By UNITY BLOTT FOR MAILONLINE
- London’s Saatchi Gallery hosted the capital’s first Modest Fashion Week
- More than 40 labels showcased looks including hijabs and maxi dresses
- Designer Roda Abdi says a growing number of UK brands are selling ‘modest’ womenswear – and believes this will be the ‘norm’ in four to five years
Each year, London Fashion Week sees models parading down the runway in a series of eye-wateringly low necklines and short hemlines.
But a more demure look took centre stage this weekend with the capital’s first ever Modest Fashion Week (MFW) at the Saatchi Gallery.
More than 40 designers from around the world showcased scarves, hijabs and loose-fitting maxi dresses at the two-day event organised by Haute Elan, who claim ‘modest fashion’ is one of the fastest-growing consumer markets.
According to the UK e-commerce retailer, the event, described as a ‘new and exciting addition to London’s fashion calendar’, is the first of its kind and aims to give a platform to brands that cater for religious women and those who prefer to dress modestly.
Members of the Muslim community along with fashion fans praised the show for ‘sending a positive message’.
Twitter user @siagalal wrote: ‘It’s great and inspires so many muslimahs & shows them that they can be both fashionable and modest.’
The event, which charged up to £100 for tickets, featured shopping, runway shows, talks and workshops, as well as networking and trade discussions.
A model showcases an elaborate green design with a gold trim during a runway show at London’s first Modest Fashion Week (MWF) at the Saatchi Gallery this weekend
Ruffles, ruching and bows galore: While the designs were varied in colour and style, they all focused on modesty with minimal skin on show
A hijab-wearing model carries a colourful clutch bag. More than 40 designers from around the world showcased outfits at the two-day event in London this weekend
Shows featured designs from labels such as Nottingham-based Amirab, which launched just last year and produces ‘modest, modern and fashion-forward Muslim clothing’.
Their flowing jumpsuits and maxi dresses retail at between £200 and £350.
Describing Amirab’s look in Africa Fashion, founder Roda Abdi described modest fashion as: ‘Making sure length of the clothes is appropriate, not sheer, and no slits or cuts which would make the clothes unsuitable for modest wear’.
Most of the designs featured high necklines and low hemlines. On Twitter, members of the Muslim community and fashion fans praised the show for ‘sending a positive message’
Speaking backstage, hijabi blogger Dina Tokio, who has more than 1 million Instagram followers, praised the event as ‘revolutionary’ and ‘pretty fabulous’
A guest speaks backstage at MFW. Modest clothing is described as ‘appropriate [in length], not sheer, and no slits or cuts which would make the clothes unsuitable for modest wear’
The woman behind the ‘UK’s first luxury hijab’ also praised high street stores like Debenhams for stocking modest designs, adding: ‘I believe in the next four to five years this will be norm.’
Meanwhile hijabi blogger Dina Tokio, who has more than 1 million Instagram followers, praised the event as ‘revolutionary’.
In an interview with Blogosphere magazine, she said: ‘I feel like brands are coming on board with diversity now and I think that it’s down to social media and how much talent there is out there.
Fashion fans took to Twitter to praise the two-day event for ‘sending a positive message’
‘I want to show that you can coincide faith with fashion and that there are Muslim women who actually represent that.’
MFW comes after Kanye West made headlines by sending a hijabi-wearing model down the runway at his Yeezy Season 5 show in New York last week.
Halima Aden, a 19-year-old Somali-American from Minnesota, signed with IMG Models before strutting down the runway at Kanye’s latest presentation.
The budding model, who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, donned a hijab and a long fur coat for her first trip down the catwalk.