Where’s Naomi Wolf to help explain why Western women should give the hijab a try? More on such stories. “Islam makes modest inroad in fashion,” by Liz Gooch, Kuala Lumpur for The Age, November 25 (thanks to Shechild):
THE shorter, tighter and more revealing the better may be the rule on most catwalks, but there is not a miniskirt or plunging neckline in sight as Malaysia’s Islamic Fashion Festival gets into full swing.
Models covered from head to toe are strutting down catwalks in Kuala Lumpur wearing designs from around the world during the week-long festival, which emphasises fabric over flesh.
The event is becoming a regular fixture on the fashion calendar in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Dubai as organisers seek to transform the three cities into the London, Paris and New York of the Islamic fashion scene.
This week’s festival, the sixth since the show began in Kuala Lumpur two years ago, features Islamic designs for every occasion, from office wear, prayer wear and bridal wear to swimwear, couture and avant-garde.
The festival’s founder, Rezza Shah, says his aim is to show that Islamic clothing can be fashionable.
“When I say ‘Islamic fashion’, they think it’s a fashion show where you can see two eyeballs. Even Muslims themselves think this,” said Mr Shah, a former model and actor who used to run his own modelling agency. “I do agree that women should be covered but they should be allowed to express their fashion, because we are living in a modern world.”
Three contradicting clauses in one sentence.
While there are no official statistics indicating the value of the Islamic fashion industry, some have estimated that it could be worth $US96 billion ($A152 billion) a year at least.
“A lot of ladies are covered but are dying to dress up well,” said Mr Shah, adding that he aimed to show clothing that ranged from minimal to maximum coverings. “It’s not about saying what’s right or wrong. It’s about showing variety.”
Another contradiction: It is about saying what’s right (dressing according to Islamic principles) and wrong (not dressing in infidel mini-skirts).