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Hijabistas in Indonesia

Before the 1980s, few women wore veils in Indonesia. The Islamic fashion trend began in the early 2000s. Young designers have decided to combine the veil, a requirement of the Quran, with fashion.

Initially, the outfits of the designers were too complicated and unsuited to youth and active Muslim women. This craze for hijabistas affects mostly the upper middle class. The designer Dian Pelangi has paved the way in 2009 with his Turkish Delight collection. Since then, other creators, as Irna Mutiara have been successful and shopping malls are opened, fully dedicated to the new Muslim elegance. These Indonesian designers are inspired by both the cultural diversity of the country and western fashion.

Young women photographed by Françoise Huguier in Bandung, city of 4 million inhabitants, 150 km from Jakarta, gather to discuss the Quran and fashion. They give advice to accessorise and to make up. Some of them are part of a choir, the " Spice Girls ". Their repertoire isn’t English pop but religious songs. The large tunics give way to fitted silk jacket. Rhinestones and brooches with fake diamonds have replaced pins to attach the veil. A simple square of fabric used as an hijab was traded against fabrics with exotic motifs and original shapes. Many wear coloured contact lenses, coming straight from fashion Korean K –Pop.

The Indonesian designers go around the world with their creations and parade for fashion shows. It became a flourishing market.

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