“Contemporary Muslim Fashions, the first major museum exhibition to explore the rise of the modest fashion industry at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. This pioneering exhibition examines how Muslim women—those who cover and those who do not—have become arbiters of style within and beyond their communities. The exhibition features approximately 80 ensembles drawn from established and emerging designers in high-end fashion, streetwear, sportswear and couture, as well as about 40 photographs that will contextualize the garments on view.
In recent years, there has been increased awareness of Muslim consumers as an important segment of the global fashion industry, and increased visibility for designers and brands whose clothing responds to diverse interpretations of modesty. Featuring garments and styles from around the world, Contemporary Muslim Fashions focuses on the intersection of regional dress styles, global fashion trends and personal attitudes toward modesty. It considers how Muslim women define themselves and are defined by their dress, providing a snapshot of the current moment in Muslim modest fashion. Modest fashion refers to garments that are both highly fashionable and provide sufficient body cover to address cultural concerns for modesty. Many Muslim women and men dress modestly, in accordance with their faith, but individual and collective interpretations of modesty vary widely.” — Cooper Hewitt
Itang Yunasz (b. Jakarta, 1958) for Itang Yunasz (Indonesian, est. 1986); Ensemble (abaya, wrap, and hijab); Tribalux Collection, Spring/Summer, 2018; Silk satin, tulle, antique cotton warp-faced plain weave with warp-resist dyeing (Sumba ikat); Jewelry by MannaQueen for Itang Yunasz, 2018; Photograph © Sebastian Kim
Dian Pelangi (b. 1991, Indonesia); Ensemble (tunic, pants, inner headscarf, and scarves); Co-Identity Collection, Jakarta Fashion Week, 2016; Cotton denim with beading and embroidery, complex weave with fringe appliqué, spandex knit with beading, wax-resist dyed (batik) Thai silk; Photograph © Sebastian Kim
Dian Pelangi (b. 1991, Indonesia); Ensemble (maxi dress, turtleneck, inner headscarf, and scarves); Co-Identity Collection, Jakarta Fashion Week, 2016; Cotton drill and crepe with fringe appliqué, spandex knit with beading, Thai silk, wax-resist dyed (batik) Thai silk; Photograph © Sebastian Kim
Raşit Bağzıbağlı (b. 1985, United Kingdom) for MODANISA (est. 2011, Turkey); Feather Detailed Sequined Ensemble (evening gown, shawl, and turban); Spring/Summer 2018 ‘Desert Dream’ Collection; Polyester chiffon faux feathered, sequins; Photograph © Sebastian Kim
Céline Semaan Vernon (b. 1982, Lebanon) for Slow Factory (est. 2012, United States); BANNED scarf; 2017; Cotton and silk; Courtesy of Slow Factory © Slow Factory
Shereen Sabet (b. Egypt, 1970) for Splashgear, LLC (est. United States, 2005), Ensemble (shirt, pants, and swimhood); Hawaiian Colorway Collection, 2006, Polyester knit; Courtesy of Splashgear, LLC © Shereen Sabet / Splashgear LLC
Haslinda Rahim (b. 1971, Malaysia) for Blancheur (est. 2014, Malaysia); Ensemble (dress, half-vest, jacket, and hijab); Spring/Summer 2018; Cotton blend with silk finishing and topstitching; viscose knit © Datin Haslinda Abdul Rahim for Blancheur / Spring/Summer 2018
Haslinda Rahim (b. 1971, Malaysia) for Blancheur (est. 2014, Malaysia); Hoodie praying (dress and skirt [telekung]); Spring/Summer 2017; Silk linen, silk gauze with supplementary-weft patterning, rhinestones, paste stones Datin Haslinda Abdul Rahim for Blancheur / Spring/Summer 2017. © Datin Haslinda Abdul Rahim for Blancheur / Spring/Summer 2017
Barjis Chohan (b. 1971, Pakistan) for Barjis (est. 2011, United Kingdom); Ensemble (top, jacket, pants, and headscarf); Spring/Summer 2015; Cotton; digital-printed silk crepe; polyester chiffon; and Maxi dress; Spring/Summer 2015; Digital-printed silk crepe and synthetic net; Courtesy of Barjis © Courtesy of Barjis; models: Marcie Dvorak and Maria Plavska / Bookings Models London
Faiza Bouguessa (b. 1983, France) for Faiza Bouguessa (est. 2014, United Arab Emirates); “Two-Tone Crepe Snood” 70˚ Collection, 2014; Polyester crepe, satin lining; Courtesy of Bouguessa © Bouguessa
Faiza Bouguessa (b. 1983, France) for Faiza Bouguessa (est. 2014, United Arab Emirates); “Geometric Abaya” dress with belt; 70˚ Collection, 2014; Polyester crepe, satin lining; Courtesy of Bouguessa © Bouguessa
Contemporary Muslim Fashions is organized by Jill D’Alessandro, curator in charge of costume and textile arts, and Laura L. Camerlengo, associate curator of costume and textiles at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Reina Lewis, professor of cultural studies at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, serves as consulting curator. The New York presentation of “Contemporary Muslim Fashions” is organized by Susan Brown, associate curator of textiles, Cooper Hewitt.
Title image: Melinda Looi (b. 1973, Malaysia) for Melinda Looi (est. 2000, Malaysia); Ensemble (dress, turban, earrings, rings, and shoes); Sunset in Africa Collection, 2012; Tie-dyed silk chiffon with feathers, semi-precious stones, and Swarovski crystals, silk satin lining; Photograph © Sebastian Kim
Images courtesy Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
*PLEASE NOTE: Cooper Hewitt and all Smithsonian museums are temporarily closed.