Fashion from the streets of contemporary Iran

The Tehran Times

Meet Iran’s first online street style blog: the Tehran Times. Hippalicious! That’s the first word that comes to mind when seeing the street style posts on Araz Fazaeli’s fashion blog. Photos of stylishly dressed women wearing big sunglasses, colourful scarves, blouses in bright and cheerful prints, and holding designer bags; the Tehran Times shows Iranian women who interpret Iran’s strict dress code in a creative way.

The blog was founded in September 2012 by Iranian designer Araz Fazaeli. After he spent some time abroad studying fashion Fazaeli wanted to start a blog with the aim of showing a side of Iran that is rarely highlighted by international media. Fazaeli’s blog shows the world that despite the strict dress code in Iran, women can still be fashionable.

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Under Iranian Islamic law, women should dress modestly in loose-fitting clothing, with a headscarf at least partially covering their hair. Dark colours are encouraged so as not to arouse men. Furthermore, they cannot adorn or accessorize with nail polish, sandals, or leggings. Those who do not adhere to these strict rules run the risk of being arrested by the Basij, the Iranian paramilitary volunteer militia that was founded by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 after the Iranian revolution, and which also serves as morality police. With his blog Fazaeli shows that even in a country like Iran, where the state dictates what to wear, a certain degree of freedom and individuality is possible. By going against the enforced dress code, women in Iran not only make a fashion statement, but also a political statement.

Fazaeli, however, stresses that the blog only represents a small part of the female population in Iran. Nevertheless, he believes that it is important to also shed light on this side of society. Fazaeli describes Iranian women as strong, adaptable and anything but characterless; a characterization that is far from the image dominant in Western media. What do you think these women emanate? Take a look and let the photos speak for themselves.

Want to see more? Follow the Tehran Times on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter or visit the website here.

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