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Designers in the Middle East have claimed calligraphy as a pop culture icon and are using it in innovative new ways. In fact, calligraphy is no longer limited to religious texts; poetic, devotional and inspirational calligraphy is appearing on high fashion items and homeware all over the Middle East, and to a lesser extent, in Pakistan.
As a result, for the Eid season, home accessories including candles, trays, table linen and glassware decorated with calligraphy are proving to be immensely popular throughout the Middle East.
Jewellery with calligraphy is age old, but in its contemporary avatar it is edgy; combining high fashion with tradition, it uses innovative synthetic and semi-precious materials with calligraphy, creating modern accessories such as bracelets, necklaces and earrings that convey good wishes, blessings and prayers. They make excellent Eid gifts – without breaking the bank.
Scarves printed or embroidered with poetry/calligraphy are also an interesting way to accessorise outfits and make ideal presents. Watch out for exclusive exhibitions around town where you can pick up some of these exciting accessories.
Clutch bags have become a fashion staple, but when they come in an array of brightly coloured leather, embellished with bold calligraphic medallions, they are a fashion statement. Inscribed with feminine phrases such as ‘secret of your beauty’ and ‘charming as the moon’ these clutches are perfect for the many weddings and parties you will attend later this year; they are available online and at select high-end stores across the country.
For gentlemen, calligraphic cufflinks, tiepins and money clips are all the rage and make innovative wedding, anniversary and birthday gifts. If you are travelling to the Middle East, these fashion items are widely available at many stores; they can also be found online.
So if you have an exciting piece of calligraphy, do flaunt it this Eid!
– Sana Mahfooz-Omar
The writer owns Jade, a fashion accessories brand.