By Zainab Koli
Hasibuan’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection titled “D’Jakarta” was inspired by the vibrancy and diversity of her hometown, Jakarta, Indonesia. The 48 looks in the collection featured various combinations of skirts, palazzo pants, kimonos, jackets, capes, and gowns in a range of pastel, cream, and metallic hues. Flowy silks, chiffons, laces, velvets, and brocades draped beautifully on the models, creating a sort of delicate elegance that contrasted with the bulky costume jewelry. The combined effect was breathtaking. The crowd was blown away by the collection and gave her a much deserved standing ovation at the completion of the show.
Surprisingly enough Hasibuan launched her label only a year ago, prior to which she only designed as a hobby. In this short time she has gained international acclaim, showing her collections in London, Paris, Istanbul, as well as in her own city of Jakarta. While showing and designing her collections, Hasibuan keeps two goals in mind: introducing aspects of Indonesia to the world, and making women feel like princesses on a daily basis.
A goal she may not have had in mind but has achieved nonetheless is giving representation to the Muslim community. At a time when anti-Muslim feelings are so rampant and Muslim Americans are being told by politicians and fellow Americans that they do not belong in this nation, it is inspiring to see a Muslim woman earn a spot in one of the most prestigious fashion events and showcase the hijab without an ounce of fear of retaliation. It is a way of telling the world that regardless of how much hate some people may try to send our way, Muslim women will continue to be unapologetically Muslim and will continue to claim their rightful place.
This moment in fashion history will also affect the perception of Muslim women in the fashion industry. Brands will pay more attention to the Muslim-American woman and what she wants to wear. Although some brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Uniqlo, DKNY, Zara, and Mango, have offered modest fashion lines, many have only been sold as Ramadan collections or were designed without proper knowledge of the general guidelines for modest fashion. This will hopefully cause a shift that will make brands recognize the need to include Muslim designers in the design process, so appropriate clothing can be made.