2017 might’ve been the biggest year in the modest fashion movement. Mattel released the first ever Hijab Barbie in honor of Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad. Project Runway had its first modest designer on the show who not only was able to create Islam-friendly garments, but came in second. And to top off the year, modest design house Firdaws has been creating luxurious evening gowns for the observing woman proving that modesty and elegance go hand in hand.
If that’s not impressive enough, the designer behind the fashion house Firdaws is still in her teens!
The models getting ready for the runway
Firdaws models before the big show
Aishat Kadyrova has had quite a year. From her debut at the 34th season of MBFW Russia in the spring, to developing her skills as a designer, she’s been making waves for sure. Her latest collection (only her second ever!) during the 35th season of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia was another peek into the possibilities of modest fashion, a sector of the industry still underrepresented. Full of flowy gowns, handmade beading, dainty embroidery and a stunning finale look, the Spring/Summer 2018 collection did not disappoint.
Even models love good selfie lighting
Modern and modest, there's no reason you can't to be both
The dreamy princess-like dresses offered feminine mystique complimented by soft make up and minimal accessories. This is only the second collection from Aishat for Firdaws, a fashion house started by her mother Medni Kadyrova in 2009. Since her takeover, fashionistas in both the Russian region and the Middle East have been pining after the youthful modest luxe that Firdaws has become known for. This season along with her sophisticated designs, Firdaws also sent down an eye-catching collection of purses to accentuate the overall looks.
Layered textiles and floral motifs were abundant throughout the collection
Within the fabric of the Firdaws DNA is its heritage and love for the intersection of Islam and quality eveningwear. Staying true to the Muslim tradition, the models wore hijabs over their hair and sleeves to their wrists, with skirts falling to their feet. Keeping the gowns floor-length while accented with beading and nipped in waists, Aishat brought delicate femininity to the runway.
To give the appearance that the woman is gliding on the floor, long skirts have been the traditional standard that was implemented in this collection as well.
Implementing hints of Circassian design, the belt and impeccable stitching add a touch of individuality to the piece
Clutches to match the dresses completed several of the looks
Inspired by her home region of Chechnya, Kexenoi-Am lake in particular, the icy blues paired with warmer pastels symbolized her appreciation for nature. The show stopping look was the final garment to walk the catwalk, the wedding gown. Paired with a silver pitcher the look was an instant hit.
The grand finale, a wedding gown for the modest bride
For the new collection, the goal was a fusion of innovations and elegant design. Icy blues that could be interchanged with warmer pastels, soft embroidery and layered fabrics cemented the demure Firdaws signature.
In contrast to her previous show held in a palace, this season she opted for a more contemporary venue, Zaradye Park. The recently opened park may perhaps symbolize the forward momentum of her collection by bridging the past with the future.
Soft blues fitting for a snow princess
Traditional Circassian clothing prioritizes quality and virtue which continues the use of the kerchiefs and longer hemlines. Everything is detail oriented with focus on the delicate stitching adding aspects of traditional Circassian dress. Throughout the collection there was an abundance of long sleeves, nipped in waists, draped scarves and flowing skirts.
Because Chechnya is a secular Muslim part of Russia, it's not surprising that Ayshat's work honors her heritage.
Sneak peek before the runway
Not only do the clothes stand on their own, they provide insight into the fashion desires of the modern muslim woman. One who loves dressing for herself while observing her religion and doesn’t want to be constricted by the lack of options so often found in the mainstream market.
The movement towards more Islam-friendly apparel is raising momentum around the world with Russia being a big part. The market is currently bringing in $230bn annually while still being relatively untapped. It is estimated that modest apparel will bring in $327bn by 2019 with significant growth expected in future decades.