Saudi Women Get Designer Abayas From John Galliano, Nina Ricci And More

Despite the fact that French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed a ban on burqas in France last week, saying the body coverings imprison women, Paris held a fashion show showcasing specially made designer abayas, the black overgarments worn by some Muslim women.Dania Tarhini, a general manager of Saks Fifth Avenue in Saudi Arabia, organized the show after realizing that most of the store’s Saudi clients were wearing designer brands, then covering their clothes with a black abaya. Why not wear a designer abaya? John Galliano, Nina Ricci, Blumarine, and Alberta Feretti were among the 21 designers who created black body coverings adorned with sequins, fringe, and more for the show. “It is an obligation to wear the abaya there, but let them feel good about it,” Tarhini told the Telegraph.

The initial batch of made-to-measure abayas, worth from $5,500 to $11,150, will be given as presents to Saks’ most faithful Saudi clients. Ready-to-wear versions will be available at Saks stores in Jeddah and Riyadh in September and retail for $2,500. [Telegraph via The Cut]