DC, whether you know it or not, we are in the midst of DC Fashion Week showcasing the Spring/Summer 2014 collections. Yes, spring and summer of next year. The fashion industry tends to show fashion a season to a year in advance. On Saturday, September 21st, the H street festival took place. While there was a large variety of vibrant music, from Caribbean drums to renderings of classic rocks songs, I was there for the main event, the debut of DC Fashion Week.
While the weather was windy and the chance of was rain high, my right hand woman Yerlyn Rojas and I waited patiently at the location. Due to our natural lack of ability to measure distances and travel time in DC (she being from New York City and I, from Texas) we were of course incredibly early for the show. We took this opportunity to gain some prime real-estate at the front of the runway. This granted us complete access to witness an epic Ben Chili Bowl Hot dog eating contest before we go to enjoy the fashion.
The show started at 3pm and we were set to witness the creativity and flair that local, mainly underrepresented, designers could conjure. While many of the collections showcased soft fabrics and bright greens, no collection showed such ingenuity and thought-provoking style as the work of Seema S. Sahin’s Modern Mary- “modest designs, modern concepts.”
What do you expect when you hear Middle Eastern inspired clothing for women? Do you imagine women dressed in head-to-toe black? “Modern Mary, established 2008, is a fashion brand for the modern woman. Modern Mary’s designs are inspired by the beauty of modesty. [Their] unique aesthetic vision captures the essence of modesty without compromising style. Seema believes that fashion and modesty are not opposing forces. When harmonized they create beautiful silhouettes that are both feminine and modern. [Their] collection speaks to all women looking for feminine, trendy, and unique designs.”
It was truly incredible to see the diverse silhouettes and colors used in her designs and how it totally changes the perception of Middle Eastern inspired dress. The show continued with a few other designers, but no other who more accurately embraced their mission statement. You didn’t notice for a moment that the women were actually almost fully covered, and yet they didn’t lose any aspect of their incredible style!
Jonathan Dromgoole, Fashion Editor
Photo credit: Jonathan Dromgoole