Jakarta: Models present creations by Indonesian Muslim designer Anniesa Hasibuan during Jakarta Fashion Week on Friday.—AFP
Jakarta: Models present creations by Indonesian Muslim designer Anniesa Hasibuan during Jakarta Fashion Week on Friday.—AFP

JAKARTA: An Indonesian Muslim designer has drawn global attention with a collection featuring hijabs combined with glittering gowns and flowing tunics, defying conservative critics in her homeland who say the outfits are not modest enough.

When Anniesa Hasibuan showcased her collection at last month’s New York Fashion Week, it was the first time the prestigious annual event saw all the models on the catwalk sporting hijabs.

The 30-year-old, who was the first Indonesian designer to have her own show at the event, won praise from fashion critics around the world, which she said was “totally unexpected”.

“Everyone appreciated my designs, praise be to God,” she said on Friday at Jakarta Fashion Week, as she brought her collection back to the city where she lives.

Hasibuan’s works have previously featured at shows in London, Istanbul and Cannes but New York Fashion Week cemented her status as a rising star.

Her current collection features colourful tunics, a modern take on the Japanese kimono and sparkly evening gowns with lacey trains, all combined with the hijab — the traditional covering for the head and neck worn by many Muslim women.

The elaborate outfits are decorated with sequins and embroidery, and combine warm, earthy colours with more vibrant ones such as pink, gold, peach and green.

Called “D’Jakarta”, the collection — which was also showcased on Friday — is inspired by Hasibuan’s love for the Indonesian capital Jakarta where she lives, a metropolis of 10 million people that is a melting pot of different cultures and traditions.

The attention on Hasibuan’s work comes after Islamic clothing earlier this year hit global headlines due to a row in strictly secular France over whether Muslim women had the right to wear the burkini swimsuit, which covers all but the hands, feet and face.

French courts ultimately ruled that a burkini ban by some 30 towns was “clearly illegal” and a violation of fundamental rights.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2016

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