The fashion world, by its very nature, constantly reinvents itself, with new styles from the outrageous to the classically inspired hitting the runways each season.
But what about Islamic fashion? Confined by rules of modesty and propriety, Muslim clothes for women have seen little change over the years. The hijab dress code stipulates that women should cover their entire body, except their face and palms, in public. Clothing, including the headscarf, cannot be transparent or tight-fitting.
But fashion label Up2Date, which specializes in clothes for Muslim women, manage to combine traditional thinking with modern styles.
On Tuesday, Up2Date presented its collection for next year in the ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta. Called “InterAction 2010,” the show combined exotic looks inspired by Mexican fashion icon Maria Felix with a funky retro approach.
While the 70 pieces presented during the show came in a variety of styles and colors, yellow was a major theme of the collection.
“Yellow is a perfect example of the interaction between different elements,” said Tia Wigati, Up2Date’s business development manager. “Its varying hues translate into the warmth of natural elements, like the sun and the soil, and the royal luxury of gold.”
The show’s first session featured streamlined feminine dresses matched with chic overalls and draperies.
“We want to show women that wearing dresses, instead of trousers, is both convenient and fashionable in our daily activities,” Tia said.
Most of the Up2Date pieces utilize spandex and viscose rayon. “We all know these fabrics are soft, smooth, cool and highly absorbent,” Tia said. “To make it more trendy and glamorous, we match them with natural fabrics, such as satin and linen.”
Monochromatic headscarves, in stretchy and knitted fabrics, can be swathed smartly around the head and the neck. “Our headscarves are both simple and easy-to-use,” Tia said. “We want to minimize the use of pins and needles for the scarves as they’re both inconvenient and time-consuming.”
During the show, models displayed long tunics in soft, glowing colors. The straight, narrow cut of these dresses gave them a dynamic look. In contrast, flowing palazzo pants paired with knit boleros were reminiscent of the 1960s and ’70s.
But the highlight of the show was the loose-fitting, low-crotched harem pants, which, at a glance, looked like billowy skirts with tapered legs.
Vests, jackets and hats fitted over headscarves augmented the predominantly youthful look of the collection.
The accessories for the season include pendants made of synthetic leather and wooden ornaments in geometrical patterns. “We aim to create an edgy, modern look with these natural elements,” Tia said.
The audience, which consisted mostly of women, appeared transfixed by the show.
“I never knew that Muslim fashion could be so chic and trendy,” said one audience member, Sarah Ambarwati.
Tia said customers like Up2Date clothing because it is “casual, convenient and easy to mix-and-match.”
“As technology advances, human interactions are becoming more intense, which results in an exchange of different cultures. This exchange gives birth to new and unique fashion styles,” she said.
“Rather than refusing to change, we should see this as something that enriches our fashion styles, by providing us with more alternatives for our daily wear. The challenge is how to follow today’s trends without disregarding the stipulations for Muslim women’s clothing.”
“We always present a fresh fashion style for every new season,” she added.
Up2Date clothes are available at stores across Indonesia. See up2datetrimoda.com for more details.