This combination overgarment tunic (thawb_kandurah) is part of a two-piece ensemble, worn with a matching veil (shaylah) (ZI2021.500973a UAE).
This combination overgarment tunic (thawb_kandurah) and matching veil (shaylah) were designed by the UAE designer Feryal AL Bastaki and given the name: Bahr Jmayīrah.
The outfit was donated by the designer to The Zay Initiative and will be included in the Fanan: The Art of Dress Exhibition, curated by The Zay Initiative at Zeman Awwal, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, from 28 January to 28 March 2022.
The exhibition will showcase the intersecting relationship between Art and Fashion while continuing to document the evolution of UAE traditional dress through the works of five UAE designers and five UAE artists. Together we will explore what fashion and heritage mean to contemporary Emirati women.
Feryal Al Bastaki, a Dubai based mother of three, holds a bachelor in accounting from the UAE University. She is a self-taught Emirati fashion designer whose interest in dressmaking started at a very young age when she designed dresses for family members and friends before launching Neswah Tailoring in 2003. This evolved into Feryal Al Bastaki Boutique, a leading brand in the Emirati fashion scene. She prefers to create her own trends producing unique mixes of styles.
Before the 1980s, it was common to employ contrasting colours and techniques within the components of UAE traditional dress. Women used to wear an overgarment (thawb) that was distinct and in contrast to the tunic dress (kandurah) underneath. Soon this evolved into matching sets known as (thawb_wa_kandurah), where the two garments were made of the same or coordinating fabrics and colours. By the late 1990s, this evolved further, as the two separate articles were merged into one and became attached at the neckline, using the inner tunic as lining and creating a combination overgarment tunic (thawb_kandurah).
This example records post-2020 traditional UAE dress where the contemporary combination overgarment tunic (thawb_kandurah) has acquired individuality and artistic interpretation.
The lower half of the outer garment is printed with a watercolour painting of Jumeirah beach painted by the designer. It evokes the sea scape and coastal environment of the UAE. Shades of blues, beiges, and browns are digitally printed on to the silk chiffon fabric of the overgarment (thawb).
The traditional neckline and central axis (bidhah) are delineated with hand embroidered Japanese glass beads in metallic earthy colours representing shades of the sand.
The inner tunic is made of light blue satin silk has lost its traditional sleeves becoming sleeveless adding a more contemporary element to the garment. The garment is light and airy manifesting the seaside theme of the printed design.