Many Indonesian women feel that it is appropriate to promote conservative Muslim values. But not without controversy. The hijab was actually discouraged for decades during the Suharto era. After he was toppled in the late 1990s, Islamic fashion represented a form of rebellion against the longstanding regime.
Wearing a hijab may not be about dour colors, at least on the streets of cosmopolitan Jakarta. Think bright colors and prints, in tandem with statement jewelry. It has become so popular to express oneself through such attire that non-Muslim designers have jumped into the industry. Meanwhile, how-to videos on the subject seem endlessly popular on the internet. ■
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Image: In Southeast Asia, colorful fabrics are commonplace. Credit: Ferli at Can Stock Photo.