Focus on variety, colourfulness
A Hijab represents a religious concept but there are those who say
that it is fast becoming a fashion statement as well.
A hijab according to Muslims symbolises modesty, privacy and
morality. The Islamic teachings refer to modest dressing as covering the
body except face and hands in public. The term hijab in Arabic literally
means "a screen or curtain" and is used in the Qur'an to refer to a
Muslim women from different nationalities wear the hijab differently.
The many ways it is wrapped denotes an effort to look more presentable
or fashionable. There was a void in the Islamic fashion Industry but now
things are changing.
Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabanna recently became the latest
designer brand to release a 'modest-wear' range, joining the likes of
Oscar de la Renta and Tommy Hilfiger. Dolce & Gabbana is also set to
launch a line of abayas and scarves in its signature colourful prints by
Dolce & Gabbana has sales outlets in the Middle East, London, and
Paris. They offer trimmed pieces in black lace and accessorized with
oversized sunglasses, cocktail rings, stilettos, and statement bags.
Muslims and non-Muslim fashionistas around the world alike have greeted
Dolce & Gabbana's announcement with jubilation. The impact that this
would have locally is already visible. Many hijab stores are popping up
as more Muslim women are becoming fashion conscious.
The Sunday Observer spoke to some Muslim women who are interested in
new trends of hijab and to some hijab boutique owners.
The owner of Hijab boutique, Iaz Abdul Cader said "'Hijab Boutique'
is a home based business that I do in Nugegoda. We tailor Hijabs for the
Sri Lankan Muslim woman who loves to dress up in the outfit she wears. I
started my Hijab Boutique in 2008 when I returned after a short stay in
Malaysia. My stay in Malaysia inspired me to wear fashionable hijabs.
This sort of style was not much followed in Sri Lanka but people are now
trying to follow."
said that she mainly focuses on creating fashionable hijabs to match
outfits for special occasions. "When I was in Malaysia I just loved the
different styles of head scarves the Malaysian women wore. I started
creating different styles of Hijabs. I promote my Hijab designs through
an FB page named Hijab Boutique (www.facebook.com/HijabBoutiqueSL).
Anyone, anywhere could see the type of hijabs I design. I incorporate
Arabian, Egyptian and Malaysian Hijab designs," she said.
Iaz said that she uses the best of fabrics available in Sri Lanka
such as Satin, Georgette, Lace, Raw Silk and stretch fabrics. She
designs according to the customers' requirement. "Wearing the Hijab
every day, sometimes would take us hours in draping a shawl but at Hijab
Boutique we create "No-Pinning- Hijabs" which are easy to wear in a
short time. We also design Hijab Caps, Inner Caps, custom tailor shawls
and Amira Hijabs. I have designed easy to wear no pinning hijabs and
easy Hijabs with Pashmina shawls to be worn without pinning. I follow
Hijab trends from other countries. I mainly like the Egyptian and
Malaysian styles. The price range is from Rs 1,500 upwards and it all
depends on the work involved and the type of fabric we use," she said.
Hasna Zuhail - A housewife
I like draping the hijab in different styles. I think fashion plays a
role in hijab. It is every woman's desire to look good with the changing
trend. I see the hijab as empowering women to see beyond their physical
beauty. It does not mean you have to be boring.
The hijab doesn't really come with a color chart or a particular
style. Basically a hijab is supposed to show modesty according to
Islamic teachings. Almost all the local stores have a good range of
Nuska Roo fin -
A biomedical student
I believe the hijab gives me the perfect sense of security. Hijab is
a fashion nowadays. Wearing in different styles and fabrics in my point
of view is fine given that it abides by what is actually expected of it.
Wearing the hijab gives you an identity and makes one independent and
gives you honour and respect. It gives me confidence and I do not follow
any style in particular. I drape the shawl according to the mood and my
Kadija Latif -
A content writer
I love new trends. I do not see anything wrong with people coming up
with different styles. The real purpose of the hijab to cover the head
and chest should not be tarnished. I try different hijab styles to stand
out in a crowd and to look unique. I love to look different but at the
same time I keep up with the modesty and humility. Once in a while I
drape my hijab in different ways to get away from the monotonous life
and look adventurous.
Zainiya Ali - A student
hijab reflects personality. It brings out a Muslim woman's dignity. I
try new hijab styles as it makes me feel confident and strong. I like
trying new styles to look more beautiful and presentable.
A hijab has its own unique looks. I surf the Internet to try new ways
of draping the shawl.
Haiza Mazahim, a partner of Affrizante hijab boutique whose store has
been in the market for six years said that Jezza shawls started in the
West and which was introduced by them to Sri Lanka two years back is
very popular among the hijab wearing crowd. She said that their brand is
the trend now for its features such as non-slippery, lengthy, can do
various styles with minimum usage of pins, does not need inner caps and
does not give a headache.
"The inner cap is compulsory now. The Ninja cap which covers the head
and the neck is the latest inner cap introduced to Sri Lanka. Many do
not want to try it due to the climate of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan hijabis
do not prefer tiny shawls. I introduced a 'Hijabi gift box' recently. It
contains a shawl, an inner cap and pins in a portable bag. It is a good
gift to present a hijabi. I design my shawls at home in Macleod Rd,
Colombo 4. My 'One collection' sale is once a year and my sale for the
'General collection' is held every two months," she said.
Haiza said that her clientele is the mid and the upper class and her
designs are uncommon. "The main trend nowadays is to combine two or
three shawls together and drape. There are professional drapers for
Sri Lankan Muslim women prefer to cover their bosoms for casual wear
but they prefer to cover up to their neck for occasions. Affrizante is
unique for stretchy shawls as it is non- iron. One can find casual and
convenient shawls and abayas at Affrizante," she said.
Many non-Muslim clients also visit these shops to buy shawls and
other accessories and also to buy hijabs as gifts for their Muslim