Modest Beauty - A Look Into Islamic Fashion

As Ramadhan and Hari Raya approach, the Islamic community is once again under the annual spotlight. What used to be unfashionable stereotypes of the female Muslims’ wardrobe have now been substituted with stunning fashion pieces that cater especially to those who chose to remain passionate about their faith but at the same time divulge into intricate designs resembling mainstream non-religious based fashion.

As Muslims all over the world prepare for this auspicious month and celebrations that are sure to follow, Convergence takes a modest glance into the many events and gatherings that are organized by a flourishing business – the Islamic Fashion Industry.

Islamic Fashion Festival, Kuala Lumpur

Birthed by Dato’ Raja Reza, of Kelantanese Royalty, the Islamic Fashion will be held in November in Kuala Lumpur for the 6th consecutive year. With its tagline, “Discovering the Beauty of Modesty”, the IFF carries with it its vision to break myths of an archaic and ill-adapted faith by bringing together different concepts and ideas via its multi-religious and multicultural participants. They also strive to enliven the audience, sparking their curiosity to learn more about Islam and at the same time offering a channel for significant exchange in the celebration of beauty in diversity whilst building an awareness of and an appreciation for the inherent beauty and diversity of Islamic fashion and culture. The IFF also endeavors to inspire creative expression and interpretation among its designers to illustrate the flexibility as well as the practicality of dynamic Islamic fashion while being the vehicle, voice and visualization of Islam in her true essence.

A creation from Indonesian designer Jenny Tjahyawati during Islamic Fashion Festival in Kuala Lumpur, November 16, 2011

The Bride Show, Abu Dhabi

Following the success of its 2012 installment, which hosted over 230 exhibitors and saw more than 15,000 visitors attending across the four days, The Bride Show Abu Dhabi will kick-off on the 30th of January 2013 in conjunction with its 12th anniversary. The organizer of the Sheila and Abaya Fashion Show/Bridal Exhibition in Dubai are working tirelessly to ensure that each one of their visitors enjoys a unique and glamorous shopping experience with thousands idea for your “big day”.

The Bride Show Abu Dhabi also provides a multitude of the latest styles and trend in the market with everything ranging from haute couture design, evening wear, fashion accessories, beauty products and so much more. The fashion shows will stage an assortment of the most sophisticated, fashionable and extravagant dresses with everything from traditional to contemporary designs from the local, regional and international design houses. Another highlight at the show which was introduced just earlier this year, is the upgrade for VIP Lounge visitors who were upgraded to receive treatments which include mini massages, beauty and style consultations with experts, light refreshments as well as reserved VIP seating at the fashion shows.

Jakarta Fashion Week

The third day of Jakarta Fashion Week (JFW) will start off with 2 Muslimwear segments presented by one of Indonesia’s most prominent fashion organizations – the Association of Indonesian Fashion Designers & Entrepreneurs (APPMI). Being recognized as the most populous Muslim country, Indonesia’s image is recurrently associated with this demographic and has raised many speculative assumptions. However, the lush, vibrant colors that dominated the runway are working slowly on breaking those stereotypes. A multibillion-dollar industry, Indonesian Muslimwear exports their products to other Muslim countries such as Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. This is especially because many of the Indonesia’s Muslimwear designers are often regarded as trendsetters by their peers due to their out-of-the box illustration of an assumed to be conservative and oppressed manner of dressing.

Islamic Fashion Festival Charity Gala, Monaco

The fashion festival that was held in Monaco in 2010, however, sparked more controversy and ignited some very angry fires so much more than it did promote the message of finding the beauty in modesty. Organised by the afore mentioned IFF and endorsed by First Lady of Malaysia Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the fashion show, which was graced with the presence of Prince Albert of Monaco made headlines all over the globe. More than that, however, the Muslim community was quick to express their displeasure at the choice of gowns and dresses showcased on that day. All of them claimed the collections to be too revealing and not in keeping with the practices of Islam. Islamic fashion is fast becoming a lucrative business with the current market estimated to be worth more than US$96billion (RM302 billion) a year. To meet with the most important brands of the sector leaders and to have new business contacts and also to see the new 2012 summer collections you have to visit Islamic Fashion Festival.