Muslims in Britain and cosmopolitan cities throughout the West are increasingly choosing to express their identity and faith through dress, whether by wearing colourful headscarves, austere black garments or creative new forms of Islamic fashion. Why is dress such an important issue for Muslims? Why is it such a major topic of media interest and international concern? This timely and important book cuts through media stereotypes of Muslim appearances, providing intimate insights into what clothes mean to the people who design and wear them. It examines how different ideas of fashion, politics, faith, freedom, beauty, modesty and cultural diversity are articulated by young British Muslims as they seek out clothes which best express their identities, perspectives and concerns. It also explores the wider social and political effects of their clothing choices on the development of transnational cultural formations and multicultural urban spaces.
Based on contemporary ethnographic research, the book is an essential read for students and scholars of religion, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology and fashion as well as anyone interested in cultural diversity and the changing face of cosmopolitan cities throughout the world.
Emma Tarlo is Reader in Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London.
Introduction Biographies in dress: The Comedian, the Artist and the Activist London, Multiculturalism and Hijab Hybrid Hijabis: Impression Management through style Against Diversity: The Jilbab Controversy Covering Concerns: Passion, Piety and the Face veil Hijab online: the ethnography of a website Refashioning the Islamic in the West Afterword