Author Archives: Jean Singian

MUSLIM FASHION DESIGNERS

Muslim fashion designers you should know

Thursday, 14 July 2016 | Written by
MUSLIM FASHION DESIGNERS

Undoubtedly, modest fashion or modest movement is rising worldwide – finally, Muslim fashion industry is not only being marketed towards Muslim women but as well as to people who believe that a person can be sexy and dress modestly at the same time.

According to the 2014-2015 report by Thomson Reuters, the total spending of Muslim women on clothes and shoes in 2013 alone cost $266 billion and it is expected to reach $484 billion by 2019. No wonder fashion companies such as H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, Uniqlo, Mango, Zara and Dolce & Gabanna sell hijabs (headscarf) and abaya (a loose, full-length robe) marketed to Muslim women. But even before those big companies came into the picture, Muslims have been experimenting with colors, patterns, and fabrics – styling them in their own creative ways in order to make remarkable clothes that reveal less skin.

Take a look at the list of Muslim designers who made their way into the wonderful world of fashion:

  1. Iman Aldebe1 - IMAN ALDEBE

She’s a Muslim designer who grew up in Sweden. Some companies would not hire her because she’s wearing a hijab, but when she finally got a part-time job in a boutique she noticed that there’s an untapped market for those people who wants a ready-made turban. From there, she got the idea of putting up her own store and started creating unique turban collection for her fellow Muslim women with the goal to remove the notion that they should hide away from society. There were a lot of criticism and threats against her, but to this day, her designs featuring haute couture turbans are being sold in exclusive department stores in Sweden, Dubai, Paris, and New York.

In her interview with Al Jazeera, she said, “Fashion is art and art is positive and can dispel the prejudiced [notion that Muslim] women are oppressed. I want to continue to create clothes that will create opportunities and change for people.”

Visit her collection at http://imanaldebe.se/ and follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/imanaldebe/?hl=en

  1. Dian Pelangi 2 - Dian Pelangi

Ever since she was a child, she has been taught how to serve customers, make clothes, draw, and sew in their boutique called Dian Pelangi (which her parents created in 1991 and also her given name) – that’s why it is no surprise that she pursued fashion when she became an adult. She’s a graduate of French fashion school ESMOD.

For more than 20 years, Dian Pelangi brand already created Islamic fashion trend-setters. Pelangi, which literally means rainbows can be seen with the touch of vibrant colors in her designs and ability to transform an abaya. Germany, Paris, London, Melbourne, Dubai, Holland, Cairo, Kuwait, Thailand, and Jordan are only some of the countries where she held fashion shows.

Her online store is http://dianpelangi.com/ and you can check out her Instagram as well, https://www.instagram.com/dianpelangi/?hl=en

  1. Hana Tajima3 - HANA TAJIMA

She was born in UK and her parents are both artists which exposed her to a constant creative environment. In her blog, she describes herself as a designer and visual artist. She has worked with artists and designers such as Bing and Ruth, Okuda Yusai, Rosie Lowe, and Port St Willow. Some of her works were also featured in ELLE Italia and many online blogs and journals.

She also collaborated with UNIQLO and showed her debut collection (you may see at http://www.uniqlo.com/my/store/women/collections/hana-tajima-collection.html) last 2015 in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand. After its success, her collection was launched again in Southeast Asia Spring/Summer 2016 and released in USA last February 26, 2016.

Follow her works at http://hanatajima.com/ and her Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hntaj/?hl=en

  1. Jenahara Nasution 4 - JENAHARA NASUTION

She made her way into the fashion world by making her own label with using her name. She’s a daughter of an Indonesian senior designer. She makes her designs distinct by following three principles: purity, uniqueness, and modernity. Since malls and department stores expect very high consignment rates just to be able to show her designs, she co-founded Indonesia Hijabers Community, an online community which helped trigger the growth of interest with regards to Muslim fashion in Indonesia.

Know more about her at https://www.instagram.com/jenahara/?hl=en and you may check out her online store as well https://www.instagram.com/jenahara_update/

  1. Dina Torkia5- DINA TORKIA

A stylist, blogger, designer and scarf aficionado, Dina Torkia, famously known as Dina Tokio, created her own fashion blog in order to give opportunity for Muslim women to appreciate and enjoy their Hijab by putting a touch of their own personal style. She’s half European, half Egyptian and believes that fashion and religion can be fused in order to show one’s personality. Her clothes collection boasts of a combination of minimalist and modesty with an ethnic touch.

