The Burkini is an amalgamation of two different garments: the Burqa, a garment covering the face and body worn by Muslim women, and the two-piece Bikini bathing suit. Australian designer Aheda Zanetti designed the Burkini — trademarking it as the Burqini — in the early 2000’s to help her niece participate in school sports and beach culture, while adhering to Islamic modesty tenets. The ensemble combines loose leggings and a roomy tunic top with an attached, close-fitting head covering; colored stripes or transfers decorate the bust to further camouflage the body’s shape. The Burkini has proved popular not only with Muslim women but also with women from other cultural and religious backgrounds who feel disenchanted by other forms of swimwear, are concerned with modesty from other perspectives, or who wear it as a precaution against sun exposure.
Burkini Headpiece Detail
The Burkini has bean a lightning rod for larger tensions between Islamic and Western cultures. Since August 2016, following a terrorist attack in Nice, for example, some cities in southern France banned the garment on public beaches.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Lenticular Printing is a technology in which lenticular lenses (a technology that is also used for 3D displays) are used to produce printed images with an illusion of depth, or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles (Thanks, Wikipedia!). This print by french artist Cecile Plaisance, appropriately entitled Burqa Red Dress (2014) depicts a Barbie Doll who appears to be wearing a Red Party Dress when viewed from off to one side, but switches to the same doll wearing a Burqa when viewed from straight on.
The visible lines in these photo are due to my camera being unable to accurately capture the optical effect, and are not owed to any flaws in the artwork. Found in the booth for the Paris-based Galerie Envie d’Art at the Affordable Art Fair (going on now in NYC through Sunday, March 29th at the Metropolitan Pavilion) Burqa Red Dress (in an edition of 8 pieces) sells for $9,500.