The beauty of fashion, as a form of art, it's that you will never get stopped. If you are a creative mind, you'll ever find inspiration in something near you or it just suffit a glimpse to restart your powerful imaginative gear.
After all this time, our willing was to refocus and restore attention on designers , on Modest fashion designers and the occasion of the recent celebration of Eid Al Adha has been the right moment to have a sit and browsing around Modest fashion collections.
That's how we met up with Sara Awamleh, Australian Modest Fashion designer living in Melbourne, with a marvelous mix of Lebanese and Jordanian background. Born in Australia and grew up in a melting pot of cultures, Sara split her young age between Australia and Saudi Arabia; a significant time that nurtured her fashion imaginary and her willing to create her own style.
With an Associate Degree in Fashion Design Technology in 2016 and a Bachelor of Fashion Design with Honours at RMIT University in 2019, her first collection launched POWER & PEACE , is an ode to the concept of diversity , by showing how modest fashion can be represented in the different ways and how women can consider it.
As a young girl living in the capital town of Saudi , Riyadh, and attending an international English school , Sara devoted a lot of her time by observing women wearing their long black abayas, while shopping at Al Faisaliah, Al Mamlaka, Hayat Mall, Panorama Mall and she started to develop a considerable passion for styling her outfits , to find her suitable look.
Her first collection POWER & PEACE has been inspired by her Arabian influence and it aims at promoting and redefining Modest Fashion concept , by highlighting its multicultural facet, with a message of spreading peace and love from Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria , in a symphony to celebrate women's empowerment in society.
As she stated "The aim of my brand is to redefine modest fashion and to make modest fashion mainstream in today’s society. Modest fashion is always separated from runways , thus, you wouldn’t see modest fashion brands at Melbourne Fashion week. Modest fashion assumed that it just belongs to one specific culture or a religion. I aim to break these stereotypes and bring diversity into modest clothing. Therefore, the collection is inspired from culture, architecture and nature, where I tell a story by covering themes and spreading a message to women to feel empowered with themselves. " For this reason, Sara's collection also been also selected to be showcased at the Multicultural Museum Victoria in Australia.
The collection features a limited selection of outfits with different inspirations, celebrating a cultural diversity. The Arabic Islamic calligraphy printed on a long white dress, in a message of peace, love and compassion , while the black and nude dress symbolizes the colors of Power. The Petra top& pants made out of silk dupioni, inspired by Petra architecture in Jordan, the Syria mesh top and skirt inspired from Al Hamidiyah Market in Syria and lastly the red jumpsuit inspired by Lebanese asymmetrical architecture design line panels.
With great attention to both diversity and sustainability , Sara's fabrics choice leans towards natural fibres such as cotton, silk and linen, for a lasting longer design , while avoiding harsh chemicals in selecting her printed designs. As she suggests, " Valuing sustainability and ethics is a must. Reconsider your fabric choices, designs, prints, and try your best to implement sustainable methods and have at least 2 sustainable methods to be applied".
Since the global situation has revealed that fashion needs to convert to digital ( at least for a while) , digital showrooms and virtual catwalks took on relevance to display collections , while keeping on connecting with the audience and by creating strong friendships within the community . As Sara says "I truly believe that due to the global pandemic situation it is more challenging to reach our customers but you do find passionate and creative ways to deal with".
Already selected to attend Paris, London and Flying Solo NY fashion Week- which were postponed due to the pandemic- Sara's concept of redefining Modest fashion canons lays in the fact that Modest fashion won’t be a Middle Eastern subject only, but rather international and not separated from the rest of the industry . Being a fashion designer in a global world context , whether or not wearing hijab, her attempt is to show how modest fashion can be seen in different ways within the industry.
'Cause the true bulk of redefining Modesty is starting a conversation amid different views it represents.
Cover Pic credit, Power & Peace collection by Sara Awamleh