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This Egyptian Artist Uses Damaged Clothes as Her Canvas to Create Unique Fashion Pieces

We no longer need to throw out our favourite pair of pants out because of that evil bamia stain that just won't come out.

Dusty Modern Designs Egypt

Let’s just all admit that there is no problem a little shopping can't fix - or so we used to think until our favourite top that we bought on that girls trip to Berlin ended up with a huge hole last summer. Remember those pants that used fit you so perfectly, only to fall victim of a stubborn stain from that time your sister’s four-year-old decided to throw his molokhiya at you in anger? Well, buying new pants from Zara or that New Boutique in Zamalek might appease for a while but they'll never have the same sentimental value as our favourite pieces - or, again, so we thought. Graphic design student and artist, Aya Hallawany may have the answer to our grievous fashion problems.


Hallawany, founder of Instagram account Dusty Modern, saves the trouble of sending those negative vibes to whoever destroyed your favourite pieces by taking used, stained or torn clothing items and revamping them. Having started Dusty Modern earlier this year, the designer replaces the stain or the tear with colourful designs and illustrations of famous paintings. 

"I take old clothes and fix them," she told CairoScene. "It doesn’t matter if the item is torn or if there’s a stubborn stain, I refer back to the client to see what they want and paint it onto the jacket or the jeans,” she continued. “And they can call me anytime if anything happens and I'll fix it."

Hallawany who only took art in high school, is a self-taught artist who took her passion and turned it into something more. While the designer went through a period of time where she'd sell her oil paintings to restaurants, having her own fashion account for customisable pieces was never in the plan.


“It was all by coincidence. I had these pants and I’d dropped ink on them, but instead of throwing them away, I decided to draw on them. People liked them,” explains Hallawany. “So I started doing it for myself, for my family and for my friends. And for a while, I'd be doing it for fun, then I started getting more and more requests.”

Hallawany's quirky service has already become so popular, that she has even collaborated with online vintage fashion brand and platform, VECCHIO, to design a jacket using Van Gogh's Starry Night

"They reached out to me and told me they wanted someone to paint on their jackets. I painted Starry Night on one of their denim jackets and they loved it," says Hallawany

While it'd be easy to apply her own visions and designs on the clothes, Hallawany makes a sincere effort to take the lead from her client and can go to great lengths to ensure that they are pleased with her work.

"For the design, if the client doesn't have something specific in mind then they can give me a sort of vibe or an idea of what they'd like. So for example, if they want a tropical vibe, I'll do a mock-up, show it to them and if it's approved, I'll start painting the design." 

We're not sure whether we'd rather Picasso's face on the back of our denim jacket or perhaps the Mona Lisa on the side of our jeans. Excuse us while we go make some very important decisions. 

Check out her designs on Instagram


Todays Events
'Tanagra'  @ Art Corner  Zamalek
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'Roaming Birds' @ Art Talks
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Sewwes  @The Tap East
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Accordion Dinner   @ Le Méridien
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Hany Rashed @   Gypsum Gallery
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Date: 12/17/2018
Time: 11:00am - 8:00pm
Venue: Mashrabia Art Gallery