This past Sunday, I attended the Nation's Capital Fashion Show at the Eastern Market in Washington DC as a volunteer/blogger. This runway show featuring local designers was organized to benefit HIV Awareness. The venue completely transformed from a busy market place to chic, high-end fashion scene!
In addition to helping set up the venue and packing complimentary goodie bags for all show attendees from sponsors Revel Style, KIND healthy snacks ( which btw are DELICOUS!), Honest Tea, and Uptown Magazine, I was able to view makeup artists and hair stylists get the models ready backstage. It was a great experience to be able to get a glimpse of what is involved in getting the girls runway-ready! I was happy to see the racial diversity of the models - it's always refreshing to see that a variety of model types are being represented! I also was happy to learn that the directors of this show are also the President and CEO of Models, Inc., who provided the young divas who ripped the runway at the Haute & Modesty Fashion Show a few weeks ago! They were STARS!
The theme for the styling was high-ponytails, winged liner, and strong lips. I wasn't sure what fashions to expect on the runway, so as the show began I pulled out the camera and hoped to snap pics of the designs on the more modest spectrum. The designs ranged from swimsuit, to evening wear - sportswear, to outerwear for both men and women.
As a modest fashion blogger, and specifically as a Muslimah, I am committed to covering modest fashion on my blog, be that from Muslim designers or otherwise. Although there was a variety of styles with a diversity of fashion perspective, and it was clear that a lot of precious time was put into creating the designers' collections, it was rare to find a garments that I considered modest enough to cover on this blog, although there were a few (see my modest picks below!)
This is, of course, no criticism of the designers - they clearly spent quality time to express their personal vision for fashion in their lines, and I don't aim to take depreciate their hard work. Part of the art of fashion is to be free to design what you please, and take inspiration from wherever your creativity takes you!
My view as a modest fashion enthusiast is, if high-end designers such as Valentino and Elie Saab, Diane von Furstenberg and Burberry can showcase in New York, Paris, Milan and beyond with designs that cover the body - designs that are of high quality, rich, and luxurious - making the show more about the intrigue of the garments than that sexiness of body of the person wearing it - why not gain inspiration from these designs, which soar to the very top in the industry and are the most valuable? Take a look at the style of Rachel Zoe, celebrity stylist, designer, and fashion powerhouse - never too much skin, never tight, always sophisticated, and always on the best-dressed lists. Food for thought...
I found myself taking in the scene around me, and then contrasting it with Relief on the Runway during NY Fashion Week and the Haute & Modesty Fashion show in DC Fashion Week. I was so impressed by the level of sophistication in design, the clean construction, and general classiness in the modest designs displayed. The designers created a unique place for themselves in the fashion world and filled it with their creativity. They succeeded in not only dressing Muslim women who may wear abayas and jilbaabs, but also women in general who are looking for easy wearability, versatility for a range of body types, and high-quality modest silhouettes. My appreciation for modest fashion designers has definitely increased, as I realized that it is truly the design and construction that sells the clothes. I am so happy that Muslimahs are making a name for themselves within the industry!
As a blogger with an eye for modesty, I was happy to see that there were some designs that spoke to me at the show! My favorite design (right) was a gold mermaid gown and the model walked the dress like a princess! See below for my other picks!
Overall great experience, and a lot that I learned! Behind the scenes is definitely exciting and dynamic, and I've only seen the very tip of the iceberg! And now, on to the next show!
To be involved in next year's show, be sure to keep up with the Nation's Capital Fashion Show by visiting www.nationscapitalfashionshow.com and find them on Instagram @nationscapitalfashionshow and Facebook!