What an incredibly exciting week for modest fashion in the US! Washington DC welcomed the one and only Dian Pelangi, Indonesian fashion powerhouse, the 'Rainbow Queen' herself, to the US for her American fashion debut at DC Fashion Week's Haute and Modesty Show!! I initially knew of Dian's interest in debuting at the Haute and Modesty Show and few months ago, and I have been holding my breath in anticipation for her safe arrival here in The States and a successful debut. I believe many were hopeful, but a few doubtful, that Dian's debut in DC would actually occur, especially with the current climate of some modest fashion events in the US. I always believed in the hard work and dedication of the Areej Fashions leader, Nisa Muhammad, who organizes the Haute and Modesty show for DC Fashion Week, and knew that her sincere efforts would be successful. No other US fashion week has given modest fashion the recognition it deserves as DC Fashion Week has, and that is due to the vision Nisa had in 2013 when she approached Ean Williams, DC Fashion Week's Executive Director, about having a modest fashion show as a part of DC Fashion Week. In only three seasons, DCFW's Haute and Modesty Show has grown volumes and only continues to blossom. Dian's debut at the Haute and Modesty Show has proven one thing, if not many more: modest fashion is on the rise, it is popular, and it looks incredible!
Meeting Dian and her dream team
Last week Tuesday, a local Indonesian family invited Dian and her team, as well the Areej Fashions team, to a dinner at their lovely home. It was there that I met Dian for the first time! First impressions? She was incredibly cute, humble, and polite - and shorter than I thought from pictures! It pays to have a great photographer, huh? I was impressed to see that Dian came to America with a team of 14, including her stylists, famous makeup artist Carolina Septerita from Wardah Beauty, the #1 halal cosmetics line in Indonesia, a talented cinematographer and photographer from Wardah Beauty who are making a full-feature movie about Dian's trip to the US, her charming husband Tito, Ferdy Thaeras, Editor-in-chief of Wolipop.com, Indonesia's #1 lifestyle/fashion site and media sponsor of Dian's US trip, and the adorable Mega Iskanti, the lucky girl who won a contest sponsored by Wolipop and Wardah Beauty to accompany Dian to the US for her full trip. One of Wardah's aims is to show that makeup only enhances the inner beauty of an already gorgeous woman, and Mega captured that essence. She won out of 700+ entries - congrats Mega!!
DC Photoshoot - 'Miss Palembang in New York'
The next day, it was off to DC's historic national monuments to capture incredible shots and footage of Dian's new collection, entitled 'Miss Palembang in New York', featuring Dian and Mega as models. Dian explained to me the title of her new collection is inspired by her US trip, which includes a tour of DC, NYC, and LA, and her origins in Palembang, the town in Indonesia where she is from. Her collection truly captured an immense sense of regality as she stood, statuesque, against the strong pillars of the Lincoln Memorial and the looming dome of the Capitol. Admirers thought she was an Asian queen as her and Mega posed with refined grace and effortless beauty. This collection, complete with custom-made 100% gold headdresses, bracelets, necklaces, and purses, surely is a sight to behold. No words can capture this photoshoot better than photos by her incredible photographer from AFS Photography, and sneak peak video from Wardah's cinematographer - press 'Play'!!
DC Fashion Week - Opening Night
Last Wednesday night was DC Fashion Week's Opening Night at the National Archives Museum, featuring incredible designs from Ean Williams' own collection of men's and women's formal wear Corjor International. Dian needed to rest, and so was not able to meet us at the show, so we enjoyed the evening with members of her lovely team. This also gave me a chance to get to know Mega a little more, and I asked her about how she felt when she found out she had won a dream trip to the US with Dian Pelangi. "I was just so excited! It is a dream come true, and everyone here is so nice and welcoming. I feel so lucky to have come here with Dian and to meet you and be a part of DC Fashion Week!" Everyone at the show seemed to love the unique Indonesian fashion and stopped multiple times to take pictures with the modest fashionistas. I have always admired Indonesian fashion, and most of the bloggers whom I consider most modestly fashionable over the years have been Indonesian fashionistas and designers, such as Hana Tajima, Indira Putri, Fitri Aulia. Having a little bit of that style in my presence made me so excited I even did a short hijab tutorial with Nia Novijanto and a style pics of their outfits. They looked incredible!
[ STYLE SPIED ]
Hijab Stylist Nia Novijanto in rosette peplum jacket and Model Mega Iskanti in monochrome Dian Pelangi shirtdress
Here are some more pics of the event, which brought me newfound respect for Ean Williams (his dresses are INCREDIBLE), and some closer sisterhood with my lovelies here from Indonesia!
CMB Interview with Dian Pelangi
The next day, I met Dian and her team at the Calvert House in DC, where she was being interviewed by the Indonesian team from Voice of America. The interviews were all conducted in native tongue, therefore I was unable to understand any of it, but from the snippets that Ferdy translated for me, I could tell that they were talking about Dian's inspiration for her line, the state of fashion in Indonesia, her expectations for DC Fashion Week's show, her collaborations with Wolipop and Wardah, as well as her newfound friendship with contest winner Mega Iskanti. Surprisingly, the microphone was turned on me as well, and I was interviewed by Wolipop Editor Ferdy Thareas as well as Voice of America. This was the first time I was ever interviewed by media so I was a little nervous but loving every minute! Here are the articles Wolipop published about me! Exciting!
Because I was not able to really understand the interviews, I spent my time snapping photos of all the beautiful fashionable things around me: Mega getting made over by Wardah makeup artist Carolina Septerita, the Dian Pelangi collection dresses hanging enticingly around the room, the tray of pure gold custom made Dian Pelangi jewelry, the photos on the table of each styled runway look for the DCFW show. It was all a dream to be in the presence of so much talent. All Muslim, and all uniting on the belief that modesty in fashion is beautiful.
Next, I was able to sit down with Dian and Mega to conduct our CMB exclusive interview, and the video for that will be released as soon as the Wardah cinematographer is done editing! Can't wait to see it! And at the end of the video, Carolina gave me a Wardah gift bag! I'll share deets on what was inside when I share the video!
That night, a group of DC fashionistas, designers, and stylists all got together at Mama Ayesha's, a Middle Eastern restaurant in DC, for a pre-fashion show dinner and meet up. Photos of that and more are coming up in Part II of CMB's coverage of Dian Pelangi's US fashion tour. Stay tuned! But first....let me share these selfies!