Dubai-based designer, model and presenter Tamara Al-Gabbani advocates the ease, versatility and flair of regional designers. Here, she wears the Saudi Arabia-based brand Leem and tells us about a summer spent in the country.
After spending your summer under lockdown in Saudi Arabia, what have you learnt about yourself?
Patience is a virtue. Health is wealth. Connection with a support system is the most important survival method. Additionally, I have tried working on having a stronger faith in the unknown. It hasn’t been easy but everyone is going through it.
Who have you enjoyed spending your time with?
My family. Before the pandemic I was always travelling and working so I didn’t have a chance to really spend quality time with them. I also started spending quality time with loved ones and even colleagues over video calls.
What’s been your most-used affirmation?
I’ve had a few! “Ride the wave, don’t fight the wave”: accepting the status quo instead of resisting it. Resistance to change is natural for humans, but that’s where all the tension and conflict is. “Alhamdulillah”: thanking God and acknowledging all the blessings. It’s not easy when you’re feeling low but practicing gratitude daily rewires the brain. “Release with grace”: letting go of anything toxic or not meant for us. Easier said than done, but trusting there is something better ahead. “Invest in mental health”: peace of mind is our most valuable asset; therapy, hypnosis, motivational videos, whatever works for you.
Who are your most-loved Saudi Arabian brands and why?
Leem: Modestly on trend and chic, can be worn by any age and anywhere in the world, and it’s also very accessible. Ashi Studio: Avant grade neo classical masterpieces. Hindamme: Unique and modern heritage inspired designs. ArAm designs: Stylish, bold wearable abayas that always have a twist. Chic Diary: Fabulous, glamorous and warm farwas for winter. Toby by Hatem Alakeel: Pioneer and creator of the modern thob.
Today you’re wearing Leem, what attracted you to the brand?
It’s such an impressive brand and I find it easy to shop as I can create looks that are on trend, classy and appropriate. It always works all year round, wherever I am in the world. I once wore Leem to the Ralph & Russo show at Couture Week in Paris, everyone loved the outfit!
Why is it important to buy and wear regional talent?
I have always been a huge supporter of local talent. They work so hard and they put all their resources, energy, time and creativity to make something beautiful for us, how can we ignore that? Wearing and buying regional talent is a must; their future and survival depends on our response to their collections. One day the world could recognise the talent as an international hit which is a positive reflection on the region, its talent and creativity, but they do need our support to get there.