Hijabs in New York Fashion Week
Last season, September 2016 an Indonesian designer Anniesa Hasibuan, 30, made history. By featuring hijabs in New York Fashion Week catwalk she did revolutionary hijabs fashion. She is the first innovative designer, delighted crowds with her Spring Summer ’17 collection D’Jakarta. Since then, a question is trending particularly within the Muslim societies, what Muslim hijab is for? Muslim women’s proud or a catwalk fashion declaration.
The show consisted of 48 different looks, of which 10 were evening gowns and 38 were ready-to-wear pieces. And each outfit was featuring hijab to grace the look.
Following the show, Ms. Hasibuan took to the walkway, where she received a standing ovation from the audience.
The designer told CNN, “I am so proud and thankful for everyone on the team who helped me so this event could happen, and I am so thankful to international and local media from Indonesia for exposing my show. I did not realize the result can be this amazing, and I am thrilled and humbled by the welcome reaction given.”
Ms. Hasibuan though made a history but created controversies with her fashion sense of showcasing hijabs. It is necessary for the world to understand what hijab really is in Muslim societies.
What are Hijabs?
A Hijab is a covering or a veil traditionally worn by Muslim women to cover their head and chest from other males outside of their immediate family. It is the veil that separates the man or the world from God. They are separating visitors to Muhammad’s house from his wives. Wearing Hijab is a contemporary practice across the world. It is a recommendation from Muslim God to wear Hijabs for showing their self-righteousness and dignity by separating themselves from the other women of the world.
Veiling did not originate with Islam, but it was a customary part of the pre-Islamic era of ancient Greece, Hebrews, and Jewish.
Today’s Scenario of Hijabs:
Muslim women wear hijabs as a symbol of modesty and privacy. Hijabs refer to the seclusion of women from the men in the public sphere. This veiling is a symbol of diversity for Muslim women as written in their holy Quran.
In all religions across the world, during ancient times there was always a veiling clothing material for women. But as the time passed, that clothing sense changed as humans forwarded towards future.
The biggest question is why Muslim community is not coming forward and adopting the new fashion sense of clothing?
The World is with Muslim girl!
Let’s get back to the New York Fashion Week of 2016 where Muslim girl designer, Anniesa Hasibuan’s creativity forced everyone to believe her and her fashion statement.
Fashion is nothing if not an act of showmanship.
Vogue included hijab-clad women in its roundup of the best street style spotted at NYFW. And the growing contingent of hijabi fashion bloggers took to Instagram to document their NYFW experiences.
Quote from Melanie Elturk, CEO of modest fashion line Haute Hijab:
“Many believe fashion is frivolous and devoid of meaning. I believe fashion is one of the outlets in which we can start that cultural shift in today’s society to normalize hijab in America, break down stereotypes and demystify misconceptions.”
Online lifestyle magazine Muslim Girl welcomed the collection, with Maha Syeda’s writing “The Indonesian designer brought together the perfect elements of her cultural home country and the metropolitan western fashion world to create a beautiful harmony of fashion and modesty, because, yes — they don’t have to clash.”
Last night’s show was a huge leap in the forward direction of modern Islamic dress.
Putri Soediono, a Singapore-based designer with Indonesian heritage told, “Indonesian fashion has become more diverse and we’ve become more confident in taking our own culture and what we’ve grown up with into our influences.”
“Modern Islamic dress innovator is Indonesia.”
Dr. Eva Nisa, professor of Islamic Studies quotes:
Dr. Eva Nisa, professor of Islamic Studies at Victoria University, who has been researching Muslim fashion in Indonesia since 2007 says, “The belief among some is that the essence of Muslim dress is to wear something decent, to be modest. For women, they have to make sure what they’re wearing doesn’t attract the attention of men.”
Hasibuan “started her career designing for Muslim women – this is what her consumers want,” says Soediono.
It seems that the world stood with Hasibuan for her brave move towards the Islamic dressing sense. After all, for many young Muslim women, hijab is not a symbol or a statement. But it is just a part of their identity which Hasibuan has strongly presented on the world platform.
Fashion is all about designing ourselves, what we like to wear.
What do Muslims think?
The hijab is now becoming a long contentious topic among feminists, conservatives, secularists, religious and other communities too.
Recently, Tasbeeh Harwees, a journalist, recently wrote in the online magazine about a recent viral Pepsi advert starring Kendall Jenner. The advertisement was controversial because of the casting of a hijab-wearing woman.
“A multi-billion-dollar company was using the image of a Muslim woman to project an image of progressiveness that it may not necessarily live up to,” Harwees tells BBC Trending radio.
It sounds a very deep, internationally symbolizing hijab-wearing woman as a sign of progress.
Khadija Ahmed quotes:
Khadija Ahmed is the editor of a new online magazine called Another Lenz said, “I don’t feel that the brands are doing us a favor – we don’t need the approval of the mainstream companies to approve of our identity. It’s not doing anything for the Muslim community other than reducing the hijab – which I see as an act of worship – into something as simple as a fashion statement.”
Is the editor of a new online magazine called Another Lenz said, “I don’t feel that the brands are doing us a favor – we don’t need the approval of the mainstream companies to approve of our identity. It’s not doing anything for the Muslim community other than reducing the hijab – which I see as an act of worship – into something as simple as a fashion statement.”
Masih Alinejad quotes:
Masih Alinejad is an Iranian activist said, “I think the media in the West want to normalize the hijab issue – they want to talk about minority Muslims in the West, but they totally forget there are millions of women in Muslim countries that are forced to wear the hijab.”
“If you want to talk about the hijab and introduce it as a sign of feminists or resistance you have to think about those girls and women who are forced to wear it,” she says.
And the best way is, allowing all the Muslim women to speak out for themselves so as to bring the change all around the Muslim community.
What Muslim hijab is for? Muslim women’s proud or a catwalk fashion declaration. This question will always give individual answers from each individual personality. Eventually, all the religious communities’ involvement is necessary to solve this issue.
After all, Muslims do belong to the earth.