Ramadan is a sacred and festive month filled with acts of worship, reflection, giving back to the community, and spending quality time with family at lavish occasions. To kick off the anticipated four-week period, Style.com/Arabia’s Nouriah Al Shatti caught up with Sheikha Raya Al Khalifa to learn how she prepares for the Holy Month.
Having grown up between England and the United States, Bahraini-born royal, Qatar-based entrepreneur, tastemaker, and founder of Wajood consultancy, Sheikha Raya Al Khalifa is known for her elegant yet effortless sense of style. The mother-of-two who has a habit of dressing her sons in matching outfits, is also an avid curator of vintage jewelry. Here, she reveals her favorite international and regional brands, covetable jewelry labels, and how she adds a personal touch to her Ramadan wardrobe.
On Curating a Ramadan Wardrobe
I really like to make the most of what I invest in—regardless of the occasion. Because of this, I like to have kaftans and flowy dresses that can also work during my travels; whether on the Mediterranean, Palm Beach, or right here in the Gulf.
Over the years, I have gathered a collection of favorite [kaftans] that I always bring back out. They range from Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa, Roberto Cavalli, and Emilio Pucci, to Vita Kin folk [inspired] dresses.
On Where to Shop for Kaftans
It seems like all the big online shopping sites have Ramadan edits. I’m always a fan of fashion doing cross-cultural relations. More than commerce, I’m seeing a real nurturing and understanding for this beautiful month and what it represents with retailers taking the time to curate edits, and websites like Moda Operandi are offering a platform for local designers, which is wonderful. I also get kaftans from high-street shops like H&M. Their trends section is so on point and [they use] sustainable fabrics that are comfortable.
On Coveting Regional Brands
I’m a fan of so many regional brands. Hamsa Kuwait is a brand I follow on Instagram and it has lovely pieces. I also love 1309 and 1981 Boutique—a new brand I’m really obsessed with. I can’t wait to get a piece from the debut collection, Arabology. As the name indicates, it’s whimsical, free flowing, and modest. Just simple elegance.
On a Favorite Standout Piece
My newest piece is by 1981 Boutique, which I got from Doha’s The Closet. It’s light, carefree, and off the shoulder. I’ll pair it with a simple Dallah (brass coffee pot) necklace elegantly hung on a long red string that I got from the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar.
On Finishing Touches
A brand favorite from Kuwait by the name of Ecru has these lovely long, beaded necklaces with simple brass eyes and palm trees adorned with a single pink pompom. I managed to get one, but I really want a few more as I find them so chic and perfect for Ramadan. They also make lovely pins with Arabic letters and charms like evil eyes, which I throw on every outfit.
On Adding a Personal Twist
I love embellishing my own kaftans. It’s fun, festive, and unique. I usually get my trimmings from the States but one can easily find them on Amazon.
Homepage image: rayaalkhalifa / Instagram