A new generation of fashionistas at the National Archives

Media release: Thursday, 26 May 2016

Faith Fashion Fusion: Muslim women's style in Australia opens today at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra. The exhibition explores the emerging modest fashion market and the work of Muslim designers and entrepreneurs – from swimwear to denim to red carpet gowns.

Developed by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) in Sydney, with advice and assistance from Multicultural NSW, Australian Muslim organisations and community members who shared stories, loaned objects and took part in the film and fashion shoots that make the exhibition visually and emotionally rich.

According to MAAS fashion and dress curator Glynis Jones, 'modest fashion is one of the global fashion industry's largest growth areas. It's also interesting to see the market for these designs is not limited to Muslim women but has broader appeal for woman looking for looser fitting fashionable clothing that offers more coverage.' Faith Fashion Fusion also illustrates that faith and fashion are not incompatible.

The exhibition includes commentary by Sydney's first, and highly influential, Muslim fashion blogger Delina Darusman-Gala. Delina shares her love of clothing and offers advice on modest fashion, where to buy outfits and accessories, and how to make mainstream fashion trends more modest.

Faith Fashion Fusion also provides a space where Muslim women speak more broadly about themselves, their experiences and their faith, countering misconceptions that exist in Australian society. The women share their opinions, challenges and achievements through photographs, treasured objects and interviews; including author Randa Abdel-Fattah, academic and media commentator Susan Carland, Australia's first Muslim surf lifesaver Mecca Laalaa and author Arwa Abousamra.

Inspired by the work of photo bloggers such as Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist, the exhibition also captures the diversity and creativity of Muslim women's style through a street style photo shoot undertaken at locations around Sydney.

Faith Fashion Fusion is on show at the National Archives in Canberra until 4 September. The Archives is the final venue of its extensive national tour.

Dates:27 May–4 September 2016
Address:National Archives of Australia, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes, ACT
Hours:9am–5pm daily
Admission:Free entry

Contact information

  • Holly Pritchard (Media Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3413 m 0417 247 157 e holly.pritchard@naa.gov.au

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Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017