OMAN Magazine meets with Maggie Jeans OBE who was awarded the title during this year’s birthday honours from H.M. The Queen, for her services to Anglo-Omani relations.
Having lived in Muscat since 1990, when her late husband came to the Sultanate to train doctors at the university, Maggie has taken on many prestigious roles and challenges in the region.
Maggie is currently the Head of the Oman British Business Group and runs a text book distribution company. Here we find out her fashion-forward thoughts on clothing, art and style.
Describe your style?
Eclectic! Practical with a dash of imagination. Non-conformist.
What is your first fashion memory?
Bridesmaid dresses as a child.A paper dress when I was a teenager.Platform shoes…
What is the most precious item in your wardrobe?
A small collection of old Omani traditional handmade outfits from different regions which I only wear on special occasions.
Which fashion designer/era inspires you?
Sci/Fi High tech. easy care modern fabrics available such as Spandex, Lycra, Elastane which are easy-care and so easy to wear, overlayed with lightweight garments in natural fabrics such as silk and cotton.
For whom do you dress, your partner, your job or yourself?
In this climate, I confess to dressing mainly for comfort. I live in leggings, layers, loose tops and scarves. Footwear is the real challenge and nowadays I hardly ever wear shoes and never wear heels.
How much is too much to spend on one item of clothing?
I subscribe to the Ethical Fashion Forum which is about sustainability and anti-sweat shop practices. I’m more interested in the quality of fabric and manufacture than the label. I enjoy experimenting with tailoring in Oman. When we came to Oman in 1990 this was the only option as there was no off-the-peg or on-line shopping!
Do you shop online? Success or failure?
Yes.I particularly enjoy hunting for the unusual and bargains!
Which fashion item from your past do you wish you had kept?
A hand-embroidered Saudi Bedouin wedding dress which would now be an heirloom.
Do you wear or aspire to wear vintage?
I’ll wear anything that suits me including vintage which I wore long before it became fashionable.
In a fantasy world, which two designers would you be happy to only wear and why?
Katharine E Hamnett CBE an English fashion designer best known for her political t-shirts and her ethical business philosophy but I like her solid blocks of black & white and simple, elegant, shapes. Dame Zandra Lindsey Rhodes, DBE RDI (born 19 September 1940), an English fashion designer Jacques Vert too.