Creativity knows no bounds and can never be curbed by any set pattern. The fashion designers and sisters duo, Dalal Hussain Abdul Rahim and Hanan Hussain Abdul Rahim stand testimony to this. Dalal, a Certified Management Accountant(CMA) and Hanan a physician, owners of the fashion boutique, Traditional Trends, tell BTW how their shared interest and love for fashion have paved their way for this extremely satisfying and creative venture.
Tell us briefly about yourself: where you were born and brought up, your family, childhood, any memorable event, etc.
We were born and raised in Bahrain. We are two sisters, three and a half years apart, brought up by our mom who is our inspiration for everything. We both loved make up and fashion like any two young girls. Dalal always took our mothers make-up and I was her mannequin. She ended up dressing me up in my mom’s scarves—kind of my own personal fashion stylist.
Were you inclined towards fashion designing right from the beginning? Do share with us what brought you to the fashion industry.
Yes we were. We have always loved fashion and clothes, and we have different styles but we do complement each other. We always had a specific taste that sometimes we felt was not met so we often made our own designs. Our family and friends had a role in how we pursued our fashion dream. They always admired and encouraged our pieces and they often pointed out that we should start up our own venture. With the push and support from our husbands and of course our mom, we finally did so! We are also extremely grateful to Ms Amal Almoayyed who has been a constant source of support and inspiration to us in this journey.
Did you acquire any formal degree/qualification in fashion designing?
We didn’t acquire any formal training in fashion yet especially since this is our side passion. It’s our outlet from our work stresses. Dalal is a certified CMA and I (Hanan) am a family physician both working full time. It is definitely on our to-do list!
What according to you is fashion? And why do you think it changes with time?
We believe that making these special pieces require creativity, precision, passion and vision. A designers has to have the ability to work with different fabrics and colors, and produce shapes that will flatter the female body, keeping in mind the customers needs. We take care in producing excellent quality pieces that would make every girl most special every day and even on her special day. We would wear every piece we made as each collection and each piece reflects a part of who we are and our taste.
Has there been any particular inspiration/influence in your creations? Do you have any special preferences in terms of the type of clothes/material/etc?
We have always been influenced by the traditional Bahraini attires especially in our HENNA and engagement kaftans and we tried to add our personal touches to make them more trendy and modern. We do get our inspiration from international designers and influencers like seasonal colors and prints, and incorporate these influences into our pieces. Our favorite material is organza as its luxurious, sheer, feminine, provides beautiful silhouettes and shapes, and can be used in extensive embroidered designs.
Tell us about your recent creation.
Our latest collection was Ramadan Collection 2016—a unique and fancy concept of incorporating the latest colorful prints and embroidery with the traditional Ramadan kaftan. We have utilized a variety of high quality fabrics and we customized them to fit the fashionable females of today in a way that allows them to wear their kaftans in multiple different occasions and not just in Ramadan.
We also added a new line to our brand of high-end evening gowns that are stylish and affordable, fitting our concept of excellent quality and affordability.
Has there been any particular fashion in Bahrain that has stayed on for generations? What do you think is the plausible reason of the longevity of his trend?
We believe the traditional Bahraini craft of zari embroidery has sustained its position over the years for being one-of-a-kind Bahraini embroidery that has been incorporated over the years into many designs and creations. It has been there always because the Bahraini traditions celebrate zari as an essential part of the bridal dresses and it reflects evolving beauty.
How do you create your designs? Do you visualise them at random moments of creativity or do you create designs as per a preset plan or agenda?
Both. We get inspiration from everywhere and everything—different cultures, different prints, mixing and clashing colors—all these make our creation. Sketching down these ideas and fine-tuning them according to our agenda of designs is a chaotic process really!
How do you balance your work and home successfully?
We sometimes find it a bit difficult to juggle all of our roles and responsibilities but we succeed most of the time because of the help of our mother and the support of our husbands. We try to have a clear role for each person and a clear plan and work accordingly. We try to enjoy every minute and do our best.
What is your message to aspiring fashion designers of Bahrain?
Be persistent, passionate and take risks in your creations. Visualize your dream and go for it!