Advertisement

Islamic Veiling Meets Fashion: Struggles and Translations

  • Anna-Mari AlmilaEmail author
Reference work entry

Abstract

The political controversies surrounding Muslim veiling today involve specific rhetorical elements deriving from long histories of colonialism, post-colonialism, and neocolonialism and Muslim responses to these. A number of different languages – political, religious, patriarchal, feminist, sectarian, aesthetic – often get mixed up when Muslim veiling is talked about by diverse types of people, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Sartorial fashion is also spoken about in multiple registers: in terms of aesthetics, commercial considerations, social distinction and stratification, art, design, and creativity. Both veiling and fashion have nonverbal languages, too. This chapter looks into the relationships between languages of veiling and languages of fashion. What happens when veiling becomes fashionable? What happens when fashionable forms of veiling appear, and an Islamic fashion industry emerges? There are three relevant types of language used here: those within Muslim communities, those outside Muslim communities, and those operating between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. These are shaped by power struggles of many sorts. As Foucault recognized, languages shape, hide, and (re)produce power relations, such as in Orientalist forms of representation (Said) and in localized forms of silencing subaltern groups like lower-class women (Spivak). Such struggles become more complex when fashion languages and veiling languages meet. Fashionable veiling, or veiling fashion, can be a powerful tool for a Muslim woman, but it can also be rejected as (supposedly) oppressive or demeaning. These contradictory and intertwined elements of veiling languages and fashion languages are subjected here to cultural-historical sociological analysis.

