A diverse collective of Middle Eastern and Asian fashion brands that aims to inspire, empower and educate the industry, this season House of MEA brought celebrated New Delhi designer Vidhi Wadhwani to London Fashion Week, alongside the IMFD (Indonesian Modest Fashion Designers), a group of Muslim designers including Jeny Tjayawati, Lia Afif, Aisyah Rupnidah Chan, Ratu Anita Soviah and Tuty Adib.
Combining a rich heritage of traditional artisanal techniques – including hand beading, natural dyes, tapestry and embroidery – alongside evolving cultural norms and advancing consumer demand for inspiring and expressive modest fashion, this showcase was a compelling insight into a world often hidden away from mainstream Western fashion media.
Vidhi Wadhwani presented a collection focused on flattering and celebrating the female form whilst incorporating intricate detail and texture. Highlights included gingham print on sheer, flowing garments, heavy black-on-white embroidery, lemon yellow embossed dresses, tailored capes and city shorts. Each look was styled with rainbow bright statement earrings that looked like Lego blocks, and many were worn with nude tights delicately embellished with sparkling stars and spots.
Jeny Tjahyawat’s offering was inspired by the Indonesian Loppo Flower, a beautiful design that translated onto her clothes through embroidery, beading and even Swarovski crystals. The colour palette was like a rich rainforest; deep mauves and forest greens moved amongst a tropical soundscape on a confident cast of models wearing exquisitely tied turbans.
Next up was Lia Afif, who created an elegant modest collection called ‘Dhandaka Turqa’, which translates roughly from Sanskrit to mean poetry in turquoise. Heritage was also important in these designs, which were handcrafted using the beautiful batik craft Trenggalk.
Darabirra, a Muslim fashion brand by Alsyah Ruphidah Chan, themed this season’s offering on Sikok; incorporating the inspiring culture and ethnic styles of Jambi city accented by elegant embroidery and soft, feminine colours to create a visually calming collection.
Bringing the show to a grand finale were Ratu Anita Soviah and Tuty Adib. Soviah’s brand, Lentera, used unique fabrics like jumputan, songket and blongsong in natural tie-dye, aptly titling the collection ‘Back to Nature’. Adib’s ‘Basiba’ collection was inspired by traditional West Sumatran dress, using Wastra Indonesia fabrics and highly intricate embellishments to create a range evocative of true luxury and craftsmanship.