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Article: Bridging the Gap between Fashion and Religion

Bridging the Gap between Fashion and Religion

As the Middle East has witnessed a surge in local talent and supporting fashion initiatives, more and more designers are designing clothes that are sensitive to the region's social customs and religious beliefs.

Modest fashion is a growing force that is making headlines in global fashion, influencing luxury designers on the runway and capturing the attention of Muslim consumers around the world. While the industry is still in its infancy, modest fashion enthusiasts are fighting Islamophobic sentiments to prove that their faith can be merged with fashion and fit into modern society seamlessly.

The Abaya-as-Fashion

Abaya is a loose and flowing garment that covers the body, from the feet to the face. Today it is a popular garment worn by Islamic women. While it is traditionally black, the abaya is now available in a variety of colours and designs.

In recent years, designer abayas have become an integral part of the fashion world. From luxury brands to local designers, there are plenty of options for the modern-day woman.

While in the past, the abaya was a heavy black cloak, contemporary abayas feature open fronts, woven fabrics in neutral and jewel-toned shades, and are decorated with athletic-inspired stripes, pearl beads, floral embroidery, and zodiac signs. These abayas have become a great way to celebrate the role of women in contemporary culture.

Abaya as Fashion

The Abaya-as-Religion

The abaya is an important part of Muslim dress that reflects their religious identity. Initially, women in Saudi Arabia chose to wear abayas out of custom rather than as a formal obligation. When they went out in public they might carry with them. The abaya is an important part of the culture, but it has also become a popular fashion garment among the youth. Young women reconcile opposing pressures by injecting Western symbols into traditional garments in order to rejuvenate them and bestow modernity on them.

The Abaya-as-Cosmopolitan

By dressing in fashionable abayas, combined with designer accessories, women are able to express their westernized identity.

This trend is driven by young women looking to explore a more liberal lifestyle. They want to incorporate their Islamic traditions with their modern Western style.

Many designers launch their designs after noticing a growing demand for traditional clothing with a more contemporary twist. The trench-inspired abayas in non-traditional hues found success with Saudi women who were looking to express their modern tastes while staying true to their heritage.

It has transformed from a statement of faith to a fashion item, helping Muslim women cope with social change and create a cosmopolitan identity.

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