The secret is out, and the burqa is once again in the spotlight. The many fashionable women who sport the enveloping garment have elevated it to high-fashion status. Plain black burqas are a thing of the past amongst the most fashionable Muslim women around the world. While these women are notorious shoppers and have often been recognized for the designer fashions they wear underneath and at home, the burqa has become a new canvas for them to express their style.
There are many ways women are showcasing their fashion through these designer burqas. The use of incredibly intricate embroidery with colorful silk, gemstones, diamonds, and even Swarovski crystals has become a big trend. Women will often pair these expensive additives with lavish accessories to match. Designer handbags and shoes are some of the most popular purchases for Muslim fashionistas. The incorporation of styles from other cultures has also been a rising trend amongst burqa designers. Techniques and aesthetics from Chinese collars and English gowns have been used to create unique new forms in this traditional garment. While some remain in the original form, they add beautifully woven designs on the lining instead. This is commonly seen on the bottom or the cuffs or the burqa.
What started as a form of expression for Muslim women has turned into a global phenomenon. Many designers and celebrities are using these burqas as inspiration. Recently at the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin, Serbian-born designer Sasa Kovacevic took influence from the burqa that he displayed on the runway a line for men. What has been called ‘boys in burqas’ is just one of the ways the western fashion world is using the traditional Islamic dress as inspiration. Celebrities like Rihanna and Lady Gaga have also been seen sporting their own style of burqa.
However, this new fashionable wave comes with controversy. The intent of the burqa is to deflect attention from women, and creating these extravagant designs is doing quite the opposite. Whilst the traditional form of the burqa remains loose and enveloping, it is attracting attention of many. As the times change, it is only natural to expect that fashions will change with them. The burqa will always remain a symbol of tradition in the Muslim world, but the burqa itself might not always look the same.