POST A: Designers pushing boundaries

By Annie Su

Design is shaped and created in many ways by culture and the society. Many can be controversial, especially those that affect religion. Fashion designer Anniesa Hasibuan from Jakarta, Indonesia showcased her collection “D’Jarkarta” at the New York Fashion Week Fashion Show just 5 months ago. It drew global attention as it was the first time all the models on the runway wore the headscarf, also known as hijabs.

5346fa2ce73319b4c61449d1a88c0e2b.jpegAnniesa Hasibuan

The 30 year old designer was praised from fashion critics from all over the world, but couldn’t escape the conservative critics from her hometown, as they feel it wasn’t modest enough. Hasibuan mentioned that when she was in New York, people were more interested and focused on the artistic side rather than the religious side. I see how that could be controversial, as it is daring and experimental and may not seem modest to those who chose to wear the hijabs.

Pieces from Hasibuan’s collection, D’Jakarta.

Her collection features cross-cultural design inspired pieces. Showcasing a modern take on the Japanese kimono with colourful tunics, beautiful lacy evening gowns, all including the hijab. The design pieces were bedazzled by with precious gems, sequins and hand-stitched embroidery, where this is only seen worn by wealthy women back in Indonesia. It became a great deal for the Indonesian Muslim society, as they feel it was not represented properly and the audience did not focus on the religious aspect. When her collection was uploaded through social media platforms, people pointed out that it wasn’t even worn correctly, as it should be covering the chest and neck because it is God’s order.

3ff03404ba0d49c6996abee2891bd533_18.jpegDetailed Hijab design by Anniesa Hasibuan.

The Islamic fashion is an Islamic practice, in which only specific body parts are allowed to be present. The global growth has encouraged Muslims to be both covered and comfortable but as well as fashionable, modest and beautiful. Hasibuan tried to push boundaries in her design and brought up the social, cultural as well as political sides of Islamic fashion.

I admire her a lot for being so brave by pushing into some very controversial and sensitive boundaries. She was very inspired by her love for Indonesia’s culture. Her response was much better abroad compared back to her hometown. Even so, she is determined to continue her pathway and face the world. Fashion is open stage, where you are not to be discriminated. She believes everyone is given equal opportunity to show their passion and talents.

“Difference is not something to be afraid of – it’s something you should embrace.” – Anniesa Hasibuan




Al Jazeera Media Network 2017, Indonesia fashion designer Anniesa Hasibuan goes global, Media Network, viewed 16th February 2017, <;.

Rodulfo, K. 2017, ‘Muslim Designer Anniesa Hasibuan had an All-Immigrant cast of models at NYFW’, Elle, 15 February, viewed 16 February 2017, <;.

Anniesa Hasibuan, Lookbook, viewed 16 February 2017, <;.

Al Jazeera Media Network, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, viewed 16 February, <;.

Al Jazeera Media Network, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, viewed 16 February, <;.


One thought on “POST A: Designers pushing boundaries

  1. Really beautiful to see Indonesian culture so strongly in fashion!! It’s bold and unique, and I think very liberating for many Muslim women to see their religion in high fashion culture.

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