fashion in religion

May 4, 2011

Fashion and religion. Can they get along?

When I started FashionValet, I had no intentions of finding glamour or fame. It is merely to find rezeki and fulfil my dreams of having a business. I’ve had so many business plans since university, trust me, I wanted to have a publishing company, I wanted to be an author, I wanted to be a designer. I’ve dreamed all sorts of dreams, and somehow, this one came true first.

Now, more than ever, I’m being invited to events and fashion shows almost every week. And I go because it’s a really good friend or it’s work; because it’s something related to FV. And I decline those that have nothing to do with FV, but merely the ones that want me to feature them on my blog. You can really tell who is taking advantage of your social platform. I’ve even had a “friend” ask me once, “Eh you’re a blogger right? OHHH!! Come to my event!!!” -___- Uh…no…thanks.

Anyway, all that aside, I’m just reflecting on myself. I enjoy this new world, but I need to constantly remind myself to feel the earth, remember my roots, because man….you can really get lost in the fashion world. Like prayers for example. If you have an event in the afternoon and you’re all ready with fake eyelashes and thick make-up and stuff.. Then you have an event at night, and you’re like, I can’t be bothered to take all this off. So Zuhur, Asar and Maghrib fly out the window.

As a stockist to beautiful designs, of course, sometimes I see reallyyyy sexy ones. And I know they can be styled in such a way that is modest and covered up, but at the back of my mind, I’m thinking wowww what will my mom have to say about that dress on its own? But that’s the fashion world; everything’s art. And being in this line now, I get to open my eyes to another world. A world of glamour and high fashion. A world where people pout and want to be seen at fashion shows. A world where it’s gorgeous to wear a bra and high waisted skirt to walk around town. It’s really a colourful world and I’ve met a lot of really nice people who have an abundance of talent, MasyaAllah, but really, if I don’t check on myself regularly, I can really go further and further away from religion.

This long weekend, I had some time to “spend time” with God. Usually I wrongly rush my prayers because I have work to do, but this weekend, I just sat there. I just sat on my prayer mat and doa. I doa to God that he will guide me and never falter my focus. I started FV with good intentions to ease people’s shopping and to give access to others outside KL to have a taste of local designers. So don’t let that ever change. I’m being featured in magazines and just last week, I am on the cover of one of the best magazines in Malaysia. When I saw the cover, I remembered that I was so happy and so overwhelmed. So I prayed that I will always be humble and not have riak in me. I prayed that with the fast rise of FV, that I will keep cool and not feel proud and glory. I prayed that even with competitors coming in, I will pray for their successes whilst improving my own.

It’s hard being in the fashion line and still keeping faith strong, unless you only deal with hijab fashion, which FV doesn’t. Even so, I do a lot of research on hijab fashion and I feel like some are losing focus. Isn’t donning the hijab about modesty? Why is it that hijab fashion has to be avant garde, splash of colours and sequins from head to toe, and even more eye-catching than mainstream fashion?

Personally, I feel the relationship between religion and fashion is a tricky one that a lot of people dodge talking about. How can you want to be fashionable when your intentions to cover up is to put vanity aside for Allah swt? How can you don the hijab for modesty and sacrifice to God, and still want people to look at you as a fashion icon? At the same time, we are all women with the natural desire to look good (I should know, I am guilty of not even donning the hijab yet!!). And sometimes, looking good for our husbands alone isn’t enough because after 5 years, they don’t get excited about our hair anymore. What is the fashion limit in religion besides not showing aurat?

Somebody help clarify my thoughts, please?