Fashion Statements

This is an edited version of an article published at Café Pyala. You can read the article in its entirety at their website.Oh, shoot. Here we go again with coverage of Fashion Week in Pakistan. Can we do anything in Pakistan without it being linked in some way to either appeasing the Taliban or kicking sand in their faces?I refer of course to the latest "I-spit-on-the-runway-the-Taliban-sashay-down" type of pieces in the American Christian Science Monitor (titled predictably "Lahore F … [Read more...]

An Interview with Emma Tarlo, Author of Visibly Muslim

Last week, I reviewed Emma Tarlo's book Visibly Muslim: Fashion, Politics, Faith. This week, I got the chance to speak with her further about the book and her experiences writing it.Sara: Was there any inter-generational tension involving “newer” hijab fashions?Emma Tarlo: With most of the people I interviewed, their mothers did not wear hijab so the parents did not object. In a few cases mothers even adopted hijab following their daughters’ examples. More often, I came across cases where pa … [Read more...]

Take this Hijab and Love It

This post was written by Jillian C. York, and originally published in the Winter 2009 issue of Bitch magazine.Muslim women, as a group, don't lack for media attention, but to say their representation in mass media is lopsided would be an understatement: They're the subject of political, religious, and feminist debates, but their own voices are nearly invisible in the mainstream media, in film, and in books. But the one place Muslim women--in particular, muhajabat, or wearers of the hijab--are … [Read more...]

Marketing Muslim Lifestyles and Rethinking Modesty

If a hijab in Pucci-designed print could speak, what would it say? I attended a seminar presented by Professor Reina Lewis on Muslim women's lifestyle magazines last night and was faced with this bizarre question. It all started with the actual seminar itself, which showcased the latest research adventures of the fashion and design professor. Weaving together previous work that included alternative Orientalist narratives in the 19th century and queer lifestyle magazines, Lewis' paper focused on … [Read more...]

Babes in Toyland: Stratton’s Fantastick Muhajababes

When I first saw the book Muhajababes by Allegra Stratton in a bookshop in Beirut, I was intrigued enough to buy it. The cover boldly claims to have found, "the new Middle East--cool, sexy and devout". I happily forked out the $14.On closer inspection however, the cover of the book is quite problematic (featured left). It features a woman with hot red lips in a black headscarf. The rest of her face has been blanked out, spelling only one thing: generalization. An alternate book cover (pictured … [Read more...]

The liberating catwalk

This post was written by Sahar and originally published at Nuseiba.Last week was ‘Fashion Week’ here in New Zealand, where both emerging and established designers show off their ‘creation’ on long impressive catwalks; a moment of ego basking in the glory of all of New Zealand’s fashionistas. Not surprisingly, I hadn’t taken much notice of this ridiculous display of unnecessary expenses; shamelessly paraded before its admiring audience, until I was notified to check out an article in our natio … [Read more...]

I’ll Show You Islamic Hood (ie)

This was written by Taz and originally published at Sepia Mutiny. Muslimah Media Watch thanks Cycads for the tip!Our recently retired around the way desi girl made a come back this past week in New York. Not in music, but in fashion. Yes, the queen of sparkly spandex and fake purple flowers on derby hats debuted her new line at same time as New York’s Fashion Week. As promised, M.I.A. has launched her limited-edition clothing line, and the “Okley Run” store is open for business on her Web site. … [Read more...]