History Made in Hijab: New York Fashion Week 2016

In a historic event, the NYFW catwalk was rocked with a hijab collection by Indonesian designer Anniesa Hasibuan.

Even as news of controversies surrounding the hijab is on a steady rise from all corners of the world, a Muslim fashion designer has given the traditional Muslim attire for women an all new dimension. Designer Anniesa Hasibuan has created waves in the fashion industry with her all-new fashion range of Muslim attire in a never-before seen manner. Coming at a time when Islamophobia is high all over the world, this new fashion line gives a whole new perspective on Islam and how fashion can meet tradition.

30-year-old designer Hasibuan’s collection is truly historic for a number of reasons. For one, it is the first time that an Indonesian is presenting a collection in the New York Fashion Week. Secondly, it is the first time that the New York Fashion Week has had a collection of traditional Islam religious attire for women being presented on the catwalk. And lastly, Hasibuan may be one of the few, if not first, designers to have received a standing ovation at the end of the show.

Moved by the overwhelming response, a teary-eyed Hasibuan revealed that she never expected her collection would receive such a response. She added that the way her collection was welcomed by the audience has humbled her. Her collection is inspired by the cultural themes of Indonesia, where colorful, floral and intricate patterns are the norm. Having her own boutique in Jakarta, Hasibuan has been praised for her brilliant use of creativity in bringing showcasing Indonesian culture, Islamic tradition and modern concepts together in her collection. Perhaps one of the ways she has really created a revolution is the way in which she managed to bring together religious modesty and modern fashion- two things that very few would have imagined will make sense together.

Conservative groups, however, have noted that the new collection is against religious guidelines. Dr. Eva Nisa, professor of Islamic Studies at Victoria University has observed that the hijab is supposed to be worn so that attention is not drawn to the wearer. As such, these new ideas are against Islamic laws as they defeat the very purpose they exist as modesty and decency is the core essence of the Muslim dress code.

With 48 pieces presented in her collection, Hasibuan says that her main aim was to bring the name of her nation to the world of fashion. She also believes that the collection showcases the cultural richness and diversity of Indonesia. 

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