Fashion is not just frivolous consumerism, because what we wear is a statement about who we are — Ann Taylor pantsuits mean one thing, sweatshorts with words on the butt mean a different thing. It is harder to make that statement when you're working with state-imposed modesty garments. That's what the women of Iran are working with. The Iranian Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry sets standards for fashion — the sleeve length, cut and fit of women's clothes, the style of men's haircuts. But Iran Wire's Azadeh Moaveni explains how Iranian designer Farnaz Abdoli has turned the state-required cloaks into fashion.
For her company Poosh, Abdoli's clothes look more casual and bohemian. She uses little floral prints you might see on dresses in Brooklyn. "Though her designs are often technically compatible with state dress codes, long and flowing with proper sleeves, they are still innovative, combining folds and dress, abaas and shalwar kameez, dresses and smocks, in fresh interpretations of what can be deemed permissible," Moaveni writes. Even so, Abdoli's spring collection was attacked by Bultan News as "the spring prostitution campaign."