Every bride is different, and her choice of dress for the big day is a showcase for her personality. Any fashion designer will tell you that brides want to customize every detail of their wedding dress, but when it comes to hijabi brides, it goes a step further, as they are also expressing their faith through their attire.
As the summer wedding season is right around the corner, we spoke to three Dubai-based designers about their take on the trends in modest bridal wear for 2018.
FATMA WITH LOVE
Emirati designer Fatma, who prefers to be known by her label, Fatma With Love, feels 2017 was a year of progress for modest bridal wear.
“Hijabi designers already have an understanding of the challenge of being comfortable while covered,” she told My Salaam.
“At one point, they did not offer a wide collection for modest brides. Now, however, designers who themselves follow the Islamic way of life relate to the needs of the modest bride and come up with a design accordingly.”
While last year was all about comfort and pastels, for 2018, Fatma is choosing organza, crepe and chiffon as her fabrics, with a focus on sleeves that sport beautiful embroidery, thread work and crystals.
This makes a dress more dramatic in style, steering away from the traditional look, and thus suiting individuals who want to stand out.
“Pastel colours that lighten the mood are still the trend for the day,” she said.
In 2015, Rabia Z designed a pant gown for a modest bride, making bridal wear comfortable while staying on trend. This jumpsuit with a couture long-trained corset, in organza and French lace on the bottom, sheer to show the pants, became an instant hit.
“Ever since I did some bespoke jumpsuits like this one, we have started to see more of these trending at weddings globally where the bride is hijabi,” she told us.
“It has also been picked up by other designers, and I have seen that first-hand when I was Creative Director at the Dubai Modest Fashion Week.”
With modest wear, whether it is for evening dress or for brides, it has to be custom-made couture. “We have seen that, in places where modest fashion is not easily accessible, women tend to buy the trending strapless gowns but wear it with a bodysuit under and use creatively styled hijabs and turbans to go with it.”
But as trends shift and modest wear does become more accessible, brides have more choices. “Lately, we are seeing darker colours [since] the rise of blush and peach. Also, customisation and adapting fashion to modest fashion is a big thing. For example, at a wedding in the US, I styled a Marchesa Gold and Black Lace Gown with slim trousers from Alexander Wang and a lace sleeve cardigan with gold buttons from Karl Lagerfeld.”
Designer Zahra Al Sharif specialises in blending classic Arab heritage with contemporary patterns and designs for the modern Arab woman.
For her, modest bridal wear makes a dynamic fashion statement, showing a bride’s true beauty, femininity, and personality.
“Modest bridal dresses have been quite stylish, with both classic and modern cuts, [both styles] on trend with the [world’s fashion houses],” Zahra said.
She likes to focus on current trends, incorporating the ideas and themes into her work. This year is all about breathable fabric that offers superior comfort and the right colours to reflect your mood.
For 2018, Zahra has brought in a new fabric from the Philippines that is made from pineapple. “The fabric feels like organza and is extremely versatile and breathable. We are working on incorporating it in our bridal styles, which will allow brides to be comfortable even though they are covered,” she explained.
With the growing popularity of modest bridal wear, Zahra is also working towards new embroidery styles: “The collar, for example, becomes an area of interest as it lies below the hijab, so it can accentuate the neckline.”
She added, “For me, fashion is timeless. What is trendy this season will be back in the future. So every shift in fashion only serves to open the industry more.”
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