SINCE THE EARLY DAYS
The world of fashion constantly witnesses something new over time. A new term has been coined in the history of fashion, and from the looks of it, it is here to stay! The term is Muslim fashion. Islamic clergy movement insisted its men and women to dress modestly and religiously. But during the 1980s and 1990s, as the movement started getting amalgamate, the covered styles of dressing began to transform into more fashionable styles. This led to the mintage of a new term Islamic or Muslim fashion in the global fashion industry. Turkey was one of the first to enter this market. During the 1990s, fashion shows displaying this trend started getting popular all over the world (instead of being limited to a few Asian countries), and today this concept is acknowledged all over the world.
MIXTURE OF FAITH AND FASHION
It is a fusion of faith and fashion. Today, one can find dresses such as Burqas (fully covered clothes with only a mesh screen before the eyes as opening), Hijabs (a scarf that leaves the face uncovered), and Niqabs (face veils that leave a slight opening near the eyes), and fashionable clothes for Muslim men like designer Pathanis (a knee length top with loose bottom wear), Bisht (Arabic cloak), and Kufis (rounded cap) in the market. They don’t only comply with the rules of Islamic dressing, but also provide a style statement to the wearer. These fashionable outfits are especially in demand with the Muslims residing in western countries, who also want to look trendy along with religious. These outfits are available in various designs and colors, and made of alluring materials to add to the charm of the wearer.
Muslim women can be seen in traditional wears such as Burqas, Paranjas, Chadors, and Abayas. All of these clothing varieties are just slightly different to each other. They are loose fitted clothes that cover their entire body. Those out of these, that do not cover the head, require a veil to be worn in addition. Indonesian and Pakistani women are normally seen in Tudongs and Dupattas respectively. Tudongs are fully covered clothes that leave the face open. They are a formal wear for women in Indonesia. Pakistani women wear long scarves called dupattas (without any color restrictions) along with Salwar Kameez. The most popular of all Muslim men’s clothing is the Thawb a long robe that is up to the ankle-length, worn in Iraq and the Gulf countries. Men in Arab countries can also be seen wearing a Bisht on top of the Thawb. It is accompanied by a head wear called Igal.
There is a special attachment in the mind of the wearer with regards to these outfits. Though they have invoked controversies in other parts of the world, but their demand has not reduced in the world market. In fact, Muslim men and women now have various choices available with them. Recent surveys indicate that the demand for Islamic clothes keeps rising by 20 percent every year on an average. The market for Islamic clothing is huge in Asia, with about $58 billion. Indonesia, followed by Malaysia, exports the most number of Muslim clothes in the world. Other textile giants are also looking forward to make their mark in the Islamic clothing exports industry owing to its increasing demand in the world market. Thailand has not been left behind with almost all of the Southern part of Thailand is crowded with Muslims who can be seen always in the markets of Bangkok.
Abayas and Chadors have attained world-wide attention. Fashion designers all over the world have modified their traditional look and made it a fashionable outfit. High fashion that Muslim women can access comprise of a combination of short sleeved robe and full sleeved jacket designed by Muslim and Non-Muslim designers, paired with a headscarf. They enhance the glamour quotient of an Islamic woman and still retain the ‘modest’ element in the outfit. This is, especially, popular among the rich and elite Muslim women in western and gulf countries that need to abide by Islamic laws of dressing and can also afford luxury at the same time. The Muslim fashion industry is estimated to be worth $96 billion as of today, and it’s continuously growing .
Islamic fashion is not just limited to a Muslim dominated country or region, but is prevalent all over the world. There are a number of Muslim fashion designers who have left a finger print in the global fashion industry. Iman Aldebe, Hikmat Saleh, and Jenahara Nasution are some of the most renowned names in the fashion industry whose creations have been worn by celebrities and notables. Some of these designers had a traditional upbringing and went to western countries for studies. This gave them an exposure of both the cultures, which helped them to create designs which were in agreement to their religious laws and also appealing to the Non-Muslim eye. Up coming designers from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, UAE, Morocco, Indonosia and Jordan are bringing this fashion into the mainstream. Affluence designer apparels of this type are also becoming popular, especially in the gulf countries.
MODERN LIFE MUSLIMS
Haute couture dresses can be availed for Muslim men and women. These dresses are in accordance with the religious laws which gives the wearer a glamorous look. As before, Islamic fashion designers have moved away from, reserved colors, other lighter colors in order to design a Hijab wear. Lace and other such details are also used in designing Hijab wear which gives the piece of clothing an stylish and attractive looks. Needlepoint of different types are made on the traditional wear to make it beautiful and attractive.Neckband and body of different types are in trend at the moment. There are Hijabs available for different occasions including sportswear for Muslim women and swimwear for Muslim women swimmers.
Fashionable Hijabs are popular all over the world. Owing to their increasing popularity, Other religious are also giving it a try. The Muslim fashion industry is estimated to be worth around $254 billion in the market.The Muslims residing in the European countries have added their desire and purchasing power into the Muslim clothing.. Even other religious, being fashionistas, are willing to experiment with different types of fashion. Muslim women from Middle-east Asia are the biggest consumers of Hijab wear. Arabic women are willing to spend any amount of money to stay in trend. This fashion is no longer limited to designers and boutiques. Luxury brands like Fendi and Gucci are also coming up with head scarves for Muslim women. London and Paris are expected to become the luxury couture capital of the world in the years ahead.
JAKARTA ANNUAL SHOW
Statistics shows that, Indonesia is the biggest exporter of Muslim fashion wear in the world as of now, and it is preparing itself to become the Muslim fashion hub of the world in the years ahead. In fact, the Indonesian government wants the nation to become Asia’s center for Muslim fashion by the year 2018 and the world’s Muslim fashion leader by 2020. Muslim clothes are also envisaged to become a key export product. Currently, Indonesia’s Muslim fashion exports are still rather insignificant. Jakarta hosts an Islamic Fashion Fair every year, where it’s exquisite designer Muslim fashion clothing by big names of the industry is displayed. This event is considered one of the best that the Islamic fashion industry has to offer to the global fashion industry. A huge area of the malls in Middle-east are occupied by traditional Islamic fashion wear sellers, and they make good profit out of the limited clothing choices they provide to consumers.
EVOLUTION OF ISLAMIC FASHION
I will say there is more to fashion than good looks and confidence. Such modifications to the attire will not only enable the Islamic men and women feel more confident of their looks, but will also help the world notice the new, fresh look of Islamic fashion. Fashion has the prospects to change many things in the world. Islamic fashion may help to change the outlook of the world towards Hijab and its consumers and promoters. It may glimmer a circle in the world and not the fashion industry alone. There is much prospects in the attire, and it can bring changes that may change lifestyles and thinking.
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