If, in a parallel universe, bloggers were magazine editors, then The Overdressed would be Anna Dello Russo, no doubt about it. Like the aforementioned Dello Russo, Dana Al Khalifa (the blogger behind The Overdressed) has a passion for fashion and a love for colorful, exotic and eye-catching designs.
Browsing through her blog, one cannot help but admire the brilliant way she mixes and matches pieces together, as well as her fondness for unique designers like Erdem and Clare Tough.
We interviewed Dana to get to know more about her creative fashion sense and to be introduced to the person behind those glamorous clothes.
What inspired you to start a fashion blog?
I started my website in December 2009. In the few months before launching the site my cousin was with me while I was packing for a summer vacation, and she begged me to photograph every single outfit. I did, and from there the idea of theoverdressed.com was born.
Coming from a fairly conservative society, how has the feedback been of you posting images of your outfits online?
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and the general consensus is "please post more often!"
In general you have to respect the culture and society you come from, the way I dress is more or less always the same whether in Bahrain or while traveling. Therefore, the photos of the outfits are of things I wear on a regular basis if it is on the site I own it and wore it.
At the end of the day, the site has a purpose it is a creative platform to express a passion for looking dressed up, polished and beautiful.
What are your 5 essential wardrobe staple items?
You can pretty much never go wrong with white tipped black Chanel ballerinas. A solid colour shirt dress, a large clutch for day and night, a beautiful ring and you’re never fully dressed without mascara!
What has the blogging world added to you?
I've met some wonderful interesting people who are extremely supportive of what I do, and I’ve definitely learned so much from them. It’s been so inspiring to tap into another level of fashion history from knowing some extremely talented people like Alex Aubry of The Polyglot and fashion retail pioneers like Deena Abdulaziz of DN’A and Carmen Haid of vintage website Atelier-Mayer.com
Where do you get your outfit inspirations from?
A lot of it is out of necessity to look good, functional and cool (literally), therefore, I’m very inspired by my two best friends. They’re totally different, one always has her hair and nails groomed to perfection, the other is a mom of a two year old and I am inspired by her ability to look functional. One makes sure my nails are always done the other teaches me to dress down!
Also, my grandparents have had the most influence on me. I am very inspired by old photos of them on their travels in the 60s and 70s. There is this one photo of my grandmother in a white lace shirt with a black bow worn with a black and white polka dotted maxi skirt… better than Vogue!
Who are your favorite designers?
At the moment I am a little jewelry obsessed. Veschetti are vintage jewelry restorers that also create their own amazing jewelry designs. I recently collaborated with them to design a ring with a stone I received from my grandfather; it is the most amazing thing I own! I'm also on a quest to find the perfect vintage watch. I'm at the Delaneau counter every day after work to figure out if I should go malachite or onyx!
Erdem as a brand is everything I believe in. It's feminine, delicate, and playful. It's never too revealing yet always has a tongue in cheek cut to it that you have to take a second look to notice. That's exactly the same reason I love Razan Alazzouni. Her designs are so feminine and evoke a sense of lost innocence that has totally disappeared from fashion.
And because I am always wearing a dress I am so grateful for coming across Clare Tough for the most amazing cotton and silk mixes in cardigans and twin sets as well as the most amazing cashmere with beautiful lace finishing.
Do you ever think of pursuing a career in fashion?
Not really. I’m happy doing what I do I don't want fashion to be a job or a career. I love the fact that I can do what I love when I feel like doing it.
Your blog has an international following, what kind of message would you like to send out about the modern day fashionable Arab lady?
That she holds her own and she can look beautiful without having to abide by what a Paris runway says is beautiful. We have a rich and colorful culture full of opulence so it is inevitable that it runs in our blood!
What are your favorite regional boutiques?
I love J Boutique in Bahrain their designer selection is so perfect it is Bahrain in a boutique, small, friendly and very beautiful.
DN'A in Riyadh is world class. Recently they've launched a brand new website, which has just taken the boutique to another level. I've also guest contributed on the site so check it out!
Green Bar is not a boutique yet, but it certainly is a Bahraini brand that takes beauty back to its natural state. I can't live without it
Purple Patchouli, is a new concept spa/boutique. Their treatments are amazing and the therapist, Janet, is the answer to all my spa treatment prayers!
Whats your favorite quote or motto?
A woman should always look like she's going somewhere!
To read about The Overdressed's daily fashion adventures, check out Dana's blog www.theoverdressed.com
– Khaleejesque Staff
Images courtesy of The Overdressed