Turkey's first International Modest Fashion Week has opened in Istanbul, gathering designers and models of conservative wear from around the world.

The two-day event kicked off Friday with models hitting the runway at a historic train station showcasing a bright palette of breezy garments and kaleidoscopic headscarves.

Organizers said 70 designers are taking part in the event hosted by Modanisa, an online retailer of Muslim fashion based in Turkey.

Modanisa CEO Kerim Ture says the aim of the event is "to create mainstream fashion out of modest fashion and to energize Islamic communities to produce for Muslim women."

The event comes at a time of revived debate over the role of secularism in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim nation where the constitution enshrines the principle of secularism.