Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Talents of Arabia: Liudmila Women's Luxury Footwear

When my friend Najeeba Hayat, told me she had planned to abandon her future in politics, I hugged her really tight and said "thank god, you're too fabulous anyways!"

"So what, what do you see in your future?" I ask, she says...SHOES as she plunges into my pool. 

The next two hours immersed in water under the summer sun we talk shoes, Cineralla's shoes (not the glass slipper), salmon, floral appliques and lavender boots, it all sounded like a dream, and now it is a dream come true.

I'm fiercely proud of her, and incredibly honored to know someone so passionate and hard working.

Liudmila Footwear is entirely made in Italy and will be available in Al Othman next season. Meanwhile you can follow them on instagram @liudmilahq

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


If you have ever wondered what a couture experience feels like, wonder no more as we take you into the fantasy couture world of renowned international couture designer, Ashi.

On a hot summer's day, we were invited to visit the stunning Ashi atelier, and like everything beautiful, rare and exotic the atelier wasn't exactly easy to find. Nestled amongst the beautiful old buildings and ancient trees of Beirut's charming Achrafieh district, you get the feeling you're strolling into a scene from a film noire. Just as we were looking right, left, up and down for a sign to a couture atelier, a man appears on the sidewalk and asks, "are you Dana?" puzzled at this question I hesitate a yes, and the man says “Ashi is waiting for you."

As soon as he leads me into a stunning wrought iron gate entrance he disappears.  I find myself standing in front of a set of antique stained glass French doors, I am about to knock when the doors open and I step into a black and white marbled floor foyer where I am greeted by the lovely Mona, Ashi's head of PR. She is warm and courteous as she leads me into a jaw droppingly, perfectly symmetrical reception room where three fall winter couture dresses are hanging.

I gasp. It's incredible.

Before I sit down, the talented Ashi walks into the reception room smiling, through a set of narrow French doors and we instantly start chatting interiors, couture atelier interiors that is. I tell Ashi how beautiful everything is especially the ceiling, he tells me it has been imported from Venice. Can anything be more overdressed?! I’m in heaven!

Once we get past couture interiors we start chatting couture and royalty. Ashi tells me his new couture collection which came out the day I visited is entitled “The Exiled Queen” depicting a fallen maharani with precious possessions, gowns, jewels and treasures, but no home to her name. She is beautiful and regal yet melancholic and dramatic, exactly the adjectives that would describe the couture collection if you’d seen it without any background about the artist’s inspiration. 

Ashi and I walk over to the three dresses hanging in the reception room and he explains to me the process of beading and embroidery on gazar, a fabric he uses in most of his pieces to maintain sculpture and volume, but he also tells me it is one of the most difficult fabrics to embroider on. Beautiful things don’t come easy. I approach a white jumpsuit piece with green stones, and I turn to Ashi with hearts in my eyes and I say this is incredible (by now I’ve run out of adjectives and synonyms for amazing and beautiful). With a huge smile he tells me, they’re sapphires! I’m literally speechless.

Just then the lovely Mona joins us and Ashi turns to her and says why don’t we dress Dana up in the new collection? They both lead me to the far corner of the reception room where narrow French doors open to a closet full of Ashi couture and I’m handed my first dress to try on, a bustier dress with a large voluminous side worn with a cropped beaded sleeveless top to go over the bustier. The innovative thing is the dress can be attached to your ankle so your couture won’t get in the way of your fun!

Next I put on a white jumpsuit, with an incredibly large tail and cropped sleeves top beaded with green sapphires, I’m really beginning to feel like a maharani by this stage. I then put on what Ashi calls, his favour piece du jour, a red robe embroidered from top to toe. The genius thing about this piece is that although it is beaded and heavy, the weight is distributed so evenly that the robe has just one closure point, at the waist, so that you are hugged by this extravagant piece of art.

Finally, I put on a classic Ashi piece consisting of a short beaded dress and a semi-full skirt over the waist. If putting on a fantasy felt like anything it would feel like putting on this cream perfection.

