Filed under: The Fashion Statement
Even as the great veil debate raged on this month in France - President Nicolas Sarkozy supports a ban on Muslim women wearing them in public- Paris couturiers paraded all manner of burqas, abayas and niqabs. Now that the shows have ended, we're left with more questions than answers.
Were designers stating they were for or against the ban? Do they endorse freedom of religious expression or were they speaking out against the oppression of women? Besotted with so many images of the controversial garment in the news recently, perhaps they were simply inspired to put a piece or two on the catwalks. Or, were they out to get press?
"When I ask designers questions like these, they always look confused," says David Wolfe, creative director of The Doneger Group, whose job is to predict trends for fashion professionals. "They operate so much from their gut. Whatever the media focuses on, the sensitive designers pick up the vibe, whether consciously or subconsciously. Fashion is an endless drug and designers look for the new high-anything that hasn't been seen or worked to death."
Givenchy, in particular, took the Middle Eastern route sending out models elbow-deep in gold cuffs and weighed down in heavy veils of ornate gold jewelry. The collection also featured billowing harem pants paired with sharp-shouldered blazers. Evening gowns were embroidered and topped with crowns of metal thorns, hard to miss the religious commentary there.
Gallery: Middle Eastern-inspired Fashion