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    Fashion

    First Look: Hana Tajima x UNIQLO SS16

    I got SO excited when I found out that Hana Tajima was collaborating with UNIQLO for a collection last year. Can you imagine my happiness when I found out they’re collaborating for a second time? Modest fashion lovers, rejoice! Presented as the 2016 Hana Tajima LifeWear collection, this season’s offerings feature the same clean, elegant aesthetic that we saw in its Fall/Winter debut, with an expansion on the idea of versatility in self-expression through style.

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    (Image & video credit: UNIQLO)

    One thing that I love about this collection is how it reinvents traditional Malay pieces in fresh, contemporary ways which allow them to be worn on both formal and casual occasions. The collection includes tops styled in the traditional Malay baju kurung style as well as the kebaya in ways that don’t only cater to the Muslim fashion crowd, but to the modest fashion crowd as well.

    I also love how versatility isn’t only incorporated into the styling of multiple pieces, but also into the styling of a single piece. As part of the campaign, UNIQLO included this tutorial video on how to style one of their pieces in more ways than one. I hope that should more collaborations happen in the future, they will develop similar designs that allow us fashionistas to really get the most out of a single piece of clothing.

    (Video credit: UNIQLO)

    As much as I love the UNIQLO x Hana Tajima collaboration, I have to say that I was a tad bit disappointed at their AIRism Inner Hijab. It is super comfortable and lightweight, but it just didn’t fit very snug on me and didn’t accommodate my personal hijab style. However, it makes a fantastic sports hijab so if you are looking for an inner piece for workouts or don’t mind using it on its own, I highly recommend it. I wear mine under a hoodie (also from UNIQLO’s AIRism line) and it’s absolutely fantastic 🙂

    The collection releases today in selected stores around Singaore and is also available is now available online on the collection’s main site.

    Do you think about the collection? Share your thoughts with me!

    Fashion

    What’s the Deal with Dolce & Gabbana’s Abaya Collection?

    When a fashion house releases a Muslim-targeted collection, I would have expected there to be celebration, that finally, Muslim fashionistas are being recognised by a luxury fashion player. And indeed there was celebration, but not without scrutiny that has been thrown towards Dolce & Gabbana’s latest hijab and abaya collection, named “The Abaya Collection: The Allure of the Middle East”. The collection features an array of hijabs and abayas in neutral hues and floral prints, in fabrics like lace, georgette and satin weave charmeuse fabrics, according to its debut on Style Arabia.

    Dolce & Gabbana, Dolce & Gabbana Abaya Collection, Dolce & Gabbana Abaya and Hijab Collection, Dolce & Gabbana Hijab and Abaya Collection, hijab, abaya, luxury, muslim fashion

    (Image credit: Style Arabia )

    Many have lauded this collection as a smart financial move by the fashion house, looking at the worth of the Muslim fashion market. Others, however, see this as exploitation – a move that has ignored years of thriving Muslim fashion and released as a money-making opportunity, neglecting culture, diversity and inclusion that is at the heart of the Muslim community.

    What do I have to make of all of this? Here’s what I think.

    Dolce & Gabbana, Dolce & Gabbana Abaya Collection, Dolce & Gabbana Abaya and Hijab Collection, Dolce & Gabbana Hijab and Abaya Collection, hijab, abaya, luxury, muslim fashion

    (Image credit: Style Arabia )

    Collection-wise, it is quite pretty, though stylistically it isn’t anything groundbreaking or new in Muslim fashion. As the collection was made for the Middle Eastern market, I don’t think I have the experience or expertise to comment on taste. You can take a look at this article  for better insight.

    I applaud Dolce & Gabbana’s first step in reaching out to the Muslim fashion audience – this crowd is often overlooked by the mainstream fashion industry. That being said, I believe that recognition for Muslim fashion should grow from representation and collaborations combined with appreciation for the diversity of the Muslim community. Some have criticised the house for stamping a “Muslim” label on ideas that we have seen before. Instead of working separately, creative minds from different houses, boutiques and agencies need to work together to understand what today’s Muslim consumers want and expect from a particular brand. These houses could develop fashion campaigns that engage Muslim creatives – Muslim models, stylists, photographers, bloggers, etc. The Muslim fashion market isn’t a passive bunch – we would love to be involved, so please, let us be involved! As of now I feel like Western brands have just taken their first few steps towards developing Muslim-friendly clothes. Gradually I hope that things will be able to move from just selling to truly engaging, allowing Muslim fashion to contribute to the mainstream fashion conversation.

