It’s that time of year — when the region gets ready for the season and celebration of Ramadan. Many revere religion in the forefront, but also reflect on the importance of relationships with family and friends while wishing them blessings of a beautiful year to come. With the spirit of fellowship, friendship as well as female empowerment in mind, here are a few local brands I found that not only speak to the beauty of the culture but also grabbed my attention as the perfect gift selections this coming holiday season.
But first, what does gift-giving in Ramadan and on Eid symbolise? To honour the patience of fasting, special gifts are given to loved ones. It also lets those you love know you have been thinking of them and want to wish them wonderful blessings in the future.
Now, let’s get to the goods of the gifts.
Jewellery That Fits
When in doubt about what to gift, I often suggest to go with accessories or jewellery as more times than not, it will fit. My first pick is from a Lebanese couple-turned-designer tag team of the brand Trendy Outfit. Lightweight, luxe, and mostly 18K gold-plated, each piece has a unique personality of its own, making it the perfect individualised gift for someone who wants to give with intention.
What truly caught my eye was their attention of details with pieces that represent cultural authenticity, like their Arabic lettering collection. I immediately took notice of their circular Arabic alphabet rings. They are chic but, more importantly, culturally sound. Additionally, they are also adjustable, making them easy to fit anyone. Check them out as well as other ring styles from Trendy Outfit on Instagram.
A Gem of a Gift
Statement necklaces are always nice as they can be worn either casually or formally. This first piece (also from Trendy Outfit) is a gorgeous green stone necklace with subtle soft multicoloured beading, and was striking amongst the sea of gold. They also offer coordinating sets with matching earrings and a bangle.
The Girl With the Gold Earring
Their offering of gorgeous earrings was far from understated. Not only were they a variety of shapes and styles but they were also crafted from incredibly lightweight materials and like the necklaces- make a statement all on their own. What makes them even more special is that they are handmade, which means that each stone is different. From a leaf motif to pairs that are bit more simplistic in style- here are my top earring picks that would make a great gift.
I am a huge fan of hoops and cannot begin to tell you how many pairs of hoops I own, from simple to beaded to bejewelled and every style and size in between. Hoops just have a certain level of style that can stand up and alone with any silhouette, and because they can be paired with so much they make the ideal gift. I was so excited to not only see Trendy Outfit’s selection of hoops but to grab a pair of my own that were lightweight and in the aforementioned leaf motif. They too come with a coordinating bracelet and ring.
Trendy Outfit, online, pop up at Umm Al Emarat Park, Abu Dhabi on weekends, and Lebanon Pavilion, Shop 19, Global Village, Dubai. @trendy_outfit.ae, +971 50 873 8582. Prices range from AED 200 to AED 550 depending on style.
Traditional style that speaks to both culture and class is always on a gift list. These brands are female-led and offer abayas as well as alternative modern modest styles that are not only versatile, but very Ramadan ready.
When selecting a gift that is clothing-oriented, consider the favourite colors, preferred cut, and personality of the recipient. This makes the present extra special knowing that you truly thought about their taste and preference.
Give the Gift of Style
While perusing the most recent edition of Market Outside the Box (MOTB) in Dubai, I came across a brand filled with interesting pieces that were made from gorgeous, detailed fabrics, but also had a personality of their own. Created six years ago out of a necessity for something new and fresh to the market, Tresto 2 makes pieces that adhere to age, shape, and season. However, their customer’s happiness about how they look is most important. They believe that modesty gives women the elegance and feeling of regality they look for during Ramadan season.
With a variety of dresses, coordinated pieces, abayas, and passionate designer Sally (who I am confident can assist in locating the perfect gift) you’re in great hands with Tresto2. Now, for a few of my favourite pieces.
Tresto2, regional pop ups/exhibitions1 and online. @tresto2, +971 50 539 2871. Prices range from AED 300-800 depending on style and details.
In a recent visit to the local Abu Dhabi exhibition, La Diva, I met with the lead designer of Aalya Abaya. What I appreciated most was the versatility of her pieces, specifically the reversible abaya style. It can be customised from a vast selection of any two colours you’d like. This is where true personalisation comes in, which is perfect for gift giving. Imagine presenting your loved one with a custom abaya made of their two favourite colors.
Aalya Abaya, by appointment only in Abu Dhabi. @aalya_abaya, +971 503 357 487.
At the La Diva exhibition, I also met with Fatima, the lead designer of the Casual.UAE. What really caught my eye was that her brand had the most wearable and carefully curated collections I saw that evening. Each piece represented the brand’s name — casual — but in a polished and clean way. I was thoroughly impressed with several silhouettes and couldn’t help but to grab a jungle green coordinating set for an upcoming desert glamping trip with some local friends turned family. The set was a drawstring hooded, medium-weight floor length silhouette with a matching abaya for layering warmth and to keep me stylishly in alignment with cultural customs.
She also has lightweight linen co-ord sets available in an array of colours. This is a definite great gift for that person who appreciates being a bit more subtle in their attire. What makes the Casual.UAE brand even cooler is that she has kept the men in mind as well. Check out this luxe suedette layering piece on Instagram and you can even personalise it as well.
Casual.UAE, Dibba, Fujairah, ships region-wide. @casual.uae, +971 563 087 017. Prices range from AED 150 and up.
Whether you opt to give pieces of jewellery, style, or even more importantly, your time to others this upcoming Ramadan and Eid season, it is my hope that you will receive the greatest gift of all and that is inner peace. Wishing a blessed and restful Ramadan and an enjoyable Eid to everyone celebrating here in the region and all over the world.
Dominique Devereaux is a UAE-based designer, stylist, and head of House of Devereaux, which specialises in custom-made power suiting and separates, and offers a range of services from custom design to closet re-organisation, personal/virtual styling, and professional brand development. Follow @houseofdevereaux on Instagram.