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Amalie Beljafla, an aspiring young UAE artist, is known for her whimsical large format paintings where dreams are woven with reality using symbolisms from nature and traditional UAE culture.
This example, created among a handful of others by a group of UAE female artists and donated to the Zay initiative, during an afternoon spent together to celebrate UAE women empowerment at the home of the Zay Initiative’s founder in 2018.
The artists worked together during a four-hour session, each creating her individual artwork on silk. The fabrics were then collected and a combination (Thawb) and (Kandurah) gown (Thawb_kandurah) was designed from each artwork to be preserved in the artist’s name within the Zay collection.
The artist chose to paint (Rasm) a typical traditional sailing vessel dhow surrounded by butterflies.
The white silk fabric was then transformed by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli into the inner tunic dress (Kandurah).
Silk tulle (Tur) in graduating shades of blue was used to create the upper overgarment (Thawb). The traditional UAE neckline shape (Bidhah) was delineated using one simple outline, joining the two garments together to create one, and filled with appliqué cut-outs of blue painted silk butterflies in different sizes echoing the butterfly painted by the artist. The same was applied to sleeve cuffs (Swarah) or (Hyul) on the inner Kandurah, now reserved as lining. The back was left simply accentuated by a train (Thayil).