The current year of 3FF’s Faith and Fashion programme recently concluded with a highly original fashion course – designed specifically for young Muslim women. The 20 participants spent three days in July at the London College of Fashion learning the skills to design and create their own versions of Islamic dress.
The groundbreaking Faith and Fashion project has over the course of the year engaged girls from traditional Islamic schools (ages 13-18) and enabled them to explore questions of modesty and clothing, both from Islamic and contemporary Western perspectives. They attended workshops looking at Qur’anic verses, dress designs from various Arabic cultures and notions of modesty from European history, all to enable the girls to get a stronger sense of their own belonging in today’s UK with reference to their Muslim faith. They then built up their own portfolio of clothing designs, incorporating both traditional Islamic and British aspects.
Around 130 young women from different schools took part in the programme. The 20 who attended the London College of Fashion sessions had been hand-picked based on the outstanding quality of their designs. The three days included presentations, skills-building exercises and sessions where the girls were free to experiment with different designs and materials. Aside from buzzing with creativity, the days of the course also included activities that developed the young women’s presentation and leadership skills.
These young women will now use their newfound skills and creativity to, in their own way, challenge restricting notions of what it means to be a Muslim woman in Britain today.