Modest-wear designers from nearly a dozen countries descended upon the UAE for the second edit of the Dubai Modest Fashion Week on March 7. The three-day event, which is being held at Emerald Palace Kempinski, opened with a parade show by designers including the UAE’s Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassemi and students from the College of Fashion Design, and Niswa Fashion from the United States, followed by two exclusive shows dedicated to designers from Azerbaijan and Russia, as well as the Anotah label from Kuwait.
The number of participating countries – from Austria and Australia to India and Indonesia – aside, the far-reaching effects of and demand for modest wear were made apparent thanks to the variety and versatility of the clothing sent down the runways.
In fact, the modest fashion movement is predicted to rake in US$250 billion (Dh918bn) in sales by 2020. As Kerim Ture, co-founder of e-tailor Modanisa, put it: “Any fashion lover can appreciate and put on modest wear – it’s for every woman who wants to feel at ease in her clothing, elegant yet decorous.”
Take a look through our gallery above to find a look that suits your style, and find out more about the designers here.
Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassemi (UAE), founded the House of Hend in 2007. The brand is known for its feminine silhouettes and intricate embroidery, and creates two lines: traditional Middle Eastern and more modern western styles.
Niswa Fashion is a clothing, scarves and accessories brand, which was established in Illinois in 2016 with the aim to "serve women of all races, backgrounds, and faiths, who seek a modest lifestyle without compromising on their individuality".
Imen Bousnina from Austria often looks to her Tunisian roots for inspiration. She notes that modest fashion is a "big responsibility" for designers such as herself, and yet a "very convenient" trend for women seeking clothing that's at once classy and conservative.
Adrianna Yariqa from Singapore creates modest-wear athleisure garments, including track suits, and beach cardigans and palazzo pants, as well as kurta sets for men, women and children.
CR by Tika Ramlan from Indonesia injects her hijabs, scarves, long dresses and full skirts with cheery pops of colour, from blush pink and bright maroon to sky blue and pale mauve.
Kuwaiti brand Anotah, which has a branch in Dubai at City Centre Mirdif, designs top-to-toe looks for women, children and teenage girls, including high-waist trousers, plaid skirts, maxi dresses, detailed blazers and hooded jumpsuits.
As its name suggests, Hijab Queen from Azerbaijan wants to "help keep hijabs in trend forever". It does so by creating the garment in various styles and shapes, and keeping comfort in mind, as well as a range of turbans and hats, some in 100 per cent Sheki silk. The brand collaborated with fellow Azerbaijani label Nargiz Shakhbazi at this year's Dubai Modest Fashion Week.
Zahra World from Azerbaijan specialises in turbans and headpieces, rendered in bright hues and luxe fabrics, and various styles such as braided, feathered, ruffled and meshed.
Anara Zakirli from Azerbaijan launched her eponymous brand last year, and takes her inspiration from the country's plush carpets and embroidery, which she then translates into hand-made dresses, jackets and polo necks.