Exclusive: Endemage designer Lubna Al Zakwani on the brand's Ramadan collection
Celebrating the Holy Month
Known for their striking silhouettes that expertly blend traditional elements with contemporary design techniques, Endemage designers Lubna and Nadia Al Zakwani are favourites for the region's style set.
To celebrate the upcoming Holy Month, the Omani design duo has created a Ramadan collection. We exclusively caught up with Lubna to get the lowdown on the inspirations behind the collection...
Why is it important for you to design a Ramadan collection?
Ramadan is a very busy month when it comes to gathering and hosting or being invited to Iftar and Suhour. Obviously, this requires having appropriate outfits — something that's comfortable and modest yet stylish.
It's also a month of traditions and culture; it's probably the only month you can leave the house wearing tons of gold jewellery and a heavy beaded kaftan and not be overdressed!
Tell us a little about the inspiration behind this collection...
This year we drew inspiration from India and it's close connections to Oman: the spice Route as we call it.
We designed one of our embroideries to closely match those of the traditional henna designs, another very popular tradition in Ramadan. We used pastel colours in very thin fabrics so it's not too heavy for the summer.
What materials have been used to create the pieces?
Chiffon, crepe and silk but of course with our intricate and feminine embroidery.
Which is the hero piece of the collection?
The Embroidered Gown with the attached shawl is a popular one for our local and regional clients. It's something that can not only be worn to a fancy gathering but can also be carried forward and worn for a Henna party or a more traditional wedding party.
How does the design process for this Ramadan collection differ to your usual collections?
For Ramadan, we always try to keep our silhouettes simpler and embroidery lighter.
Who is the Endemage woman these pieces are created for?
The beauty of this collection is that it has pieces created for every age, from teenagers to more mature women.
The pieces beautifully balance the essence of heritage with the modern day through the silhouettes and detailing — why is this balance important to you as designers?
Well, that's exactly what Endemage means! It is part of our identity and this will always be a very big part of who we are as designers. Keeping that balance is a big part of the brand because we get to show off our beautiful heritage without limiting our clients
A few other designers we've spoken to lately have spoken about how the designs in their Ramadan collections are able to translate to an international clientele as well — is this something that was a focus for you in this collection also? Or was it simply about designing beautiful, Holy Month-appropriate pieces for the local consumer?
We've noticed that even our non-Arab customers are always looking for modest pieces to wear during Ramadan and while keeping our designs simple with embroidery we also create easy cuts that can be worn by any woman and it doesn't necessarily have to be worn only during Ramadan.
What is new (silhouettes, materials, details, techniques) in this collection?
This collection has a few heavy pieces that we've created as we noticed that customers were looking for something new.
How does your own approach to dressing change during the Holy Mont if at all?
My style automatically becomes more traditional. I bring out my kaftans and traditional gold and silver jewellery pieces that I wouldn't usually wear. My makeup also changes, I go heavier on the eyes but lighter on the skin and lips. Also, my hair is styled mostly in braids and other fun hairstyles rather than just down.
Discover the collection below...