Day 1, Istanbul Modest Fashion Week: Halima Aden’s headscarf collection unveiled, Rabia Z goes ‘green’, and Nihan Peker makes her modest fashion debut
Modanisa Istanbul Modest Fashion Week officially opened its doors on Saturday, 20 April, to showcase an array of home-grown and international talent. Ten shows took place on the first day, held at the Zorlu Centre in the heart of the city.
Turkey’s Refka kicked off proceedings with an ultra-feminine Ramadan collection. Scalloped sleeves, sequined separates in silver and black, light layering with belted coats, and tone-on-tone prints are the mainstay of the label’s latest look.
Next on the runway was Halima Aden’s early-awaited fashion debut of ready-to-go turbans and shawls. The supermodel has teamed up with the world’s leading modest fashion e-tailer Modanisa for her first foray into design, opting for warm colours in a trans-seasonal collection of headwear that veers from the demure to the audacious.
There was a standing ovation for the ‘First Lady of Modest Fashion’ Rabia Z. After an absence of seven years from the runway on parenting duties, the Afghan-Emirati designer made a powerful statement with this exclusive capsule collection that takes every-day basics like the t-shirt dress and applied razor sharp, couture-style cuts. Her models also turned activist, carrying placards bearing messages like “Green Vibes Only”, “Ethical Is the New Normal”, and “Our World Needs Love”.
Nihan Peker is best known for dressing Turkey’s A-list. On Saturday night, the Milan-trained designer stepped in the world of modest fashion for the first time, presenting a stunning collection for the modern sophisticate. From staple pieces in wearable hues of white, blue accents and soft oyster, to unexpected elements of bold pinks, lemon yellows and fiery oranges, Peker offers the perfect palate for spring/summer.
Among other highlights from the first day was the striking collection of designer swimwear from Mayovera of Turkey. Alongside vibrant block colours, are mosaic-style print work and classic stripes. Malaysia’s Ummi Riaz presented fun-loving, yet sculpted ensembles with deconstructed silhouettes and experimental tie dye featuring throughout her contemporary look.
London-based Sherpa sees this season’s jewels as large precious stones in coral, turquoise, purple and red tones. The standout piece in their exclusive show is a necklace of flat, turquoise stone quarts with gold edges. Modern yet discreetly traditional, the takeaway is a fearless penchant for layering jewels.
Day 2, Istanbul Modest Fashion Week: the ‘urban cool’ of Dian Pelangi, ‘bedazzling’ by Saiqa Majeed, and Mizalle’s ‘shimmering’ Ramadan collection
Crowds of fashion-hungry modest dressers flocked to Istanbul’s Zorlu Centre for the second and final day of Modanisa Istanbul Modest Fashion Week 2019. Eleven labels from around the world showcased on Sunday, 21 April, with collections by Dian Pelangi, Saiqu Majeed, Till We Cover, and Muni Muni among the day’s highlights.
With a hint of urban cool, Dian Pelangi’s latest utilitarian-style collection is inspired by social media influencers. Typography, boldly displayed on hijabs, represents the look and feel of a trending hashtag, hardware is visible, yet subtle and fabric strips dangle playfully. The dark palette of black, kaki and browns make the collection universally flattering. The standout piece drew audible gasps from the audience: a fitted jacket with daringly long sleeves that brush the floor.
New modest fashion house Mizalle provided a fitting finale to Istanbul Modest Fashion Week (IMFW). On home turf, the label added star-power on the runway through top Turkish models Özge Ulusoy and İvana Sert for its stunning Ramadan collection filled with shimmering white, flowing fabric with gold accents. There is a bold use of lengths; shorter skirt over trousers, for example, while popular trends also make an appearance: the trench staple, puffer jackets, chunky stripes and the t-shirt dress. Party wear pieces include a pair of copper gold trousers, a pink jumpsuit and high neck dress.
Elegant dressers will love the draped capes of Saiqa Majeed’s SS19 offering. Heavy bead work with jewels and pearls add a touch of decadence for evening attire. Kindly cross-cultural, the bedazzling collection reaches back to Victorian and traditional Pakistani influences for grounded majesty in a style geared towards an international audience. Clever cuts, ruching and discreetly emphasised shoulders make Saiqa Majeed wearably indulgent
Ultra-contemporary brand Muni Muni introduce subdued use of pleats on monotone chiffon. With repeated use of white and black pieces, there is a strong nod towards sports luxe style. There are throwback elements to the collection with zips and oversized pockets on baggy trousers, complete with backpacks. The collection also boasts a dash of glitz with the use of sequins.
Event sponsor and leading modest fashion e-tailer Modanisa supported the presence of Till We Cover at IMFW. The emerging British label has carved out a name for casually cool clothes with elegant simplicity. Its designer Ruby Aslam places a strong emphasis on comfort without compromising style to demonstrate the true versatility of modest attire. Her latest collection sits on the pale end of the spectrum with key pieces standing out in vibrant orange, butter and mint tones. Other notable items include puffer jackets, which slot well into this season’s ’80s trend.
Zeruj, the Istanbul modest fashion mall dedicated to women, presented garments by five designers selling at the mall. Bright floral prints in greens and yellows will please the hue-hungry fashionista, while the allwhite look of some pieces speaks to more demure dressers.
Ready-to-wear bridalwear also made its debut at IMFW courtesy of Jaqar and MWedding. White floorlength dresses veer from the opulent to the angelic. The emphasis is on lace, frills and embroidery, sleeve detailing and decorative precious materials.
Taking place over three days, IMFW featured shows from 21 labels, pop-up booths and talk shows. The event was supported by UPS, MAC Cosmetics, and Hair by Mehmet Tatlı, and media partners Halal Focus and Modest Russia.