Saturday, November 19, 2011

Kufiyas: from Tahrir to the NY Times Style Mag to Occupy to Sheets Energy Strips w/ Stoudemire

Two friends kufiyaspotted for me today, and I found some of my own. Here's the round-up.

1. Amidst all the turmoil today on Tahrir Square, as the security forces attacked a few hundred camper-occupiers of the square, and in response, tens of thousands poured into the square to rescue it, to protest against the junta and its efforts to hijack the revolution and prevent the forward movement of democracy, and as battles erupted between the democracy forces and the thugs of the regime...

An enterprising salesman showed up in the evening to market his wares. It's autumn in Cairo, scarves are needed in the evenings, and especially, kufiyas, one of the insignias of the revolt, ever since January 25. (Here's the source.)

And there were plenty of photos from today of demonstrators in their kufiyas. Such as this one, courtesy The Guardian.

Khalil Hamra/AP

2. Then there is this, on p. 17, of the Sunday New York Times', The Winter 2011 Travel Issue of the Times Style Magazine. (A thousand thanks to Carolina for this.)

Interesting, no? Three designers (from Israel, Palestine, and the USSR), called threeAsfour, offering up designs from each of their respective traditions. Gabi Asfour (left, Palestinian) wears the Israeli design (based on the tiles of the floor of the Tel Aviv mayor's house), Adi Gil (center, Israeli) wears the Palestinian kufiya design, and Ange Donhauser (right, Russian, I guess) wears the Russian design. Although if you look closely you'll notice some kufiya patterns in the Israeli and that the Russian is wearing kufiya leggings. The line is called inSALLAm inSHALOm (pun on salaam and shalom and inshallah), and all the stuff is very, very, very expensive. (You can get a better view if you go to the link.)

Here is the website for threeAsfour, well worth checking out, and here is the very interesting video of their runway show, presenting the inSALLAm inSHALOm line at New York Fashion Week, September 2011. (They thank Sean Lennon at the end, so I suppose he had something to do with the soundtrack.)

threeASFOUR SS 2012 INSALAAM INSHALOM from threeASFOUR on Vimeo.

Check out the screencaps from the video:

This use of the kufiya in fashion has to be about the most interesting one that I've seen. It's telling that a Palestinian designer was involved. (And this, after I'd thought that the kufiya as high fashion phase had been over for at least a couple years. Is this the Tahrir effect?)

Notice that this uses the hand of Fatima, the khamsa (a symbol significant both for Muslims and Jews), and note the body suit and its kufiya pattern.

Note the blue evil eye symbols used cleverly here. And that under the sheer white dress the model is wearing, I guess, kufiya-patterned tights.

Kufiya patterned tights and hands of Fatima.

Red kufiya patterned dress over a kufiya patterned body suit on left. On right, more discrete black-and-white kufiya motif.

Here's a view from the back of that kufiya-patterned body suit.

Finally, the threeAsfour designers, after the show.

Finally, here's a piece from New York magazine on the emergence of threeAsfour from As Four (they lost the Tajik fourth awhile back). You learn that Angie once got into a fistfight with Cat Power (Chan Marshall). Nothing revealing about Gabi Asfour's Palestinian background, of course.

3. I've posted before about #Occupy kufiyas. Here's one from a demo I was at on November 17, to mark the 2 month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, and in DC, to focus on the lack of funding for infrastructure, by marching from McPherson Square (site of Occupy DC) to Key Bridge, which links Georgetown to Roslyn, VA, and which needs fixing up. There were several kufiya wearers out that day (including me). This is my best photo of one.

4. Finally, Andie sent me this one. It's a new add for Sheets Energy Strips. On the left is NY Nicks B-ball star Amar'e Stoudemire, on the right (in yellow kufiya), Celia, a graphic designer. I haven't found the actual ad, just this. If someone can help me source this better, please let me know.

Kufiya virus spreads....

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