Fashion
The Haute Couture Hijab

201706HijabsIslamic dress is often viewed with hostility in the Western media, but will that change now it has hit the catwalks.

What Muslim women wear is often discussed in the Western media; often it’s about banning it, occasionally there is support for it, but in recent months Islamic dress has become a hot topic in the fashion magazines because it is on the front cover of Vogue and has featured on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week. Even with the stamp of approval that this might bring, it still managed to create a hailstorm of both positive and negative Twitter and Instagram comments.

A storm over Vogue

Vogue Arabia came under fire when model Gigi Hadid wore a hijab on the cover of its launch issue in 2016. The fact that Hadid is half Palestinian, but not a practising Muslim, offended some more conservative factions who claimed it was being “appropriated” as a fashion statement.  But, the editor of Vogue Arabia defended the model and the cover image saying that Hadid was the perfect choice to launch Vogue in the Arab world as she had grown up in a Muslim household and she is one of the world’s top models. Others complained that Hadid is being praised for wearing a hijab whilst Muslim women around the world are attacked for wearing it. In response, one has to say, “It’s complicated.”

The Hijab hits New York

Also in 2016, Indonesian fashion designer Anniesa Hasibuan launched her latest collection at New York Fashion Week. It’s one of the premier and most prestigious annual events in the fashion world, which everyone who is anyone in the world of celebrity and couture attends. What was unusual about this collection is that Anniesa’s models were wearing a hijab. Many are calling this show an historic moment in bringing the hijab into the mainstream. Easier said than done when what Muslim women wear is a source of so much debate.

Inspired by her hometown Jakarta, Hasibuan presented trousers, flowing tunic and gowns, in luxurious fabrics and detailed embroidery, all worn with hijabs. Let’s remember that a hijab is just a head covering; it doesn’t cover the face at all. The 30-year-old designer received a standing ovation at the end of her show, but she has drawn criticism from those who are against the hijab, as well as those who think her designs are not Islamic enough.

Melanie Elturk, CEO of Haute Hijab, an American company was at the New York show and commented: “I believe fashion is one of the outlets in which we can start that cultural shift in today's society to normalize hijab in America so as to break down stereotypes and demystify misconceptions," she wrote on Instagram, "Last night's show was a huge leap forward in that direction."

A Modesty Movement

It seems that Muslim designers aren’t the only ones using the hijab. As the BBC reported, “Islamic fashion is definitely having a moment” and everyone from high street brands to high fashion labels want some hijab action. H&M released an ad featuring a model wearing a hijab, Uniqlo is partnering with a Muslim designer and Dolce & Gabbana are launching a line of hijabs and abayas aimed at wealthy Muslim women. Even Nike has put its Swoosh on a sportswear line for Muslim women.

Some commentators say that this isn’t just about following the money, and that it also coincides with a ‘modesty movement’ in fashion. Mainstream designers in the West are favouring a more covered up look, with the one-piece swimsuit back on trend as an example. At the same time, Muslim designers are getting more creative with their designs and are putting out collections that adventurous non-Muslims might just buy.

Indonesia is currently the region producing the most high fashion hijab lines. "Indonesian fashion has become more diverse and we've become more confident in taking our own culture and what we've grown up with into our influences," Putri Soediono, a Singapore-based designer with Indonesian heritage told the press. Soediono also thinks Hasibuan has proven that Islamic wear can be fashionable, and will make people see that there is much more to it than the plain black Arab-style burqa/abaya that many people think is the sum of Islamic fashion.  

The opposite view

Whilst many Muslim women welcome the modernizing of Islamic fashion and it must be said that some of Hasibuavin’s designs are colourful but subtle and use a wide range of fabrics that reflect a contemporary world. Some of her designs actually use trousers and they are not baggy harem pants. However, some conservatives in Indonesia see this way of dressing as “not Islamic enough.” Dr Eva Nisa, professor of Islamic Studies at Victoria University, who has been researching Muslim fashion in Indonesia since 2007, said "The belief among some is that the essence of Muslim dress is to wear something decent, to be modest. For women, they have to make sure what they're wearing doesn't attract the attention of men." And, she added, "Some people think what the Muslim fashion designers produce is totally against this kind of religious doctrine, because it can be seen to attract attention."

But, for many young Muslim women, the hijab is not a religious symbol or a statement, but just part of their cultural identity - an identity they are asserting more confidently.

Western values may see it as a symbol of enforced submission, but there are Muslim women of all ages who see it as their choice and just want more adventurous versions of a traditional style of dress from haute couture designers.  Now they have it!

Islamic dress code: 

Hijab

A clothing style that covers the body and is not tight fitting. It should not cover the face, hands and feet. Some Islamic cultures believe it is compulsory, but many do not. There are many ways of wearing the hijab and each country has it is own style of draping it around the head.

Niqab

The niqab covers the head and most of the face – only the eyes are uncovered. This is not considered compulsory within Islam.

