While Ahed Al-Nadabi admits to something of a vintage habit – “There’s something so alluring about wearing an item that has so much history behind it and had several lives before it made its way to my closet” – it was an entirely different story when it came to her wedding dress five years ago.
“I wore a blush Vera Wang tulle organza gown that I bought over the phone from the brand’s New York flagship store without even trying it on,” she laughs. “I asked them to alter a few things and it landed eight months later on my doorstep, just two weeks before my wedding. Until then, I had never even tried on a wedding dress.”
While her family and friends thought she was crazy, Ahed says the process was a reminder to always follow her heart. “Today, the dress sits like a jewel in my closet and I can’t wait to have my future daughters try it on one day.”
As the co-founder and creative director of PR and events company, Pop!, Ahed is used to juggling a million balls, and has become a dab hand at looking impeccable whilst doing it – usually in an abaya by Bleach, Abeer Al Suwaidi or DAS Collection. But she says she didn’t know the real definition of being busy – or tired – until her son Ali was born 18 months ago.
“I swear by Crème de la Mer as an overnight face mask,” she smiles. “After having my son, sleep sometimes feels like a thing of the past. This is my sleep in a jar.”
Sleep deprivation aside, Ahed is adamant that becoming a mother was the most character-building experience to ever come her way. “You suddenly become selfless and yet self-assured, and confident about who you are and who you’re supposed to be,” she says. “What used to matter before, including the opinions of people, be it about your style or personality, just doesn’t matter any more.” And the impact this new-found confidence has had on her style mantra? “March to the beat of your own drum. Experiment. Find yourself and don’t take it too seriously.”
Photography: Richard Hall. Styling: Charlotte Blair. Words: Kerrie Simon-Lawrence. Hair: Maria for Soh Art + Beauty. Make-up: Sarah-Jane Thompson for Shiseido. Location: Arabian Nights Village.