Qatar’s Couture

We’ve previously written about the couture abaya trends that are taking over the Gulf, and now we have an exclusive interview with one abaya business in Qatar that is changing the way Arab women are dressing.

Nicole DuPont is with Noblesse Oblige an abaya shop located at the Royal Plaza in Doha, Qatar. She says the whole inspiration behind the launch of this business was the lack of designer apparel available for those that have to meet certain dress codes.

“First of all the name ‘Noblesse Oblige’ is a french phrase that literally translates to ‘Nobility Obliges’. In other-words it is a nobility’s obligation to maintain this cultural prerequisite. And it is from that very philosophy that our conceptional inspiration for a designer alternative is born.”

DuPont says that the designers noticed that women who prefer designer quality are left in anticipation each season when they try to figure out how to wear their favorite brand names like Gucci or Valentino and still be able to fulfill their cultural or religious dress requirements.

“In order to make designer apparel wearable a woman often has to mix and match or layer lots of garments to make that designer garment wearable. And the resulting look looses its intended designer appeal.”

Above: Photo courtesy of Noblesse Oblige featuring the Signoria and Signorita line.

DuPont says designers at Nobless Oblige also observed the other extreme, where consumers (usually the Arabian Gulf fashionistas) buy the latest designer apparel, only to have it hidden beneath their abaya’s (black cloaks).

“At Noblesse Oblige our four innovative pioneering designers (their initials make up the brand logo O.D.O.N ) have solved the issues by designing beautiful garments that cater to all these needs.”

According to DuPont, Noblesse Oblige is using the same cut and quality that big name designers use for high-end runway fashion.

“The traditional black sheath or abaya that was formerly structureless and intended as a coverall form of modesty hid the latest trends and quality beneath. But now for the first time at Noblesse Oblige we have taken a new contemporary designer identity that serves the same traditional purpose. Instead of hiding fashion underneath , we have brought it up to the surface by adding a more flattering form, cut, quality and color, evolving it into a new luxury accessory or designer outfit.”

Not all women wear the abaya and for those customers DuPont says they have a separate line called “voyages”.

“This line is specially designed to suit certain lifestyles. Voyages comes in beautiful colors and cut. These items can be worn over trousers or skirts.”

By introducing these exciting new concepts, DuPont says Noblesse Oblige has very sucessfully launched itself into the pulse of the designer fashion world that caters to women of culture and style.

Below: Photo courtesy of Noblesse Oblige featuring the Sushi line.

Some highlights of Noblesse Oblige include recent designs inspired by a spring garden.

“For our launch of Printemp 2008 we are introducing for the first time the limited edition botanical line which includes the Lilly and the Orchid. Each piece is a hand crafted work of art and subject to availability in the Royal Plaza boutique.

Prices range from $500 up to $2000. DuPont says they use only the higest quality fabrics, and 100% pure silk linings in the higher range obliges and voyages.

She says the embellishments are made using the latest runway trends including wafer thin python, laser cut italian lambskin or intricate hand work embroidery or painting.

“Each is a work of couture art. Noblesse Oblige is the modest woman’s outfit alternative.

For more information you can head to the Noblesse Oblige website. The entire collection can be seen during the flash intro of the website where the name of each design is mentioned. The moving collage of thumbnail images are of the runway fashion show.

To view close-up details of each design head to the collection page.

If you want more information you can make inquiries through email to: noblesseoblige.qatar (at) yahoo (dot) com

(c) 2008 All Rights Reserved.

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