Wednesday, 1 June 2011


ast Updated: Fri Apr 29, 2011 01:57 am (KSA) 22:57 pm (GMT)

Khaleda Rajab and the birds of paradise

Khaleda Rajab Haute Couture. (File photo)
Khaleda Rajab Haute Couture. (File photo)
All haute couture houses create glamor. But Khaleda Rajab likes to create glamor for the fierce woman. Her clothes, she says “are for the woman who will not step out of her house if her outfit does not make a statement.”

Ms. Rajab’s clothes make a very bold statement indeed. Her palette is composed of alizarin crimson, cobalt blue, cadmium orange, magenta, viridian, lemon yellow. These are vivid, rich colors and in silks they get a depth and a glow few other fabrics can offer.
Some of her dresses are cut simply. Some have ballooning, ruched sleeves with flared collars and narrow skirts. There’s a dress with diamante studded all over it. There are dresses embellished with sequins and dresses in brocade. The effect is dazzling as the pigments shimmer in the light. There is a dress with a layered skirt, the color of golfing greens and one that flows like water from an urn. Dressed in one of her creations, a woman looks exotic with the plumage of a rare species from a distant land.

She is also remarkably versatile and there’s a bite to her design. Her “rock chick” combines silk, metal and leather. Ms. Rajab seems particularly taken in by studded and spiked accessories. They look like instruments of torture for somebody meeting them from the outside. Well, roses come with thorns, you know.

From Grecian to gothic, Ms. Rajab has done it all.

“My personal style: Loud! My style is inspired by my surroundings. At my core, I have a passion for the fierce and the daring—defiantly dramatic, unpredictable, sophisticated and totally glamorous attire.” That, in a nutshell is her approach to her profession.
According to Ms. Rajab, not only is she addicted to fashion but she’s also a fashion designer and that she knew somehow she would end up working in fashion because of her passion, addiction and drive. “Fashion to me is like art, every collection always has a story behind it,” she says.

Ms. Rajab started designing in the 1990’s. To begin with, her creations were meant for herself and her lucky friends. She started seriously considering design as a career while she was studying for a bachelor’s degree at the University of Suffolk, Boston. When she returned to Bahrain, she opened her exclusive boutique—Khaled Rajab Haute Couture.

Since opening, Khaleda Rajab Haute Couture in Falcon Tower in the Diplomatic Area, Ms. Rajab’s name has started to become a byword for fashionable among the country’s jet set. In Bahrain, she is seen as one of the country’s brightest fashion hopes.

Her megawatt couture bills and coos occasionally and shrieks often. It looks like a flight of fancy. Or is it a fanciful flight?

(Umita Venkataraman can be reached at

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