Monday, September 27, 2010

Visibly Muslim

The other night, I attended an amazing event at City University of New York on 5th Avenue and 34th Street.

Writer Emma Tarlo gave a presentation about British Muslim Fashion. She is the author of Visibly Muslim: Fashion, Politics, Faith.

I was so excited to hear about this event last minute from a friend that I could not believe it. The room was packed with an audience interested in hearing about Islamic Fashion, particularly the hijab, nikab, burkah.

When I walked into the packed room, I noticed only one other hijabi. Ms. Tarlo spoke about the current designers, bloggers and individuals who shape Islamic Fashion in the British world. There were many names I recognized. She spoke briefly about the different individuals. One of them she mentioned was Jana, the medical student, who is also the editor in chief of the HijabStyle Blog. I had communicated through email with Jana a few times. It was a wonderful surprise to be in an audience in New York listening to a wonderful hijabi being recognized for her work. Congrats to Jana from all of us, as well as all the other names that are recognized in the book.

It was definitely an overpowering night for me. I felt so much positive energy in the room. Ms. Tarlo's work is not just a well-written book, for all of us hijabis, it's absolutely priceless. For a well-known academician to take a popular issue and turn it into a positive master piece is such an honor for all of us.

She has worked tremendously to describe the reasons why Muslim women dress the way they dress, in relation to current fashion and politics. We applaud her for all her hard work and thank her immensely for shining a positive light on a contrary topic.

Thank You Ms. Emma Tarlo, and May God Bless You!

Here is a small excerpt about Visibly Muslim. I advise you all to purchase a copy. This is a very interesting read, and the least we can do is thank Ms. Tarlo by supporting her work.

Visibly Muslim is available on amazon!

Muslims in Britain and cosmopolitan cities throughout the West are increasingly choosing to express their identity and faith through dress, whether by wearing colorful headscarves, austere black garments or creative new forms of Islamic fashion.  Why is dress such an important issue for Muslims? Why is it such a major topic of media interest and international concern? In Visibly Muslim : Fashion, Politics, Faith Emma Tarlo cuts through media stereotypes of Muslim appearances, providing intimate insights into what clothes really mean to the people who design and wear them.  She examines how different ideas of fashion, politics, faith, freedom, beauty, modesty and cultural diversity are articulated by young British Muslims as they seek out clothes which best express their identities, perspectives and concerns.  She also explores the wider social and political effects of their clothing choices on the development of transnational cultural formations and multicultural urban spaces.
Here are some pictures of the beautiful ladies I met at the event.
Emma Tarlo & Elif

From Left to Right
Christa Salamandra - Professor of Anthropology at Lehman College, CUNY;
Anny Bakalian- Associate Director, Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center
Emma Tarlo - Reader, Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London 
Eugenia Paulicelli - Co-Director of the IS in Fashion Studies CUNY

I applied the theory of Contrast to my look, completely black outfit, one contrasting color, offwhite Prada Purse
Same hat from the other night, same broche, same jewelry, just changed it up a notch!

 Don't forget to purchase Visibly Muslim, let's make the books fly off the shelves!!!

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

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