International Fashion Showcase designers Odette Steele and Nelly Rose collaborated with Indonesian brand Dian Pelangi for AW16, which was presented as a catwalk show at Fashion Scout, during London Fashion Week. Nelly and Odette, both LCF alumni, brought their experimental use of textiles, print and colour to Pelangi’s bold approach to Indonesian modest Muslim dress.

Both Rose and Steele studied BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles at London College of Fashion. The course ran a competition in conjunction with the British Council giving designers an opportunity to visit Pelangi’s factory in Indonesia and work alongside the brand. Odette and Nelly won, and helped create Pelangi’s SS16 collection, which showed at Jakarta Fashion Week. It was such a successful collaboration that they reunited for AW16.

Dian-Nelly-Odette

A look from AW16 collection by Dian Pelangi x Nelly Rose x Odette Steele. Photograpy by Simon Armstrong

The show, which took place at the grand Freemason’s Hall, was an explosion of colour and print, exploring the potential of traditional Muslim cuts and silhouettes and honouring Indonesian craft traditions. It paid homage to diversity in culture and identity and embraced female empowerment, never more present than in the trio of designers who worked so well together for their second collaborative collection.

Fluted long sleeves and wide leg trousers brought subtle seventies touches to the collection. Long dress coats and skirts were more formal additions.

This season, Pelangi designs drew on rainbows, played out in rainbow shaped collars that created a sculptural element, and through African batik print on full skirts, infusing layers of kaleidoscopic colour and honoring an age-old craft. Traditional Indonesian needlework was harnessed too.

Nelly’s interest is in print, noticeable in monochromatic scribble printed dungarees, and in preserving craft. While Steele looks to African traditions and at LCF “spent most of [her] time in the embroidery open access room.” This is evident in hand-woven details and beading on polo necks. Both share an interest in recycling and sustainability, reusing and manipulating fabrics for this collection.

Dian Pelangi with Odette Steele and Nelly Rose at Fashion Scout. Photography by Simon Armstrong

Dian Pelangi with Odette Steele and Nelly Rose at Fashion Scout. Photography by Simon Armstrong

The collection represented the evolution of Muslim fashion and why International Fashion Showcase and similar initiatives are so important in harnessing and using global perspectives to achieve new and interesting outcomes in fashion.