Inarguably, the most arresting thing about Gucci’s Fall 2018 show in Milan was the severed heads and the baby dragons carried down the runway but another conversation heated up around Gucci using a number of cobalt-blue turbans that resembled those worn by Sikhs. Although Gucci wasn’t the only brand to feature religious headgear. Hijabs are becoming as common as turbans on the runway. Hijab was worn at Marc Jacobs, Chromat, Maki Oh, Max Mara, Pyer Moss, Molly Goddard and Daniëlle Cathari x Adidas Originals.
The fashion industry while designing their collections, the designers are consciously keeping religious minorities in mind, globally. Even though some of these designs lean towards cultural appropriation, there is a growing tendency and awareness of religious or cultural garments that are finding its way into mainstream fashion.
Although every now and then the usage of religious headgears or prints create a divided audience, it’s still a positive change to see that fashion is finally embracing religious minorities. For instance, Gucci’s use of turban on a white model stemmed a large part of frustration on Twitter, “Could you not find a brown model?” tweeted model Avan Jogia.
Jogia and others were trying to point out that turban-wearing Sikh men are frequently the targets of hate crimes in the West. West ends up associating turbans with radical groups like the Taliban, which is disrespectful. And on the other hand, we remember Sarah Jessica Parker aka Carrie Bradshaw’s glamorous take on turban in Abu Dhabi.
Hijabs are beautifully making a way runway as well. Recently, Macy’s announced that it would be selling its first hijab line on the platform. With brands and runways becoming more diverse, Shahira Yusuf became one of Britain's first hijab-wearing models. Hijabs were everywhere at the AW'18 shows. Designers are not exactly calling them hijabs, rather are calling them scarves and wraparounds because the styles are many. From close-fitting lycra hoods to carefully draped scarves and knitted snoods, head coverings of versatile styles were seen on the runways of major brands including Alexander Wang, Calvin Klein, Versace, Lanvin, Dior, Chanel, Balenciaga, Gucci and Marc Jacobs.
In past, Nike’s pro-hijab and Marks & Spencer’s modest fashion line got Muslim women talking and celebrating, globally. And just when fashion is at its peak in India, designer and the queen of quirky prints Masaba Gupta is bringing out one of her best breakthrough designs -- a hijab saree. She has brilliantly blended two of the most important attires that represent the country. A grey saree infused with tribal prints is to be paired with a hot pink blouse. Initially, Masaba wanted to talk about her best-seller saree and how there has been a debate about sarees being embraced by a specific type of women. But her idea of styling a saree like a hijab opens the option of saree to every Muslim woman.
The good news is that fashion is making itself more inclusive one step at a time and it’s in favour of everyone!