From the runway to the high street, it’s the latest trend sweeping the fashion industry, but what is your take on the rise of orthodox wear?
The layering effect, an identifiable trait within traditional Jewish wear, has recently grabbed the attention of the high fashion world, not only in the sketches of designers but also in the eyes of influential editors. Vogue even boldly announced orthodox wear as one of the most inspirational trends for fall 2015 – quite the accolade.
Hailed as the ‘modesty movement’, covering up is the latest trend to take the fashion arena by storm. From Tory Burch to Rag & Bone, designers have grasped the mass market appeal of creating conventional, yet trendy, clothing, and recent runway collections have reflected this shift in the industry.
The driving force behind this trend is fuelled by a wave of emerging influencers who offer solutions to a previous lack of stylish orthodox wear. Be it Fabologie, Fashion-Isha or The OAK, the growth of interaction within the digital playground has had a tremendous impact on designers’ decisions to produce a range of fashionable conservative wear.
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To shine a spotlight on the Israeli market, one particular label has cracked the formula in merging modest dressing with fashion forward thinking. With the goal to enhance eveningwear offerings within the orthodox community, Bigoschi is flourishing on the fashion scene, breaking typecasts within a niche market and drawing an international client reach.
Shari Soloveitchik, founder of 15 year old family run fashion boutique Shibolet, partnered with the Bigoschi owner in 2011 to bring the Barcelona label to Israel. In just a short period of time, the company had customers visiting regularly from across Europe and the US, with plans to expand its reach further into these territories.
The clothes are stocked in the Bnei-Brak home store, in addition to its Shibolet store in Jerusalem. With a wide reaching customer base, Soloveitchik dresses women from their late teens to those in their 60s, identifying with individual taste and form, and tailoring clothing accordingly. Soloveitchik remarks “We have people who specifically make the trip from Europe to Jerusalem in order to purchase a new dress or outfit for a special occasion”.
Eager to illustrate the offerings within the industry, the Crown Plaza Jerusalem hosted a fashion show on Tuesday December 29 for Emunah’s (National Religious Women’s Organisation) in aid of its girls’ volunteer abroad programme.
The 21 piece display from both Bigoschi and Shibolet was attention grabbing for all the right reasons. The brand, despite its niche target audience, has mass market appeal given its collection has the ability to entice a wider base. From lace and hand-stitched florals, to soft beading and striking floor length ensembles, the brand touches all fashion points when it comes to producing exquisite luxury eveningwear that, most importantly, is actually wearable. The label doesn’t treat orthodox wear as restrictive, rather tailoring current trends to meet the requirements of Tzniut – Jewish laws of modesty.
Ultimately, more brands are addressing the needs of women within a conservative market. But what’s more, with the trend catching the attention of a wider audience, it’s a safe bet that this lucrative market is only set to grow further.