Medni Kadyrova, the first lady of Chechnya, walks down the catwalk donning a beautiful traditional Islamic dress in front of an audience in Dubai. 20 more veiled models soon follow behind her clad in their own custom, silk wardrobe. Each model was covered from top to bottom; yet, the outfit still manages to provide an outline of their slender figures. Traditional wedding garments were also displayed.

The event was organized by Firdaws Fashion House, which was launched by Kaydrova three years ago. It is the first show to take place outside of Chechnya. Kaydrova founded Firdaws in 2009, which was inspired by her desire to bring a new sense of fashion based on customary dresses of Islamic fashion.

According to Zeina Habib, a public relations agency who helped put the show together, stated that Dubai was selected for the event due to the friendly relation between Chechnya and the emirates. Dubai has also been long known as a fashion hub and was the ideal spot for such a show to make its debut outside of Chechnya.

Kaydrova stated that her inspirations for the designs are inspired by the grace of Arab women. She further added that the fashion show in Dubai is just the first in a series of shows that she hoped would soon follow in other regions.

Kadyrov and her husband, Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, have been harshly criticized for favoring Islamic law and regarding it as superior to the laws of the Russian federations. Furthermore, the Kadyrov’s insistence that all women wear headscarves and veils has also been met with intense backlash. Nevertheless, the controversy does not take away from the Dubai fashion show, which is nonpolitical and strictly about promoting a more modest style of wardrobe for women. There is no reason to bring politics into a fashion show that is merely displaying an alternative sense of fashion.