Aside from her fashion blog, she also makes Youtube videos (Youtube channel: Dina Tokio) about anything under the sun as long as she thinks it’s important. She also runs a second Youtube channel with her husband Sid (Youtube channel: Sid and Dina). When she was pregnant, she also blogged about her pregnancy and how women can dress up and still feel beautiful with their baby bump.

Check out her cool collection of scarves and clothes at http://www.dinatorkia.com/ and find ways on how to wear it on her https://www.instagram.com/dinatokio/?hl=en

  1. Hikmat Saleh6 - HIKMAT

He started his career as a lawyer but then he had a change of heart and realized that he belongs to the world of fashion. When he chose to change his career, he decided to make his own fashion brand and boutique called Hikmat fashion. In Baghdad, he is famous for his elegant designed dresses.

You may visit and take a look at his collection at http://www.hikmatfashion.com/ and https://www.instagram.com/hikmatfashion/

Though there are only 6 featured designers here, there are many more Muslim designers out there making a name for themselves and with the massive growth of modest fashion followers, it is clear that the fashion industry is changing its course.

 

Sources: http://fortune.com/2015/07/15/muslim-women-fashion/

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/10/sweden-hijabista-selling-muslim-fashion-151022111549949.html

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/07/21/dian-pelangi-young-designer-grand-ambitions.html

http://fashionscout.co.uk/dian-pelangi-nelly-rose-odette-steele/

http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/reports/news/a34384/need-more-muslim-girls-public-eye/

http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/553300/meet-the-women-using-instagram-to-change-their-lives.html?utm_content=socialflow&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

http://mvslim.com/7-muslim-fashion-designers-everyone-should-know/

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10 solutions to stress-free skin

Thursday, 23 June 2016 | Written by
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These days we lead very busy lives and our skin goes through a lot of pressure from our daily activities. We wax, scratch, tan, sometimes let it go dry, burn, bruise and cut our skin. At times, we also put tattoos, paint, colors, piercing –no wonder our skin is stressed. When stressed, a hormone called cortisol is released which breaks down collagen and causes inflammation. As a result, our skin’s oil production and accumulation of fat is increased which makes us more vulnerable to have pimples, blemishes, and wrinkling.

As long as we continue to lead a stressful life, our skin will always be susceptible to aging and diseases. Here are 10 ways so you can lessen the stress on your skin.3

Make sure you have enough sleep

When we say sleep, we’re not talking about 4 hours, 5 hours, 6 hours, but 7 hours of sleep! As you sleep, the skin repairs by itself. Sleeping also helps limit cortisol. Snuggle down and let your body restore.

Know your skin type

There are a lot of skin products out in the market but if you don’t know your skin type then you might be using the wrong skin care. Is it oily, normal, dry, or a combination? After identifying which one, you can ask store clerks to assist you on the products you should buy.

Breathe in, breathe out

More often than not we are consumed by a lot of factors in our life. From chasing the bus on the street, waiting for the jeepney ride to school, rushing to finish that paper work, cooking your dinner after a long day of work, there’s just so much to do that we forget to slow down, take a break, relax, and for a moment, take away all the seriousness of life.

Take time to relax and meditate for better skin. Embrace a life of meditation or at least 15 minutes of alone time which limits stress altogether.

If you’re not sure if you can relax without thinking of deadlines and problems, you may engage in lavender aromatherapy in order to calm your nerves.

Drink LOTS of water

I can’t stress this enough. Sometimes it is really hard to do this when all you want to do is reach for the caffeine fix or soda. But this will improve the way your body works and if you remain faithful in drinking water, you will not only hydrate yourself but you will soon see that glowing skin.

Work that body

Go and hit the gym, run on the streets or do physical exercise at home. Exercise will improve your complexion because it boosts circulation, meaning when there is more blood flow to the skin, there will be fewer toxins which minimizes the chances of having cellulite.

Always use sunscreen

The sun can do a lot of damage on our skin, so to protect yourself from the ultraviolet rays, wear sunscreen and keep signs of aging at bay.

Be loyal to your daily skin-care regimen

Our regular skin care routine will not yield results magically but persistence and devotion can pay off in the long term. Cleanse, tone, exfoliate, moisturize and hydrate yourself. Simple steps which will only take a few minutes of your time. It makes all the difference.4

Eat right, eat healthy

A healthy diet can help you feel and look your best. No matter how you feel, eat what’s good for your body. It is also proven that foods that contain vitamin C helps fight free radicals (these break down collagen and damage cells, leading to wrinkles and fine lines).

