The laws of modesty are about “covering your knees, your elbows, your collarbones,” Mushky Notik, half of the design team “Mimu Maxi,” explained to Refinery29’s Asha Leo in a video posted last month. The clips make dwelling in a modest world look so enticing, even Kim Kardashian might consider covering up. Leo had headed to Crown Heights to see how Notik and Mimi Hecht, her partner, marry fashion with mitzvah observance.
“The guidelines aren’t there to, like, shackle you down and say, don’t even think about clothing,” said Notik. Added Hecht, “We’re not about suppressing your beauty, or self-expression. It’s about doing it within the channel of Judaism.” They’re not alone in this pursuit. In a terrific follow-up, Refinery29 produced a colorful slide show profiling ten stylish young Orthodox women. The women’s fashion inspirations are wide ranging: from Mindy Kaling to Valentino.
How do they balance their adherence to modesty and their flair for style? “I find garments that have structure and personality that fit mine while keeping within the bounds of modesty; for instance, bubble dresses, graphic tops, super-flared skirts, and anything overly designed or stylized,” said Talya Bendel who works for designer Christian Siriano. “I try not to wear anything too basic, because I want to feel confident and powerful in everything I wear.”
Malky Weichbrod, a blogger, who finds style inspiration in Catherine Deneuve and Jackie Onassis, invoked her infatuation with the 60s. “I love Mod, minxy styling with a hint of Valley of the Dolls or Carnaby Street. So, for me, the hardest part is finding cute skirts that cover my knees; it’s an ongoing challenge.”