According to the New York Times chief fashion critic, Vanessa Friedman, modest fashion is a ‘defining trend of the 2010s, with brands as varied as Céline, with its enveloping, cocoon-like garments, Erdem, with its long-sleeved, high-collared Victoriana dresses’. And indeed, many designers have taken it upon themselves to bring modest dressing back, and the best thing about the garments they create – there is nothing dull about them. The interesting silhouettes, color palettes, pantsuits, long sleeves and full-length skirts – it all seems to be working.
This, of course, brings us to Dubai, where the third in a row Modest Fashion Week took place, and showed us that breathable, non-form-fitting clothes can be just as alluring, if not more, than the more revealing ones. Taking cues from designers all over the world, including those who presented their extravagantly classy designs during the Dubai fashion week (DFW), we are bringing the Dubai style to you and proving once and for all that more is in fact more. Yes, more fabric is mysterious, concealing, and it makes you focus on the person, but a lot of fabric can also mean a whole lot of sexiness in a subtle way.
More fabric, more room to play
If you take a close look at all the dresses presented during Dubai Fashion Week, you won’t be able to miss the extravagance of the designs. Yes, all the dresses feature either A-line skirts or full ball gown ones, high collars, long sleeves and even turbans to complete the look. The jumpsuits are conservative in cut and cover every portion of the body, but there is somehow nothing monotonous or even conservative (in a negative way) about them. The plethora of fabric allows for ostentatious embellishments, as seen on one of Bagzibagli dresses. The dress is actually even form-fitting, and yet still modest and tasteful, while being a complete show-stopper thanks to the intricate details. The same could be said about the intricately embroidered dress by Muslima Wear – again we have a full-length, long sleeve dress, but the dark red details and esoteric patterns make you wish you were a movie star so you could rock this dress on a red carpet.
Dubai Fashion Week
Even the simple pastel dusty pink gown by Bagzibagli looks stunning as it allows the pastel trend to dominate completely – more fabric means more pastel, and since pastel hues are the talk of the planet, gowns like these are the perfect representatives of the trend. Dubai fashion week has definitely given us food for thought, and even though modest fashion is taking over in the West as well, it’s clear that we still have plenty to learn from the wise East, so perhaps the next time you shop for chic cocktail dresses online, you will opt for something inspired by the chic modesty of Dubai.
Even though many women in the West wear turbans and head wraps as accessories, unless they’re Muslim, they don’t wear actual hijabs. There is a common misconception that women who wear hijabs are devoid of a sense of fashion and don’t care about their style, but the street style section is here to prove such thinkers wrong. If you just take a look at the street style gallery that features women rocking everything from classic white button-downs, culottes and pastel trench coats, to Chanel suits and gorgeous monochromatic layered outfits, you will realize that the women of Dubai might be even more fashion-savvy and elegant than most of the women in the West. It’s a cultural thing really – an eastern woman would never be caught on the streets without looking her absolute best, which is not something we can claim, with our messy buns and slouchy grey shirt paired up with Birkenstocks, a black tote and mom jeans. Upon close inspection, the only difference between a polished New York fashionista and the women spotted rocking their best in Dubai is the hijab. This only goes to prove that modesty is definitely taking over, and that we ought to look up to the eastern fashionistas and designers even more than we do now. You don’t have to cover your hair for religious reasons to rock modest fashion, and actually stop traffic while you’re at it.
Sure, there are plenty of women in Dubai who dress just like the rest of the world. Believe it or not, the knees and arms are visible, and you might even catch a glimpse of a woman in a high-slit pencil skirt. However, it is always done in good measure and incredible taste. Yes, the women of the west are some of the most amazing and innovative dressers, but we could definitely learn a thing or two from our eastern fellow fashionistas – for starters, that we don’t have to bare it all to be sexy.