In the words of Angelina Jolie, “The sun doesn’t lose its beauty when covered by the clouds. The same way your beauty doesn’t fade when being covered by Hijab.”
Since ages, the Islamic attires of women, irrespective of the place, have continued to be a topic of discussion. Often, Hijab is publically viewed as something forced and oppressive. However, in a world like today, where freedom from all kinds of restrictions is the talk of the hour and the motivation of various protests and open rebellions, Hijab is not something that can be considered onerous. The women today, most of them, choose to wear Hijab because they find it liberating and empowering.
The constant need to defend their own choice to wear Hijab, Burqas or Kaftans (permanently or temporary) has left most of the women exhausted.
Hijab and other Islamic garb have now become a powerful medium to express one’s faith, personality and even, to a certain extent, one’s tacit political view.
Islamic garb marks the point where lines between fashion, faith and politics begins to blur. The fashion of such clothing does not negate the faith and the faith, even though it is restrictive (based on certain perspective), continues to blend with the fashion trends.
Clothing and fashion trends have evolved and invaded into the lives of the rich and the poor alike. The most significant example is the Islamic women’s clothing- Hijab, Niqaab, Kaftan, Burqa, Abaya, and etc. The traditional attires, the covered styles of dressing began to transform into styles that are more fashionable and pertaining to religious beliefs at the same time.
The Islamic women’s clothing rightfully serves to ameliorate the personality of the Muslim women. It is a juxtaposition of faith and fashion.
Today, even the basic clothing is available in all ranges, from cheap and basic to exorbitant and designer: Burqa -fully covered clothes with only a pellucid screen before the eyes as opening, Kaftan- a variant of robe or tunic with long sleeves and reaching up to the ankles, Hijab- a scarf that leaves the face uncovered and many more. Though all these types are cognate and therefore similar, they remain popular and high on-demand, throughout.
Kaftans are loose-fitted clothes that cover the entire body and leave the face exposed. Kaftan may have an Islamic wellspring but it is cramped no longer to the tastes of the Muslim women, rather, it is now a fashion style and trend adored, coveted and adopted even by the non-Muslim women, all over the world. It is available in various designs and colors, and made of exotic material to add to the charm of the wearer. In addition to the trend, it is also available for all types of weather as it can be made of wool, cashmere, silk, or cotton, and worn with a sash. The styles and uses of Kaftans vary from person to person and place to place. It can be worn as an overcoat or an overdress.
Burqas, like the Kaftans, are swaddling garments. The Burqa covers the complete body, including the face. This particular clothing style has, for most part of the past, been a political issue and therefore remains banned in about thirteen nations. It is one of the clothing that is still considered to be oppressive, a debatable statement.
Recent surveys indicate that the demand for Islamic clothes keeps rising by 20 percent every year on an average. The market for Islamic clothing is huge in Asia, i.e. around $58 billion. Indonesia, followed by Malaysia, exports the most number of Muslim clothes in the world.
Anas Sillwood, Managing Partner of SHUKR Islamic Clothing- one of the first globally recognized contemporary Islamic clothing brands- states that the factors which are responsible for boosting the demand of the Islamic clothing are significantly binate. Firstly, because Islam is the fastest growing religion and secondly, due to the consistent Muslims who continue to consciously hold on to their faith even in the desperate times of global secularity.
The Islamic Clothing has risen from being cramped by faith to being a source and a medium to convey freedom and liberation among the women. It has become global statement and at once, stands out and stands with the latest modern trends. Clothing styles and fashion trends are one of the most primal elements of a man’s life and Islamic clothing just seems to be a cherry on the top.