Contemporary Muslim Fashions opens at de Young Museum, San Francisco

Fashion shows sometimes are only a slice of a bigger fashion movement. Since 2016 Modest fashion has gathered a strong community of designers, fashion consultants, bloggers, writers, influencers, that hit the scene of Istanbul, Dubai, Jakarta, Milan, Paris, London..and the list is still to be filled in.

de Young Museum in San Francisco will open the doors to a new, different kind of exhibition that will put another brick into the Modest fashion ground: the first major exhibition on Muslim style worldwide.
“Contemporary Muslim Fashions” is the very first exhibition showing how Islamic cultures can have a real power in the fashion environment, by exploring the complexity of Muslim dress codes worldwide. This occasion can be the right moment for good questions, for example… do you know that not all Muslim women wear hijab? Some of them wear a turban, why? Do you know that not Muslim women share the same Modest lifestyle principles, even by not wearing a headscarf ?

“Contemporary Muslim Fashions is the first major exhibition on Muslim style worldwide”

With Jill D’Alessandro, curator in charge of Costume and Textile Arts and Dr. Reina Lewis, consulting curator, “Contemporary Muslim Fashions” has the aim to discuss the approach of Modest movement, both as an Islamic style and for non Muslims passionates. It will feature 53 fashion designers worldwide , from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, the UK, Pakistan, USA, France and Iran. As explains Max Hollein, former Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, in an official statement,  “There are those who believe that there is no fashion at all among Muslim women, but the opposite is true, with modern, vibrant, and extraordinary fashion scenes, particularly in many Muslim-majority countries” and he adds , “this exhibition stands out in our long history of outstanding fashion exhibitions and will shed light onto larger political, social, and cultural understandings and misunderstandings”.

“Contemporary Muslim Fashions” will also examine the impact of social media on modern Muslim fashion design. Muslim Women were the first to use the social media as a positive tool in the communication stream. As explains Laura L. Camerlengo, associate curator of costume and textile art, “Fashion serves not only as a mean to share their personal style but also a catalyst for discussions about contemporary religious concerns and social injustices and as a tool for positive social change.”

Dr. Reina Lewis is Professor of Cultural Studies at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. She is an authority on Muslim and Modest fashion.
In the occasion of the opening day, she will host one of her public talk series “Faith and Fashion”- that she use to held at London College of Fashion- in a conversation with the pioneer of Modest fashion across the USA, fashion designer Carmen Muhammad, founder of Al-Nisa Design brand.
Carmen has the profound- and shared- belief that clothes communicate religious cultures and social values, as she says “We are embracing and acknowledging that culture and lifestyle is the new expression of designers and is the go-to factor in the process of creating looks and trends”.
In creating a Modest woman dress, Carmen Muhammad has always being inspired by music, art, film and the Hollywood dreaming scene, as they are part of her early education while growing up in Long Beach, California. Last year Al Nisa design won two prestigious awards during Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC)’s first Modest fashion show at Torino Fashion Week (TFW) 2017,  such as Louis Vuitton Brand Ambassador Award and AT Film Award, and later she showcased at Sommet De La Mode during Paris Fashion Week as US emerging modest designer. Recently, Carmen took the scene of the second IFDC’s Modest Fashion Runway at TFW 2018 and she is going to reveal her “the Woman” style during IFDC’s exclusive Modest Soirée, at Milano Fashion Week.

Ph(c) theShukran social network- IFDC Modest Fashion runway at TFW2018

Professor Reina and Carmen will discuss at the talk ” Faith and Fashion: Global Interest in American Modest Design” , on September 22, 2018, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm at Koret Auditorium , de Young Museum in San Francisco.

Contemporary Muslim Fashions will open on September 22nd , until January 6th.
When style speaks different languages, you must enjoy the show!


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