Students from Indonesia and Australia have collaborated on a unique showcase for the Adelaide Fashion Festival — a collection of modest garments they hope will redesign the industry’s perception of Islamic fashion.
- Indonesian and Adelaide students collaborate for collection at Adelaide Fashion Festival
- Move to create more modern but modest fashion for Muslim women
- Bid to get more women into Indonesian fashion industry
Anita Yuni is one of six students from the Islamic Fashion Institute in Bandung, Indonesia, who has travelled to Adelaide this week to showcase the collection with fashion students from TAFE SA.
She said it could be challenging for Muslim women around the world to find stylish but culturally appropriate clothing.
She hoped the students’ collection of garments gracing the festival’s runway this weekend, alongside the likes of Paolo Sebastian, could help make Muslim fashion more appealing to a wider audience.
“I think this is a new life journey for me,” she said.
“The scarf here is very thick and cannot be bent, you cannot mould it easily.
“I think we can add on some sophisticated detail on our brand-new Muslim fashion designs.
“I think modest wear can also be worn by a woman not wearing a hijab; I think for winter or autumn, they can wear that design also.”
TAFE SA design student Jade Barker said the fashion world was starting to take notice of modest clothing — and was keen to be part of the movement.
“It’s [currently] very oversized tunics and it’s a bit cliche and it hasn’t really evolved that much,” Jade said.
“So this is great that up and coming designers are designing for that market.
“Internationally, it’s a really big thing and it’s slowly happening here in Australia.”
Adelaide fashion students Jade Barker and Scott Sandford present their designs. (ABC News: Claire Campbell)
Cashing in on ‘modest fashion’ boom
TAFE SA fashion and costume lecturer Jane Hardacre said it made business and fashion sense for the Australian fashion industry to make modest clothing that was also cutting edge.
“Kids from an Islamic background, they’re young, they want to look trendy, they want to have something that they can wear too,” she said.
“We don’t want to fit people into a mould and say, ‘This is what you must wear’.
“The world we live in is pluralistic, it’s multicultural, we want to respond to people’s different needs and aspirations.
“The economics suggest that it’s a growing population — there’s a growing demand for modest fashion and we’re responding to that.
“We want to put Australia, particularly South Australia, on the world map for fashion.”
Over the past two years, the two fashion institutions have learnt from each other — Australian students have travelled to Indonesia to learn about textiles and production, while the Indonesian students have gained a better understanding of the latest technology and Western fashion through exchanges to Adelaide.
Euis Saedah and Anita Yuni from the Islamic Fashion Institute in Adelaide. (ABC News: Claire Campbell)
Hope to grow partnership
What started as an informal partnership between the two schools but has now led to a memorandum of understanding being drawn up, and dreams of starting a combined online retail space.
Islamic Fashion Institute adviser Euis Saedah said it was a partnership she hoped would continue to grow.
“We have the experience to go global and that’s why we have to come to rich countries considered to be more advanced than Indonesia,” she said.
“We have to come here to learn so younger generations know how to do things relating to every single detail of fashion work — like cutting, sewing, technology of drawing, information technology.
“This has economic value and this can attract people, especially women, to do more — making accessories, making dresses.
“I can see their enthusiasm after only two days here — some of them have ideas.”
The Adelaide Fashion Festival runs until Sunday and features prominent and emerging local designers and puts the spotlight on sustainable and innovative styles in the industry.