How Blogger Parvané Barret Is Ending Cultural Appropriation In Fashion
Bindis, kimonos, and headdresses. What do they all have in common? They are all cultural symbols that fashion it-girls like to trivialize, focusing on the fact that they’re “chic” and ignoring their place in history. Outrage over cultural appropriation is all over FaceBook, Twitter, and Tumblr, but most bloggers find the subject too difficult to touch on.
Parvané Barret took the opposite mindset when starting her blog, State of Style. She’s all about empowerment rather than appropriation. Parvané‘s blog is full of think pieces which open her readers’ eyes to everything fashion. Check out how this Dubai-based Parisian takes a global approach to fashion.
How has your French & Persian heritage influenced your style?
French fashion is all about being preppy and chic. It is all about the timeless, well-cut, and classic look- tailored blazers, classic trench coat, fitted sweaters and the little black dresses. I have always been a fan of the French style, and I love putting my own twist on it as well. French style is about dressing for yourself, not for others. Persian style, however, is quite restricted, since Iran is a Muslim country, and has to follow strict Islamic regulations.
But despite the harsh penalties, fashion is an inevitable thing. The young women of Iran are now taking a stand against these rules, and allowing their fashion sense to come through their “manteaus”- the name that is given to the “trench” style coat they wear to cover the body. Manteaus are becoming a real trend, and I love them ! They can be printed with patterned, angular shapes, and can be worn by anyone really. I really love the ethnic style- a style that reflects your culture. I try my best to combine both of these styles together and create something different !
What’s something unexpected about style in Dubai that Americans wouldn’t expect?
I feel that Americans believe that style may be restricted to certain women in the middle east due to the Islamic regulations that have to be followed. It is normal to assume that muslim women in the United Arab Emirates are restricted from “dressing up”. However, they are wrong. Departments stores like Bloomingdales or Harvey Nichols, often have 2 million visitors a year, mainly Emiratis, who are constantly buying the latest handbags from known brands like Givenchy to Balenciaga to Bottega Venetta. Shoes is another famous option, because what can we say, screw diamonds; shoes are a girl’s best friend ! From Louboutin to Chanel, shoes have become the best selling product on the market. Bags, shoes, jewellery and eyewear are really the only things that can be seen on muslim women, therefore it is what they show off ! Another surprising aspect of style is the Abaya, a flowing garment that is worn to cover the body shapes, has now become a fashion trend, even to women who are not necessarily following the muslim religion. I, personally, am a huge fan of Abayas !
Your favorite place to hang out in Dubai?
Dubai is full of fun things to do! From visiting the tallest building in the world, to skiing inside a mall … anything can be done in just under an hour ! Personally, I love spending time in the Dubai Mall, the largest shopping mall in the world, and whether it is chilling with friends or having some quality shopping time by myself. I also love hanging out in plaza spaces, which are becoming more popular by the day. They are cool, bustling public squares, that provide outdoor seating as well as amazing restaurants and good shopping. What else can I ask for ?
What is your favorite city for style inspiration?
My ideal city for style inspiration has to be one of my favourite cities in the world, Paris. Even though Paris is already seen as the capital of fashion, I still get blown away every single time I visit it during the holidays. Paris for me is where you can be free with style and discover new ones as well.
What’s your favorite fashion reference from a movie?
Probably movies like Clueless, or Devil wears Prada! The clothes in both of these movies are to DIE for, and that is also partly why I watch them over, and over again ! I think that fashion incorporated in funny movies is the best combination ever!