From the extravagantly decorated haut couture evening wear to the simple Ts supporting important social causes, the vision and talent of Muslim women designers, entrepreneurs and social activists was a powerhouse of innovation at the first annual International Muslim Fashion and Design Festival 2014 held in downtown Toronto on the August 23-24 weekend. Fashion designers and popular hijab bloggers flew in from all the over the world - South Africa, UK, USA and Dubai to name a few - local and international entrepreneurs set up their booths and young Muslim women flocked in groves, all to be at the forefront of what’s new and hot in the Muslim women modest fashion industry. The ooh’s and ahh’s were plentiful as fresh designs were revealed on the grande runway, educational segments created more awareness on social justice causes and hijab bloggers spoke about their challenges and inspirations to a full house.
Having had the opportunity to photograph the oh-so-exciting ‘Behind the Scenes’ moments - yes the craziness of what happens backstage at a fashion show is all too real - I was upfront, close and personal with the incredible people who made this design and fashion festival the success that it was. The designers, artists and organizers were such a pleasure to work with!
Taking a step back, I didn’t realize how much and how fast the modest Muslim fashion industry has grown over the past few years. And it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. Which makes me ponder and consider the following questions:
How does one balance the Islamic spirit of humility and modesty with the capitalist, consumer-driven, I-have-to-have-one-in-each-colour fashion industry? With so many Muslim women designers and bloggers blossoming from every corner of the globe, with some having such a huge (I mean HUGE) influence on young girls' ideas on beauty standards, hijab and Islam, in what ways are they influencing the perception of Muslim women around the world?
Some thoughts to ponder over as you view the ‘Behind the Scenes’ highlights of the show.
Madina Fine Foods
Sundus of Silk of Paradise
Berak from helacelebrations
Fareena from 1hijabifashionista
Featured Guests and Bloggers:
And of course, a huge shout out to all the wonderful organizers and volunteers who made all this possible.