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London – Nazifa Begum’s debut fashion collection challenges assumptions about Muslim youth culture.
The London College of Fashion graduate explores her cultural identity through references to both British and Bangladeshi aesthetics. Traditional Bengali poetic script and images of the ancient Black Stone of Mecca are woven into garments, such as baggy t-shirts and trousers that reference UK rave and club culture.
‘There is some resemblance to the clothes worn to hajj, and there are some rebellions like the use of silk, which men aren’t allowed to wear in Muslim culture,' Begum told Dazed.
Oummra, the multimedia project created to accompany Begum’s collection, hones in on the dual identities that many Muslim men in the capital have, while celebrating London’s multiculturalism. ‘I was just into the double lives led by British Bangladeshi Muslims, trying to keep up with London culture, working through their sexuality but retaining their traditions,’ explains Begum.
Today’s youth are the most racially diverse of all generations. See our Gen Viz macrotrend to find out why transnationalism and identity layering are becoming more common among the young.