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Fashion designer Anniesa Hasibuan makes NYFW history with haute hijabs

A model walks the runway at the Anniesa Hasibuan during New York Fashion Week.
A model walks the runway at the Anniesa Hasibuan during New York Fashion Week. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

On the heels of France’s burkini controversy, Muslim women’s attire is once again in the spotlight after Anniesa Hasibuan’s spring 2017 fashion show in New York that featured models sporting chic hijabs. The event was a flurry of firsts for the designer: it was the first time an Indonesian designer was invited to show at New York Fashion Week and the first time the traditional Muslim headscarf was used in a mainstream presentation.

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The Jakarta native turned to her hometown for inspiration for her collection, resulting in a luxurious array of pastel-coloured silks, metallic brocades and delicately printed satin. The collection, which comprises both ready-to-wear pieces and evening wear, features dramatic flowing kaftans, pretty peplum tops, elegant capelets and long, fluid skirts that are in line with the season’s top trends.

“I want to bring the Indonesian name to the fashion world, and use my clothes to introduce people to the different and diverse parts of Indonesia,” Hasibuan told The Jakarta Post.

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She was widely praised for featuring hijab-covered models and many saw it as way to both glamourize and de-stigmatize what is often regarded as an antiquated and anti-feminist article of clothing.

Hasibuan’s show received a standing ovation.

Users on social media also sang her praises.