Culture does not seek to bind knowledge or heritage with everything old. Knowledge is a broad and comprehensive social behavior, while heritage is an accumulation of customs and traditions passed on from one generation to another, and between the two lies a mixture formed when communities seek to shape their identity in modern fashion.
In Saudi Arabia, a new trend has emerged, one that encompasses women's abayas. In the past, the abaya had a uniform design and was exclusively black in color, while today, it comes in various shapes and designs that reflect the personality of the women wearing them.
Last weekend, the second edition of the Saudi Cup 2021 was held at the King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Janadriyah, Riyadh. Although much of the focus was on the horses and their owners, women's fashion also left its mark on the event, especially dresses and abayas.
Indeed, the competition seemed like an event celebrating the traditional Saudi costumes.
Manal Al-Harithi, a social researcher, told Asharq Al-Awsat: "When analyzing society with constructivist theory, we see the change that has been taking place in Saudi society in recent years, from women's empowerment to the openness that we are witnessing today, has been reflected in the community, especially when it comes to women's fashion."
She added that transformations in the shape and design of Saudi women's abayas are natural as changes in society are being reflected in the way of life in the Kingdom.
Today, Arab women, particularly Saudi Arabian women, are interested in developing new abaya designs that reflect their personality and elegance in a modern way. The newest designs have stated to make headlines at several events.
Since clothes reflect the person's identity and that of the society to which the person belongs, it was important for the Saudi abaya to develop itself and gives its importance to its presence at major events, such national day celebrations, festivals and weddings. The new designs have aroused visitors' interest who wanted to learn more about Saudi culture. Abayas, with their modern designs, seem to be inspired by the local heritage and culture, however at the same time, they are diverging from the traditional and away from black.