Burqa

An outer garment that loosely covers the body, rather like a floor length coat. It is a term more widely used in Central Asia. The style of burqa imposed by the Taliban in Afghanistan has caused some confusion over what the burqa is. Whilst there it completely covers the body from head to toe, including all of the face, in other Muslim countries it is nothing like that. Arab countries prefer to use the term abaya for this garment.

Abaya

A robe-like dress that is traditionally black and may be either a large square of fabric draped from the shoulders or head or a long caftan. The abaya covers the whole body except the face, feet, and hands.

 
Tamara’s Treasures

2016-09tamara-comolliJewellery designer Tamara Comolli sells through upmarket boutiques worldwide and now her work is glittering at the Marbella Club Hotel

Tamara Comolli was born in Germany but raised in France, Gibraltar and Spain. Since she founded her Fine Jewellery Collection in 1992, she has gathered a number of major awards for her work, including a De Beers Award for Design. The fact that her first flagship store appeared in The Hamptons, where America’s wealthy, as well as the international jet set, spend their summers points to a brand that exudes style and taste. Now her line is available at the Marbella Club hotel, a fitting venue for a designer who is considered to be amongst the worlds finest.

Brand philosophy

Tamara’s brand philosophy is based on creating pieces that resonate with the customer’s unique personality and she endeavours to bring freshness and individuality to her collections. She avoids drawing on others’ design work and focuses on timelessness rather than trends. A Tamara Comolli piece is never just for summer, the beach or eveningwear, it is for any time, anywhere. She designs exclusively for women and endeavours to bring a sense of fun to her jewellery, although it is never the kind of kitsch humour found in other jewellery brands; the typical Tamara Comolli woman likes her jewels to be playful but understated, and casual but still elegant.

When she started her line, Tamara wanted to create a brand that stood for ‘unusual’ as well as redefining the idea of ‘fine jewellery’. Her aim was to get away from the type of over dressy jewellery that got its status simply because it was expensive, or it was produced by a major fashion brand. She felt this style of jewellery was soulless, whereas her collections are always injected with spirit and individuality. As she says: “My creations are timeless and it’s easy for my clients to grow their collection. They can still wear pieces they bought years ago and combine them with my new creations to produce a totally fresh look.”

Worlds of colour

Tamara loves gemstones and they are a key feature of her jewellery. She calls this element of her collections, ‘Colour Stories’ and she has inspirational names for all of them: “Candy, Caribbean, Indian Summer, Rainforest, Cashmere, Mandarin or Cinnamon have become famous interpretations for my combinations of gems over the years. Within those worlds, my clients

choose their favorite designs, be it in rose, yellow or white gold.”

The 2016 Collections

Her current collection includes the PAX bracelet (Latin for peace), which is both her message to the world and, she hopes, a small contribution to making the world a better place. It is a leather loop with a peace sign pendant attached. Given the colourful gems that Tamara uses, it is no surprise that India is a source of inspiration for her. Her Paisley Chandelier drop earrings from the Candy Collection, are based on the Indian paisley pattern and her new India Leaf pendants, made from Mother-of-Pearl symbolise “the incomparable love of a mother’s heart,” and are based on a traditional Indian design. Ten percent of the sales of the India Leaf collection goes to the charity SOS Children’s Villages, which has been providing loving family homes to orphaned or abandoned children in 125 countries since 1949.

There are so many stunningly beautiful designs in the Tamara Comolli collection that its vital you visit her boutique at the Marbella Club to really appreciate the quality and range of the jewellery she clearly puts her heart and soul into. The entire collection provides such versatile combination possibilities, making it a true pleasure to mix and match. You may soon find that you have become a collector rather than merely a customer when you discover Tamara’s treasures. 

 
Sisko Akt Presents Metal Couture

2016-09SiskoThis month, THE STYLISH SISTERS GIVE YOU AN INSIGHT INTO metal couture - pieces made as art for fashion photography or high-end CATWALK couture. more like art than a standard item of jewellery, You CAN TAKE THIS TREND FROM HIGH FASHION TO STREET STYLE IF YOU FOLLOW THESE DAZZLING TIPS!

Metal couture first featured in fashion shows in the early 2000s, in both mainstream and high-end couture catwalks, films, and nowadays even in music videos featuring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Designers who create metal couture generally come from a jewellery background, or in some cases may have skills in some other form of sheet metal work, for example creating and decorating historical armour.

In the 1960s people in every field made innovative use of new technologies, abandoning traditional techniques and materials to experiment with the results of the remarkable achievements created by space engineering and other advanced sciences. An early Metal Couturier was Paco Rabanne, who used metal in clothing for his designs for film and major fashion labels. The Spaniard, who was a jewellery designer before he turned his hand to fashion, overturned the common understanding that clothes had to use thread and fabric, and started using other new materials including metals and non-woven fabric. These were clothes ideal for intergalactic warriors and social butterflies: Barbarella wore Rabanne’s metal mesh, while Audrey Hepburn in Two for the Road preferred his trademark discs.

