It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on what’s happening at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Practically in our backyard, the world-class museum frequently features top-notch fashion exhibits. Later this month, the de Young will mount a show entitled Contemporary Muslim Fashions.

The museum describes the much-anticipated show this way: “The exhibition examines how Muslim women … have become arbiters of style within and beyond their communities …” Check out this video for a sneak peek.

Interpreted in multiple ways by different women, modest dress may or may not include covering the head. And some choose to cover more skin, while others may be more interested in less body-conforming silhouettes.

It’s understandable that some of us might assume that modest means frumpy. The truth is women who dress modestly can still look very attractive and fashionable—even hip.

Photo: DeYoung Museum

“Modesty isn’t about covering up our bodies because they’re bad. Modesty isn’t about hiding ourselves. It’s about revealing our dignity.”—Jessica Rey, American actress and designer.

Rey is best known for her modest swimwear.

The greater inclusivity seen on runways around the world isn’t simply a matter of high-minded principle; it’s also good business. According to Who What Wear’s Anna Laplaka, “… modest fashion is not simply a niche within the broader market. Already valued at $243 billion, the global modest fashion market‘s incredible worth is set to only increase over the next few years.“ And according to the Guardian, “Global Muslim expenditure on fashion is set to rise to $484 billion by 2019 …”

Nike has been producing its Pro Hijab headscarves for Muslim athletes for over a year. Another sign of how widespread and popular the trend has become is the fact that there is now a Modest Fashion Week held in London every year.

The Nike Pro Hijab worn by Zahra Lari, Emirati figure skater. Photo: Vivienne Balla/AP

And modest fashion isn’t just for Muslim women. Many designers over the past several seasons have shown more conservative looks, featuring longer hemlines, higher necklines, long sleeves and so on.

Higher necklines are just one trend we’ll be seeing a lot of this fall and winter.

Purchase tickets to the de Young show here.

For more on this topic, see:

Glamour Magazine, UK (May 2018): “6 Modest Fashion Trends We’ll All Be Wearing this Season …”

What Modest Fashion Really Means to 4 Muslim Women

One comment

  • I am so excited to see the rise of “modest” fashion. I have seen young women at work in high tech companies wearing hot pants, and see-through blouses, and skin-tight knits with no bra or no panties, and such outfits do not serve them well in a professional environment. But you can’t say anything without being accused of being sexist or prudish, etc. Maybe people will start to see the value in not putting everything on display in every circumstance.

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