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Attention, Muslim fashion junkies in the Netherlands: you now have a magazine that caters to you! MSLM magazine is a project by the Media and Moving Art (MAMA) initiative. It aims to showcase the fashions of “A group of young fashion-minded women, mostly 2nd generation, Muslim, clearly stands out on the dutch society.” [sic]
Not only is it a magazine, but it was also an art exhibition last year in the MAMA showroom (pictured here). The curator of the show speaks about it here, and you can see more pictures from the exhibition here. Since I don’t speak Dutch and there is a limited amount of information in English, I’m not sure whether this is a one-time publication, or if they have plans for regular publication. (fingers crossed there will be more)
I haven’t been able to get myself a copy of it, but from what I can tell from the curator’s blog and the MAMA site, this is a great project. It’s stated explicitly on the magazine’s site: “Because these young women grew up in the Netherlands, because they ARE dutch, their background creates a fashion-clash which results in new interesting forms and silhouettes for both Muslim and non-Muslim women.” [sic]
So often in the West, Muslim women are seen as somehow divorced from the west, no matter how long they have been there, how much they have put into their homes and families there. The fact that the exhibition/magazine aims to show the integration of a Muslim identity with a Dutch one is a good step.
I also really like the clothes. When thinking about covering oneself, and especially covering one’s hair, there isn’t a lot of variation in the options shown to young Muslim women: usually it’s some combo of scarf, shirtdress, and long skirt or pants. The great thing about this exhibit and magazine is that not only do they illustrate and accept the fact that Muslim women cover themselves differently, but they give us a few ideas on how to wear our identities proudly through fashion.
That’s something I can definitely try on.