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Muslims Faith, Fashion Intersect in Jakarta

Muslims Faith, Fashion Intersect in Jakarta

JAKARTA – Making a statement on their spiritual life and fashion, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and the Sydney-based Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) are hosting a fashion exhibition in which faith and fashion fuse together.

“We are bringing the works of Australian Muslim designers to Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim community in the world,” Glynis Jones, the exhibition curator, said on the common ground which had inspired MAAS to bring the exhibition to Jakarta, The Jakarta Post reported Wednesday, March 7.

“Furthermore, Jakarta also strives to be a global Islamic fashion capital very soon and Islamic fashion is also an emerging industry in Australia as well.”

The exhibition called Faith Fashion Fusion: the style of Muslim women in Australia, kicked off for the first time in 2012 by MAAS, runs from March 1 to 18 at the Museum Sejarah Jakarta (Jakarta History Museum).

It offers the latest Muslim-inspired designs created by various Australian designers, including Aheda Zanetti, who invented the famous burqini (swimsuit design inspired by both burqa and bikini, although it does not qualify as either of these garments).

The exhibition also shows portraits of Muslim Australian women who excel in the fields of sports, arts, science, academics, and others.

“This exhibition seeks to celebrate various experiences and achievements of the female Muslim population in Australia and also how they express their faith through fashion,” said Australian charge d’affaires Allaster Cox.

“Furthermore, to mark the upcoming International Women’s Day on March 8, we would like to celebrate Australia’s female Muslim population’s contributions to society in sports, the arts, sciences and other fields,” he added.

According to Cox, Muslims constitute around 5 to 6 percent of Australia’s total population, or around 300,000 people, with the majority coming from Middle Eastern countries such as Syria and Lebanon.

Jones said that she was motivated to curate the exhibition for the first time in 2012 because she was fascinated by Muslim fashion’s uniqueness.

“I have never seen anything like burqini, a new Australian swimwear invention. It helps Muslim women to also take part in sports because it features a veil that is not too tight so it will be comfortable for its wearers,” she explained.

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