Hana Tajima and I recently sat down to talk about one aspect of her work as a fashion designer. Some of the clothing she designs have the particularity to incorporate the hijab (islamic veil) that currently suffers from an absolute lack of discursive complexity and contextualization. Our conversation is organized in such a way that we first describe the hijab only in its physical characteristics, as “a piece of clothe.” Once we have a grasp at its objectal properties, we then proceed to intensify it with the symbolic and political position it carries voluntarily and involuntarily within a given context. From the 2004 French ban of hijab in public schools to the most contemporary ostracization of the bodies wearing it, we attempt to demonstrate how the arguments given to antagonize hijab in the West are based on disingenuous predicates.
Hana Tajima is a designer and visual artist. Her blog hanatajima.com [formerly stylecovered.com] fast became a new and unique voice in fashion and is a widely read reference the world over. Born and raised in the UK, her parents both artists, she was raised in a highly creative environment with an emphasis on aesthetic and expressive freedom. Tajima’s first womenswear label, MAYSAA, gained much success both in the UK and internationally. Moving on from MAYSAA Tajima collaborated on projects with artists such as Nicholas Principe and Rosie Lowe. She now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, designing for a new line set to launch in Fall 2014. See her Funambulist contributor page.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE FUNAMBULIST MAGAZINE:
– Cover in The Funambulist 3 (Jan-Feb 2016) Clothing Politics.
– “Podcast Transcripts: Designing Modest Fashion,” in The Funambulist 3 (Jan-Feb 2016) Clothing Politics.
INTRODUCTORY ARTICLE ON THE FUNAMBULIST:
– “The Cultural Complexity of a Wearable Object: Leila Ahmed About the Hijab” (January 23, 2014)
REFERENCE ARTICLE AND BOOK:
– Mimi Thi Nguyen, “You Say You Want A Revolution (In a Loose Headscarf)” on Threadbared (June 13, 2009)
– Leila Ahmed, A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.
REFERENCE VIDEOS (TUTORIALS):