OPNO: "I think I would."
R: "Yes, yes she WOULD. She was wandering around all Eid in traditional Omani dress in Abaya Ras and a birqa."
OPNO: "Confusing your cousins and Aunties if I was a cousin that they forgot."
The girls, Muscatis, who are in love with the UK fashion brand, Monsoon, shake their heads at me.
S's mother wears abaya Ras (that means, an abaya that is draped from the head, not the shoulders). The girls beg HER to get into something more stylish and of the moment. The style, while very traditional, unlike the black shoulder abayat which didn't come into force until the 80s, are not considered stylish in Muscat, and are apparently the domain of religious shia women in Mutrah, and grandmothers, who tend to wear bright floral printed laysu underneath of them.
OPNO: "When I wear one, no one EVER thinks that I am a grandmother or old fashioned." In fact, when I thought about it, I recieved a few compliments on my style from a team of harmless Muscat Omani guys the few times I had worn my traditional and Abaya Ras out. I mean, with my face, no one ever mistakes me for being a grandmother. I kind of have the baby thing going on for me in the way of this 20 something pictured below:
...Which, with my luck, will carry on into my late thirties, early forties. But the whiteness might leave people to mistake me for being Iranian, and thus Shia (different religious/political system than my own). Which, I am rather far from. So I wondered if I could start designing overhead abayaat with modern embellishments like the one pictured below. Because honestly, I live in Omani traditional dress, when I am not doing leggings and a tshirt, or dress, soooo.... Does this design look grandmotherly at all? I don't think so. Tradition and culture are cool, my Shatti beach muhajababes. And honest, truly stylish women have never cared to follow trends, if they did, Coco Chanel would never have freed us from the confines of the corset, we'd be wearing curtains as dresses, and we'd be wearing hats that look like gooses on our heads. Just saying...
I know I would have liked to meet her, Mademoiselle Gabrielle. I think that we think the same way about clothes (BTW, I just watched the movie based on her biography starring Audrey Tatou [took a while to get it back into French with English subtitles-in Thai it looses its charm]):
-“Fashion fades, only style remains the same.”
- “Fashion is made to become unfashionable.”
-"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”
- “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
-"Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress.”
-“Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future.”
- “I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”
-“Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.”
-"Elegance is refusal.”
- “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
-“If a man talks bad about all women, it usually means he was burned by one woman”
-“I never wanted to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.”
-"As long as you know men are like children, you know everything!"
-"Jump out the window if you are the object of passion. Flee it if you feel it. Passion goes, boredom remains. "
- “Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”
-"Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion."
-“Great loves too must be endured”
-"There are people who have money and people who are rich.”"
-“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”
- “Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable.”
- “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.”
-"Those who create are rare; those who cannot are numerous. Therefore, the latter are stronger."
-"The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. "
- “How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.”
All quotes by Chanel.