A magazine for Africans and friends of Africa...Our Voices, Our Vision, Our Culture

Muslim Fashion: Mainstream or Taboo?
By Ezinne Ukoha
It is a known fact that fashion has no barriers. Anything and everything is up for grabs. Even the most sacred and boderline taboo items are privy to the prying eyes of designers and fashionistas alike. The Arab world with all its complications and turmoil has still managed to play a significant role in the expanding world of design and that’s evident in what is being played out in the mainstream especially in the Western part of the world.
The Hijab when translated means “to cover” or “to shelter”, and it has always been the symbol of the Islamic religion. Certain parts of the Arab world, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, require their women to always wear the hijab. But ironically enough, the piece of clothing that has been the subject of intense debate around the world is now being hailed as the must-have fashion accessory. Celebs from Lady Gaga to Alicia Keys have been seen rocking the hijab, which in turn has created a lot of interest amongst non-Muslim girls in need of inspiration. To get your very own hijab visit welovehajib.com and choose among the various colors and prints. They can be a cool fashion statement with any attire, dressed up or down.
It’s also thanks to budding young designers like British born Sarah Elenany who answered the call from Muslim women in her area who desired to have a revamping of their modest attire to accommodate the ever-changing fashion trends. She has done a terrific job incorporating Western style with the Arab standards while still maintaining a level of sophistication and chic. Her Hoody Dress can be matched with leggings and the Throw Yo Hands Raincoat as shown in the pictures can be worn in a variety of ways; with the hood up and the face partially covered. This image evokes the aura of Islam but in a modern and hip way. Her clothing is presently available online at: www.elenany.co.uk.
Ultimately the bridge that divides the Arab world from the rest of us will slowly converge. This is already evident in the recent uprising in Iran. The youth of today refuse to be silent and that way of thinking transcends all cultures and even religion. Fashion is also a big part of this revolution and hopefully this is just the beginning.
The Hajib images are from: www.welovehajib.com
The photo of Lady Gaga sporting the Hajib: www.exposay.com
The Hoody Dress and the Raincoat images: www.elenany.co.uk 

To read more from Ezinne Ukoha, you can visit her blog at http://www.trendybuzz.blogspot.com/