“Never underestimate the power of a good belt.”

I’ve seldom come across a belted look that doesn’t come across as chic. Belts just complete an ensemble in a very subtle yet effective way, which makes for particular sartorial interest-something we all aim for. Lately I’ve really been into super-slim belts, I’m not sure whether it’s because it makes me feel a little taller, or slimmer, or maybe even both, but they look so elegant and tie (no pun intended) my entire look together just the way I want it to. I snapped up this set of three belts from Forever New recently on a recent trip to Jo’burg, and I am in love with them all! What makes these ones stand out is that the colours are so versatile. I KNOW I’m going to get fashion miles out of them because the neutral colours they’re in are perfect for the colour trends available right now, and I have a feeling they’re going to follow through for years to come. Black (obviously), white, and rose gold-three of my absolute favourite colours, with a beautifully embossed design, and excellent quality gold hardware make them a winner for me. I already have several outfits in mind for these babies! How would you wear them?


Post-Eid: A Quiet Celebration

Eid Mubaarak!

I know I’m quite late for this, but with blogging there never is enough time, and posts just kept getting deferred. In my defense, however, it was a very busy, difficult time for me to squeeze in any hobbies, what with studying and exams. And then, after a truly amazing Ramadhaan, and an equally beautiful Eid, I just needed a break and to get away from it all for a short time. So I packed my bags (with the singular intention of ‘comfort over style’) and headed on over to my parents’ place for some much-required R&R. (Where better?) The plan was to do absolutely nothing, except to catch up on some series that I’d missed, as well as to just enjoy my children, something that I’d sorely missed during those intense preceding weeks. The worst feeling had to be sending my baby away to his dad or minder whenever he walked in for a cuddle, when I was busy working. It was heartbreaking. So I made the most of my time by giving him all the cuddles in the world, enjoying important milestones (he’s just learnt how to walk) and having regular chats with my (slightly) older boys over cups and cups of tea and hot chocolate. Aside from the fact that my better half could not be there to spend that time with us, it was pure bliss not having anything expected of me, no deadlines to meet, and no early morning school rush. Late mornings and early nights abounded, and there was just a feeling of calm and tranquility. And now…I’m back home and truthfully, I’m feeling a little nostalgic for it all. But back to reality we must all go…although that post-Ramadhaan lethargy (you all know what I’m talking about!) is setting in way too quickly for my liking.

Fashionwise, for Eid this year, there was no specific abaya trend that really stood out for me. Rather there seemed to be a broad mix of textures and patterns that brought about a sense of ‘anything goes’, which made for the most riveting viewing. Linens, velvets, pleats, prints, belted or open, the options were endless, and as a result, I took on the challenge of creating a piece unique enough to stand out, while subtle enough to be exude a ‘quiet elegance’. The result? A fully reversible sleeveless coat that is inspired by the coat abaya/kimono:

I will feature this very special piece in a detailed post soon, so keep a look-out for it. For now though, I’m going to call it a night!
Love, A’irah


The Ramadhaan Thoub | Caftan

I cannot believe how quickly Ramadhaan has passed by. It seems like just a few days ago that we were preparing for this month, both physically as well as psychologically, and yet here we are, with barely a week to spare before Eid. I had planned to write and publish this post a while back, but spare time in Ramadhaan, as I know you are all aware, is at a premium.

During Ramadhaan tradition has it that we are invited to have iftar with family and friends, and I often find myself in a dilemma of what to wear. Of course, I could just slip on an abaya, but since I like to savour the specialness of a beautiful black abaya on Eid, I like to dress a little more casually, without taking away from the occasion of dressing up to go out. Enter the Ramadhaan thoub, or caftan. There are many options available in the Middle East, but not very much here in a South Africa, unfortunately. I wonder if it is the level of intricacy of the work on the caftans, or the sheer lack of demand for the garments that renders them so scarce here, but I feel like there could definitely be a market for them, should the right styles and designs come our way.

I’ve put together a few looks that I’ve been collecting for some time, which I think work perfectly for this month, in keeping with an Islamic heritage and lifestyle, with a modern twist. I would love to know what you think of these:

I hope you’re having a truly blessed Ramadhaan so far, and will catch up with you soon, in sha Allah!
Love, A’irah


Aswad & The Abaya

The abaya holds a special place for me. I could wax lyrical about how it is an expression of my faith, or that it is a symbol of modesty, etc etc. While it is all true, they are not the reasons. I just find it beautiful. I didn’t always feel this way though. I was the type of person who waited for Eid, and then would buy something exclusive, so by deduction, I had about two new abayas a year, which I would wear during the year as well. There were the exceptions, of course, such as a special occasion, or when I travelled abroad to the Middle East, where I treated myself to a few special pieces. Fast-forward to present day, and my abaya collection has steadily grown to one I am pleased to call my own, Alhamdulillah.

I think a black abaya is the most elegant piece of clothing a woman can wear. If you don’t believe me, take a look at Italian haute couturier duo Dolce & Gabbana’s special Ramadan/Eid designs, as an example. While it never needed anyone’s endorsement anyway, it just proved to the world that the abaya is one piece of clothing that is a force on its own to be reckoned with, and it is here to stay.

My own design showcase, Aswad by ADH is my own take on this piece- a celebration of the abaya. Here we allow the world to see the side to women that is so often forgotten-her mind. In sha Allah the collection will be out soon. Stay in touch with me on social media to be in the know!

For now, Ramadhaan Kareem to you all. Have a wonderful, blessed month.