Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sheikh it baby - new Arabic owls
My latest creation. Cute, huh? I was going to put dark sunglasses on the boy owl, just like all the men wear here, but ended up going with the black felt instead - it gives the same impression and was much easier to sew!
I particularly like the red and white keffiyeh, I used authentic fabric and made a miniature version. Plus, I hand braided that black loop which keeps it on - originally these were the camel hobbles that the locals carried (back when they travelled by camel) but now they are just decorative.
There are lots of ways to wear your headdress here in the Gulf countries, and tying it in a certain manner can either indicate which region or tribe you hail from, or your degree of coolness (as in, trendiness rather than temperature control). Even when there are only two things to work with - a thobe (the robe) and a keffiyeh (the headdress), young people everywhere will find a way to use it for personal expression. Much nicer than baggy jeans hanging off a teenager's arse!
I love the bejewelled eyes I've used here for the female owl, they're absolutely perfect. Many of the women wear such magnificent eye makeup and kohl that I think these buttons capture their quintessential look.
The latest fashion for wearing your shayla - the scarf that covers either your hair or your full face, depending on how conservative you (or your parents) are - involves clipping your hair up into a massive bouffant bun at the crown of your head, and then carefully draping the fabric over it. Girls here can have their shayla styled like the bow of a ship, up to 20cm from the back of their head. It's quite grand and looks very impressive.