Modest Fashion Design Studio

Location marker iconParramatta Female Factory North Precinct Time iconCLOSED IN 2023

A full day, intensive workshop led by fashion designers and digital creatives exploring the innovation and beauty of contemporary modest fashion.

Participants will collaborate with industry leaders and emerging talent to explore contemporary design, cultural identity and sustainability. Led by Powerhouse, the program will be fully subsidised for successful applicants.

Workshop leaders include digital creator and fashion influencer Nawal Sari, designer Anjilla Seddeqi, Powerhouse curator Glynis Jones, head of school at the TAFE NSW Fashion Design Studio (FDS) Laura Washington, founder of Fabrics of Multicultural Australia Sonia Gandhi, co-founder of Twiice Boutique Nigara Momin and photographer Zahrah Habibullah.

Powerhouse is inviting expressions of interest from female identifying emerging and student practitioners who would like to learn more about sustainable design and modest fashion. Apply by Friday September 1, successful applicants will be notified by early September.


Widyan Fares migrated to Australia in 1995 after leaving Rafha refugee camp in Saudi Arabia, where she was born after her parents escaped from Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. Widyan Fares is currently a Senior Policy Associate at the Premier's Department and has worked in the public service sector for over 10 years. Widyan has extensive media experience including working at Network Ten and SBS. In 2014 Widyan was selected as an SBS cadet reporter as part of SBS’ prestigious cadetship program. During her time at SBS Widyan worked in Radio, TV and online. Widyan soon became one of the first veiled reporters on Australian national television, making her debut in March 2014 with a story on the growing modest fashion industry. Widyan is also currently undertaking her PhD at Sydney University on the use of alternative media by the Australian Shia community and its role in shaping identity, belonging and the impact on social cohesion.

Sonia Sadiq Gandhi is the founder and CEO of Gandhi Creations, a multi-award-winning events company that creates sustainable platforms to address the social, cultural and business needs of communities. Gandhi promotes a more diverse Australia by engaging with multicultural communities and has executed more than 550 events in her career. On a broader level, her work has helped create meeting grounds for the exchange of ideas between nations, platforms for enhanced cultural diplomacy and improved foreign investment and trade.

Zahrah Habibullah is a creative powerhouse with years of experience in art, design, and photography. Having lived and worked in Morocco, Oman, Qatar and the USA, Zahrah brings a wealth of knowledge and worldly experience to her practice. This experience is bolstered by a natural love and flair for colour, shape and form which Zahrah harnesses to create powerful and engaging imagery. A tertiary educated designer and maker, Zahrah has over 13 years’ experience as a professional photographer, working across various platforms and a broad clientele that includes include commercial, personal, corporate, food and fashion.

Glynis Jones is curator of fashion and dress at Powerhouse with responsibility for the museum’s diverse holdings from the 18th century to the present. Jones has curated numerous Powerhouse exhibitions including Making It: 20 years of Student Fashion, Clothes Encounters, Faith Fashion Fusion: Muslim women’s style in Australia, Frock Stars: Inside Australian Fashion Week and Fashion of the Year; and contributed to several publications including Faith Fashion Fusion: Muslim Women’s Style in Australia, The Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, Smartworks: Design and the Handmade, and Dressing from the Inside, subcultural and alternative style in Australia.

Nigara Momin is the co-founder of modest fashion label and store Twiice Boutique. She is Uyghur, a Turkic ethnicity from East Turkistan which is currently an occupied territory in China. Momin came to Australia when she was 11 years old in 2004. After graduating from Adelaide University in 2015, she moved to Sydney and worked as an accountant before Twiice Boutique became her full-time job. The origins of the brand stem from the successful modest fashion blog launched by Momin and her sister Mawluda in 2012. Twiice is co-founded by the sisters and their business partner Eldana. Momin now strives to find balance in life between being a mother to twin toddlers and managing the growth of her business.

Nawal Sari is a fashion and beauty influencer based in Western Sydney. Sari built her social media presence mixing her rich culture and beliefs with her passion for creativity to redefine modest fashion. Being Muslim and wearing the hijab has influenced Sari’s expressions to her audience. She promotes acceptance and kindness and demonstrates how to be revolutionary yet authentic today. Sari aims to inspire and empower other Muslim women by further exploring the relationship between culture, religion and fashion.

Anjilla Seddeqi is an Australian designer of Afghan heritage. She arrived in Australia in 1989 with her family seeking refuge from war-torn Afghanistan. Seddeqi practiced law for several years, providing legal representation to asylum seekers arriving by boat to Australia. She began designing for herself more than 15 years ago because of the lack of stylish and sophisticated yet modest clothing available at the time. Her holistic approach to modest designs for celebrations and cultural practices is underpinned by two important requirements: sustainability and ethical responsibility. Seddeqi’s collections have been presented at Dubai Modest Fashion Week (2017) and Fashions of Multicultural Australia at Barangaroo, Sydney (2019) and featured in the 2019 September Issue of Harper’s Bazaar

Laura Washington is head of school at TAFE NSW Fashion Design Studio (FDS) in Ultimo and an executive committee member for the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI). Washington’s design career has spanned the worlds of fashion and interiors, including work as a fashion designer, design consultant, costume standby, costume buyer, and fashion and interior stylist. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Cross-Disciplinary Design, as well as her own creative textile practice focused on sustainable practice. Laura is also on the educators working group committee, and research committee for the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Fashion and Textiles, a partnership between Tafe NSW and UTS. Laura co-wrote and co-delivered the first course for the Centre, Intro to Fashion Sustainability. She firmly believes education empowers and helps individuals grow, and advocates for both VET and Higher Education learning models.



On Baramadagal land

Parramatta Female Factory
1 Fleet Street
Parramatta North NSW 2151


Free, welcome to register EOI

16 September 2023


Apply by Friday September 1, successful applicants will be notified by early September.

Supported by

Venue Partner | Department of Planning and Environment

Past Program CLOSED IN 2023

The Powerhouse acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the ancestral homelands upon which our museums are situated. We respect their Elders, past, present and future and recognise their continuous connection to Country.

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