Seeking ‘Paradise’ in ‘Terrible’

Chechnya is a small part of Russia also called the Chechen Republic. Wikitravel suggests seeking “expert guidance before planning a trip”, as it is “most emphatically not a tourist destination and not safe for independent travel or sightseeing. Most foreign governments advise against non-essential travel.” It witnessed extreme violence after the Second World War, its capital, Grozny (translated in Russian means “terrible”) was nearly destroyed during Russian military battles against Chechen rebels and is still heavily populated by an active Russian mafia. Why is this in the fashion section, you ask?
Chechnya’s first lady, Medni Kadyrova just launched Firdaws, (meaning Paradise) her own Islamic fashion line at the Royal Mirage Hotel in Dubai on March 24th. The first collection, appropriately titled “Chechen Lady” is inspired by traditional Muslim dress and features loose floor-length and long-sleeved gowns topped with hijabs in velvet, silk and satin in a large assortment of colors like deep blues, purples and greens as well as brighter purples and Earth tones. The gowns are heavily embroidered and detailed carefully with crystals and lace.
“My designs are inspired by natural beauty and grace of Arab women, to whom I dedicate my collection,” says Kadyrova “[this is] the first step towards the organization of many others in the region.” Future plans for the line is to bring it to the runways of Saudi Arabia next. It seems as though this might be a step in the right direction for Chechnya as a region. I can sense inspiration being drawn from the colors and design concepts that might possibly make its way to mainstream fashion in the upcoming years (minus the hijabs.)


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