Contemporary Muslim Fashions at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, through August 23, 2020*
“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
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.