Pret-A-Cover Fashion Week
I don’t design clothes. I design dreams. —Ralph Lauren
Fashion has been a medium for conveying not only religious but also political values, addressing issues of gender, class and culture. As sociologist Elizabeth Wilson has noted: “fashion is freed to become both an aesthetic vehicle for experiments in taste and a political means of expression for dissidence, rebellion, and social reform.”
We picked our favorites from this week’s PACFW, and asked the designers what dreams their collection represent, how they can empower women and represent their choices. Here’s a sneak peak, and what each designer had to say!
AQDUS – Rooted in its epic Indian heritage, Aqdus inventively fuses Asian culture with Western cuts, for every Woman who desires empowerment within the degree of freedom without compromising their values. This cape says it all –demystifying the hijab and abaya, and taking it to another era!
“My collection embraces two dynamic elements: Islamic ethnic wear and contemporary fashion trends to create a fusion that projects the best of both. The eternal appeal thus created has no geographical boundaries but exudes an international appeal.”
ARAIDA – Hailing from Russia are elegant silks that capture the most usual dream of all women on our planet to always to look perfect. Certainly for the Muslim girl – a classic pair of triangle skirt. Lest we remember that the skirt was part of fashion reform movements in the 19th century which revolutionized rigid Victorian silhouettes. On top of this, letting a trench coat hang loosely on the shoulders maintains an elegant case for modesty!
“We try to create elegant clothes, not east classics with an overabundance of an embroidery and stones, but more adapted to the European fashion, trying to adhere the philosophy of modesty. Silk always symbolized on the one hand abundance and a well-off life, and on the other hand -tenderness, incomprehensibility , feminity. These concepts perfectly blend with our collections.”
BLANCHEUR From the vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur, where women are on top of their games, this collection speaks of how stunning and ravishing women can be effortlessly. This outfit is for that corporate modest woman to take seriously – bold enough to go all white, with personal accents of yellow.
“We want to address practicality in dresses we created. From Abaya to maxi dress, we want the girls to feel comfortable in their garment, and be connected to the environment and their lifestyle. This is how we make the fashion evolve, emphasizing the value of a culture through modernity.”
BULBULIA Hailing from South Africa is a joyful collection of colorful prints. This retro skirt, embellished in an entire outfit of color speaks of the creative liberty of a modest woman strutting on any runway. Dreams of fun and frivolity, your inner happy place!
“For me they symbolize freedom of expression, boldness. Be not afraid to be noticed, strong and fearless!”
ES’ GIVIEN An Italian collection of black and white, staple colors but daring fabrics from leather skirts to pleated coats. Every girl needs a black, and a white, of everything. One can never go wrong with them, and whoever pulls them off every single time. Always simply chick: Black &White.
“Our philosophy, since the very beginning, is we believe into our dreams Strength and they will come true. This is also our creed and we believe it does not work just for us but for everybody on this planet.”
INTEGRITY Bringing back the jumpsuit and one piece items mean that modern fashion is going in unique directions, says our Australian designer in the house. In the early 20th century, progressive movements like woman’s suffrage, and the World War II, marked functional denim jumpsuits and military uniforms. Recreating styles to fit the modest criteria is indeed pack a punch that is totally fierce!
“Our collection speaks of a dream in which women are floating around in a world they have created for themselves. We design dreams for the modern businesswoman, dreams for the mother who wants to look fabulous on a summers day, dreams for a fashionista rocking a jumpsuit and bold colours and above all, dreams of the fashion kind that scream integrity.”
JEMMILA Simplicity is beauty is a universal fashion statement. Much of 19th Century encouraged women to relinquish wartime jobs and focus again on family, with “popover” dresses designed to enable women to stay chic even at home. For our Swedish collection, we love the carnation pink robe and its elusive feminity – the subtleness of power of simply being a woman.
“Dreams of beautiful purposeful design that connects to what we have in common rather then our differences.”
MIRANDA KONSTANTINIDOU This designer from Germany is not afraid to live a colourful dream. Colourful but not random, self-confident but not noisy, a positive dream but not shallow. As Yves Saint Laurent declared: “Modern woman is a woman in pants.” How does a hijabi wear one? Reinvent a poncho like this!
