First published: 25 June 2013
Held in conjunction with the Shubbak festival of contemporary Arab culture. Reina Lewis, Professor of Cultural Studies at London College of Fashion discusses the importance of fashion in cultural as well as commercial exchanges with Emirati-Afghan designer Rabia Zargarpur, of Rabia Z., and British blogger Jana Kossaibati of hijabstyle.
With Rabia providing the inside scoop on developments in the Gulf fashion industry, from taste trends to infrastructure, the panel discuss how in the often highly charged debates about dress, identity, region, and religion, clothes carry ideas as well as aesthetics, with styles moving across markets not just as products on sale but as images in blogs and social media. Exploring how garments like the abaya are changing in design and use in the Gulf and in Britain, the panel and audience contributors consider if and how fashion plays a role in faith, and whether and how this is legible to different observers.