You know what are the Modest Dressing and Rush Ramadan? Muslim women love fashion and designers know it. That’s why a growing number of designers who create ad hoc collections, complete with veil, hijab and abaya. Journey behind the scenes of Western fashion on Middle Eastern flavor.
“Women in the Middle East are very vain: they know the news and fashion trends even before the newspapers write. The princesses, for example, see the collections of the big names in the preview. But even the less privileged women are more and more fashion-dependent, so that for their shopping is the main occupation of the day. A phenomenon that has increased over the past decade. ” To photograph this kind of collective delusion are a few words to Désirée Sadek, editorial director of four editions of Elle Middle East, two of them in Arabic, one in English, one in French. Recalling the most innovative designers Arabs – Elie Saab and Rabih Kayrouz course, Zuhair Murad, Georges Chakra, Rami Kadi -, he is at pains to say that “there is now a new wave of young talents growing that revise the western style with oriental touches ». Already, the West and the East, the two halves of the planet, which have not begun to look for some time, but now they discover harmonies and original destination. Dolce & Gabbana launched their first collection dedicated to Muslim women: veils and abayas (traditional robe that covers up the foot) have been reinterpreted in the black and white sign, with lemons and daisies prints, embroidery and lace. Already in 2014 DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger had designed capsule collection for Ramadan, the holy month of fasting which is also a big social party for which you spend a fortune in clothes and accessories: the ride to shopping is such, that now has consecrated rite of “Ramadan Rush”. Always Muslim Valentino and Yohji Yamamoto have dedicated parts of their collections while, on the opposite pop, Uniqlo and Mango have launched collections Arab oriented, just in time for Ramadan.
In the Middle East, where now the dream of every girl from a good family is to do the designer and where fashion bloggers are icons viralizzate to capacity, a market that is growing nails upon himself the attention of the global fashion world: that of “modest fashion”. It is a genre designed specifically for women who love to dress fashionably but respecting the Koranic rules and, in the first place,
its cardinal principle, that “cover the body” that is mentioned in the verse: “Prophet! ‘to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they cover with their cloaks; this will be more apt to distinguish them from other women, ensure that no offense …. “” The precept includes the entire body except the face, hands and, for some, feet, explains Elena Biagi, a professor of Arabic Language University of Milan.
“Added to this is another fundamental concept, that of decency, modesty, which must be maintained in behavior as in clothing’.
The abaya is not the same for all: lengths that reach the ankles, sleeves that conceal the wrists, zero transparency, scratch silhouette members and, increasingly, the veil that covers the neck and hair are therefore the standards of a fashion actually growing Eclectic. “The concept of the hedge is interpreted differently by each, beyond the place where he lives,” says Alia Khan, business woman stationed in Dubai. Meaning that in addition to those who are completely covers under the dark black abaya and hijab – the veil -, according to the most orthodox interpretation, some wearing abaya with prints and colors, those of Western flavor suits with skirts that arriving at the calf, who, like mypster (the hypster Muslim girls), wears a headscarf on outfits nonconformists and indie. “In countries like the United Arab Emirates, for example, you see on the streets an incredible amount of styles,” adds Alia Khan, among the first to smell the desire of the Fashionistas believers style. And even the dizzying numbers of business: 230 billion dollars spent so by Muslim consumers in 2014, which should become 327 in 2020, so that Alia has wanted to found, in Dubai, the Islamic Fashion and Design Council, to make the modest fashion a global phenomenon. “In a very little will also be launching a magazine, Cover, dedicated to the modest fashion, we want to become the benchmark for all Muslim women in the world.” Their desire to see each other finally represented in the glossy magazines is really great. In some countries the norm Koranic lived in a rigid, rigid, almost obsessive. “Among them is Iran and especially Saudi Arabia, where an interpretation of the Koran, Orthodox and ultra-conservative, patriarchal and chauvinist forces women to be hidden completely under a black cloak, called a niqab, which leaves only the eyes uncovered ; even the mouth is covered with a transparent veil to facilitate breathing, “explains Professor Biagi. Turning it to the capital Riyadh you can not help but notice that brigade, shouldering bamboo chopsticks, harass female ankles deemed too exposed, a classic in a country where a woman can not do anything that is not first been approved by her guardian, nearest male relative. Elsewhere, Muslim women mediate between all the Koranic norms (perceived depending on individual belief as mandatory or not), local traditions, habits and family education in a way that makes the fashion habits of each individual story. “If Saudi Arabia and Iran are the most rigid, the UAE and Kuwait are the most flexible. Qatar is in the middle, “said Yousra Samir, English expat of Arab origin living in Doha for 12 years and is a popular blogger in Qatar. “Here in Qatar there is no written obligation for women to cover themselves, but there are constant stress to respect the traditions. I have to admit that wearing clothes that cover helps you feel better in social contexts, facilitates you and it’s true that women with headscarves are allowed greater respect. At one point, “he says,” I am engaged to a local man and I naturally began to wear the veil and abaya: helped me a lot to absorb the local culture. Today we are no longer together: Port veil and abaya rarely, in special or formal occasions, and I finally realized that mine was a cultural and not a religious choice”.
