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Author Topic: Head-turning hijabs: Islamic fashion lets women cover up in style  (Read 8029 times)
jannah
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« on: Dec 08, 2009 06:28 AM »


There's a weird kind of slideshow too Wink http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/12/07/islamic.fashion.abayas/

Head-turning hijabs: Islamic fashion lets women cover up in style

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

    * Designers combine Islamic modesty and fashion in abayas with eye-catching accents
    * Western influence has spurred demand for more individuality in clothes, editor says
    * Growing market for stylish Islamic clothes spreads across Middle East

London, England (CNN) -- Just because a woman covers up it doesn't mean she can't show off her individual style. That is the belief of a growing number of fashion designers in the Middle East who are cutting conservative clothes with fashionable flair.

Traditionally the Islamic headscarf is a symbol of modesty, but today more and more Muslim women are dressing in eye-catching outfits, albeit with their heads covered.

"Modesty is not the opposite of fashion, and fashion is not about showing more of my body," said Amina al-Jassim, a Saudi designer who makes haute-couture abayas, the long-black cloaks typically worn by more conservative Muslim women, which are also mandatory in Saudi Arabia.

Just 10 years ago it was rare to see women wearing abayas with bright colorful accents and intricate embroidery walking on the streets of the Gulf. Today, they are a common site and their outfits are becoming more more elaborate and bold as the market for such clothing expands.
You can get the traditions and principles right and still be fashionable
--Amina al-Jassim, Saudi designer

"What we are seeing now is a generation of local women who are aware of western fashion, educated overseas. They are seeing a lot more outside the smaller communities they live in," said Kerrie Simon, Editor of fashion magazine Grazia in Dubai.

According to Simon the influence of expats has generated a demand for clothing that allows women to express their unique personalities.

"We are seeing a move to accessorizing the abaya, anything from crystallizing to embroidery."

There is a "fine line," though said Simon, "They wouldn't belt them, or make them shorter, the idea is that the body is covered..

In other words the new popular new styles are not tighter fighting or more body accentuating, they respect the purpose of covering up.

"You can wear the colors of the season, the style of the season...you can get the traditions and principles right and still be fashionable," said al-Jassim. Along with many other designers in the region, al-Jassim also designs eveningwear and travel clothes that break Islamic dress code, but are still popular with local customers who spend time abroad.

Colorful trends, growing sales

Amina al Jassim is just one example of Islamic designers whose business has grown rapidly over the past few years. Today she has three stores in Saudi Arabia, sells her clothes at high-end boutiques across the Middle East, including Harvey Nichols and says she is making in-roads at Harrods in London. Al Jassim spoke to CNN from Lebanon where she had been flown to dress contestants on "The Gulf Star," an American Idol-like program on Dubai TV.

In Dubai up-and-coming designer Amber Feroz is helping set the pace of the new styles. In October he showcased his Spring/Summer 2010 collection at Dubai Fashion Week, which included diaphanously flowing abayas with electric-colored trim.

"We have a very different way of working with the fabric...We came up with new techniques -- there is no seam. Our fabric is very lightweight. We use a lot of colors" Feroz told CNN. In his latest collection for the Miss Elegant Noura al Hashimi line, Feroz said he combined the concepts of jalabyas and traditional kimonos.

"We are expanding as a brand to sell all over Gulf," he said, adding that the company also had their eye on moving into European and Asian markets.

In Egypt, where fewer women wear the abaya, but an increasing number are wearing the traditional hijab head coverings, Wegdan Hamza has become something of a national style star. Not only does she outfit local celebrities with her hijabs, but she appears on programs like Dream TV's "The Latest Fashion" to discuss current trends.

"God makes us beautiful and he likes the beauty, so we have to mix and match our outfit correctly, in colors materials and style," Hamza told CNN. "It is illogical for everyone to look the same."

"Not to see through or describe the body -- those are the rules. After that I have the freedom to put on whatever I want," she added.

Hamza's collection of hijabs include everything from the casual and cotton, to trendy -- embellished with flowers or coins, to bridal -- topped with crowns. Currently she says she's feeling the recession pinch, but business has been steadily growing for several years, particularly her online sales to Europe and North America.

Of the designers interviewed only Hamza acknowledged some cultural pressure or criticism to design less showy clothes, but said that she dismisses it completely. The other said women were waiting for their clothing.

