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Faith, Fashion and Power in Muslim Dress

Fashion Historian Amber Butchart guest-curates a programme of three talks on power, dress and culture. For this event she presents Barjis Chohan in conversation with Professor Reina Lewis.

The dress of Muslim women continues to spark debates surrounding oppression vs empowerment, but often the question of fashion is conspicuous by its absence. In this discussion, Professor Reina Lewis talks to Barjis Chohan, founder of luxury fashion brand Barjis that fuses Eastern cultural values with Western cut and prints, about issues concerning fashion and faith. Topics will include how Muslim women around the world are finding ways to dress that support and express their growing social power, women’s education and careers in the industry, and increasing trends across Judaism, Christianity and Islam for modest fashion that allows the wearer to cover their body to engage with both spiritual and stylish demands.

Barjis Chohan is founder of luxury fashion label Barjis, whose design ethos focuses on the modestly stylish and chic. A graduate of London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins, Barjis Chohan previously worked for Vivienne Westwood before setting up her own award-winning company that shows both at London and Paris fashion weeks.

Reina Lewis is Artscom Centenary Professor of Cultural Studies at London College of Fashion. Her research interests focus on feminist post-colonial studies, particularly debates around the veil and how these narratives feature in the relationship between Islam and the west. Her books include 'Muslim Fashion' (2015) and she is editor of 'Modest Fashion: Styling Bodies, Mediating Faith' (2013).

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