UGA hosts “Islamic Fashion and Anti-Fashion” presentation | Arts & Culture


On Monday, the University of Georgia’s textiles, merchandising and interiors section hosted the 3rd event of its four-element variety in trend speaker series. Indiana University affiliate professor Heather Akou gave a presentation titled “Islamic Fashion and Anti-Trend.”

Akou is a Muslim American female who specializes in studying Islamic trend. She teaches in just Indiana University’s Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture and Design,

The presentation honed in on Akou’s know-how in and private encounter of what Islamic vogue is, what it signifies and how the Western globe sights it.

Islamic clothes is frequently regarded as “anti-manner,” that means the clothing doesn’t modify. Akou explained quite a few men and women view Islam and manner as an oxymoron, for the reason that of the faith’s emphasis on modesty, piety and restraint.

In Islam, modesty is recommended of costume for both equally guys and women, according to a BBC posting. Whilst Muslim adult males never have any essential garments, gals can decide on to put on garments that include their encounter, head or entire body which includes hijabs, niqabs which address all but the eyes and burkhas which conceal all the things together with the eyes with a mesh veil.

Several Muslim ladies adapt their fashion to satisfy this “dress code,” Akou stated. For case in point, some women may possibly have on brightly coloured loose-fitting garments, together with a head masking. Other women of all ages could select to add significant sun shades to their appear.

The Quran states gals previous childbearing age are no for a longer period needed to wear a hijab, nevertheless, a lot of females nonetheless pick to do so to secure their modesty, Akou stated.

“It’s pretty easy to set garments that has a spiritual affect into the anti-manner or non-manner class where by it’s more of a necessity,” reported Maureen Lehto Brewster, a doctoral applicant at UGA.

Akou mentioned that whilst there are specifications and traditions for what is worn, Muslims are nonetheless ready to categorical themselves with their outfits.

When seeking at it from a Western point of view, vogue tends to have particular imagery, explained Sara Idacavage, a doctoral applicant at UGA. She claimed it’s fascinating to consider about how factors that look standard in the U.S. have a bigger significance in other sections of the globe.

In the course of the presentation, Akou also discussed the latest innovations in Islamic trend, especially in items like on-line merchants and Islamic couture. Suppliers these types of as Shukr and Sunnah Design and style give modest, but trendy clothing for Muslim males and ladies. Both internet sites give new normally takes on classic Islamic clothes with numerous fabrics, colours and much more manner-forward types.

In 2016, the perfectly-regarded couture style home Dolce & Gabbana created a assortment exclusively catered to Muslims in the Center East, Akou stated. The selection consisted of hijabs and abayas predominantly developed for modesty, but each and every experienced that signature Dolce & Gabbana flair.

Akou also claimed Islamic trend is sustainability-pushed considering that this is a important facet of Muslim culture. Akou thinks slow manner, which is the reverse of the very rewarding and well-known quickly-trend sector, is quite agent of Islamic style.

Quick manner encourages the swift creation of significant quantities of garments, generally applying destructive products and developing a good deal of waste, or a ton of excess clothes that never ever get offered. Islam sites a substantial emphasis on averting squander, so handmade garments created with sustainable products are very popular in the Center East, Akou said.

Both Shukr and Sunnah Style are clear about the items and generation procedures used, in accordance to Akou.

“The religious motivations for models to be so clear is not anything that I’m usually wondering about in a capitalist earth,” Idacavage said.

The driving factors powering this shift to more style-forward Islamic garments include alterations in technology, the desire to have some thing new, manner influencers and icons, as properly as deeper changes in culture, Akou explained. But these factors are not the causes for transform only in Islamic nations, these are the reasons powering improvements in the fashion business at big.

“It’s so simple to separate religious dress, but it’s great to have a far more international point of view of vogue and it truly would make me consider about how I realize manner as a complete,” Lehto Brewster stated.

Lehto Brewster also stated Akou’s presentation provoked a conversation about what is regarded as vogue, what is not and what we associate with vogue.

At present, “there is a bigger recognition of Islamic fashion essentially being trend,” Akou claimed.


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