Culture and Clothing at Two Museum Exhibitions

“Contemporary Muslim Fashions” at the de Young Museum and “Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem” at the Contemporary Jewish Musem explore layers of history, tradition and emerging trends in fashion.

“Contemporary Muslim Fashions” at the de Young Museum through January 6, 2019

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Westerners whose view of Muslim dress is limited to the burka and headscarves will find these stereotypes challenged by this exhibition at the de Young Museum showcasing the work of over 80 mostly Muslim emerging and veteran designers, along with high-end custom couture. The exhibition features fashions ranging from ultra-chic, luxury streetwear, to sportswear, including the “burkini,” a full-coverage swimsuit developed by Egyptian/American designer Shereen Sabet, who’s a scuba diver.  See details.

“Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem” at the Contemporary Jewish Museum through January 6, 2019

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The layers of history and tradition, of artistry and social identity, represented by clothes seem infinite as seen in this exhibit at San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum. It shows, through the sensorial medium of textures, colors, fabrics and craftsmanship, as Israel Museum curator Efrat Assaf-Shapira describes it, the ways that Jews in the diaspora adapted, fashion-wise, to their environments—the ways they remained distinct, the ways they blended in. The 2014 exhibit went from Jerusalem to New York’s Jewish Museum; its only other stop in the United States is here in San Francisco.  Learn more.

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See more in our October issue.