A bisht is the traditional snow white robe worn by men in the Gulf for formal business events, weddings, and celebrations. While it is possible to purchase a garment made in a factory in India, men with sufficient funds patronize a family tailor, who has often sewn robes for multiple generations from boyhood to death.
While visiting the Al Mubarakiya, the old souk (market) in Kuwait, Al Attar spent time with a tailor, shooting with black and white film on a Rollie camera as the man meticulously stitched along on his sewing machine beneath fluorescent lights. Just several years ago, factory made clothes were not an option in the Gulf, and people would convene at the souk for all their groceries, household, and livestock needs. With the advent of big box brands that provide one stop shopping at bulk discount, the souk symbolism as both town centre and source of hand made artisanal goods is slowing dying out.