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Combing fashion with strict codes in Iran

Combing fashion with strict codes in Iran
0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, August 5, 2010
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Women are banned from wearing revealing clothing outdoors in Iran. Wearing a shawl or scarf in public is mandatory. However, many women choose to look stylish while still observing Islamic rules of modesty.


Islamic fashion need not be dreary, that's the message of this collection of Islamic fashions in Tehran.

And it's images like this that the government hopes will show young people that clothing doesn't have to be revealing to be chic.

The lack of inspiring domestic clothing designs has made women, especially young girls, turn to western styles of clothing.

But the tide is turning in some Iranian fashion houses.

With the backing of the government some designers are leaning towards a revival of Iran's centuries old dress styles.

Researcher and fashion designer, Hasti Homayoun carried out a six month study on current trends for textiles and fashion.

She says her study shows that many Iranian women would favor Islamic-orientated clothing if it was presented to them in the right way.

Hasti Homayoun said, "During the past six months that I had been with people of different types and doing some sort of research, I realized that people are willing to wear Iranian designs provided that the cuts and designs suit their taste. The designs should be modern and in such a way that men and women should be able to wear them outside their home, on the bus, in a taxi or in their cars. If such a thing is presented definitely everybody would wear it."

Shadi Parand is a former model and owner of one of the oldest fashion houses in Iran.

She's pioneering a nationwide drive to bring traditional fashion back into the mainstream.

Unlike some designers, who believe offering an attractive creation is contradictory to Islamic rules, Parand believes presenting beautiful creations and observing Islamic rules can happily go hand in hand.

Shadi Parand said, "Fashion means a way of dressing yourself in a new way each time. Fashion is a changing process all the way. Just being covered doesn't mean to be pretty and just being pretty or being presentable doesn't mean to be naked. You can be totally covered and just (at the same time) have a beautiful presence or beautiful appearance. And I think they are not contradictory at all."

Western style fashions are very popular in Iran with both men and women, so it might take time for the designer's influence to reach the high street, but they are confident their ideas will eventually become mainstream.


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