London Modest Fashion Week – aka LMFW.
You heard of it? I hadn’t either.
All I knew is my favourite artist, Siddiqa Juma, was showcasing there and she needed some help.
Oh and one more thing, she was showing her work in a room at… the SAATCHI GALLERY.
Done. No other information required.
My background is in graphic design so Saatchi is a name that every designer in my field knows, it’s a place where most of my uni friends would have aspired to be at. I was super excited to experience this event with access-all-areas, passes at a place which celebrates all things creative.
We travelled down to London on the Saturday and Uber-ed it to our hotel for a luggage dump. We were staying at the Grange in Kensington, I’ll go into a bit more detail about that on a separate post. It was a perfect find and a hotel we plan on returning to!!
Anyway, luggage tucked away with the concierge it was straight off to the gallery to start setting up.
So, what is LMFW??
London Modest Fashion Week is the first London fashion event dedicated to modest fashion (I know stating the obvious a bit). It was a collection of over 30 modest fashion designers from around the world showcasing their creations in stalls and at runway shows throughout the weekend.
As I’m sure my blog has pointed out a number of times, I haven’t the foggiest idea about fashion. But, that’s not to say I don’t appreciate looking at it and there was a lot of great outfits knocking around. Lots of inspiration, I may have felt slightly underdressed (and tres un-trendy) but it didn’t really matter because the vibe was so positive and happy and I must stress even though I was quite underdressed I didn’t feel self-conscious in any way.
However, I was there for art, which is definitely high up there on the list of things I love. And the artist I was assisting that day is definitely one that is close to my heart. I met Siddiqa Juma back in October last year at the Muslim Lifestyle Expo at EventCity in Manchester, where her work literally silenced me (a very rare occurrence, my friends and family will tell you). Although she is an Islamic artist, her work is ultra modern and embodies peace, unity and diversity – elements of life I am pretty big on!! A wonderfully modest human being, she has become like a member of the family and I was so honoured to be able to be there at Saatchi with her, showing the world what she’s all about.
Siddiqa had created a special piece for the event that she was donating to be auctioned, the proceeds would go towards supporting women’s initiatives run by the charity, Penny Appeal. The piece was called the ‘Tree of Life’ and was unveiled on day one for people to see pre-auction.
It was amazing to see so many women, not just Muslims, with independent businesses, clothing lines… very exciting.
With all the nonsense happening in Europe, banning headscarves, veils… even that poor woman who was made to STRIP OFF her burkina on a beach in France, it was nice to finally have a show that celebrates modesty. It’s a pretty mis-understood industry to be honest.
I mean when you actually think about it, what part of dressing ‘modestly’ could possibly offend someone??? The idea of dressing modestly is to purely cover up areas of the body you don’t want to have on show, that may draw unnecessary attention to your body.
That. Is. It.
So what’s the problem? Yes, I understand that some people associate modest dressing with ‘oppression’ – but this only happens in select places around the world. The largest portion of modest dressers do this by their own personal choice. It’s a type of empowerment.
Maybe that’s what governments and far right groups have issues with… empowerment. After all, why should we allow these women to feel good about themselves?? Let’s just forcibly ask them to REMOVE clothing in public because that’s not degrading at all…. OK, I’m digressing from what I was telling you about (but that shit still burns when I think about it! grrrr).
I was so proud to be able to attend this event and celebrate such an occasion with so many wonderful people. Blogosphere Cover girl Dina Tokio was the face of the show and it was nice to see her doing her thing too. A great role model for the modern scarf-wearing Muslim woman (does she look oppressed to you??).
The only pictures I have from the show are from us with the wonderful Siddiqa Juma I’m afraid, although I did take time to explore I chose to just enjoy looking around rather than snap, snapping away – but as the event was attended by many a fashion blogger I urge you to perhaps check them for fashion type updates.
But considering I have very little interest in how I look, I did thoroughly enjoy myself and would definitely visit again.
This weekend I’m back with Siddiqa, this time at the London Muslim Lifestyle show, where there will be over 150 exhibition stalls featuring the latest must-have Muslim fashion & lifestyle products. You don’t have to be Muslim to get in – the event is for everyone! With a wide range of goodies available. I’ve never been though, so it’ll be my first time there too.
Needless to say I am tres excited to be back in London. Back with Siddiqa and back to another show!
Come say hi 🙂
(Stand 195-196 if you do actually come over!!)