Reduce your alcohol intake

A night out with your friends, which involve alcohol may be bad for you skin. Even though you are stressed out, you might want to skip drinking. Anything that’s excessive is not good for your body. Whenever you drink too much, your body becomes dehydrated, dilating your capillaries which causes an inflammation in your body and aging.

Do things that make you happy

Often times we deprive ourselves of the things we want to do, but sometimes we need to let loose and do things we love. Trust me, you will feel better and when you feel good, you look good as well. Also, try to always smile! Not only will you look sociable and nice, it also tricks your body and will eventually change your mood. As a trivia, smiling uses fewer muscles than frowning, so what are you waiting for? Flash that radiant smile.

Remember, whatever you do for your skin also affect your general health, it’s not yet too late to have the youthful glow. Stay beautiful under stress!

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Love or hate Hallyu fashion

Friday, 17 June 2016 | Written by
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2From K-pop to K-dramas, the global fascination of the Hallyu movement, better known as the Korean Wave or Korean Fever, keeps us engaged, especially in the social world. It is no surprise that the this transcends to identifying and understanding Korean fashion, especially with the Korean government calling it as the next soft power. Perhaps, it’s because Koreans are unafraid of trying out or exploring new things in order to find and show their individuality and identity. Once a certain look is out in the Internet, everything happens so quickly and people immediately check whether they could wear that exact look or tweak it into something they are comfortable with.

Check out this roundup of some of the most popular trends you need to know if you want to jump the Hallyu fashion bandwagon:

1. Flexible hairstyles

Whether it’s straight, wavy, long, short, curly perm or colored hair – choose a hair style that suits you. You can either wear full bangs or side bangs. Plus, add a headband or hair clip (ideally a cute bow or something with a flower on it).12. Learn how to do the natural or ullzang look

ULLZANG (best face) – pronounced as Eol-jjang; Eol meaning “face” and jjang meaning “best”

They are described to be unbelievably beautiful. Some use the eyelid glue, eye-liner, eye contouring and circle lenses with big diameters in order to achieve the doll eye effect.

  1.  Straight brows have also been quite popular for some time now. According to Ramy Gafni (known as the Brow whisperer), “The straight brow can look expressionless and severe, so it looks best on someone with delicate, small features.”
  2.  Aegyo sal (means eye smiles or cute skin), as strange as it sounds, is a trend in South Korea. For those who suffer eye bags, cheer up because they are actually considered cute in South Korea. Korean women find the little pockets of fat under the eyes attractive and believe they give them a youthful look.3

3. Flaunt those legs

It’s a lot common for girls to show off their legs rather than show their back and shoulders (they have a conservative selection of tops). You’ll be amazed at how short the dresses, shorts, and skirts are. It may even surprise you that mini-skirts are worn all year around even if it’s winter! (But please, bear in mind that Korea’s not a mini-skirts paradise…)

If they’re not wearing the three mentioned, both men and women also favor skinny jeans and they top it with loose clothing, matched with fitted blazers.

4. Super high heels and high tops

Heels are usually worn; the higher, the better. Always wear them while walking, hiking (yes, hiking!!!), running, jumping and climbing. Heeled slippers, heeled sandals, heeled sneakers, – everything’s heeled! Probably, the main reason for this is that they usually have average height and want to look taller. During winter, they even wear open-toed ankle boots to look like they want to be warm, though they just couldn’t sacrifice fashion for a more practical choice of shoes.4

Koreans also brought back the love for high tops. Aside from sporting colors such as black and white, these high tops also come in different colors, which most middle and high school students find appealing.

5. Matching outfits for couples 

This is a big thing (for young couples and at times, for the not-so-young ones) and a symbol of ever-lasting love. You might just find yourself buying matching shirts, pants, sweaters, jackets, shoes, bracelets, watches – anything that you can match with your other half. They wear these outfits as they walk down the street or take the subway. If you think about it, couples look adorable when they wear matching outfits, especially when it’s a declaration of their love for each other. (READ: The art of twinning)

6. Wear shorter pant legs

6You don’t have to feel embarrassed anymore when you show off your socks while walking and perhaps a little ankle on every movement. A lot of actors wear this when they’re on the red carpet, concerts, and even use this as an airport fashion. You can even forego the socks if you want to.

7. Never ever go out without a parasol.

All your efforts will be wasted if you let yourself be open to even the slightest chance of being exposed to the sun, rain, or snow. It’s no secret that Koreans are very conscious of their skin. Protect your skin at all costs!!!

You can either love or hate the Hallyu fashion but you can’t deny the amount of influence it has contributed to the younger generation and how they continue to dominate the fashion markets worldwide.