When asked about it, Grazia Editor Simon said, "It's not so much a conflict, but an amalgamation of east and west that works quite nicely here."
doninapond
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 08, 2009 08:25 PM »

Does anyone else get the feeling that this misses the entire point of Hijab?   Shocked
jannah
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 08, 2009 10:35 PM »

No, but I get the feeling you missed the point of the article.  flowersis
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 08, 2009 11:02 PM »

Does anyone else get the feeling that this misses the entire point of Hijab?   Shocked

Actually, sister doninapond, everything is not as black and white as we want it to be...

I prefer that a sister wears a "fashionable" hijab over none at all.

We own an Islamic store, and the majority of products sold are "fashionable" hijabs. You don't even see that many sisters wear the original Crochet hijabs anymore...let alone buy one (shoulder-length hijabs with crochet edging - which was fashionable for it's day). I understand what you are saying, but with so many pressures theses days, especially for the younger sisters, it's hard for them to wear a hijab.

The best selling hijabs these days are the designer ones: cK, RL, Saint-Laurent, Kuwaiti and Turkish hijabs.. even the amira hijabs are dying out now, we can only sell them in bulk orders as part of school uniforms. Women who are in management need "fashionable" hijabs to stay current and for them to be taken seriously (don't shoot the messenger, here)

The same is true with Abayas, there is a range of fashionable Abayas that can be worn to make a sister look so elegant and sophisticated...

What I mean by things not being black or white is that sometimes it's hard for someone to switch from not wearing a hijab to going full blown... fashionable hijabs helps bridge this gap - they have elements of modern but still comply with traditional ...

We don't know what's in the heart of the one who wears one ... Maybe this is the gateway for them to get a place they want to be...

thobebro
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 09, 2009 02:32 PM »

I live in a society where hijab is considered as a backward step Angry. I grew up believing that. Went to the best schools and learnt to be decisive and to be stubborn when you feel that something is right and there i also learnt to stand my ground and not give in to social pressures. And then by the grace and mercy of  Allah i realized that Hijab and wearing one in this social context is what I have to be decisive about, stubborn about, stand my ground for and not give into the social pressure. Smiley  And so from no hijab at all i switched to abaya.a simple dull grey gown with black or dark colour scarfs. IT was a tough stand( it still is) Embarrassed I intend to persue higher studies with my hijab on,......and soon i will be facing my childs nursery admissions with my hijab on inshallah(they are like 1500 candidates for 40 seats and in non-muslim schools where my hijab may prove to be a detterent) Sad........... but I intend to keep it on.....and a simple not too fashionable one.......i dont advocate the old style with meters and meters of cloth but those hijabs that come in purview of fashionable trangress the limit. Even if they are dont reveal the skin and the figure, anything that makes the heads turn is transgressing.
( And weather you agree with my opinion or not....pray for me that i keep my hijab on for the rest of my life....and my child gets to go to a good school  Smiley Smiley Smiley)
doninapond
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 10, 2009 10:38 AM »

what matters is whether these new Hijabs are a step for sinful sisters to start wearing Hijab, or a step for practicing sisters to stop wearing Hijab?
If it is bride  pinkhijabisis  sis niqabisis then it is good, but if it is
 niqabisis sis pinkhijabisis bride then it is bad.
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 19, 2009 08:55 AM »

ok, what was wrong with #12, U really liked that one.
jannah
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 19, 2009 11:29 AM »

These hijabs are all halal hijabs unless you believe that niqab is required or that Muslim women must wear black all the time or something... Blessedgrandma I like #12 too Wink

doninapond
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 19, 2009 12:32 PM »

I have a confession to make. I didn't look at them until I read Jannah's last post.
Now that I have, I can say they are all clearly not covering what needs to be covered except for Number 12.
They are all the 1960s style head scarves worn by women in convertibles to stop the wind messing up there hair. They all have the mandatory clump of hair in the front to differentiate them from Hijabs.
As I said before, if this gets the uncovered to start covering, then well and good, but if this gets the covered to start uncovering than thats a different story.
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 19, 2009 12:46 PM »

salam


As someone who has absolutely no knowledge whatsoever about fashion, hijaabi or otherwise.

I would guess that those models are just that 'models' not hijaab observing women....

Anyone ever actually been to regular catwalk shows? The designs are nuts, nobody would be able to wear the clothes as on the catwalk, they require modification, the fashion shows are to show off colours, cuts and fabrics, not many people (if any) take the exact outfits and wear them out and about...well not many normal sane people at any rate.


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 19, 2009 08:59 PM »

wsalam,

good point sis fozia... i've tried to explain that so many times in the fashion threads!!  Roll Eyes some of these blogs do a better job where they show the runway outfit and then show how someone wears it in everyday life. like there was one crazy weird outfit and queen rania added sleeves and made it longer and then it was very nice and wearable!
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