Fashion

L'Officiel Arabia speaks to the founder of Alina Anwar Couture

Alina Anwar, founder of Alina Anwar Couture sat down with L'Officiel Arabia to modest fashion, hijabi bloggers and Dubai Modest Fashion Week
Reading time 4 minutes

Why do you think modest fashion has exploded onto the international fashion scene over the past few years?

Modest fashion is definitely becoming much more visible on the international fashion scene and I believe this is for a number of reasons. Hijabi bloggers, influencers and Muslim fashionistas are gaining immense notoriety and the brands are recognising this. Luxury brands are creating clothes that observe various ethnic and cultures, especially as they aware that these groups have big spending power. In a non-business sense, Middle Eastern women are increasingly using fashion to express themselves, demanding more choice.

Before the recent rise in modest fashion, in your opinion, what was available on the market to women who wanted to make modest fashion choices?

Modest fashion was something targeted to the older generation, it was seen as a way to cover and hide, rather than highlight and celebrate, as it is today. As modest fashion becomes in-vogue with the younger generation, more options become available.

Before the modest fashion revolution, in your opinion how difficult was it for women to find modest clothes that were fashionable?

It was extremely hard to find modest clothes that were fashionable, especially in Western high street stores. Just because clothes are modest, doesn’t mean they have to be plain or ill-fitting.

Which is your favourite modest fashion week and why?

My favourite modest fashion week is Dubai Modest Fashion Week and I am certain it will be viewed as the most prestigious modest fashion week in the world. Designers from around the globe including from Indonesia, India, UAE and Turkey are eager to participate. It’s wonderful to see such a rich variety of cultures showcase their creations.

How do you feel modest fashion weeks compare to the traditional fashion weeks and do you think it is important for them to exist as a separate entity?

I think it’s important for modest fashion weeks to become integrated with “normal” fashion weeks as that’s what society should be – together. Having modest fashion weeks as something standalone makes it seem as if it is something to be kept away from the mainstream. 

Modest fashion isn’t just popular within the Muslim world. Why do you think modest fashion has become popular with women in all walks of life?

As mentioned earlier, women are becoming empowered, with movements such as #MeToo, women feel like they have more of a voice than ever and they have a choice to wear whatever they want in order to feel happy and comfortable.

In your opinion what is the future of the modest fashion industry?

There seems to be such a positive movement regarding modest fashion at the moment and it’s only getting brighter. Thanks to the rise of Hijabis and and hijab bloggers gaining popularity, brands are listening and creating designs to make these customers feel empowered.

What modest fashion trends are you looking forward to in 2019/2020?

I’m looking forward to seeing different designs for abayas in non-traditional ways that we haven’t seen before. I’m intrigued to see beautiful ranges of abayas with feather embellishments for a feminine look or oversized abayas with floral patterns. Plaid is one of this year’s biggest trends and I’m interested in seeing how it’ll be incorporated. As previously mentioned, oversized will be a big trend in 2019/2020, with dresses paired with caps and coats for a chic, elegant look. In regards to colours, bright eye-catching colour palettes will be predominant with colours used such as beige, grey and champagne to fuchsias and greens. Materials featured will be chiffon, silk, satin, cotton and crepe. Finally, I am expecting to see big turban designs hitting the catwalks.

For more information about Alina Anwar and her eponymous couture label, visit  alinaanwar.com

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