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London Modest Fashion Festival: The platform changing how we think about modest dressing

It aims to empower and celebrate the rights of all women to make their own choices

Sarah Young
Monday 23 October 2017 10:00 BST
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The event was held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel (
The event was held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel (

The first ever Modest Fashion Festival took place in London this weekend for an event quite like any other.

As the name suggests, it was a celebration of clothing that conceals rather than accentuates the shape of the body but for its founders - London-based Doctor, Fahreen Mir, and human rights barrister, Sultana Tafadar – the event was about so much more.

Aside from presenting a diverse array of luxury and contemporary modest fashion brands, by presenting women dressed in headscarves and Islamic robes on the runway the Modest Fashion Festival proves it can be enjoyed by all, regardless of religious or cultural identity, and celebrates the rights of all women to make their own choices.

“We have seen modest fashion gaining great momentum with top luxury brands,” Tafadar told Mvslim.

“Fashion brands all over the world seem to be embracing the view that fashion does not necessarily entail revealing a lot of flesh.

“I wanted to stimulate and encourage the modest fashion market and that’s why we started the platform and organized this event.”

Held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, dozens of models took part in the inaugural event including 20-year-old Hamila Aden.

Born in a refugee camp in Kenya, Aden moves to St Cloud, Minnesota aged six and recently became the first ever contestant to compete in a Miss USA pageant wearing a hijab and burkini.

Since then, she has gained international media attention, featured in Vogue, graced the cover of American women’s beauty magazine, Allure, and walked for designers in New York and Milan.

With similar events taking place across the United Arab Emirates in Dubai and Doha Qatar in the coming months, the look of 2017 is notably more demure than that of a decade ago.

Now, mainstream brands have found themselves playing catch-up to women who choose to dress modestly.

From launch of The Modist - a luxury e-tailer that specialises in high-end clothing for the modest dresser – to Nike’s athletic hijabs and Dolce & Gabbana’s abayas, modesty is now considered an exciting movement at the frontier of fashion.

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