Contemporary Muslim Fashions at de Young Museum – Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Contemporary Muslim Fashions Image courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Contemporary Muslim Fashions 
Until  January 06, 2019
de Young Museum – Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO – Contemporary Muslim Fashions is the first major museum exhibition to explore the complex and diverse nature of Muslim dress codes worldwide. Organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 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 and, in so doing, have drawn attention to the variations and nuances of their daily lives.

There are those who believe that there is no fashion at all among Muslim women, but the opposite is true, with modern, vibrant, and extraordinary fashion scenes, particularly in many Muslim-majority countries,” says Max Hollein, former Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “Contemporary Muslim Fashions is an overdue, much-needed exploration of a multifaceted topic as yet largely unexplored by museums. This exhibition stands out in our long history of outstanding fashion exhibitions and will shed light onto larger political, social, and cultural understandings and misunderstandings.”

  Contemporary Muslim FashionsImage courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

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Spotlighting places, garments, and styles from around the world, the exhibition focuses on clothing that responds to individual and collective interpretations of 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. As Islam is a multicultural faith, the dress of its practitioners is shaped not only by religious traditions but also by local customs and global trends. Contemporary Muslim Fashions looks at parts of the globe where designers are creating and consumers are wearing highly fashionable garments, with a specific focus on the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and diasporic communities throughout Europe and the United States.

Fashion is at its best when it both adapts to the needs of society and reflects its social and political undercurrents,” says Jill D’Alessandro, Curator in Charge of Costume and Textile Arts. “It is in this transformative moment where we now find modest fashion.

Contemporary Muslim FashionsImage courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

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In addition to approximately 80 ensembles drawn from established and emerging designers in high-end fashion, streetwear, sportswear, and couture, the exhibition includes about 40 photographs that will contextualize the garments on view. Using social media as primary source material, Contemporary Muslim Fashions credits much of the recent, popular awareness of this sector to bloggers and influencers who took to social media when they could not find accurate representations of themselves in traditional media.

Contemporary Muslim Fashions
Image courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

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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 exhibition galleries, designed by Hariri & Hariri Architecture, explore the interplay between the seen and unseen, the idea of being covered and protected yet contemporary and fashionable.

After closing at the de Young Museum on January 6, 2019, the exhibition will travel to Frankfurt’s Museum Angewandte Kunst.

more. deyoung.famsf.org

Contemporary Muslim FashionsImage courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

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