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A new exhibition at the de Young Museum salutes the many-splendored world of Muslim fashion. 

Desert Dream ensemble (evening gown, shawl and turban) of polyester chiffon, spring/summer 2018, Rasit Bagzibagli x Modanisa.

 

With anti-Muslim sentiment at a high in some parts of the nation, the Bay Area—home to 250,000 Muslims—delves into the nuance of the veil with an exhibition on Islam’s diverse and complex dress codes for women: Contemporary Muslim Fashions at the de Young Museum. From hijabs (headscarves) to niqabs (face veils) to body-cloaking abayas, modest fashion is a $44 billion global industry.

The show’s 80 streetwear, sportswear and couture ensembles (Barjis Chohan, Nike’s Pro Hijab, a burkini by Aheda Zanetti) are accompanied by photos from artists and social media bloggers who pushed for greater representation in retail markets and the media.

Can personal style be a starting point for talks about gender, racial and religious inequalities? Yes, says Max Hollein, former director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, under whose tenure the exhibition was developed, and who calls it “an overdue, much-needed exploration” that will “shed light onto larger political, social and cultural understandings and misunderstandings.” Through Jan. 6, Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive

 

Originally published in the October issue of Silicon Valley

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