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Arabesque fashion highlighting hijabs, jalabiyas, kaftans and modest gowns have been making statements in the industry for years and now that there is a line-up of Arabian models to boot; the inspiration is endless.
Supermodel sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid, Vogue cover star Imaan Hammam and jewellery designer Noor Fares are delighting designers and fashion lovers around the world with their style and grace.
Whether it’s from iconic brands in Paris or in New York, designers and retailers are looking to the region for collections, accessories and shoe ideas for both the Eastern and Western markets.
A large number of well-known brands have already launched special edition capsule collections for Ramadan and one-off pieces created especially for their Arabian clientele.
The Middle Eastern female has also become more empowered to showcase her style without being shy or demure about it while still staying true to her culture.
Halima Aden, popularly known as the world’s first hijab-wearing supermodel, paved the way for others and social media influencers have picked up that vibe and ran with it by making the most of modest looks that are trending all over the globe.
In February, there was a London Modest Fashion Week (LMFW) taking place during the official London Fashion Week. This event is in its second year and it celebrates the latest in current wear by showcasing designers from across the Gulf region, as well as Malaysia and North Africa.
Many of the most popular pieces and new seasonal looks can be snapped up at Majid Al Futtaim malls across the region including City Centre Bahrain.
Shoppers can combine straight-off-the-catwalk items with more traditional clothing, be it a abaya, jalabiya or hijab.
Women can pair elaborate earrings with a headscarf, subtly synch abaya with a statement belt or swap out a more standard style kaftan for a draped kimono or loose coat.
Many women are experimenting with colourful shades and patterns in different textured fabrics - they aren’t just walking around in simple, standard abayas anymore. Some, supermodel Halima, for example, has moved towards colourful hijabs. Fashion Week included a range of head scarves from sequin-splashed styles to printed silk scarfs draped elegantly over hair and fastened with jewelled brooches.
Some women were also spotted wearing hats and sporty caps atop hijabs, for a more urban feel.
And even traditional black abayas are being snapped up with embroidery and other embellishments.
The Spring/Summer 2018 catwalks were packed with floor-skimming A-line skirts paired with buttoned-up collared shirts. Women also modelled boxy menswear-style blazers in a palette of sugary pastel shades, sporty tracksuit-style pants and lightweight mac coats and tailored trouser suits in statement hues.
Prints are playing an important role across the new season collections as well with key trends including oversized polka dots, nautical upright stripes and floral in all forms. The colours that reigned on the runway ranged from bright lime green to classic dove grey and 2018 Pantone Colour of the Year ultra violet.
As for accessories, the highlights included supersized straw sun hats, transparent bags and boots, barley-there micro sunglasses and even opera-length ladylike gloves.