme this year, I will accessorise with some classic pearl jewellery and red lipstick.”

Dream commission

“I would create an elegant and refined abaya for Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi – she is such a role model for women in the Middle East. I would dress her in something that is modern, yet classic enough for someone of her status and position.”

Expat accessories

“For those that don’t want to wear a full look, we have National Day corsages, bracelets and badges. I think the most important thing is to experience and celebrate Emirati culture.”

• Prices upon application. For more information, visit Effa Fashion at Palm Strip Mall in Dubai or go to www.effa.ae

rduane@thenational.ae

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