Excerpt:

Closer to performance art than to a classic runway show, Majida Khattari's presentation of clothing and live sculpture art at a Parisian university residence on Saturday was her contribution to the debate raging about the head-to-toe Islamic veil in France.

The Franco-Moroccan artist turned burqas, niqabs, hijabs, and sefsaris -all types of Islamic veril - into a sort of artistic battle flag, allowing her to merge visual expression with her interest in - and convictions about - matters of politics and religion.

The first piece was a burqa made of thick, dark-coloured wool. Another burqa resembled a patchwork of clothing. Later in the show, a model's naked silhouette was discernible beneath a thin black veil. The final piece was strikingly paradoxical; a burqa displaying a printed identity portrait of the woman wearing it. Far from the fast-paced strut of Paris Fashion Week, Khattari's burqas - presented as sculptures of moving fabric - tackle pre-conceived notions about her subject.


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