As Rachel Zoe said, ‘style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.’ So, if you think Korean fashion best describes who you are or who you want to be. It’s time for you to change or add to your wardrobe. Step out in style, the Hallyu fashion way.

Sources (of images): Pinterest, SingaporeStyle.Net, CollegeFashion.Net, Google

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Gearing up for the rainy days

Thursday, 16 June 2016 | Written by
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Rain can either ruin or make your day. Choose the latter. Rainy days don’t have to be a nuisance or nightmare when you go to work. You don’t have to feel exasperated anymore thinking of ways on how to maintain your look and still leave a fashionable statement at work.

Though the weather can be a little intimidating and unpredictable, it also gives you the chance to utilize your wardrobe. Don’t let rainy days dampen your style. Take a look at these rainy day tips you to survive the rainy days ahead!raining-18857_640

  1. Grab a stylish umbrella

Who said umbrella’s only purpose is to keep yourself dry while the rain is pouring? An umbrella that complements your outfit can be a stylish accessory and be functional at the same time. To make your outfit more noticeable, you may opt for fun patterns and unusual designs, or feminine shades like purple, red, blue and pink as well as neutrals like brown and black. The bubble umbrella is the best choice to keep the rain away from your body and it can also shield your hair from the wind. But the most important thing is to choose and check whether an umbrella will survive the rain. Go for a wind resistant umbrella for a hassle-free commute.

  1. Skirt all the way

Instead of wearing jeans and risking yourself having a wet pant legs, you can wear a skirt on your way to work. A skirt is the ideal way to look cute and have the ease to walk easily from one place to another. To stay warm, match your skirt with black tights. Go for black because it will not show any signs of being drenched in the rain. Go for outfits that will make you look bright and choose neutral colors for your sweater or jacket to highlight your outfit!

  1. Wear jeans that are properly hemmed

In the end, it’s all about your preference so if you insist on wearing jeans, make sure that they don’t drag along the ground or you’ll end up with that cold and horrible feeling on your legs. Plus, it is only recommended that you wear this only during light rains. But ultimately, it will always depend on you.

  1. Rock your outfit with a coat

Classic raincoat colors such as white, yellow, blue, and brown helps you show-off your outfit while offering a substantial protection from the rain. Settle for the lighter ones so you can move freely and be fashionable as well. Go for knee-length dresses instead of the maxi ones to keep your polished look all the time.tokyo-835571_640

  1. No time for high heels

Flip-flops, sneakers, peep-toes and ballerinas are only some of the ideal choices that will help you navigate the rain-washed streets. Go for the economical choices because you’ll probably only use them for a very short time.

  1. Skip the traditional rain boots

If you haven’t tried the traditional tall rain boots, it’s totally fine because wearing them usually makes it hard to walk around in the rain. Go for boots that are short and sleek. Aside from making your walk comfortable, it won’t make your calves hot and sticky.

  1. Leave your suede at home

Absolutely anything suede for the rainy days– your bags, shoes or boots, because they will be completely destroyed by the rain. Not even a protectant spray can save them. If you want to keep wearing your favorite accessories, better follow this advice.Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 3.39.39 PMa. Never ever wear white

We all know that white is a good color and can show off your curves. But if it’s going to be drenched in mud puddles then you better think twice if you want to wear one, especially if you don’t have a car.

b. Get a waterproof bag

You can’t afford to get your things soaked, so invest in waterproof bags. It’s all about being prepared for the unexpected downpour. It’s great to at least have one foldable, waterproof bag which can hold your wet jacket or raincoat without affecting everything else in your bag.

c. Put your hat and scarf on and protect your make up

To avoid making your hair frizzy, throw on a hat. It is a good accessory to keep your hair from getting messy during rainy days. You may also use an anti-frizz product before heading out. When styling your hair with a crazy rainy weather, you may tie it into a nice pony tail, a bun or braid. Use a scarf to protect your accessories from being whisked by the rain. It also makes your outfit look cozier with the layers of your style.

For your makeup, it is good to keep things simple. Choose the fresh face look and avoid using lip gloss or you might end up having pieces of your hair stuck to your lips.

 

So, who said you can’t be fab and radiant during the rainy season? Stay dry in style, rainy days don’t always have to be gloomy! The weather will always be what you make it. So, instead of looking at the rain as a hindrance or a complete chore, accept it and have fun looking at the possible styles you can use in the office. Hope you’re all set to face the rain.

