The first event that remarkably marked Malaysia as the host and the largest Islamic Fashion Trade Fair in the region, with more than 200 booths to visit, its an event that shouldn't be missed for all the Hijabistas.
Over 3 days, KLIHF2014 brings together the Islamic fashion key industry players such as industry professionals, manufacturers, wholesalers, importers, exporters and retailers of yarns, fabrics and textiles, machineries, accessories, jewellery, design studios and houses from different countries. It is a meeting place of department store buyers and purchasing offices to discover more than 100 designers of Islamic fashion in Kuala Lumpur. Here, new and upcoming trends are revealed, meetings are held and deals are closed.
From 13 Jun 2014 (Fri) - 15 Jun 2014 (Sun)
Visit their website for more details.KL International Hijab Fair 2014
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“When I was in showbiz, I was very unhappy. I was lost and I always felt I never belong[ed].
But now that Allah is in my life, Alhamdullilah, La illa illalah, I am so happy and content in my life,” Padilla said.
I am such a sinful person, but Allah invited me to his house. I am so close to him,” she said. Padilla thanked her father, action star Robin Padilla, who introduced her to Islam.“I just want to thank my father for giving me the opportunity to perform Hajj. And I love him so much because without my father, I might not have been a Muslim,” she said.
|Ejay Falcon and Queenie Padilla|
Even Padilla’s relatives and friends in Saudi Arabia were inspired by her new image. As she returns to the country, Padilla said she will carry with her the experiences she had while doing Hajj, adding that she will share these to her fellow Filipinos.
|Before Islam: This picture of Heather was taken earlier this year on the party island of Ibiza.|
Just three months ago, Heather Matthews, a 27-year-old teacher from Preston in England, was partying in Ibiza whilst parading around in clothing that revealed most of her body. Since then her life has undergone a total transformation, and is now a proud Muslim who wears the Islamic hijab.It has now been four weeks since her conversion to Islam, a decision which left some of her friends shocked, and provoked a cautious reaction from her family. She openly admits that her friends might consider the move as being ‘one of her fads’, but the decision to accept Islam came just two months after her return from partying in Ibiza, and looking at the photographs of the ‘old her’ confirm to Heather what was wrong with her old lifestyle, and what is right about the religion of Islam. While her friends have struggled to get past societies portrayal of Islam as being oppressive towards Islam, Heather acknowledges that it is the life she is leaving behind that is far more oppressive, and that Islam is the complete opposite of what the media proposes.
She was caught up in trying to adhere to the Western image of beauty, where people need to dress and act in a certain way to feel good about themselves. It is an ideal that requires them to dress in lesser amounts of clothing, show their private body parts to the public, and coat themselves with makeup to beautify their outer appearance, all of which is generally done to please men.
|Heather with her daughters, Halle and Ellah|
Heather’s experiences have led her to realize that the Western culture is a shallow lifestyle, where people seek instant gratification to fill their lives with. People are constantly searching for more pleasure because these small gratifications are not fulfilling. Islam has instead given her a ‘love and happiness’ that she could never find in her old lifestyle. She has learned about real love, not false passion and lust, and can even now see the logic behind arranged marriages.
A part of her realization was that women are treated based on how they are dressed. It is a society where if a girl is dressed a certain way, regardless of her intentions, she will be on the receiving end of unwanted treatment. Women who have no self-respect often face the consequences of their decisions in an unfair way, and Heather has surprisingly found wearing the hijab to be the complete opposite experience.
Instead of men lusting after her when she is scantily dressed, she finds that the men no longer try to chat her up or harass her in the streets. Heather now refers to the hijab as an ‘idiot repellant’, and enjoys being able to walk down the street and smile at people without them thinking its a sexual advance. This lust is what leads to relationships in the west, and she acknowledges the benefits of a relationship first based on friendship instead, and then developing into love.
|‘People think I must be oppressed but I’m a strong, confident and free woman,’|
she said. ‘I know I’m one of the most unlikely people to revert to Islam.
This premise is something that in hindsight she wishes she had applied in her previous life, but it is a life that has led her to the success in Islam, which has been a number of years in development. Her ex-husband Jerrome was a Muslim convert himself, and Heather had such a firm belief that the religion was wrong, that she used to study it to support her arguments. Even though they separated last year, she found herself continuing to learn about Islam, and identifying with it more in the process.
Heather finally accepted Islam after learning the truth about the religion, and said her Shahadah four weeks ago in front of the Imam at her local multi-faith centre. She said it was a wonderful experience, and she had several other Muslim sisters there with her, who gav her gifts including a hijab and Islamic books. Heather has now given up alcohol, eats halal food, and plans to fast in the next Ramadan. She is still learning the prayers in Arabic, and is reading an English translation of the Quran every day.
