Slouchyz is the ultimate modest brand. It is to modest fashion what Hermes is to bag lovers and what Chanel is to Couture. It alone concentrates all we need from modest designs: elegance, originality, style and versatility. In February, the brand’s designer Maryam Al Selaich (who describes herself as “a very up-to-date modern abaya designer”) became the first Emirati to ever hold a runway show during the Paris Fashion Week!
As she introduced a groundbreaking Autumn/Winter collection, both in terms of style and philosophy, she told us about her work and her takes on modesty and fashion at large.
Turning Modest Into Modern
Slouchyz is a true game changer. It truly embodies the spirit of Dubai: a unique and inspiring mix of heritage and innovation.
Slouchyz abayas are nothing like the traditional all plain, all black, all dull outfits we have been used to for so long. With all the respect due to such a strong symbol of the Middle-East, the designer introduced us to her creative approach: “My idea is to be modern, colourful and respectful of the traditions and culture of my people. I am a millennial and one the first few designers that actually started designing colourful abayas. I’m trying to design for modern young girls coming out and changing the culture.”
Images : courtesy of Frank Denis
Slouchyz Autumn/Winter collection offered long coats which, when compared to our traditional modest pieces, provide even more blurring to the outlines of the body while being much more creative, lively and graceful. A spectacular achievement made possible by the designer’s experimental approach toward fabrics and cuts resulting in fringes and lightly quilted textures.
In 10 years of existence, it seems Slouchyz designs have evolved from literal abayas to abaya-inspired fun, original and innovative wearable sculptures.
Maryam Al Selaich explains: “With time, my designs evolved into just being modest, whether you decide to wear the abaya or not”.
The brand now designs fluid silhouettes with an artistic feeling appealing to fashionistas who wish to respect their beliefs but also to other women regardless of their lifestyles!
Making Modest Universal
Maryam El Selaich innovative ideas spread far beyond the boundaries of abayas. Actually, it even crosses national and cultural borders.
Her version of modest fashion is not limited to Muslim considerations. In fact, because she is Emirati does not mean she designs clothes for Middle-Eastern or Muslim women only.
As we were eager to know more, she told Almaze: “My abayas are no longer about religion, they are about modesty and traditional aesthetics. I try to show how abayas can be cross-cultural outfits from East to West. Anybody can put
In Paris, she displayed an idea of modest fashion which is far more developed and inclusive than the usual standard. Maryam El Selaich remained true to her culture and modest values but also stretched out her hand to others and provided a collection adapted to all women, modest or not.
She briefly described the concept: “In this collection, I am introducing pieces which can be worn underneath the abayas. It is combined in a way that, when I bring it to Europe, it can be worn as a complete outfit.”
Slouchyz is actually making history with its Autumn/Winter collection! This is the first time a modest brand from the Middle-East shows a collection designed to be adapted to everyone.
The Autumn/Winter collection notably featured wonderful plastic see-through skirts and coats. Covered in stripes or leopard prints, they create stunning ensembles, definitely worthy of the most fashionable Parisian houses.
They make for real turnkey solutions which match both the needs of modest and non-modest women, because they are not so different after all!
The Slouchyz plastic skirts look equally wonderful with or without a pair of leggings underneath. It is up to anyone to just pick what they want and build up the perfect look for their specific needs.
Modesty is a personal choice as well as an expression of women’s free will and empowerment. It should never be disconnected, let alone separated from the rest of the fashion world.
This is why we love Slouchyz so much. It perfectly manages to reunite modest and non-modest lifestyles with fully inclusive collections, slowly helping fashion evolve into something better one outfit at a time.
Find all pictures from Slouchyz Autumn-Winter 2019 ready-to-wear here.
Author: Renaud Petit