By Rana Khaled
Fine embroidered patterns and sparkling accessories decorate the colourful, soft fabrics of the displayed clothes.
Thinking outside the box and escaping from traditional fashion designs led Dalia Naguib to launch the first Egyptian brand that mixes ethnic, bohemian culture and hippie styles in combination with Arabic and eastern heritage and its conventional clothing.
Boho fashion styles are usually known for long flowing or tiered skirts, ethnic touches like tunics or wood jewellery, embellishment with beading or spangles, fringed handbags and jewelled or embellished flat sandals. Naguib decided to add her own touch and launched her ‘Dalia Naguib’ brand inspired by the lives of the Bedouins in Sinai and other Egyptian deserts.
“My collection rebels against traditional fashion styles and colours,” she said. “It addresses the liberal Egyptian woman who strives to be different, simple and decent at the same time.”
The collection moves away from the use of artificial fabrics and industrial tissues, and tends to use more comfortable materials like cotton and linen that match the identity of the brand, she added.
Naguib has been drawn to fashion designing since she was a child. She has always been attracted to the bohemian movement. The movement, which emerged in the late 1960s, reflects an artistic striving for freedom, linking themselves to nature and getting rid of all social restrictions, she said.
Naguib was worried about people’s reactions when she first launched her collection.
“I was wondering if they would understand what I wanted to convey by each piece,” she said. “However, I received a lot of positive feedback that exceeded all my expectations.”
To make it more impressive, Naguib searched for a unique place for the collection’s photo session. Fayoum was the best option for her because of its amazing nature which goes with the boho idea of freedom that her collection reflects.
“I make the designs, the accessories and prepare for the photo sessions on my own,” she said, “and that’s why I’m always enthusiastic to keep in touch with the local and international fashion trends and movements around the world.”
Because of the high renting prices of clothing galleries and exhibitions that usually result in undesirable rises in the product’s prices, Naguib preferred to use online outlets to market her new brand.
However, one of the biggest problems that face young Egyptian designers nowadays is that most Egyptians still don’t have the culture of buying clothes online, as they prefer to try it first.
Many young designers have called for bringing back the Egyptian heritage and the traditional clothes with modern touches. Naguib, however, believes that “commercial thinking” is still fiercely dominating the field of fashion design in Egypt.
“Most of designers tend to imitate the international fashion trends in a superficial way in terms of colours, designs and even the choice of materials and textures,” she said. “Unfortunately, this led to the disgraceful deterioration of the public taste over the last few years.”
Fashion designers must be more intellectual and get away from superficial mainstream trends, she said. They must think outside the box and try to create new styles that go with the Egyptian customs, traditions and lifestyles as an Eastern Muslim society. The remarkable merit of Naguib’s collection is that it can perfectly suit women from different backgrounds whether they are veiled or not, she said.
“As a way of contributing to improving the public taste, I plan to start using my Facebook page as a platform for teaching people how to style the same pieces of clothes in different ways and create a completely new look every time,” she said. “This will help people know more about fashion standards and come up with new ideas.”