They could be displaying the latest designer styles in Paris or New York, but instead they are here, in Istanbul, wearing high heels, flowing tunics and colorful head scarves. The fashion show, part of Istanbul Modest Fashion Week , was held at an Ottoman-era railway station, with old-fashioned train cars and vintage luggage as props. This is not the Islamic fashion of Riyadh or Kabul, nor is it the dark and dreary dress stereotyped in the West. Islamic fashion here is a colorful, creative and joyful enterprise.
Turkey: Europe and Asia’s fashion hub for modest clothing
Turkish folk dress - Wikipedia
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How Muslim Women Use Fashion To Exert Political Influence
My comparative investigation has taken me to three locations: Tehran, Iran; Yogyakarta, Indonesia; and Istanbul, Turkey. As I undertook such a comparison over the next dozen years, I found surprise, pleasure, and delight in pious fashion. My conversations about modest clothing with women around the world also challenged those neat intellectual boxes to which I had grown overly accustomed in the United States. For much of the last years, battles over these signs have been instigated by male elites to further political agendas that have had little to do with improving the lives of actual women. But there is an unintended consequence of making Muslim women and their clothing important symbols of the nation: Women and their dress are given prominent roles in constructing what modern citizenship means.
In Istanbul, self-expression can be as simple as the way you tie your hijab, doff your flat cap or always, always dye your hair. Photographs by Lauren Fleishman. Produced by Elizabeth Bristow. Usually, I match my hijab to my clothes.