    Over the next couple of years I hope to see more fruitful collections popping up that aren’t just eye-catching but promote a positive image of the brand itself. Despite the many Ramadhan collections that brands have launched over the years (e.g. ZARA, Mango, DKNY), the two brands that have managed to set themselves apart from others, in my opinion, are Uniqlo and H&M. Uniqlo has collaborated, and is still collaborating, with designer Hana Tajima to release Muslim-friendly collections under the brand, while H&M featured Mariah Idrissi in a campaign last year, earning a thumbs up from the Muslim fashion community. Strangely, I noticed that previous Muslim-targeted collections have not come under as much criticism as Dolce & Gabbana’s. I believe that this is probably because the house delved into both faith and culture at the same time when they are separate, though related.

    Closing off, I personally believe that to capture the attention of the Muslim fashion community, you need to do more than just sell clothes, you need to market them. Engagement with the community is key and with this, so much potential for representation and inclusion can be unlocked.

    Have you read about the collection? What do you think? 

    Beauty, Fashion

    22nd Birthday Wishlist

    spectrum collections, nanshy, birthday, makeup brushes, brushes, makeup brushes, stippling brush, yarn yarn, jewelry, accessories, jewellery, nyx, liquid lipstick, nyx liquid suede, frank body, body scrub, frank body scrub, laduree, cream blush, candle, candles, alchemy produx, unique candles, angela roi, moa tote, zara, pointed flats, birthday wishlist, gift ideas, gift inspiration, holiday season, christmas, christmas presents

    Is it really December already? How quickly time flies! December is my absolute favourite month because it’s my birthday month! A few days ago, I turned 22 and I am beyond thrilled that this year I spent my special day in Madinah on my pilgrimage to Mecca, a very important milestone for me in my life. Join me on my trip on Instagram, where I have been posting photos of the beautiful places I’m visiting!

    In the past few days, I put together a little birthday wishlist with things I’ve seen on Instagram or over Twitter. Have a little read!

    1. Spectrum Collections 12-piece Siren Brush Set & Roll – I recently started following Spectrum Collections on their Instagram and their brush sets are A DREAM. They’re 100% vegan and cruelty-free, plus they come in a myriad of beautiful colours and are easily some of the prettiest brushes I have ever seen. I have been wanting to grow my brush collection for a while and these will do me so much good… unfortunately most of their sets are sold out 🙁 A girl can dream…
    2. Nanshy Stippling Makeup Brush – I discovered Nanshy through Twitter and really liked their brand identity. I would absolutely love to try their stippling brush, a staple that I’ve been meaning to get for my own collection for a long time.
    3. Yard Yarn Camila Pretzel Bib Neck Piece – I wrote about Yard Yarn a few months back for my piece for Singapore Fashion Runway and it’s been wonderful watching the brand grow on their Instagram. This eye-catching piece is so stunning with the different pieces of material used in crafting it. I don’t wear much jewelry but when I do, I love to keep to statement pieces!
    4. NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick – These days, I’m finding myself getting really interested in liquid lipsticks. I’ve only ever tried one, which was NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo. I’m currently eyeing their Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks, specifically the colours Soft-Spoken and Vintage. I’d very much like to see how different they are from the Soft Matte Lip Creams and experience the matte suede finish!
    5. Frank Body Scrub – SO MANY people have been recommending this to me on Twitter everytime I ask for scrub recommendations. I NEED to try it! I love the website’s branding and I’m always looking for new body products to try. Scrubs are my favourites – nothing quite like the feel of soft, exfoliated skin after a good shower.
    6. Ladurée Cream Cheek Base – I’ve been itching to try this blush ever since I saw it on this episode of ClickNetwork’s Tried and Tested. How adorable does it look? It’s a cream blusher that you can rub directly onto your cheeks because of the special dome shape of the blush. I’m in love with the romantic girly-type packaging – what a pretty dresser piece it will make!
    7. Alchemy Produx Candle  I discovered this brand as I was travelling in Australia in June this year and was so intrigued by their candles. Instead of typical cylindrical-shaped candles, Alchemy Produx sells theirs in beakers, conical flasks, etc. It’s so creative and being a lover of candles, it would be lovely if I could have one of them in my candle collection!
    8. Angela Roi Moa Tote in Mud-Gray – Here’s a little did-you-know about me: I love my bags big because I have a habit of bringing too many things when I head out. The Moa Tote is an everyday bag that’s the perfect size to accommodate everything I need on a normal day. The Mud-Gray colour is so lovely, sort of a muted camel shade that acts as an understated outfit piece that could complement an everyday dressed-down look.
    9. ZARA Flats with Metal Toe – I LOVE pointed toe shoes!! I tried this very pair on at ZARA a few months ago and haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since. It’s a little pointier and longer than regular pointed toe shoes which I really like. This sets it apart from others and it also brings a little something extra to an outfit. The metal tip adds a classy touch to the shoe – it really is all in the details when it comes to this pair!

    December is also an exciting month because of the holiday season. If you’re looking for gift ideas, these are some presents that you could look into as well!