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Maldivian Wedding Engagement Party

It's the season of love!

From where I'm standing, I'm seeing love all around me. First off, my cousin is getting married to his long-time boyfriend (super excited to go home for that!). Second, we got an invitation to a wedding engagement party in Male' City.

It was exciting because I haven't witnessed a traditional wedding, let alone an engagement party, here in the Maldives. The first questions were "what to bring" and "what to wear".

Uncle (the father of Jeico,the bride-to-be) told us it's custom to bring gifts during the wedding, but not on the engagement party. All we had to do was come in our traditional clothes and enjoy the night.

And we did!

We rented traditional skirts from a shop in Galolhu for only 53 rufiyaa. The boys got their own white top and bought feyli (sarong) for 75 rufiyaa at Lost Souvenirs.

Have a glimpse of that memorable engagement party with this video. Enjoy and happy Love Month!


The Glamorous True Maldivian Fashion

Photo from BRIDE Maldives

BRIDE Maldives is the most active body in the fashion and modeling industry in the country. They have been organizing BRIDE - a wedding fair and fashion show - for more than 10 years now.

This year, I had the privilege of joining their team! To promote the mega BRIDE show this April 2019, a mini-show was held on 24 Feb 2019 at Newport Bridgeview in Male' City.



The mini-show was named Traditional Runway since the collections we wore that night are, well, traditional. There were 2 sets, the Dhiguhedhun and the Libaas.

DHIGUHEDHUN



Dhiguhedhun is among the modern-traditional wear for the ladies-- modern-traditional because it was launched only in 1940s by the first President of Maldives, no less.

It is a form-hugging floor length dress with full sleeves and a puritan collar that extends to the shoulder blades. Ladies either wear a hijab or a veil with the Dhiguhedhun. The overall look is then accentuated by a statement brooch of your choice.

The garb is usually worn during political ceremonies, formal social gatherings, among others.

Photo from BRIDE Maldives


LIBAAS

Photo by BRIDE Maldives

This is the Maldivian national wear that can be traced back to 1400's. A lot -- I mean, A LOT -- goes into a Libaas. The hand embroidery on the neckline, Kasabu viyun, is made of golden laces and gives it a regal look. Even the embellishments on the wrists are handwoven.

Another golden ornament is the necklace, fattaru, which must be held with utmost respect. It has the words MALDIVES and an image of the sun engraved on it.

Feyli, the dark underskirt, is essential. Not only does it provide modest coverage for the ladies, but it comes with centuries-old of history. Finally, put aside your heels as you need to be barefoot for this.

Just remember to iron the Libaas inside-out since its material is very delicate (learned it the hard way!). Oh, and this one doesn’t come with zippers so be very gentle or else you’ll tear it!

To complete the look, ladies usually wear a hijab or have their hair up on a side bun with a head piece. Why it’s a side bun remains a mystery to me, and if you know, share it with us on the comments, please!



I am truly honored to not just immerse in the beautiful Maldivian culture but be part of the team that promotes it. The best part is that their fashion proves one can look elegant and stunning without showing too much skin!

Thank you Bride Maldives for having me, and we’ll see you again with more of Maldives’ fashion this April!


***This is a developing story.


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