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Abayas only: NY show spotlights rise of modest fashion

Update: February, 12/2018 - 11:23
Indonesian designer Vivi Zubedi made her New York solo runway show debut Sunday, wowing the crowd with her abaya-only collection. – AFP Photo
Viet Nam News

New York — Indonesian designer Vivi Zubedi made her New York solo runway show debut on Sunday, wowing the crowd with her abaya-only collection as she hopes to capitalise on the growing market for modest, Muslim fashions.

In September, she showcased her signature look in a joint show shared with other designers from her homeland. It went so well that she jetted back to New York with the aim of drumming up more business.

"Very excited!" Zubedi giggled backstage after being mobbed by friends and family, taking selfies with stylish US bloggers who admire her fashion-forward Islamic style dressing even if they’re not Muslim.

"I have a lot of clients here actually," she giggled again.

It was standing room only as Zubedi sent down the runway a collection of batik prints, black and midnight blue velvet, pearl-rimmed hijabs and American baseball-style hats perched on the top of headscarves.

Unlike the average US catwalk display of leg and cleavage, there was barely a strand of hair in sight, and even hands were cloaked in leather gloves or shielded by flouncy lacy cuffs.

Zubedi’s signature product is the abaya -- the loose, flowing head to toe black garment obligatory in Saudi Arabia and adopted by some of the most strictly observant Muslim women elsewhere.

But it was far from the throw-on-an-abaya-to-head-to-the-shops kind of look.

This was luxury, crystal-embossed material shimmering in the light, pearls draped around the neck, ruffled sleeves and hip hop meets tradition – a daring black leather jacket zipped up on top.

"I thought the show was amazing," US blogger and stylist Dyandra Raye said. "I would wear all of them! I’m super dramatic!"Fashion writer Kristen Martin agreed, another of the scores of impeccably dressed guests – some of whom queued outside in the rain.

"I absolutely loved it," Martin said. "I think it’s really important for us to embrace each other’s culture." — AFP

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