Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Keeping cool in KL, the Islamic way

It's not just regular laws that designers and fashion houses have to contend with -- in some places there are religious laws and customary norms too. In "Funky Islamic fashion struts conservative catwalk", Sean Yoong reports on the scene in Kuala Lumpur, where Muslim shoppers are being treated to an exciting range of colours and designs on garments that combine sartorial elegance with the demands of modesty and religious belief. The article states:
"Fashion gurus say Islamic apparel is a fast-growing segment of their worldwide industry, fueled by growing numbers of affluent, liberal Muslims who want to balance propriety with style and globally renowned designers such as Elie Saab whose creations can fulfill religious rules".
A notable export market is the United States, where Muslim women are said to "want to be a little bit more trendy than what is being given to them from Yemen." Elie Saab plans to expand her collections to other countries with sizable Muslim populations, such as China and France. Even non-Muslim designers are getting in on the action: a case in point is the ethnic Chinese Malaysian Lee Khoon Hooi, whose idiosyncratic zipper necklaces and tulip-shaped gowns have been sold in boutiques from Beverly Hills to Taipei.