A Word With

Mother-Daughter Style With Desert Mannequin

In anticipation of Mother's Day, we asked museum professional and style blogger Anum Bashir, of Desert Mannequin, and her mother Atiya, a paediatrician, to tell us their shared style stories and the secret to being good friends.

  • Anum and Atiya Bashir

    Anum with her mother Atiya in the garden of her childhood home

Full names:
Anum Bashir
Dr. Atiya Bashir

Nicknames:
Anum: Num, Nooms, Chicklet
Atiya: Mom, Mother

Home Town:
Doha, Qatar

Occupations:
Anum: A museum professional working for the Artist in Residence program under Qatar Museums (by day). Then of course there's Desert Mannequin.
Atiya: A paediatrician running my own private practice in Doha

Wardrobe Staples:
Anum: Jeans, t-shirt, and either a blazer or denim biker jacket
Atiya: A smart pair of slacks or trousers and a crisp dress shirt with a shawl

Did your mother influence your sense of style, growing up?

Anum: Not really! My mother has always been a very practical woman who, being a doctor, never cared too much for fashion. She's always been incredibly elegant and presentable, which is something I definitely learned from her, but my personal style has truly been "personal". It has been something that has evolved as I've grown based on several social influences, the places I've lived and people in the industry I admire.

Do you have similar tastes? Is there anything you've passionately disagreed on, style-wise, in the past?

Anum: When it comes to traditional Indian or Pakistani attire, my mom and I almost always agree. We also have very similar taste in jewellery. But when it comes to contemporary or more western style, she and I are quite different. Being a blogger and stylist, I often adore a good sartorial risk or two. I think it's interesting to experiment outside your comfort zone, as long as you can pull it off of course! When it comes to normcore and casual basics, we often agree, as my mother turns to comfort first.

Atiya: As a little girl, Anum would come to my room every night and ask to see the jewellery that she'd be allowed to wear when she grew up. I would allow her two minutes with her future prized possessions. She'd kiss them goodnight and then go to bed. She was always incredibly fond of beautiful things and to this day I see that passion in her when she talks about a pair of shoes, a bracelet, or even a pair of jeans. God knows where she got it from!

Has jewellery played a special role in your relationship?

Anum: Oh absolutely! My mother is Pakistani, and in our culture jewellery is huge and gifted on almost every occasion. As women we have been gifted and have inherited beautiful pieces that have been worn and enjoyed by those before us. Gold is great! Oh, and so are diamonds!

Atiya: Anum and I often sit together and go through photos of her and her sister's weddings. We've done it a million times, and yet it always feels like yesterday. We reminisce over wedding shopping, and designing our jewellery. It was such a fun time.

What are your most loved inherited pieces?

Anum: I've inherited many cherished pieces of jewellery, from stuff my mother wore as a bride, to pieces my grandmother had specially made for her to pass down to us. I also always wear a Rolex that my mother gave me, which I love. Getting married is a huge milestone in our culture and with that comes beautiful garments and jewellery that parents gift their daughters. I've been quite blessed there.

What do you most admire about each other?

Anum: My mother's dedication, resilience and charitable nature.

Atiya: Anum's ability to always sincerely listen to my advice is something I value and love a lot. It fortifies my role as a mother. She's also incredibly dedicated and somehow always tries her level best to keep a promise.

Has your mother given you any words of wisdom that have stuck?

Anum: Just to always be honest, modest, and loyal. These three qualities will get you far and never let you down. She's been right so far.

What's the secret to being friends with your mother?

Anum: Mutual respect, a good sense of humour, the assurance that one will always be there for the other, and the understanding that space is important to let a relationship flourish.

How will you be celebrating Mother's Day?

Anum: Mother's Day usually means flowers, a special present I know my mom has been coveting for a while and a dinner of her choice.

What would you like to receive for Mother's Day?

Atiya: I love MV's Baja Precious Cocktail Earrings in Ruby. Absolutely lovely!

If there were a Daughter's Day, what would be on your wish list?

Anum: Anything from the Baja collection is just superb!

For gifting inspiration for mum, head to the Mother's Day Gifts edit.

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