Mediating Modesty

    MODEST FASHION SYMPOSIUM LOGO                        

Symposium: Mediating Modesty
Wednesday 15th June 2011
London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London

The symposium Mediating Modesty: Fashioning Faithful Bodies brought together speakers from cultural studies, anthropology, fashion studies and religious studies with designers and entrepreneurs from the modest fashion industry to think about women’s modest self presentation in the context of new forms of commerce, commentary, and community.
The last two decades has seen the development of a rapidly expanding and diversifying market for modest fashion, arising initially from and serving the needs of women from the three Abrahamic faiths who are motivated to dress modestly for religious reasons. This market is also sustained by women whose ‘look’ may share many elements of modest styling but who do not regard their processes of self-fashioning in terms of religion or modesty as such. For both groups the internet has been central to the rapid growth of the modest fashion sector, fostering the development of a niche market through e-commerce, and providing virtual platforms for debates on modesty and fashion on websites, blogs, and discussion fora.
Addressing the relationships between an online and offline presence, the symposium explored how and to what extent women of different backgrounds are engaging in shared discourses about modest dressing and body management within and across faiths. Contributions tracked emergent styles and taste communities and evaluated the role of innovative forms of fashion mediation and religious interpretation.

Conference convener:  Professor Reina Lewis, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London.

Reina Lewis (London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London)
Fashion Forward and Faith-tastic! online modest fashion and the development of women as religious interpreters and intermediaries.

Annelies Moors (University of Amsterdam)
Mediating Muslim Modesty Online

Emma Tarlo (Goldsmiths, London)
Meeting in Modesty?  Jewish-Muslim encounters online

Barbara Goldman Carrel (Associate Adjunct Professor, The City University of New York)
Hasidic Women’s Fashion Aesthetic and Practice:  The Long and Short of Tzniuth

Jane Cameron (London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London)
Modest Motivations: Religious/secular contestation in the fashion field.

Daniel Miller (University College London)
How Blue Jeans Became Modest

Roundtable discussion: Designing and Marketing Modest Fashion
Chair: Linda Woodhead [Religion and Society Programme Director]

Shellie Slade (founder of clothing companies ModBod and Blend, USA)

Hana Tajima-Simpson (founder of clothing company Maysaa, UK, and blogger at StyleCovered])

Reina Lewis (London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London)

Download the Mediating Modesty Programme
Listen to the Symposium papers and discussion here.