Time really does fly when you’re having fun, so sooner than I wanted to, I had to put on my civilian clothes and venture out into the non-couture world to think about all the fantasy and drama that I was immersed in. But just as I am about to go Ashi leaves me with another surprise by telling me, that the collection has not yet been revealed to anyone and I had been the first to see it and put it on, an honour I will never get over! Thank you Ashi!

Monday, June 9, 2014

New York's Bochic Fine Jewellery

We had the pleasure of hosting New York fine jewellers Bochic in Bahrain on a beautiful summer day last  Saturday June 7.

The designers behind Bochic, are Miriam Salat and David Aaron Joseph who strive to capture the essence of the Bochic woman in their jewelry creations. Miriam’s background in hand-crafted jewelry, and David’s background in classical European jewelry create the perfect blend of styles that give rise to a look that is unique, yet distinctive and timeless. 

Guests were ushered to a private suite on the 10th floor of the Kempinski Grand Hotel in Bahrain where they entered a living room full of glittering jewels.

Only the finest materials are used by Bochic in making their pieces, the designers hand select the gems that would go on to create their one-of-a-kind pieces. Sapphire slices, mother of pearl, mammoth, shell, jet, lapiz lazuli, emeralds, and brown diamonds were all part of the selection of jewels.

And to such a fine event, what does one wear to even come close to the preciousness of the jewels?! You guessed right, Erdem Spring Summer 2014, a sublime canvas that went with every single piece of Bochic's jewellery, though we were somehow particularly attracted to a pair of round turquoise and diamond earrings and mixed diamond angular bangle to ensure maximum overdressed-ness!

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Kayys

We love the designs of regional talents whom we often feature and support on theoverdressed.com so The Kayys were no exception. The designers behind the brand are a trio of sisters, who design the most amazing feminine clothing (see Confashions whole write up here) and who also take the time to answer your emails and inquiries in the most genuine manner-talk about an all rounder!

A very short while after requesting information of the stunning pieces, and to our utter delight, a The Kayys white box with black satin ribbons arrived at our door step. In it, an all white lace, brocade, and shimmer ensemble...just in time to be worn to a dancing party.

Contact The Kayys via email Thekayys@gmail.com or telephone +974 33436030, or follow them on instagram: @Thekayys.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

TheOverdressedXGemmeCouture Private Sales Event

We had the pleasure of hosting a private sales event for Gemme Couture fine jewellery in Bahrain at the Tea Garden in Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa. For this special event we wore our beloved Jaipur dress from Lulwa Al Amin's spring summer 2014 collection with white patent Sergio Rossi pumps and of course Gemme Couture jewellery.

Ivana Okereke founder and designer of Gemme Couture graduated from Brown University with a BA in art and history, following-on to complete a post-graduate course at the New York Academy of Art. She is a member of the International Gem Society and started designing and creating jewelry in New York City in 2001. Having identified a need in the market for a bespoke, hand-made jewelry offering, she created Gemme Couture in the UAE in 2009.

Gemme Couture is an exclusive jewelry line created from precious and semi-precious stones and fine South Sea and Tahitian pearls, integrated in unexpected settings of gold and leather. The end result is not simply jewelry, but exclusively designed, wearable works of art. 

Drawing on design disciplines from New York and Europe, Gemme Couture combines contemporary style with the flair of the East, its richness of colour and tradition. With the modern, confident, stylish and sensual woman in mind, Gemme Couture create luxurious, yet wearable pieces for all occasions. The outcome is a balance between sophistication and comfort; jewelry that you’ll want to wear all the time because it makes you feel good and personifies your own unique sense of self and style. 

Each piece is made by hand, with the beauty of the range showcased in eclectic color combinations that capture the true essence of the stones and pearls.

Follow @gemmecouture on instagram

Friday, May 16, 2014

Nathalie Trad

Being the sea-loving islanders that we are, we cant resist the beauty of pearls, and all things pearly. So you can just about imagine our delight when these beautiful mother of pearl clutches from the very impressive Nathalie Trad fell into our laps!

The reason we say impressive is this: Beirut-born Trad armed with a BA from Paris’ ESMOD International and a BBA in Design Management from Parsons The New York School for Design has basically taken over the accessory realm. With a clear vision and strong personal design ethos to take classic shapes and radically transform them using particularly attractive materials has made the Nathalie Trad clutch one of the most coveted bags yet! 

