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Page last updated at 09:54 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009
Muslim fashion given a fresh look
Nadia Batool wearing one of her designs
Nadia says the hijab does not necessarily mean wearing black

Muslim women can dress in line with both their faith and western styles according to an Essex fashion student.

Nadia Batool, from Leigh-on-Sea, has explored the subject as part of her MA degree project, 'Faith or Fashion'.

She believes the requirement to dress modestly should not deny them from being 'positive' about what they wear.

"I think the younger generation are seeking to find a middle ground so they can incorporate their Islamic values with the western values," she said.

"The mainstream stores offer a lot of very sexy and very skimpy stuff and people like me just can't wear them.

"So we are looking for things that are modest and fashionable at the same time," she added.

Nadia also hopes a fresh approach to Muslim fashion can help to create more of an understanding between different cultures.

'Matter of choice'

She said her research had shown up a degree of 'confusion' amongst some British Muslims towards the issue of dress.

"Islam doesn't have any specific dress code for a Muslim woman, rather it has certain levels of instructions to follow - that a dress should be covering and it should be loose and that's it," she said.

Reassessing modern Muslim fashion

"You can interpret that set of rules into any kind of dress, so there is no specific dress code.

"So my approach to this topic was to bring something to evolve this hijab into a very modern way, so a woman like me can celebrate my identity with a confidence."

Nadia came to Essex from Pakistan to complete her masters at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.

As part of her project, Nadia has created a variety of designs showcasing her idea of western Islamic fashion.

"Whether people are comfortable in the black robes or they are comfortable in the colour ones, it's just a matter of choice," she said.

"As long as you want to be modest it doesn't matter whatever you wear - it's about how you feel, and how you want to project yourself to the broader community."

To find our more about Nadia's project and see a selection of her designs, visit her Ethos website.




SEE ALSO
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