A music festival in Saudi Arabia? I can hear the surprise in your tone, eyebrows raised.

But yes, a music festival in Saudi Arabia. Now festival fashion is something we see and read about all the time; in fact, it is one of the summer months' trends to which I most look forward - but the question remains, how to work those key festival looks I know you all have up your sleeves in the Middle East? Now it is no longer the law for women to cover their hair in Saudi Arabia but wearing an abaya - a robe-style dress is expected. It's time to embrace modest fashion; a trend that is being globally appreciated by women at the moment. Less is more is no longer our motto and modest styles of dress are creeping up on the style stakes.

MDL Beast festival was on another level in terms of size and it was also located in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, so the pressure was on to dress respectfully and adhere to cultural wardrobe guidelines here. Winter at Tantora, on the other hand, took place in the middle of the desert in Al Ula so festival-goers, particularly visitors to the country were able to get away without a loose-fit overgarment. But where's the fun and authenticity in that?


Diamantine UK has all your Middle East festival style inspo | Photo: Tomi Adebayo

I discovered the gorgeous designs of Diamantine - a Moroccan-inspired clothing website which just so happened to be the perfect style studio for my Saudi Arabian festival journey. Diamantine was my saviour, with their colourful and elegant styles of kaftans, lebssa dresses and djellabas. My only complaint is that brand is too popular and sadly some of my favourite designs were sold out! Ensuring that modest clothing does not have to sacrifice style or trendiness, there are enough options for daywear and more glamorous occasions

The Lebssa Meliha Long Maxi Dress came in the most beautiful palette of greens and pinks, with Moroccan-inspired prints and an adjustable rope belt waist to add some detail and shape to this modest outfit. For me, the hooded duster jacket really completed the outfit, turning this simple dress into a full look - making it appealing to both clothing customs and a fashionista's eye. Paired with some gold gladiator-esque sandals, it was a much-admired outfit for a Middle Eastern festival. I felt like a princess in this outfit and absolutely never wanted to take it off. Comfortable and chic; despite its length potentially causing me a few issues as I would pace from shop to shop, I'd wear this ensemble down Oxford Street.

I'm patiently (okay, not so patiently) waiting for new collections to launch or for the hooded jumpsuit I had my beady eye on to not fit the person who bought it so that they return it (let's not lie and pretend we don't secretly hope for these things, ladies!) so that I can add more of the site to my wardrobe. I'll definitely be back to the Middle East; more parts of Saudi Arabia are waiting for my to explore them and I'm also overdue a return trip to Morocco soI cannot wait to continue my modest fashion show there.

Free People

This Free People kimono made for a perfect Saudi style abaya at the festival | Photo: Abdel Abdulai

Free People also helped me in my time of fashion need. With its bohemian concept and loose-fit styles, although this brand has nothing to do with modest fashion, it works very well for the trend and its hippie chic designs are adored by many, including those on the festival scene. A huge fan and follower of the brand already, it took only a few moments to source the floor-length kimono jackets and coats that I did on ASOS - but they have since become two of my favourite pieces from my wardrobe. As with most of my Free People collection, I've received many compliments and love that they worked so well for this 'modest fashion in the Middle East' look, as well as working for any festival - and any outfit, to be honest - all year round.

Verona Collection

This leopard print co-ord from Verona Collection works well for festivals in the Middle East

Verona Collection was my final aid in my festival style sourcing for my trips to Saudi Arabia. innocently stumbled upon this brand on the Achilles heel to us all (ASOS) and fell in love with this maxi skirt and duster jacket co-ord outfit in an black and off-white leopard print. I also wore the look to London Fashion Week Men's in January with one show-goer stopping me to ask if I was wearing Chloe. It just goes to show what some brands are creating these days and how versatile outfits can be. From the cobbles of Brick Lane at London Fashion Week to the golden tones of the Saudi desert; this look fit both settings and I cannot wait to try more from this modest fashion line.


Apr 3, 2020

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