A key exhibition exploring contemporary Muslim fashion has opened in San Francisco’s de Young Museum and welcomed speakers like Ghizlan Guenez, founder and CEO of The Modist to talk about the role of demure dressing today.
“Contemporary Muslim Fashions is the first major museum exhibition to explore the complex, diverse nature of Muslim dress codes worldwide. The exhibition examines how Muslim women—those who cover their heads and those who do not—have become arbiters of style within and beyond their communities, and in so doing have drawn mass media attention to contemporary Muslim life,” reads the museum’s statement.
It showcases different religious interpretations and cultures, including high-end fashions, such as those by Malaysia-based Blancheur; street wear, from brands like London-based Sarah Elenany; sportswear, such as the burkini; and commissioned garments from both emerging and established designers like Marchesa and Oscar De La Renta.
Contemporary Muslim Fashions also hopes to enrich visitors with a better understanding of Muslim communities through a series of quotes on label’s and wall panels, as well as images and videos from social media influencers.
“Fashion is at it’s best when it both adapts to the needs of society and reflects its social and political undercurrents,” said Jill D’Alessandro, Curator in Charge of Costume and Textile Arts, in a statement.
The museum has received a number of donations from around the world including a Christian Dior couture gown and matching abaya from Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz from Saudi Arabia, which will be displayed on the set designed by the New York–based Iranian sisters behind the architectural firm of Hariri & Hariri.
Exhibiting in the United States, and later in Europe (you’ll be able to see it in Frankfurt next spring), is key to developing understanding of the Muslim cultures and how modest dressing isn’t a trend, but a modern way of life for many.