By Zaid El-Hasan and Sarah FolsomBy Sarah Frosch and Zaid A. El-ShahramIn the months since the coup that ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013, Egypt has seen a proliferation of fashion trends.
From burqas to high heels, the country’s most popular fashion line has been dubbed the “Egyptian revolution.”
But the women’s apparel worn by the majority of Egyptian women in the past two years is a far cry from the “revolutionary” garments worn by Egyptian women before Morsi’s ouster.
In an article published Monday by Al-Hayat newspaper, women’s fashion expert Alia Nouri said Egyptian women are now more than ever dressing modestly, often wearing only the latest in designer labels.
“The new trend is a modernisation of fashion in a very modern world,” she told Al-Monitor.
The trend is also a response to the fact that Egyptian women, who have suffered discrimination and violence, have no choice but to buy more expensive clothing, she said.
“In many ways, we are in the middle of a new fashion revolution,” she added.
Nouri noted that women who wear traditional Egyptian clothes and don’t conform to social conventions are “in a different world.”
“We are in a new era of fashion,” she said, describing a new wave of fashion that aims to create a more “modern” Egypt.
Egyptian blogger Alia Oraisi told Al Jazeera that she feels that “the revolution is in our pockets.”
The trend “will give us confidence that we will not be the victims of violence and oppression.”
She explained that “there are now many options for Egyptian women to dress that are more modest, and this is the time for them to show their identity.”
“The revolution has given women more options in the market,” Orais said.
While women in Egypt have had a long tradition of wearing a veil, the new trend has also been embraced by other women, such as Egyptian artist Anis Ibrahim, who has created an extensive line of women’s designer clothing in the last two years.
The Egyptian-American artist is known for her colourful garments, and her work often includes a “museum of the dead.”
She said that she was inspired by the Egyptian women who had “lost everything in the revolution, and their mourning was very powerful.”
“It is not about the women who don’t wear a veil; it is about the woman who wears a veil,” Ibrahim told Al Arabiya television.
“It’s not about women who are poor; it’s about the poor women who have lost everything,” she noted.