The 2018/19 modest chic theme running through the Marc Jacob’s ready to wear off the runway collection, showcased at NYFW was applauded by audiences. This is not the line featured above!
A combination of block colour, fedora’s, tailored oversized coats, and classic silhouettes, screaming modest Parisian chic. We appreciate the subtle sophistication, with a combined bold and distinguished finish.
This is not the first year Marc Jacobs ventured into the modest fashion realm, as his Ready- To -Wear 2018 spring collection, showcased models by the likes of Gigi Hadid, in hijab-like colorful head wraps, layered coats, and long etherial skirts. At the time, Ayana Ife, a Muslim fashion designer, on Project Runway, the first hijab-wearing designer on the show, expressed her interest in collaborating with the legend, hitting a personal nerve, as Ife herself wears the hijab, posted on Instagram tagging Marc Jacobs:
“Your hijabs this past fashion week were pretty. Are you attempting to normalize the hijab? As a hijabi and designer I have personal feelings towards it, and modest fashion in general. I’d love to Collaborate with you.” Ife said.
However, In all honesty, we are excited to celebrate Mariam Al- Sibai, a new British Syrian designer based in LA, (the urban label featured above) who has been propelled into the public space since last September/ October 2017, when her key piece from the winter capsule collection 1 of 2016/17, the Dancing in Mustard Coat, was featured in Vogue Arabia during New York Fashion Week.
It is great to see Muslim female designers project different variations of culture and modesty into the public space. Mariam Alsibai’s line narrates a story of movement, with the physical layering of baggy oversized nude tone coats, key block colours, and a combination of silhouettes, and brim hats over hoods (her staple).
She provides a deep authentic understanding of the religious philosophy, where we find layers of identity,that translates into the clothing, a unique concept that cannot be mirrored.
Her timeless pieces are embroiled in identity, history, and culture. Her inspiration is drawn from a number of muses, which she shares on her website that are not necessarily centered around Muslims or modest fashion. Her direct interaction with Muslim women, who seek and wish to find an equilibrium between style and faith is not the singular force powering her brand, as she opens the floor for her timeless pieces to be accessible and inclusive to all. Forging the importance for every woman who seeks to build her identity, to own that staple piece for the wardrobe. However, the capsule does reflect a combination of Mariam’s personal experience, the seeking, and maintaining of multiple identities, and the drawing on the realities of her roots, as she makes heartfelt references to her family on Instagram. A band of strong Muslim women, and cleverly laces this together with the merging of Eastern and Western influences in her line.
She does all this, whilst subtly relaying the importance of iconography in fashion, and representation, showcasing models from a range of ethnicities and ages. All the production of her work is done in LA, where she is able to oversee working conditions, sourcing her supply chain won’t be difficult. Her inspiration and expert knowledge in her sphere acts as a great starting point to yield and bridge more collaborations between up and coming Muslim designers as ambassadors of their field, and established designers. To allow space for credit to be given to young talent from across the spectrum, from South East Asia to the Middle East, to represent a world that has been mirrored on to the catwalk, without the influencers’ presence. Mariam Al-Sibai is most certainly on Amaliah’s one to watch list.
Hanan has a Masters in Media in the Middle East from SOAS University. Trainee of the Muslim Women in Media institute Annual Cohort at UC Davis, California. Her interests lie in ethical fashion, modern-day slavery, and when not making Youtube videos she is somewhere in between Ballet and Kickboxing. King Julian is her spirit animal.