Her conversion to Islam has astounded her, as Heather considered herself one of the most unlikely people to ever become a Muslim. According to a study by multi-faith group Faith Matters, Heather is actually a likely candidate. She is now one of over 100,000 converts to Islam in Britain, which is a figure that has doubled in the past 10 years. Her age of 27 is the exact average age of converts, and about two-thirds of those converts are women.
Becoming a Muslim was entirely her own decision, and it is a religion that she wont be forcing up her two daughters from her previous marriage to Jerrome. Five-year-old Ellah and two-year-old Halle will be left to make their own choice about Islam according to their free will. Onlookers in the street may feel she is being oppressed and wearing hijab against her will, but Heather says she is instead a ‘strong, confident and free woman’ and that she made the choice ‘for love and happiness and it has completely changed my life’.
Behind the scenes at the Fashion Week show Ann Nahari, featuring Muslim fashion designer Nailah Lymus who designed and wrapped all the headpieces, Feb. 9, 2013, New York. Lymus poses backstage before the show.
The American-born Muslim designer Nailah Lymus seeks out to bridge the gap between fashion and modesty. She does so by launching a new modeling agency in New York City for Muslim models.
|UnderWraps Agency model Hajer Naili is seen here modeling a head scarf|
The agency, Underwraps, will represent aspiring models that wish to work in the mainstream fashion industry without having to compromise their faith-led belief of modesty in dress. According to Lymus, it is a belief that requires clothes to be loose and not shape revealing, and that the only body parts that can be visible are your face, hands and feet.
“Being modest isn’t just a Muslim concept; it crosses many religions and cultures,” says Lymus. “Beautiful women who have always wanted to venture on to the catwalk but have declined because of their beliefs now have a chance.” Lymus’ goal with Underwraps, to me, seems to be creating a new space for reconciling concepts that are seemingly conflicting.
Lymus attracted attention when she first launched her line of clothing " Amirah Creations" last year. Her designs are hot but they're also trail blazing. she's determined to break stereotypes and limitations of what Muslim women can wear, and ultimately, how they can fit in without forfeiting their identities.
Underwraps Model How will this agency fare in an industry where flesh-baring models are the standard?
Judging by the comments online, it seems like everybody has their own idea of what modesty, Islam, modeling, and high fashion should be about. Many are skeptical of whether it’ll survive. Others are saying that there is no market for modest fashion.
"You can be modest and still be fashion-forward and stay true to your faith," said Nailah Lymus.
Lymus, 29, is a practicing Muslim and a fashion designer who has found her own way to merge two seemingly incongruous worlds. She designs a line for secular women who desire a little more modesty in their clothing.
Though she is not showing her own creations during Fashion Week, she is producing Saturday's show for fellow designer Sumiyyah Rasheed, who is showing her upscale plus-size fashion. Lymus incorporated her own modest sensibilities into the entire show, from models wearing artful headwraps to layers of flowing fabric.
But Lymus is not only a designer. She has an agency for which she specifically recruits Muslim women as models.
"These girls have everything -- the height, the look. And it's like a dream deferred because they dress a certain way," said Lymus. "Muslim women are fashion-forward. We embrace everything that other women do, but we just have certain stipulations."
That means no tight clothing or exposed cleavage. In fact, no skin can be shown at all except for hands, feet and face. The models' hair must also be covered. But even the hijabs can be fashion-forward.
Lymus works her design aesthetic into the headcoverings and said they can be styled with as much versatility as hair can.
Her modeling company, UnderWraps Agency, has booked runway and print jobs for its three Muslim models, one of whom walking in Saturday's show. Before starting the year-old agency, Lymus was careful to check with a few imams and elders in her community, who all agreed that it was an opportunity for fashion to be relatable to Muslims.
She is very selective in which models she signs.
"The models have to be very strong in themselves, confident and strong in conviction," she said. "It can be tough to mix the secular and faith-based worlds. I don't want to bring in anyone who's not strong enough to handle this industry."
One of those models is Hajer Naili, who was born and raised in Toulouse, France, and now lives in New York City. After Lymus saw her photo on a friend's Facebook page, she reached out to the 27-year-old. "I have always been into fashion, but from what I've seen so far, as a model you have to show your body," said Naili. "I'm just not comfortable with that. I follow certain Islamic guidelines and stick with that as much as I can."
Naili is a full-time journalist who also works as a print model on the side. Naili has done several photo shoots and even appeared in a rap music video wearing a black leather jacket over a long shirt, black jeans and boots. Her hair was wrapped in a turban. Rap singer Tableek wanted to present an image of women that wasn't sexualized.
Breaking down stereotypes is also partly why Lymus began the modeling agency.
"There's a thought that Muslim women can't work or go to school or dress fashionably," she said. "I want to get rid of that misunderstanding in an inviting forum. This is a positive religion.
"Women can be covered and confident," she said, "secure and beautiful."