May 28, 2007
Sexy Abaya Fashion & Breathless American Journos
While not entirely terrible, the Washington Post arty For Cloaked Saudi Women, Color Is the New Black - indeed in some ways quite an interesting piece on new Abaya fashion - was moderately annoying. I suppose it's from the Saudi-centered vision (of course it is an arty about KSA, but given my experience that much of the non-Islamic world takes KSA as if it were the standard...)
Of course it does raise fond images of sexy Abaya fashion as seen outside KSA. Never mind the baroqueness of Maghrebine Caftans...
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Nah, the author is Saudi and writing (with her typically humanizing insight) from within that context; editorial placement and disclaimers about the atypicality of the place and belief system (KSA) would have been good, however.
Though the "bearded" thing (in passing on the Vice /Virtue police) drives me up the wall. Again with the facial hair. Sheesh.
Posted by: matthew hogan at May 28, 2007 03:33 PM
Well, yes, she's Saudi.
But the approach is so, well, trite, although the arty is interesting as such.
I tire, though, of the KSA centric vision that spreads due to their money.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 28, 2007 06:45 PM
The part in the article that cracked me up was the bit about three young girls with only their eyes showing, but who really made it count, with coloured contact lenses, eye makeup and tight abayas, being followed by a group of lads. Classic.
There was a piece in the Christian Science Monitor about abaya fashions recently too, which mentioned that you can get an abaya with a Rolling Stones logo or even a big green marijuana leaf motif.
Posted by: SP at May 29, 2007 03:22 AM
you can get an abaya with a Rolling Stones logo or even a big green marijuana leaf motif.
Wait until the Chebaya arrives.
Posted by: jr786 at May 29, 2007 09:29 AM
No colour will ever compare to the stretch fishnet abaya I once saw a Saudi girl wearing in Dubai.
Her hijab was a diaphanous strip of black fabric, about two inches wide. She spent all her time trying to "balance" it on the underside of the back of her head.
Posted by: secretdubai at May 30, 2007 11:24 AM
that reminds me of a couple of Houellebecq paragraphs, on the future of the see-through hijab which demonstrates a coy sexuality, a tease really, like showing cleavage.
Hmpf. Lounsbury's just trying to create another google trap like the other "sexy abaya" post.
Posted by: Tom Scudder at May 30, 2007 04:44 PM
SD, I saw lots of fishnet hijabs in Cairo a year or two ago. Usually with a fetching lock or two of obviously dyed blonde-ish hair visible.
And why do all the visiting Gulfies always perch their hijabs on fairly high buns (of the hair variety, of course)?
The latest round of visitors are wearing flouncy calf-length skirts and killer peep-toe pumps with about a five inch heel, along with the caked-on makeup and high perched hijabs. Charming. I wonder if they have any luck with Egyptian men, or if they're even trying.
Posted by: SP at May 31, 2007 04:08 AM
I am deeply interested in the sociological aspects of new Abaya culture.
Why I just bought my woman a USD 300 one, silk and all that. She's going to have it modified to appeal to my fetish tastes.
However, in truth I find these articles annoying as in the West you get this bizarre sensation in reading such things that every woman in the MENA region is wearing a burqa. And indeed when I have say American financiers out and about with me, they're always stunned at how "normal" most of the region looks.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 31, 2007 06:00 AM
"However, in truth I find these articles annoying as in the West you get this bizarre sensation in reading such things that every woman in the MENA region is wearing a burqa. And indeed when I have say American financiers out and about with me, they're always stunned at how "normal" most of the region looks."
I agree the problem with the article was it did not emphasize the somewhat unique ways of living on the Asian continent's geographic testicle. Still, it showed the normality lurking within that oddity.
Alas, the overall normality of things just isn't interesting. The fetish of the exotic, plus the need to feel superior, makes better reading copy. "Moroccan women prefer pleated skirts in the off season this year" just doesn't grab people like "Saudi women now flash their upper wrists while imprisoned in their burkas".
Posted by: matthew hogan at May 31, 2007 07:57 AM
My Dear Awful Pun-Dit
I agree.... but I am frustrated.
Well, partially, as I do have an Abaya fetish. The slinky kind of course, not the Ninja costumes.
But I remain irritated.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 31, 2007 05:22 PM