Keywords

Veiling Fashion Muslim women Orientalism Gender 

References

  1. Abaza, M. (2007). Shifting landscapes of fashion in contemporary Egypt. Fashion Theory, 11(2/3), 281–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abu-Lughod, L. (2002). Do Muslim women really need saving? Anthropological reflections on cultural relativism and its others. American Anthropologist, 104(3), 783–790.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Adak, S. (2014). Anti-veiling campaigns and local elites in Turkey of the 1930s: A view from the periphery. In S. Cronin (Ed.), Anti-veiling campaigns in the Muslim world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Ahmed, L. (1992). Women and gender in Islam: Historical roots of a modern debate. London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Ahmed, L. (2011). A quiet revolution: The Veil’s resurgence, from the Middle East to America. London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Akou, H. M. (2010). Interpreting Islam through the internet: Making sense of hijab. Contemporary Islam, 4(3), 331–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Alloula, M. (1987). The colonial harem: Images of subconscious eroticism. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Almila, A. (2016). Fashion, anti-fashion, non-fashion and symbolic capital: The uses of dress among Muslim minorities in Finland. Fashion Theory, 20(1), 81–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Almila, A. (2017). Introduction: The veil across the globe in politics, everyday life and fashion. In A. Almila & D. Inglis (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook to veils and veiling practices. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Almila, A. (2018a). The dressed body, material and technology: Rethinking the Hijab through sartorial sociology. International Journal of Fashion Studies, 5(2), 309–328.Google Scholar
  11. Almila, A. (2018b). Veiling in fashion: Space and the hijab in minority communities. London: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  12. Balasescu, A. (2007). Haute couture in Tehran: Two faces of an emerging fashion scene. Fashion Theory, 11(2/3), 299–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Baron, B. (1989). Unveiling in early twentieth century Egypt: Practical and symbolic considerations. Middle Eastern Studies, 25(3), 370–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Barthes, R. (1990). The fashion system. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  15. Batur, A. L. (2012). Mythology of the veil in Europe: A brief history of a debate. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 32(1), 156–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bourdieu, P. (1993). Sociology in question. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Bracke, S., & Fadil, N. (2012). Is the headscarf oppressive or emancipatory? Field notes from the multicultural debate. Religion and Gender, 2(1), 36–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Brems, E. (Ed.). (2014). The experiences of face veil wearers in Europe and the law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Byng, M. D. (2010). Symbolically Muslim: Media, hijab, and the west. Critical Sociology, 36(1), 109–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Carter, M. (2012). Stuff and nonsense: The limits of the linguistic model of clothing. Fashion Theory, 16(3), 343–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Clayer, N. (2014). Behind the veil: The reform of Islam in interwar Albania or the search for a “modern” and “European” Islam. In S. Cronin (Ed.), Anti-veiling campaigns in the Muslim world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Cooke, M. (2007). The Muslimwoman. Contemporary Islam, 1, 139–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Davis, F. (1992). Fashion, culture and identity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Droogsma, R. A. (2007). Redefining hijab: American Muslim Women’s standpoints on veiling. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 35(3), 294–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. El Guindi, F. (1999). Veil: Modesty, privacy and resistance. Oxford: Berg.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Entwistle, J., & Rocamora, A. (2006). The field of fashion materialized: A study of London fashion week. Sociology, 40(4), 735–751.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fay, M. A. (2012). Unveiling the harem: Elite women and the paradox of seclusion in eighteenth-century Cairo. New York: Syracuse University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Foucault, M. (1977). Discipline and punish. The birth of the prison. London: Penguine.Google Scholar
  29. Gökarıksel, B., & Secor, A. (2013). Transnational networks of veiling-fashion between Turkey and Western Europe. In E. Tarlo & A. Moors (Eds.), Islamic fashion and anti-fashion. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  30. Haddad, Y. Y. (2007). The post 9/11 hijab as icon. Sociology of Religion, 68(3), 253–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Haris, R. (2016). D&G’s hijab range is aimed at people like me – So why do I feel excluded? The Guardian, January 11. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/11/dolce-gabbana-hijab-collection-muslim-women-western-fashion. Accessed 24 July 2018.
  32. Ikran, E. (2000). Discourses on (un)veiling in Egypt. Asian Journal of Women’s Studies, 6(4), 102–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ilyas, S. (2012). Is Muslim fashion finally ‘on trend’? The Guardian, April 26. http://www.guardian.co.uk/fashion/fashion-blog/2012/apr/26/muslim-fashion-on-trend. Accessed 12 May 2012.
  34. Jones, C. (2017). Images of desire: Creating virtue and value in an Indonesian Islamic lifestyle magazine. In A. Almila & D. Inglis (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook to veils and veiling practices. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  35. Kamp, M. (2014). Women-initiated unveiling: State-led campaigns in Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. In S. Cronin (Ed.), Anti-veiling campaigns in the Muslim world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Kashani-Saget, F. (2014). Dressing up (or down): Veils, hats and consumer fashions in interwar Iran. In S. Cronin (Ed.), Anti-veiling campaigns in the Muslim world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Kassam, S. (2011). Marketing an imagined Muslim woman: Muslim girl magazine and the politics of race, gender and representation. Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, 17(4), 543–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kejanlioğlu, D. B., & Taş, O. (2009). Regimes of un/veiling and body control: Turkish students wearing wigs. Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale, 17(4), 424–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lewis, R. (2010). Marketing Muslim lifestyle: A new media genre. Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 6(3), 58–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lewis, R. (2015). Uncovering modesty: Dejabis and Dewigies expanding the parameters of the modest fashion blogosphere. Fashion Theory, 19(2), 243–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lewis, R. (2017). Modest fashion and anti-fashion. In A. Almila & D. Inglis (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook to veils and veiling practices. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. Libal, K. (2014). From face veil to cloche hat: The backward ottoman versus new Turkish woman in urban public discourse. In S. Cronin (Ed.), Anti-veiling campaigns in the Muslim world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Lurie, A. (2000). The language of clothes. New York: Henry Holt.Google Scholar
  44. Marini, F. (2016). The Dolce & Gabbana abaya collection won’t ease shopping while Muslim. The Guardian, January 7. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/07/the-dolce-gabbana-abaya-collection-wont-ease-shopping-while-muslim. Accessed 24 July 2018.
  45. McLarney, E. (2009). The burqa in vogue: Fashioning Afghanistan. Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 5(1), 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Meer, N., Dwyer, C., & Modood, T. (2010). Embodying nationhood: Conceptions of British national identity, citizenship, and gender in the ‘veil affair’. The Sociological Review, 58(1), 84–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mernissi, F. (2003). Beyond the veil: Male-female dynamics in modern Muslim society. London: Saqi.Google Scholar
  48. Metinsoy, M. (2014). Everyday resistance to un-veiling and flexible secularism in early republican Turkey. In S. Cronin (Ed.), Anti-veiling campaigns in the Muslim world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  49. Moors, A. (2009). “Islamic fashion” in Europe: Religious conviction, aesthetic style and creative consumption. Encounters, 1, 175–201.Google Scholar
  50. Moors, A. (2013). “Discover the beauty of modesty”: Islamic fashion online. In R. Lewis (Ed.), Modest fashion. London: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  51. Mossière, G. (2012). Modesty and style in Islamic attire: Refashioning Muslim garments in a Western context. Contemporary Islam, 6(2), 115–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Navaro-Yashin, Y. (2002). The market for identities: Secularism, Islamism, commodities. In D. Kandiyoi & A. Saktanber (Eds.), Fragments of culture: The everyday of modern Turkey. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Neuburger, M. (2014). Difference unveiled: Bulgarian National Imperatives and the re-dressing of Muslim women, 1878–1989. In S. Cronin (Ed.), Anti-veiling campaigns in the Muslim world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  54. Niessen, S. (2010). Interpreting “civilization” through dress. In L. Skov (Ed.), Berg encyclopedia of world dress and fashion, volume 8: West Europe. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  55. Nomani, A. Q., & Arafa, H. (2015). As Muslim women, we actually ask you not to wear the hijab in the name of interfaith solidarity. Washington Post, December 21. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/12/21/as-muslim-women-we-actually-ask-you-not-to-wear-the-hijab-in-the-name-of-interfaith-solidarity/?utm_term=.f2e802ca0eff. Accessed 24 July 2018.
  56. Österlind, L. K. (2013). Made in France: Islamic fashion companies on display. In E. Tarlo & A. Moors (Eds.), Islamic fashion and anti-fashion. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  57. Pedroni, M. (2015). “Stumbling on the heels of my blog”: Career, forms of capital, and strategies in the (sub)field of fashion blogging. Fashion Theory, 19(2), 179–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Riello, G. (2011). The object of fashion: Methodological approaches to the history of fashion. Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, 3(1), article 8865.Google Scholar
  59. Rostam-Kolayi, J., & Matin-Asgari, A. (2014). Unveiling ambiguities: Revisiting 1930s Iran’s kashf-i hijab campaign. In S. Cronin (Ed.), Anti-veiling campaigns in the Muslim world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  60. Roy, O. (2004). Globalized Islam: The search for a new Ummah. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Ruby, T. F. (2006). Listening to the voices of hijab. Women’s Studies International Forum, 29(1), 54–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Said, E. W. (2003). Orientalism. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  63. Sandıkcı, Ö. (2017). Culture industries and marketplace dynamics. In A. Almila & D. Inglis (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook to veils and veiling practices. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  64. Shirazi, F. (2017). Iran’s compulsory hijab: From politics and religious authority to fashion shows. In A. Almila & D. Inglis (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook to veils and veiling practices. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  65. Spivak, G. (1988). Can the subaltern speak? In C. Nelson & L. Grossberg (Eds.), Marxism and the interpretation of culture. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  66. Tarlo, E. (2005). Reconsidering stereotypes: Anthropological reflections on the jilbab controversy. Anthropology Today, 21(6), 13–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Tarlo, E. (2010). Visibly Muslim: Fashion, politics, faith. Oxford: Berg.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Vakulenko, A. (2012). Islamic veiling in legal discourse. Oxon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wide, T. (2014). Astrakhan, Borqa’, Chadari, Dreshi: The economy of dress in early-twentieth-century Afghanistan. In S. Cronin (Ed.), Anti-veiling campaigns in the Muslim world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  70. Willisher, K. (2016) French women’s rights minister accused of racism over term ‘negro’. The Guardian, March 30. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/30/french-womens-rights-minister-laurence-rossignol-accused-racism-negro. Accessed 24 July 2018.
  71. Zahedi, A. (2007). Contested meaning of the veil and political ideologies of Iranian regimes. Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 3(3), 75–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.London College of FashionUniversity of the Arts LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations