Fashion Police – Iranian style.
Posted by Exile on January 2, 2007
The BBC, bless ’em, provided me with this glimpse into Iranian “haute couture”, courtesy of the Iranian police who are concerned that the younger ladies are not quite observing the law of the land when they dress to go out.
Iran police move into fashion business.
By Frances Harrison
BBC News, Tehran
Women in high-heeled shoes and plenty of make-up strut down the catwalk amid clouds of artificial smoke.
It is the first time live models have been allowed to appear in a fashion show in post-revolutionary Iran.
The only unusual aspect is they’re draped from head to toe in the all enveloping chador that hides everything except the face.
It’s part of a new drive to give women more attractive choices of Islamic dress that allow them to express their individuality, while remaining within the letter of the law.
Many young women born after the revolution do not seem to have accepted the official idea of Islamic dress.
Conservative MP Rafat Bayat, who always wears a black chador, believes the problem is the state never educated young people properly.
“The generation born after the revolution has grown up in families that do not believe in these principles and they are estranged from these laws,” she says.
“We thought there would be no problem because we had an Islamic Republic and we thought everyone knew the constitution,” says Mrs Bayat with regret.
Let’s just look at that last bit again. “The state never educated young people properly”.
Read: Brainwashing failed.
“The generation born after the revolution has grown up in families that do not believe in these principles and they are estranged from these laws,”
Here is a point of dissention. And encouragement. The generation that put Khomeini in power apparently have a problem with their children. Their offspring do not believe in the old principles. But hang on, there’s more. If they are the fathers and mothers of these unruly young women, how could they possibly have raised their children not to believe in these principles? After all, it was their revolution. How strange. Maybe they wanted something other than what they got?
“Observance of hijab has got worse since the new government because Mr Ahmadinejad is not that strict on this issue,” complains Mrs Bayat.
“Mr Ahmadinejad thinks we should not use force when acting on this issue so as a result hijab has become weaker” she says.
Aware that imposing Islamic dress by force hasn’t worked, Iran’s police decided to hold their own fashion exhibition recently to educate women about what they should be wearing – though there were no live models.
“We want to guide our designers to meet the needs of our society,” explained Sardar Ansari of the Iranian police force. “We don’t want them to get their ideas about fashion from satellite television.”
I know it’s a sin to mock the afflicted but this was too much to let go by without comment. I thought, where have I seen that before? And then it came to me. Many years ago I gave my daughter a matryoshka doll (also known as a babushka doll). You all know them. The dolls are hollow and contain a succession of similar dolls in gradually decreasing sizes.
Perhaps this is the essence of Iranian society, and indeed, arab society. That what comes out of the mother should not be different in any way from its parent and so must it be, generation after generation. It is perhaps not generally known, that Iranian women are under the pressure af maintaining an archaeic code of dress that has to be enforced by the police and risk imprisonment for up to two months for non-compliance. Fashion policing indeed.
What chance have the reformists in Iran really got?
Hat tip: BBC.