Lifestyle & Belief

Fashion students rethink the abaya

(The abaya has to be black and it has to cover almost the entire body, so seemingly not many options for redesign. So how did your students react to the assignment?) I guess the hardest thing for them to grasp were the design parameters. They had to focus on how they could change the seaming, what interesting detail can they apply, and what type of beadwork could they incorporate? I had them address specific themes in each redesign. There were 10 garments created all together, students worked in pairs for a twenty-person class. (Any of the students Muslim?) No, this is their first taste to delve in to other aspects of what it is to be Muslim. (So then you have students in Qatar and you had your American students sending their garments to the Arab students for feedback. So what was the feedback?) They reviewed them both as fit, coverage and the practicality of the garment. Some would say it's cut too close in the front, or in the back. (And then you had a fashion show as well?) Yes, it was in early May. (I wonder how controversial this assignment was?) I didn't even think of that until I got some press. I received on uncomfortable message on my phone today from a woman who didn't leave her name and this woman called me ignorant. But this was not our intention. (What were the intentions then?) It's really hard to design something with stringent parameters so this was meant to explore something that was so new to them.

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