Islamic collections seen at London’s Fashion Week
The growing world of ‘modest fashion’ has found its way on the runways of London Fashion Week. One specific collection that has turned heads is Dian Pelangi’s Co-Identity collection which is inspired by both culture and religion. Pelangi states that the collection she worked on with two other designers is inspired by Islamic clothing, by her country Indonesia and the countries of her co-designers Zambia and the UK.
However, Pelangi is not the only one. Luxury designers such as D&G are cashing in on a moneymaking market by releasing traditionally Islamic clothing collection, and high street brands are doing the same. The high street has seen the evolution of fashion turn modest. Winter coats reach ankles, polo necks are long sleeved, and cardigans are practically knee-length.
The modest fashion industry – also known as Islamic fashion – is one of the fastest growing sectors worldwide. It set to be worth more than £200 billion by 2020. The figure is staggering in the UK as the British market is already estimated at more than £100 million.
In a post on Instagram, H&M model Mariah Idrissi was asked if capitalising on Muslims was an issue, she replied: “When it comes to Nando’s or KFC supplying us with halal meat, no one complains, everyone is happy to eat it.” Idrissi also said: “Muslim designers will always be valued and needed. It’s about moving forward and being positive.”
Pelangi is one of very few Muslim designers observing Islamic fashion. “It took me three months to create the collection.” She wanted her latest collection to target more than just one audience. Her co-designers, Nelly Rose and Odette Steele came to Indonesia for a residential internship programme, which gave them the opportunity to work with Pelangi directly. The help Pelangi received from the girls allowed her to expand the theme of her collection, “they saw the fabrics from my country, they learnt how to make modify the patterns and techniques. It’s a collaboration of identity” she says.
Pelangi told St John Street News: “This is the first time that modest fashion has been shown in Fashion Week. So, I think it’s a good start for us modest fashion designers to expand our market and show them the beauty of our modest fashion, and show them that they can mix and match without having to wear the headscarf. So it’s a new market, it’s a good thing, it’s a different thing.”