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    Fashion

    My First Public Garden: Loot

    Singapore Public Garden Independent Designer Jewellery Earrings Pouch

    This past Saturday, I dropped by the Public Garden for the first time. It’s a showcase of local and regional independent brands and their work, and I was glad that I finally got a chance to attend after always hearing about it from friends and social media. Here’s my loot from the market. (Coincidentally, all three buys are from brands based in Indonesia!)

    The first is a pouch by Kamarasan. They had their clothing collection on display, which featured ethnic-influenced prints. This design concept extends into their pouches that came in different sizes and styles. I got one as a case for my headphones, but I do wish that I got more because there were quite a number of prints that caught my eye. Next time, then!

    Singapore Public Garden Independent Designer Jewellery Earrings Pouch

    My next find was a pair of earrings from Ansy Savitri. Their latest collection is inspired by Qashani, which is a form of Persian decorative art used in tile work, and can be found in mosques or buildings in Iran. The blue roses you see on the leather base of the earrings is handpainted, taking cues from the floral motifs that can often be found in their design inspiration. The finishing touch? Beads that take on the shape of leaves and a stem, completing the flowers. They came in several colours, with different finishes on the beads. These stood out the most for me because I love how vibrant they are!

    Singapore Public Garden Independent Designer Jewellery Earrings Pouch

    Singapore Public Garden Independent Designer Jewellery Earrings Pouch

    My last buy was a pair of earrings from sadhu. Their brand signature: Woven accessories using rattan handcrafted in Bali. The owners of the store shared that they also source their components from Japan. On top of that, according to the little note that came in the box, they use re-purposed clam shells sourced from local clam farms. I absolutely love that sadhu works together with local businesses and Indonesian craftsman to create these works of art.

    On display were rattan earrings in all sorts of shapes and sizes, in both symmetrical and asymmetrical styles. I picked out this pair from the lot, which is from their Chinese New Year collection and named “Purnama”, which refers to the full moon in both Malay and Bahasa.

    What are some of your favourite independent fashion brands?

    Fashion

    Fashion, Faith & H&M’s First Modest Fashion Line

    H&M First Modest Fashion Line, LTD Collection

    (Photos: H&M)

    Sometime last week H&M announced the launch of its new modest fashion line, aimed at being more inclusive and catering to a diverse range of audiences. First of all, I think that’s pretty cool, but I’m not surprised at the announcement looking at how much the modest fashion industry is worth (it’s expected to reach $368 billion by 2021!) and how I think businesses are moving towards that to get a piece of the pie (not a bad thing if consumers get to benefit from better materials, craftsmanship, etc.). Though I have to say this: For a major fashion retailer that has shown at Paris Fashion Week, I think they can do better than this. They’re designs that we’ve seen many times before and I do hope to see more prints, colours, and silhouettes being explored in future drops.

    What did intrigue me about this whole affair is how the internet and social media space is receiving the collection and a few of the Instagrammers who I follow (@rumastyles & @ishaloona) raised an issue that I think most people exclude from the conversations around modest fashion: That we should keep in mind the sources of the clothes that we wear. I’m writing this from the point of view of a fashion lover who practises a faith that, like most religions, encourages you to be good and do good. When you think about it, that goal extends into fashion by reminding us that our clothes should come from ethical sources.

    Until now, the intersection between fashion and faith has been centred around creating more clothing options that provide extra coverage, and the rise of modest fashion influencers who have catapulted the modest fashion scene into mainstream media. I think this will gradually grow to include conversations around fashion ethics and sustainability, where consumers can really play a huge part by holding brands responsible for the practices they engage in.

    It’s also a good reminder for consumers like me to think twice about how we spend our money. Conscious shopping isn’t something that I myself am completely used to (the most that I do to cut down on my fast fashion purchases is shopping at vintage and thrift stores) but rethinking the sources of my clothes is something that I will be doing more of in the future. Not an overnight transformation, but a practice that I can integrate into the ways that I choose to express myself.

    What are your thoughts?

    Fashion, Inspiration, Personal

    My Hijabi Inspirations

    Inspiration comes to us in many forms. There are so many inspirational hijabis in the world, and today I will only be sharing with you four of my personal ones, as part of my little blogging series for World Hijab Day. These wonderful women inspire me in different ways, so forgive me if my list appears to jump from one point of discussion to another.

    Now, in no particular order, my hijabi inspirations:

    1. Saufeeya Goodson

    I follow Saufeeya on Instagram and her feed is MAD. It is so carefully curated and her outfits are always so on point. I love how her confidence radiates through every photo that she publishes and how she treats her Instagram feed as a creative space rather than a platform to document everyday activities, which most of us use it for. Saufeeya inspires me to push myself creatively and explore social media spaces in different ways. Everytime I revisit her feed, I am reminded to think out of the box and be unafraid to express myself through my outfits and photography.

    2. Hana Tajima


    (Image credit: hanatajima.com)

    I first gained interest in hijab fashion when I came across photos of Hana Tajima on Tumblr many years ago. I was intrigued at her effortless sense of style – it was never flashy, but more relaxed and contemporary. Whenever I needed a dose of inspiration, I’d take a look at her photos. Even the way I style my hijab is influenced by her! Since then my sense of style has developed to include other influences but Hana Tajima will always remain the first hijab style icon to pique my interest in this art and inspire me to develop that interest into something more.

    3. Malala Yousafzai

    (Image credit: Malala Fund Facebook)

    Reading about Malala never fails to make me question my life choices, all at once. She has my utmost respect and admiration for her accomplishments and her determination to create change and fight for what she believes in. A lot of the times I make the mistake of taking things for granted and not realising how fortunate I am to have been born and raised in a society where education and safety aren’t out of reach. When I think of Malala and the ordeals she went through, I remember that I have so much to give thanks for and also so much that I can do affect positive change. Her strength and courage inspire me so much. I don’t really know how to put this into words… in the course of my years on Earth, I hope that I’d be able to create real, tangible change, the way Malala is doing right now. What a goal to strive for.

    4. Niloofar Rahmani

    (Image credit: Niloofar Rahmani’s Facebook Page)

    I learnt about Niloofar Rahmani through an article by Buzzfeed which listed her as one of the “Badass women you probably didn’t hear about in 2015″. Niloofar became Afghanistan’s first female fixed-wing military pilot since the fall of the Taliban. And at just 21 years old! Unfortunately, fast forward a few years later, death threats from members of the Taliban and even her own extended family has forced her and her immediate family to flee her home and, according to this article, she is currently in the US training to pilot a special plane. I think it is so admirable that she still has the determination to succeed and live her dream despite the terrifying amount of danger that it puts her in. Her story really inspires me to push myself  to achieve the things I want and serves as a reminder that we all have the capacity and the strength to succeed within us. All that’s left for us to decide is how much effort we are willing to put in to get there and how much we are willing to sacrifice to reach our goals.

    Do you find inspiration in any of these women as well? Share your thoughts with me!

     Explore other hijabi inspirations:

    My Hijabi Inspirations by Sadiya

    Hijabi Inspirations by Fads

    Hijabi Inspirations by Wallflower Hijabi