Dublin: Hijab fashion show

Dublin: Hijab fashion show

IT'S FASHION, but not as we know it. The latest trends in "hijab chic" will be unveiled at a fashion show in UCD
[ed. University  College Dublin] today when over one hundred young Muslim women gather at a female-only event to strike a pose in a headscarf.

Instead of the usual catwalk uniform of plunging necklines and form-fitting couture, participants will be conservatively covered up for the second annual Hijab Fashion Show organised by students of the university.

"Our aim is to promote the hijab, to show how it can be worn anytime, anywhere and to communicate the message that beauty can be modest and fashionable at the same time," says food science student Fatima Elkhomssi (18), at a meeting with the rest of the event's organising committee in UCD's Student Centre.

The women – some international students from countries such as Malaysia, others who have spent most of their lives in Ireland after arriving with their families from Libya, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan – are keen to dispel what they see as myths about the conservative Muslim dress code.

Student teacher Anissa Majeed came to Dublin from England with her family as a young girl and says the stereotypes of Muslim women being oppressed by the dress code are, in her experience, misleading.

"Hopefully this event will show people that we don't go around in black sacks and that we enjoy covering our heads," she says. "There's a natural curiosity about women who wear the hijab so we wanted to give people a platform to ask questions and show that it's possible to be fun and fashionable while still retaining our Islamic principles."

The practice of "observing hijab" means to cover up in loose clothes, only exposing the hands and face of a woman, and stems from a passage in the Koran which states: "Say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty. They should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their ornaments." According to the Koran, men must also behave respectfully in front of women. "Men are also expected to lower their gazes, it's not all the responsibility of the woman," explains Fatima.

WHILE FOR THEM wearing the hijab is "liberating", the women are aware that the hijab is a politically charged piece of clothing and, for some, a symbol of that religion's subjugation of women.


Source: Irish Times (English)

See also:
* Denmark: Danish-Muslim fashion house
* Hijab style
* Headscarves, the new trend

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