Experiences with my Muslim Identity and a Culture Clash is an exploration of what growing up for me and many others has been like and in particular, through the scope of modest fashion. What does modest fashion mean? Well, our generation is continuously transforming how we interpret this vast style and my project explored themes and references such as my Pakistani heritage as well as the British streetwear influences we draw from for fashion inspiration: this culture clash. I wanted to create a garment that fuses the three factors in harmony with a focus on Islam, as I myself identify with that first and foremost.
References such as the Ihram, Benassi patterns and puffer jackets culminated a result that is contemporary and suitable for the young adult audience I am a part of.
This project explored aspects of private life in correlation with public life, and how my religion and culture have significantly shaped my experiences. Every detail on this garment serves a purpose, whether the young wearer is on their way to Jummah prayer, or just wants to dress as themselves: details such as a pocket placed on the left side of the chest designed to fit my Qur’an perfectly. The Arabic text that translates to all the qualities that I’m constantly searching for in myself is deliberate and delicate, and it’s meaning would be lost if it were to be translated into English.
Through thorough reflection, I’ve found that feelings of displacement and isolation are common and shared with the underrepresented percentage I am a part of living in Britain and I hope that this garment reflects pieces of our true selves, as Muslims of a minority ethnic group, in all of its beauty.