Photos from Pixabay

Sources:

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Umbrella-Reviews

http://fashion.allwomenstalk.com/rainy-day-accessories-to-brighten-your-mood

http://stylecaster.com/rain-appropriate-stylish-outfits/slideshow/1

http://www.glamour.com/story/rainy-day-outfit-ideas

http://www.whowhatwear.com/rainy-day-outfit-ideas-2015

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7 classic literary characters that will make you want to dress up

Monday, 13 June 2016 | Written by
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Have you ever heard of the saying, “if you look books, you’ll never be alone”? I know, because I’m a bibliophile myself. It’s amazing how, with a book, you can transport yourself into a different place, in another time zone, to experience another paradise, to be given another channel to think, feel more and change how you perceive things. That’s how powerful books are.

As a tribute to my favorite books, here are my top heroines (some are anti-heriones, mind you), who I love not only because of their timeless stories, bur also their unique fashion sense.

  1. Chiyo Sakamoto (Sayuri Nitta) – Memoirs of A Geisha by Arthur Golden1

Being a geisha, it’s a survival, a competition of sort to be liked by men – to be appreciated for the arts you can perform. When I read this book, I felt sad knowing geishas don’t really have much choice other than to pursue perfectionism relentlessly. But even knowing their sorrow, there’s just something about the book that makes you imagine how it must feel to wear a kimono. I remembered when Chiyo (Sayuri) first laid her eyes on Mameha’s kimono, an orange silk with a silver waterfall pouring from the knee into a slate-blue ocean’, there’s something that changed the moment she saw the dress. It gave her confidence she never imagined she had.

  1. Lady Brett Ashley – The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway2

Ernest Hemingway described her as ‘damned good-looking’, perhaps referring to how beautiful she is, maybe even surpassing what beauty really means. Lady Brett Ashley has it all; she’s pretty, witty, intelligent and has a good sense of style. “She wore a slipover jersey sweater and a tweed skirt, and her hair was brushed back like a boy’s. She started all that. She was built with curves like the hull of a roaring yacht, and you missed none of it with that wool jersey.”

  1. Claudia Kishi – The Baby-sitters Club, Claudia and Mean Janine by Ann M. Martin3

Who doesn’t love sneakers? You’d be surprised at how devoted Claudia is to her sneakers. She can mix and match everything, as long as there are sneakers around. It doesn’t matter how outrageous you think her outfits are, there’s just a touch of brightness showing her disposition in every outfit that you just can’t disregard.

  1. Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables

4If there’s one thing I would love to try because of Anne, it it’s trying on a dress with puffed sleeves. She said, ‘It would give me such a thrill, Marilla, just to wear a dress with puffed sleeves.’ She always wanted to try it and so did I!

  1. Daisy Buchanan – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald5

Let’s set aside the fact that I despise her and discuss how much of an absolute dream it will be to be styled just like her! Sometimes it isn’t too bad to lavish yourself with a lot of accessories to make yourself shine. There are a lot of things she wore that I liked but I loved the stunning bejeweled dress she wore at Gatsby’s party. I could only imagine how much confidence that outfit gave her. Daisy, I hate you but I love how you dress yourself up, you’re such a darling!

  1. Midori Kobayashi – Norwegian Wood

6There’s nothing more beautifully depressing than this book! Not many can look fabulous with mini skirts, a leather shoulder bag, ankle-strapped shoes, and dresses with bright colors and mismatched patterns than Midori. In my opinion, it is what makes her seductive in the first place. She’s not the muse of the book but she filled the novel with optimism. But behind all that optimism is a girl who has experienced a lot of heartaches and problems.

Let me share some of Midori’s best lines from the book:

“I don’t care what you do to me, but I don’t want you to hurt me. I’ve had enough hurt already in my life. More than enough. Now I want to be happy.”

  1. Lisbeth Salander – The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson7

For those who are fascinated with punk aesthetic, Lisbeth Salander is your badass hero. She’s a representation of a tough woman, ready to fight and run with her combat boots. For her, skirts are a no-no, good thing black tight jeans got her back! Lisbeth Salander’s style screams practicality. 8

I know you might not be satisfied with the list because literary fashion icons won’t be complete without Holly! Who would forget Holly’s little black dress and pearl combo from Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s? This maybe the most famous and timeless creation of Truman yet that even until now, to be truly chic, one should have this in her wardrobe. Indeed, less is more!

For the bibliophiles who just can’t get enough of your favorite novel characters, bring them to life by taking after their fashion sense.

Sources of images: Google, beyondbooks.org, Pinterest, entropificus.blogspot.com, vinyimag.org

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