The first day of Eid/Hari Raya usually feels the most festive. Everyone celebrates after a month of fasting and don their festive wear, sometimes colour coordinated with the rest of the family. For this year, my family decided to go with purple as our colour for the first day. (It’s my favourite colour!) I found this outfit at my go-to mall for traditional wear. They sell the top and bottom batik print skirt separately, giving shoppers the freedom to mix and match different colours and prints how they like. I had lots of fun with that and settled on this bright pink and aqua blue floral design for the skirt which really stood out for me. It’s a great contrast against the purple top, which I liked because of the flared hem. Traditional kebayas have a more fitted look. The flared hem gave me a lot more freedom to eat as much as I wanted without feeling too self-conscious for the entire day!
My Hijab Look
I was a little nervous about trying a new hijab look. Past insecurities about my face and head shape made me question whether I was wearing it the right way. Right before I stepped out of the house for visiting, I told myself that as long as I felt comfortable and focused on what was most important for the day – spending time with family – everything was going to be alright. This was an easy hijab look that I pulled together with the help of this video, using a scarf by local modest fashion brand Nushee Nurra that I found at the annual Ramadan bazaar.
Accessories & Shoes
I wore a pair of earrings by sadhu, which I wrote about in this post. The rattan design of the earrings go really well with the batik printed skirt. I got my silver sling back heels from local brand Charles & Keith. They were the perfect Hari Raya heels, meaning that I could easily slip and out of them whenever I needed to entire/exit a family member’s home.
As for my makeup, I used Glossier’s Lidstar in Lily, Fenty Beauty’s Shimmer Match Stix in Unicorn, and Mattemoiselle in One Of The Boyz. They are all different shades of purple, and it felt like a fun beauty and outfit pairing to try out.
I’ll be posting about my second Eid look very soon. To everyone who’s still celebrating, have a great second week of Eid!
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!
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!
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?
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.