Book review : Muslim Fashion : Contemporary Style Cultures by Reina Lewis

Jafari, Aliakbar (2017) Book review : Muslim Fashion : Contemporary Style Cultures by Reina Lewis. [Review]

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    Abstract

    Reina Lewis examines Muslim women’s hijab (i.e., veiling) as ‘fashion’, a phenomenon that prevails in the contemporary global consumer culture. Her central argument is that the over-politicization of hijab, particularly in the West, has deterred not only the public but also academics from understanding a plethora of dynamics that both influence and are influenced by hijab as fashion. While this overlook is largely related to the post-9/11 signification of hijab as Islamism, Lewis holds Orientalism equally accountable for the underrepresentation of hijab in the fashion discourse. As the author argues, traditionally, fashion has been associated with Western modernity, assuming no place for fashion among Muslims and confining hijab to ethnicity and religiosity. Following the recent rise of Islam’s visibility in the West, hijab has been largely viewed as exclusion from and/or opposition to a progressive modernity, manifested in the West-centric consumer culture.