The rise of modest fashion
For the layman, an assumption about Muslim fashion would be that it’s covered up and dowdy, and consists of nothing but an uninspiring blend of dark and muted colours. However, this is far from the truth! As a scene from the movie Sex and The City 2 showed, just because women of faith must cover up, it doesn’t mean they aren’t fashionistas. Modest fashion is not limited to Muslims as there is no singular look or style, the idea is to dress in a manner which avoids impropriety.
And so, modest fashion was born. From maxi dresses and jumpsuits, to flowy blouses and kaftan tops, cover-up chic has never been so fashionable, so much so that the first Modest Fashion week was hosted in London this February.
From day-to-day looks as well as at red carpet award pieces, it seems that despite general fashion trends being about showing as much skin as possible, cover-up chic is definitely here to stay.
It’s been difficult in the past to get fashionable Muslimah styles. While there have been one-off seasonal collections by the likes of DKNY, Oscar de la Renta and even Mango (all of which were only available to the Middle Eastern market), it was Dolce & Gabbana who made headlines and brought Muslimah fashion to the forefront when in 2016 campaign images surfaced for their first hijab and abaya collection. Whilst modest and adhering to Middle Eastern dress codes, the styles possessed all the luxe and glamour Dolce & Gabbana has become famous for.
Many eagerly anticipated the 2017 shows and campaigns expecting more designers to follow D&G’s lead with all-year round collections. However, while fully dedicated Muslimah collections failed to materialise, a trend known as “modest wear” began to gather speed. It seems that with $266 billion dollars spent on clothing & footwear globally in 2013, forecasted to balloon to $484 by 2018, designers realised that it would be foolish to miss out on a piece of that lucrative Muslim fashion market pie!