Saturday, February 6, 2010

Fashion, Faith, Freedom


The recent denial of French citizenship to a man who forced his wife to wear a burqa raises the larger question about laws of fashion and freedom of expression.

The International Society for Human Rights issued this promotion below advocating that women should be free to dress as they like and in contemporary ways.


The larger question is not the clothing but the willingness of the wearer and the values the clothes represent.

Designer Hussein Chalayan's burqas of S 1998

If women willingly wear full coverage clothing then most agree it should be allowed. The French denial of the burqa however denies Islamic women who willingly want to be covered. By contrast, France permits full coverage clothing for both Catholic nuns and Hassidic Jews. The US permits all clothing expressions including the Mormons, who were held accountable for breaking laws of marriage but not dress.

The nun, Pop magazine, September 2008

The Hasidic Jew, Gaultier F 1993

Mormons, Big Love, 2008



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