As of April 11, it was illegal in France to appear in public with one's face covered. In anticipation of the soon-to-go-into-effect legislation, some Paris designers, including Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Marithé François Girbaud, featured some fashion designs inspired by the burka at Paris fashion week in March. Read about it in this article from The Independent. (Elaine Sciolino notes in today's New York Times that, although there is much talk of the burka, in fact what the women in question are wearing in France is not the burka but the niqab.)
This is of course not the first instance of "hijab fashion" to appear on Western runways. It's not something that I've been following terribly closely (kufiyas seem to consume most of my time and energies), but I have on occasion posted on it in the past. This occasion, however, seems, possibly, to be somewhat more oppositional.
Meanwhile, is Erykah Badu's poster for her Dubai appearance on April 9 in any way related to France's new legislation?
And in a kind of footnote, in light of the above, what would you make of this?
I recently came across this via SPIN magazine. Hebrew letters (on face and on either breast), plus insignias on both shoulders which resemble the Arabic for allah. And a pyramid. The mystical symbolism is, well, beyond me. Gnostic Kabbala Afro-futurism.
(Erykah, despite requests from the BDS movement, performed in Israel in 2008. While there, she appeared in a t-shirt expressing opposition to the war in Iraq; her Israel concert poster featured a khamsa; she expressed support for Palestinian rappers; and defended Louis Farakhan.)
Erykah makes some of the best music in contemporary r&b/hip-hop/soul. I love her last two albums.