By Marriam N Mossalli

The first week of June will be an exciting one for Saudi fashion designer Effa. Based in Dubai, the designer began in 2006 with the launch of her first prêt-a-porter collection.  Five years later, Effa is finally opening the doors of her first eponymous boutique, located at the Palm Strip in Dubai.

A graduate of The Surrey Institute of Art and Design, her love of fashion began as a young girl. “I would scrutinize fashion magazines and then sketch,” recalled Effa. “I made my first designs at the age of 11.”
But Effa’s career didn’t begin as a designer, although she was firmly entrenched in the fashion industry. “I began my career working for companies in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as a brand manager and fashion buyer,” she revealed. During those formative years, inspiration was in abundance. From Christian Lacroix and Emanuel Ungaro, to Valentino and John Galliano, Effa was constantly surround by the stunning, high-end fashions of Europe.  Therefore, it is quite surprising that her designs are not deeply rooted in the West, but rather her style appears to be predominately Arab with a European flair.
“I was motivated to design a luxury fashion line that would satisfy the demands and tastes of the modern, trendy women in the Middle East,” revealed Effa. “My style was greatly influenced by the great designer brands that I worked with, but my Middle Eastern culture and my love of color was, and continues to be, an important inspiration for my designs.”
While her first collection was comprised of vibrant gowns and playful dresses, Effa aimed to fuse together trend with elegance. A year later, she launched the EFFA “Abaya Couture” collection in the spring of 2007. It began as an exclusive made-to-order line, but it wasn’t long before Effa’s artistic manipulation of the abaya’s traditional silhouette garnered a loyal following.
“The EFFA ‘Abaya Couture’ customer is an independent, active and modern woman that wants her abaya to reflect her personality whilst keeping her cultural identity,” commented the designer. While the Missoni-like knit sleeves and embellishments provided her abayas with a sense of matured luxury, her creative draping lends a more effortless and youthful appeal.

This year, Effa’s latest prêt-a-porter collection is abundant with simplistic cuts and big, billowing skirts. Keeping with her preference for fun and feminine, the line utilizes vibrant, lively colors.
“The palette varies between different pastel shades and few gradient reds to emphasize the feeling of grace and balance,’ Effa revealed. The result is a collection of effortless chic designs that are both feminine and modern. “I’m also introducing my exclusive ‘Made in Italy’ limited edition collection of clutches,” added Effa.

Effa’s philosophy is that fashion should bring out the femininity and glamour in a woman. And, with floral-print jersey dresses that are tailored to cling to just the right curves, Effa is successfully celebrating the female form. She further accentuates it with strategically placed embellishments of rosettes of fabric and bows, giving her looks an added panache of feminine sophistication.

Arab News article




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