This paper is intended to explore the ways in which prevalent socio-religious values in society influence fashion trends. The continuity and change visible in particular design styles is governed by the designers’ perceptions of the society’s values and religious beliefs. This paper will highlight the effects of socio-religious restrictions imposed on fashion design by cultural beliefs and values and demonstrate how these beliefs impact current fashion trends.
The Saudi national men’s dress, the Thoub, is an underexplored cultural artifact that has been largely influenced by prevailing socio-religious trends. A plain white garment with long sleeves, the thoub has been traditionally associated with the expression of social equality and religious connotations.
Currently, these associations are being challenged in Saudi Arabia by changing fashion trends. Modern geometrical patterns, colored weave, and English numerals have been incorporated in men’s dress, testing widespread socio-religious beliefs of what a national dress should constitute. Identification of such micro trends illuminates the need for an investigation of how socio-religious issues and cultural beliefs influence continuity and change in fashion.
This research has been designed to disclose the role of socio-religious values and beliefs on national dress within the Arabian region. This research study is a pilot for a PhD dissertation on design and culture. A theoretical survey has been carried out using publications, observations, media, and field work.
|Keywords:||Socio-religious Values, National Dress, Socio-cultural Beliefs, Continuity and Change|
Lecturer, School of Art and Design, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicester, UK
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