Are you still not impressed? 

Trad started her brand in 2013, and has since been picked up by the most avant-garde retailers namely, D'NA and Avenue32.com.

We particularly love the geometric boldness of this lime green Eliferia clutch contrasted sharply with the beautiful mother of pearl accents.

Another favorite is a Trad classic,  the hexagonal Dysdera in carved white mother of pearl, its a real beauty!

Shop Nathalie Trad clutches from dnariyadh.com on FarFetch and Avenue32.com

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Harpers Bazaar Arabia: Chanel in the Orient

As Chanel unveils its Cruise collection in the Middle East for the very first time this May, we are thrilled and honored to be featured in the Chanel story commemorating the Chanel-in-Arabia moment as told by Deena Al Juhani Abdulaziz and published in Harpers Bazaar Arabia May 2014 Edition.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Style.com: An Exclusive First Look at Lulwa Al Amin’s D’NA Collab

We are beyond thrilled to have collaborated with D'NA and Lulwa Al Amin in styling Lulwa's spring summer 2014 capsule collection made exclusively for D'NA featured on Style.com.

Lulwa's spring summer 2014 collection, inspired by her trip to India, is one of the most beautiful, soft, yet powerful collections which she has come out with to date.

Of the collection Deena writes on style.com:

"Among the young designers I’ve been working with for the past few seasons is the talented London-based Lulwa Al Amin. A Central Saint Martins grad, Lulwa divides her time between her London studio and Bahrain, where she produces her line. An accomplished artist and colorist, she set herself apart early on by creating whimsical prints that she cuts into feminine, modern separates and dresses. This season I asked the young Bahraini designer to create a capsule collection exclusively for D’NA, inspired by her trip to India. “I stayed at the Rambagh Palace on my last trip to Jaipur. While there I came across a beautiful portrait in the grand dining room of the Maharani Gayatri Devi, and I was immediately intrigued by this glamorous style icon who seemed to inhabit two worlds—traditional India and cosmopolitan London, where she kept an apartment,” recalled Lulwa of the chic Indian princess who was once featured in Vogue among the “ten most beautiful women in the world.”

Deena, who continuously supports local talent goes on to say:

"Part of the fun of creating a capsule collection for the store is also the opportunity to collaborate with other regional talents to promote the new line to our clients. For the photo shoot, Lulwa worked with young Bahraini photographer and artist Mai Al Moataz, while fellow Bahraini Dana Al Khalifa, the name behind cult fashion blog TheOverdressed.com, served as both model and stylist for the shoot. “I was inspired by a dramatic image of Gayatri Devi, in which she’s framed by her shadow against a plain wall,” noted Lulwa, who picked the magical rooftop Blue Room of her grandmother’s old house for the shoot. Located in Bahrain’s historic town of Muharraq, it served as the perfect backdrop for her creations."

It was a great pleasure working with the D'NA team, Lulwa, one of the kindest and most hardworking people and the insanely talented photographer Mai Moataz.

Follow the link to read the whole story: http://www.style.com/stylemap/2014/04/30/lulwa-al-amin-dna-capsule-collection/

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Natural Island Goodness

We too often say we wish were here or there, anywhere but where we are. Truth be told that where you are is one of the most beautiful and untouched, places in the world.

Case in point, Bahrain, all you have to do is a look a little farther and a little harder to find things that you've never before seen in your life!

Since Bahrain is an island it has many little mounds of land near by which appear and disappear with the tides, we docked ourselves near one of these lands where the water was crystal clear and the sand as white as snow. You cannot help but pinch yourself because it's too beautiful to be true, like images of the Maldives right here at home!

Staying true to our Overdressed island living we wore a dress by Viva Vena, Vena Cava, Eugenia Kim fedora and gold Prada sandals that we did not need!

It was a beautiful day out at sea, a reminder that collectively we need to protect and nurture the enviorment. Do not leave your garbage and non-biodegradable trash behind all you're doing is harming yourself and your future. And may we one day stop dredging and land filling. Amen.

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