“My symbols are not so much messages from brain to brain but from emotion to emotion. Even more than brain messages, emotional messages must be very considered and precise. Each of the prints has it’s very own message, just take a look – (to any) woman who takes full responsibility for her dreams… if she wants to.”
POSE/ARRAZI Raised in a cosmopolitan city such as Dubai gathers different people and nationalities from all over the world where this collection has learned to integrate the authenticity of the East and the modern West pleasing to the global level. Check out this inventive polo, reminiscent of an East Asian past, but shaped with forward-looking modern cuts – an entire package!
“Our dream is to continue offering designs that will cater our elite fashion conscious lady who refines her emotions by being brave, courageous and powerful in her social assignments through her outfits . Yet from the brand positioning prospective, our focus remains on production, quality and increase our outreach while maintaining innovation and creativity on offer.“
SHIZA HASSAN Our designer celebrates tradition, her own Pakistani heritage, all the way from Persian to Turkish. Tradition in today’s world is what keeps its loop moving. As she notes, nothing can revive any culture or tradition more than a confident and secure woman, the heart of every family unit.
“While working closely with our clients –we bring their thoughts & dreams to reality! Our latest collection has been inspired by the Turkish architecture and the wonderment of the art of carpet weaving in Persia. The stories woven into these beautiful pieces, of ancient art have inspired me to create beautiful ensembles with prints, embroideries, and embellishments. For me, it creates a dream world of the opulence and glamor of the rich heritage.”
TARUN TAHILIANI Another cultural revisionist, our designer from India finds comfort in not abandoning culture in favour of convenience. He says, elegance is being connected to your tradition, and then to move forward. Around the world, people have different ways of life,. A woman who knows herself, without simply following trends is elegance as a state of mind.
“I think the dream that we design, is not to have a fake movie to our life, but to understand that with all the knowledge in the world today that you can have a dream of having a very special life of privilege which is a personal dream, to live life the way you want, to define yourself. Whatever their style is, they come to define fashion, and a certain way of life rather than just embody what somebody else wears. I think the dream has to be your own dream, and if you are lucky enough to do that then you will become the style icon. “
YAND Our Russian collection infuses a pious sense of style in modest women formal wear. This white creation is not only a break-away from the regular black abaya, but celebrates religion in any occasion! As the designer says – style is perfection in everything, the rest is inspiration.
“Our dream is to make the world become free of hate and full love.”
YESIM OZCAN Turkish trench coats are a personal favorite for the writer – conservatism and complexity. Red is the color of power, and any woman who can pull it off from head to toe, makes a case for the power of modesty.
“My fantasy is a woman who always accepts new with courage. It is a woman who is innovative, productive and able to say,‘I am here too. This is me. It is exactly for this reason that our motto is ‘YES I AM’”
ZAMAAN Pop art was introduced by Lawrence Albaway in New York to bridge the gap between the working class and upper class. Echoing this from South Africa, Zamaan was so inspired by this concept and saw it as an opportunity to bridge the gap between modest wear and the mainstream fashion industry. This is certainly taking modest wear to the next level!
“Zamaan’s dream is to inspire women to celebrate their modesty and aims to revolutionize modest wear with our unique take on fashion to create trendy fusion forward fashion couture. To put it simply Zamaan collections embody fusion, femininity, beauty and practicality. Our clothes are made for all body shapes and are easy to wear for all occasions. Zamaan’s collections and brand embodies effortless chic and is open to interpretation of an individual’s personal style.”
Inspired by the Museum at FIT, the most fashionable museum in New York City, and its exhibit entitled “200 Years of Political Fashion on View,” we believe that fashion can indeed be a medium for raising political, social, and environmental awareness. Contemporary fashion designers all over the world have joined the new band wagon for fashionable impact!
Quoting the curators of the article above: “The Danish fashion brand NOIR works with sustainable materials and fair-trade practices to blend luxury and sophistication with social responsibility. Mexican fashion designer Carla Fernández collaborates with indigenous communities to create jobs for local artisans and preserve traditional crafts. These designers’ approaches are varied, but all demonstrate fashion’s continued ability to articulate both the concerns and aspirations of our society.”
Modest fashion is growing, and has a lot more to explore. We are excited to see how modest fashion takes this challenge on!