Mona Mohanna is a Lebanese fashion designer who lives in Italy and has been working to enhance the craft Arab beauty. Beloved by journalists for talent, I thought free of prejudice and sympathy, is a believer – and in fact puts the veil – and closed his fashion studies at the Domus Academy in Milan with a thesis on “controlled seduction” of Muslim women. “In summary, a Muslim spends her femininity just where you know you can do it, that among women, with her husband and male relatives with whom you can not marry. For the rest, it must respect the values of discretion and modesty that he calls the Koran and not draw attention to himself. The type of environment in which it moves gives the key to understanding how to dress. I make my case, I, as a woman believer, I should not wear pants instead in Milan they frequently harbor, taking care to wear a blouse that covers the seating, because we carry them all, so that I put them He does not direct the eyes towards me. It is the exception to the context that it does. Instead take the holidays, weddings and engagements for example, where women have to stay together, in separate areas from those for men. Here, women are unleashed: in Beirut I have seen women get covered with the abaya, or the chador and, once inside, get rid of it and move happily into animal sheath dresses and vertiginous Louboutin, hipsters and canottine. Women express strong contradictions, especially in Lebanon, in fact, in Syria, in Jordan”.
Yousra Samir five years ago launched a blog, www.underyourabaya.net, in a niche that has been a bonanza, as taught to dress stylish under the traditional dress. “It all depends on how much you are observant. The most religious and conservative women wear long skirts and shirts that cover her arms even under the abaya. Other wear trends of the European fashion house, here are beloved, Chanel, Dior, Prada, although begin to follow brand hip as Thakoon, Markus Lupfer and Naeem Khan. They go far three styles: the luxury sport, the mood ladylike Parisian and the minimal and conceptual, with sharp lines, irregular edges. The important thing is that the abaya that covers them is long to the ankles and fully possesses the arms”.
What is underneath, in short, is a personal affair. “Even with the veil, the hijab, women are experiencing things unthinkable only five years ago. To high school only carried hijab blacks, whites or cream. Already in college, we wore different colors, but solid. Today we bring it printed and even in strong colors, “says Melanie Elturk thirties, CEO of www.hautehijab.com, which sells all over the world for hijab to cover their heads. Seguitissima on Instagram and Youtube for his tutorial dedicated to hijabistas (portmanteau between hijab and fashionistas), you never distracts from the deeper meaning of this little cloth drape around the West has ended up becoming only the sign of female subjugation . “For me, the hijab is all. It is the hand which silently guides me and that reminds me of things to say and do to move toward what I was taught, Islam. It is the outward expression of what defines me as a person, it is also a state of mind. The other side is my shield, which frees me because it makes my private sexuality and allows me to control who sees what. ” After being ignored for a long time from the world of fashion and style makers as consumers, today Muslim women are proving safe and demanding. “They demand innovation, cutting-edge materials, since many of them live in very hot areas,” says the designer of Rabia Zargarpour Dubai. With its brand, Rabia Z, designs collections of success “conservative chic” and is often invited to tell the ferment of modest fashion at the London College of Fashion. “I work in this world always, but only in the last two years I have seen the business explode. It took a long time, the whole world, to understand that Muslim women are the focus of a great new revolution of style”.