Faith, Fashion, Fusion: Muslim women’s style in Australia

Published Tuesday, 1st March 2016

From swimwear and denim to elegant red carpet dresses, Faith, Fashion, Fusion: Muslim Women’s Style in Australia showcases the emerging modest fashion market.

Here is the work of a new generation of Muslim designers and entrepreneurs making a mark on the local fashion industry with their stylish clothing ranges for Muslim women. 

The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) and Fairfield City Museum and Gallery proudly present this touring exhibition, which explores this fascinating growing industry.

Glynis Jones, curator of Faith, fashion, fusion at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences said the words ‘faith’ and ‘fashion’ do not often appear in the same context.

“This exhibition illustrates they are not incompatible; ‘modest fashion’ is one of the global fashion industry’s largest growth areas.

“It’s also interesting to see the market for these designers is not limited to Muslim women, but has broader appeal for women looking for looser fitting, fashionable clothing that offers more coverage,” said Glynis Jones.

Faith, fashion, fusion features garments, fashion shoots and interviews with six Sydney-based fashion brands – Baraka Woman, Fay Tellaoui, Hijab House, Integrity Boutique, Ahiida® and Ninety9 by Aida Zein. While most of these brands are based in Western Sydney, their reach is much further with some selling globally through their online stores. Aheda Zanetti, founder and designer of modest swimwear brand Ahiida®, sells her famous Burqini® swimwear to countries where even global delivery company TNT does not go. The exhibition also incorporates a fashion parade event titled Fashionista in the West, an exciting event showcasing five Sydney based fashion houses.

Social media and blogs are used to communicate the latest styles and the exhibition includes the online commentary of influential Australian fashion blogger Delina Darusman-Gala, Sydney’s first Muslim fashion blogger. Through her blog, Delina shares her love of clothing and offers advice on modest fashion, where to buy outfits and accessories, and how to make mainstream fashion trends more modest.

A group of influential Australian Muslim women are also profiled in the exhibition. The ‘Women in Profile’ section opens a space where Muslim women can speak more broadly about themselves, their experiences and faith, countering some of the misconceptions and prejudice that exist in Australian society.

Through photographs, treasured objects and interviews, the women share their opinions, challenges and achievements. These women include author Randa Abdel-Fattah; academic and media commentator Susan Carland; Australia’s first Muslim surf-lifesaver Mecca Laalaa; members of the Auburn Tigers football team; author Arwa El Masri; academic and activist Oishee Alam; and mother and daughter Mona and Rayan Marabani.

The exhibition also captures the diversity and creativity of Muslim women’s style through our own street style photo shoot undertaken at events and locations around Sydney, including the popular annual Multicultural Eid Festival at Prairiewood.

Faith, fashion, fusion: Muslim women’s style in Australia is accompanied by a publication of the same name featuring stories, interviews and photographs from the exhibition, with a background essay by writer and academic Shakira Hussein.

Exhibition - Faith fashion fusion: Muslim Women’s Style in Australia

Dates: 12 March – 14 May 2016
Address: Fairfield City Museum and Gallery
Website: http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/faithfashion/
Hours: 10am-4pm
Admission: FREE

Exhibition Launch

Date: Saturday 12 March, 2pm
Guest Speaker: Glynis Jones, Curator, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
RSVP by 11 March: 9725 0190 / museumgallery@fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au

Fashionista in the West

Saturday 16 April, 2pm-3.30pm

Join Integrity Boutique as they host a colourful fashion parade featuring contemporary Muslim women’s dress from five fashion houses in Sydney. Bring your family and join us for a sumptuous afternoon tea, meet upcoming designers and share their stories and inspirations. This event is hosted to complement the exhibition.

ENDS

Media enquiries: Hannah Kilgore, Communications and Marketing Officer
Phone: 9725 0166
Email: fcccommunications@fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au