Today, this trend has been translated to street wear, not only for the night-time, but also to be boldly worn during the day. Shimmering fabrics and shiny metallic accessories are all the rage this season, as have been seen in the Autumn/Winter 2016-2017 shows.

Sisko Akt’s Dazzling Metallic Guide

1. SILVER OR GOLD?

When it comes to choosing precious metal jewellery for yourself, a great guide is actually your skin tone. People with dark skin and yellow undertones tend to look great with gold, while cooler complexions with rose undertones look gorgeous with silver. Just remember that the trick is not to overwhelm your skin tone with too much of a good thing!

2. GOLD RUSH

Whether you’re a brunette or have blonde hair and light skin, different shades of gold can play up any skin tone beautifully. Lighter gold shades work best on fair beauties and darker bronze plays up a deeper skin tone. Our favourite backdrop for wearing gold? Without a doubt against a gorgeous saturated beach sunset.

3. SILVER VERSATILITY

Silver has been a go-to look for evening wear for decades. Maybe it’s because it has the ability to make diamonds and crystals glimmer like no other metal. For this reason, you will always find dramatic shoulder-grazing earrings and sleek cuffs after dark at an elegant restaurant or club. However, we love silver jewellery as it can be dressed down just as easily as dressed up for the night time, imitating the beauty of dazzling moonbeams.

4. METALLIC TREND ALERTS

Chokers and collar necklaces are a huge trend, and will remain a priority through the Autumn, as shown by couturiers such as Alexander Wang or Dolce & Gabanna, who dressed their runway models in them. Alexander Wang’s tough girls also had chain necklaces, as did Alexander McQueen’s ladies, who were dripping in them. Finally, look to Valentino’s delicate pendant necklaces against sweaters, and uniting collars with long chains. Layering is one of our season’s staples!

5. FROM RUNWAY TO STREET STYLE

Let’s be honest, shimmery fashion can be hard to pull off, but when gorgeous slip dresses and neat pleated skirts came down the runways rendered in sophisticated metallics, we had the urge to incorporate shine into our everyday dressing. The key to making such head-turning pieces feel chic? Let them do the talking by keeping the rest of your look simple!

Follow us on our fashion blog!

www.siskoakt.com

 
Sisko Akt Presents Cuba Libre

2016-08SiskoThe world is finally opening up to Cuba as the one-time pariah has been embraced by its former foes and everyone is in love with the sights and sounds of Havana. Now, the many layers of Cuba’s unique and captivating history, where the sounds of rumba and salsa complement the vividly-coloured murals, are a source of inspiration for the world’s leading fashion designers.

CUBAN FASHION TODAY

Valentino looked to Cuba when searching for a cultural theme to inspire the label’s Resort 2017 collection, as did Chanel when its models walked down the open-air catwalk on the Prado promenade in Havana, which provided one of the most extreme demonstrations to date of Cuba’s hot new status on the international art and cultural scene since the declaration of detente with the United States. Birds of paradise, vibrant colour palettes of bright green, turquoise and coral orange, printed skirts and tropical motifs, such as hibiscus flowers, are featured in the Cuba-inspired collections, as well as parrots and butterflies - species closely associated with both Valentino and Cuba.

CUBAN FASHION OVER TIME

For years, with its cabarets and casinos frequented by US film stars and gangsters, Cuba had a thriving fashion scene influenced by the pre-revolutionary Art Deco elegance that translated into sequined statement pieces, refined Panama hats and premium hand-made cigars.

However, the Communist principles that ruled in Cuba after Fidel Castro won power in the 1959 revolution insisted on equality, even in clothing. Foreign brands were not available and Cubans had to wear imported second-hand clothes from State-run stores. The authorities called it "recycled clothing", but ordinary Cubans referred to their trips to these official outlets as "rag-shopping".

Cuba entered a crisis after the Soviet Union fell in 1991, as it had financially supported Cuba’s Communist government, and the end of the Soviet era encouraged a rebirth in Cuban fashion. Such an historic change, ocurring in a country which had been officially dedicated to social equality and the rejection of material wealth, has become the inspiring factor in the 2017 collections by Chanel, Proenza Schouler, Stella McCartney, and important magazine editorials.

“The cultural richness and the opening up of Cuba to the world have turned it into a source of inspiration.” - Chanel

LUXURY IN CUBA

Cuba's luxurious abundance is found in its flora and wildlife's richness, in its bright colours, the cheerful rythms of salsa and the musicality of its dances, the expressive artwork and its people's energy. Cubans are characterised as being very creative individuals, always ready to give a helping hand or a warm smile. The fact that they have lived apart from the rest of the world for so long has allowed them to mantain their authenticity and uniqueness. Therefore, Cuba is fast becoming one of the world's most fashionable destinations, as tourists and the style elite seek to savour faded glamour and Caribbean flair before it changes too much.

Stay in the know via our new fashion blog!

www.siskoakt.com

@SiskoAkt

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 12
Copyright 2016 Society Magazine, All Rights Reserved.